I’m pretty excited about this.
So, a couple weeks ago at the Redwood Valley Farmers Market, my friend Amanda from Fairall’s Farm Fresh Eggs & Produce did a chef demo using some of the wonderful items available at the farmers market that morning. She set up a delicious taco bar with chipotle sausage hash, a zesty salmon taco filling, and a big veggie and egg scramble, which you can find the recipes for here. She also made a huge farmers market salad with a jam vinaigrette that was so damn good I knew I had to write about it here and try to convince everyone on the internet to make too.
I’d never actually bothered making salad dressing with jam before, and it was so tasty that I went home and promptly made huge batch. I guess that when I thought about jam for salads, it sounded like it would be too sweet and overpowering. I still think if you were having a really delicate salad of baby lettuces and sliced radishes, it would be a questionable idea at best. Amanda’s salad was killer, though, and it’s because she didn’t just use lettuce, but also incorporated sliced cabbage, raw kale and chard leaves, summer squash and salad turnips. These big, hearty vegetables stood up so well to the flavor of the jam.
Floodgate Farms grew the salad mix used as a base for everything, which in itself was outstanding. It has more fresh produce than I’ve ever seen in any salad mix, ever, with fresh mint leaves, onion blossoms, sprigs of dill, nasturtium blossoms, purslane leaves, and more. I’m not always much of a salad girl- I usually would rather have a big bowl of vegetable stew, like a ratatouille or the braised kale and white beans, but this salad mix is so beautiful and full of flavors that…. well, it makes me want to go buy more from them, even though I have a huge garden with plenty of my own vegetables.
Cook Time: lightning fast
- jam: I really like the flavor of dark berry or plum jams with the kale and cabbage, especially if they happen to be tart or low-sugar jams, but really, anything you want to use up will be good.
- oil: I used hazelnut oil when I made it at home, but anything you have will work.
- vinegar: apple cider, champagne, sherry– again, whatever ya got.
In a half pint jar, combine two parts jam with two parts oil and one part vinegar. Shake it up. Pour over your salad. Eat.
Amanda’s Farmers Market Salad
In a big bowl, combine as many good salad things as you can find:
- Salad Mix: different kinds of lettuce, diced onion blossoms, sprigs of fresh dill fronds and dill flowers, edible flowers, roughly chopped mint leaves, cilantro, parsley…. and any other things you can think of.Dark Leafy Greens: like shredded green cabbage, roughly chopped kale leaves and roughly chopped swiss chard leaves. The more the merrier. The key to growing really nice greens is to keep them well picked, so go out to the garden and pick any random leaves you can find.
- Chopped Vegetables: summer squash, salad turnips, and cucumbers, etc.
Dress with jam vinaigrette, top with crumbled chevre or feta to make it even better, and serve. My little brother ate a huge plate of it and said: “this salad is awesome, and I hate salad.” So, it’s that kind of recipe, where you get to eat a really good meal, but then you get the added bonus of laughing when your family members who claim to hate kale end up eating a whole bunch of it — and liking it.
Amanda, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful cooking with everyone. It was delicious!