8.21.2014

Farm Stand Kale and Quinoa Salad


Let the harvest begin!  I'm in heaven.  This is my absolute favorite time of year.  Local fruits and vegetables stands are popping up everywhere.  The farmer's market is in full swing with seasonal produce.  This week I decided to swing by my favorite farm stand to see what was available.  I decided to be inspired by whatever caught my eye for this post.

You should know how I feel about supporting our local farmers. This is the perfect time of year to bypass the local grocery chain and taste fruit and veggies the way the are supposed to taste.  Vine ripe and farm fresh.



Jenson Farm has had the most amazing heirloom cherry tomatoes.  They were so vibrant that I had to incorporate them into something beautiful, healthy and delicious.  




Tucked away in the superb's just south of Salt Lake City is a wonderful family run farm.  Fresh vegetables and melons are picked daily.

I hope you enjoy this little tour of the Jenson Family Farm



If no one is available at the stand, they will leave a little tin for money labeled "On your honor".  Folks drop by and fill a bag then leave their money in the little tin.  Unfortunately the tin was not out today.  I love how they trust their neighbors.




A variety of of home bottled jams, jellies and pickled vegetables are available for purchase.




Best corn I have ever had.



This is my favorite corner.  Honey!  Their spring honey was outstanding.



Vine ripened melons.  This is what melon's are supposed to taste like.


Can you see why I have been obsessed with their heirloom tomatoes?


You'll have to bear with me while I share a bit of my garden with you.  I'm rather proud.

Two years ago I was given this 12 foot Eiffel Tower.  My totally awesome neighbor was moving and didn't want to take this massive tower with them.  He was a fan of the Tour de France and is an avid biker.  He knew that my daughters had a complete obsession with France.  He told us the Tour Eiffel was ours if we would just come a get it that day.  It was just days before my daughters wedding and we were able to use it at her reception for decoration.  After the wedding the huge tower was placed in the center of our garden.



I planted two bird house gourd plants at the base of the tower.  I let nature do the rest.  I can't believe that my two plants have exceeded the top of this 12 foot spire.  Every time I went into my garden I would give the gourds encouragement.  I would cheer them on as they grew at least 6 inches daily.



Birdhouse gourds are now forming and the vines weave their way around their French tuteur.


My garden is beginning to thrive.


If only the tomatoes would turn red!

I'll spare you the remaining photo's that I have taken and get on with the salad recipe.


As I strolled through Jenson's veggies I decided to make a Kale and Quinoa salad using their beautiful produce.

I purchased a huge bunch of Kale, purple peppers, cucumbers and heirloom cherry tomatoes.


For this fresh and simple salad you will need:

1 bunch Kale (I'm using a mixture of flat and curly leaf)
1 large or 2 small peppers
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup pumpkins seeds
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Cook the quinoa first.  Add 1 cup water to a sauce pan.


Add 1/2 cup quinoa.


About 1/2 teaspoon salt


Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender.



Set aside to cool.


To toast the pumpkin seeds, add 1 teaspoon butter into a skillet with the pumpkin seeds.


Add a dash of salt.


Cook over medium heat until the seeds begin to pop and brown.


Place the hot seeds on a plate to cool.  Set aside.


Remove the tough center stem from the kale.


Chop the kale.


Chop the pepper.





Add to the kale.


Peel the cucumber.


Slice in half.


Remove the seeds.


Chop.


Add to salad.


Slice cherry tomatoes in half.


Add to salad.


Add cooled quinioa.


and pumpkins seeds.


Pour on lemon dressing.  For directions on how to make the dressing click on this link:  Lemon Garlic dressing.


I like to a course shredded Parmigiano.


Sprinkle on top.


Toss.  Serve.


 Thank you Jenson Family Farms.




 This is how I do the harvest.  Vibrant.  Fresh.  Locally grown.



Farm Stand Kale and Quinoa Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
1/3 cup pumpkins seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon butter (for toasting seeds)
1 bunch Kale (I'm using a mixture of flat and curly leaf), chopped
1 large or 2 small peppers
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


To cook quinoa, add 1 cup water to 1/2 cup quinoa and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.  Cool completely.

To toast pumpkin seeds, place seeds with 1 teaspoon butter and a pinch of salt into a skillet. Cook over medium heat until the seeds begin to pop and are lightly golden.  Remove to a plate set aside to cool. 

To assemble.  Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle with dressing.  This salad will hold up completely dressed and refrigerated for a few hours.  Makes 4-6 servings.

For the salad dressing:

Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl.  Stir to blend.  Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.