Category Archives: raw greens

Watermelon, Peach, and Tomato Salad: Delectably Refreshing

The ingredients
The ingredients except for the olive oil. Melon from Farmer Dave’s, tomatoes from Kelly’s Farm, and peaches from Fay Mountain Farm.

When Farmer Jane of Farmer Dave’s said that they would have a lot of watermelon, peaches, and tomatoes, I typed those words into a search engine and voila! I discovered that Watermelon, Peach, and Tomato Salad is a “thing.” That was easy! I made a few changes from the original recipe created by Anne Byrn for The Old Mill to keep things dairy and nut-free, and left out fresh basil and mint since none of the former was available and not much of the latter. But truly, the produce shines on its own. Just add or adjust ingredients to suit your taste.




Here are the ingredients from the original recipe with my changed noted in parentheses:

6 cups seedless watermelon chunks, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 cups good, ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups sliced, peeled ripe peaches
6 cups fresh arugula or your favorite salad greens (I used a bunch chopped small for sample servings)
4 tablespoons olive oil (I used 2 T)
1 1/2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar (I used 1 T)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil, or a combination (if desired)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (if desired)
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds (if desired or use other toppings)

bowls of watermelon and tomato, salted.
Salted and sitting for 1/2 an hour.

Place the watermelon and tomatoes in a mixing bowl and season with salt. Toss to coat, and let the fruit sit for 30 minutes. Drain well.
Fold the peaches into the watermelon and tomato mixture. To serve, spoon the fruit on top of the salad greens. Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Garnish the top with chopped fresh herbs, feta cheese, and toasted almonds. NOTE: I drained again after adding the peaches, and at least once more time during the demo. Note to self – save the liquid. It will make great base for a mixed drink!

Here are some handy notes excerpted from/based on those in the original recipe:

Use fresh, ripe fruits of any color and sprinkle the watermelon and tomatoes with a little kosher salt ahead of time. It not only draws out the moisture, but it intensifies the flavor of the fruit.
Prepare ingredients separately. Once you are ready to serve, pile the watermelon, peaches, and tomatoes on top of your favorite lettuce, sprinkle with the oil, vinegar and fresh herbs, and then garnish with the feta and almonds, if using the latter two.
Don’t have feta? Use cubes of fresh mozzarella. Or use toasted pecans instead of the almonds. And if you don’t have basil or mint, use what you have – chives, dill, or parsley. There could not be a more adaptable, stunning, and easy-to-fix salad that salutes the end of summer in a big way.

sample serving of recipe

This really is a lovely recipe as written or as a basis for your own ideas or available ingredients. The stars of the recipe should be available from our farmers for at least a few more weeks, so keep this one in mind to enjoy it with the freshest of fruits and greens.

Spinach, Strawberry, Cucumber Salad

What a super opening day we had on June 15! The weather was perfect, the produce was bountiful, and I got to cook with a professional chef. New Wakefield resident Katie Franzetti, who has offered to volunteer her talents to the WFM Cooking Demos and Farm/Food Eduction program, is a Certified Health Supportive Chef from The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. We are excited to have her on board!

This week, we took advantage of the abundance of spinach from Farmer Dave’s, cucumber and basil from Kelly’s Farm, and strawberries from Fay Mountain Farm and made a simple yet lovely salad dressed with a light olive oil and rice vinegar dressing with a touch of lemon and honey that just radiated SUMMER!

Here is the recipe. Apologies in advance: the sampling was over and done with before we had a chance to take and picture of the finished product.

Spinach, Strawberry, and Cucumber Salad

Salad
¼ lb (or so) fresh spinach
1 pint strawberries
1 medium cucumber
Leaves from 3-4 stems of basil, to taste

Dressing
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp rice vinegar*
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse all the produce and pat dry. Remove any woody stems from the spinach and chop and/or tear the leaves to preferred size. Slice strawberries and cucumbers into thin slices and/or chunks. Tear or slice basil leaves very thin. Then gently toss it all together.

Whisk the dressing ingredients, adjust seasoning to taste, add to salad starting with half of it, gently toss, and add more as desired.

Serve as is, add some feta, nuts, seeds, or whatever strikes your fancy. Or put on each plate as a colorful bed for a serving of sautéed shrimp or other entrée.

  • Why rice vinegar? We like it because it is a bit less acidic than most other types, giving the signature tang but not overpowering other flavors. You can use your choice, but might need to adjust the other flavors.

Simple Cranberry Bean and Arugula Salad

Cranberry beans and arugula from Farmer Dave’s

Suman will be back for our two final market days, but this week Wendy came up with an easy salad that Greg prepared, adding his own twist (lemon juice and garlic) for the dressing.

There really isn’t a set recipe for this.  Just shuck as many beans as you need, (see below for pounds to cups shucked) cover with cold water, bring to a boil and cook 20-25 minutes or until tender. In the meantime, rinse, dry, and roughly chop the greens or your choice, (we used arugula for its peppery bite) perhaps to make one or so cups lightly packed greens to 1 cup shucked beans, and then use your imagination to create a dressing or just grab your favorite prepared brand. Greg opted for lightly sautéing some minced garlic, and combining it, oil and all, with some additional olive oil and lemon juice, along with a touch of salt and ground black pepper. It was quite tasty!

Cranberry beans also do well in stir fry dishes and are especially suitable for soups. Read on for a bit more about this versatile legume.

About Cranberry Beans
Also known as borlotti, pink-flecked cranberry beans are available fresh in the late summer and fall. Creamy and flavorful, they’re delicious in soups or stews or can be tossed with olive oil and herbs for a simple side dish (though they lose their gorgeous coloring once cooked).

How to Store: Fresh, unshelled cranberry beans can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for three to four days

How to Cook: Fresh cranberry beans are very easy to shuck. One pound of beans in the pod yields about 1 1/3 cups shucked beans, or enough for about two to three people. To cook, shell the beans and put them in a medium saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

Recipe from July 1, 2017: Berry Kale Salad and Easy Strawberry Vinaigrette

Berry Kale Salad

  • 1 bunch of kale, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup berries (slice if using strawberries)
  • 2 T granola

Put thinly sliced kale in a large bowl. Add a little of the lemon juice, oil and salt and massage with hands until kale softens.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining lemon juice with honey and pepper. Whisk in oil until dressing forms.

Pour dressing over the kale and add the berries. Adjust seasonings and add some of the mandarin juice if a sweeter salad is desired. Sprinkle with the granola before serving.

 

You can also instead or in addition to use this scrumptious dressing that take just a few minutes to make:

Easy Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Blend strawberries, honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper together in a blender until smooth. And immersion blender works well, also.  Try adding some feta cheese as shown in the photo.