National Gardening Week

Since this is National Gardening Week, I thought I would post a photo of my patio garden, as I do almost every year, and feature an herbal salad dressing, using the chives you see in the large bin on the right. This plant comes up every year and stays viable for cutting into November, so it is the one herb I can count on.

But first, I want to invite you to go online to read Lisa Scottoline’s latest Chick Wit column in The Philadelphia Inquirer: Live, Life, Love section from Sunday, June 4th. In this week’s witty column entitled “I’m all (green) thumbs,” the lawyer turned writer riffs about middle-aged forgetfulness: “Welcome to gardening for the middle-aged, where you can’t remember what you planted….I did make a map of the garden, but I can’t remember where I put it.” Perfect!Fortunately, my patio garden is small enough that I don’t forget where I planted an herb, but then again, I am always misplacing the seeds somewhere in the house.

In Dr. Douillard’s (www.lifespa.com) list of plants, with their color, bloom time, taste and fragrance, CHIVES are listed as being in their prime in May and June, although my chives seem to be vibrant from spring through fall. My plant is green; however, the chart lists red to lavender to purple with a strong onion taste.

Here is a spring salad with my chive dressing. Enjoy the tangy taste. The dressing is almost the same color as the lettuce, so it’s hard to see, but you will definitely taste it, especially is you use half an organic lemon with the skin still on, instead of the juice of half a lemon.

Chive Alive! Dressing for Spring Salad

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, blender or food processor, bowl for tossing, serving bowl, container (ex. cream pitcher) for dressing.
Prep. Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Gluten-Free, Vegan

Ingredients

Dressing

1/2 organic lemon, chopped into small pieces
(Note: You may also just squeeze the juice of half a lemon)
1/2 cup cold water
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (start with 1/4 cup)
I peeled garlic clove

Salad (Feel free to use your own salad items.)

3-4 cups (or 1/2 head) salad greens (I used red-tipped Romaine)
slivers of radicchio
4-5 slices of leek
1/2  peeled avocado, sliced into bite-sized pieces
salt & pepper to taste (optional)
sprouts or micro greens for garnish and flavor

Directions

  1. In a food processor or blender, place chopped up lemon or lemon juice, cold water, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and peeled garlic clove and blend until lemon pieces are well macerated. If too thick, add more olive oil and buzz again. (This depends on the size of your lemon and how thick or thin you like your dressing and whether or not you use whole lemon skins or just the juice.) Set aside.
  2. Wash and dry greens. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Sliver the radicchio, slice the leek (white part mostly) and peel and slice the avocado. Toss, adding salt and pepper, if using. Place in an attractive serving bowl or on a flat platter.
  3. Right before serving, toss salad with a small amount of the dressing. Garnish with sprouts. Place extra dressing in a serving container for guests to add as needed.

    Variations: Substitute organic lime for lemon or a little of each. Add feta cheese in small pieces. Yield: One head of lettuce serves 8 people, so if you use half a head, you have four servings.

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