10 Ways Tuesdays: Salad Greens

 

I’ve come up with 10 fresh ideas for spring salad greens:

 

1.  Add some heat with chiles

What better way to wake up your palate than with a spicy vinaigrette? I crave the heat of chile peppers this time of year, and love to pair it with something sweet and refreshing. A couple of years ago I picked up a recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Entertaining Cookbook for “Scallop, Mango, and Avocado Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette.” Seared scallops are served over a bed of greens with cubed avocado and mango. The dressing is made with minced jalapeño, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil.

2.  Try grilling lettuce

Maybe it sounds crazy if you’ve never tried it, but romaine is sturdy enough to grill and the charring brings out its natural sweetness. The July issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine includes a recipe for “Charred-Romaine Salad” served hot with pickled radishes and a creamy buttermilk dressing.

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Ingredient of the Week: Salad Greens

Salad Greens (c)2011 LaDomestique.com

It’s hot here in Colorado. Spring is a short season. It seems the weather turns from snow to blazing hot with only a couple weeks of truly mild “spring” weather. The salad greens are ready for harvest, and we better enjoy them before long sunny days cause the greens to bolt. Salad greens certainly have a place in the spring pantry. If you have a garden, like me, you’re overwhelmed by greens right now. If you don’t have a garden, you probably buy salad greens at the farmer’s market and then forget about them as they languish in the vegetable crisper. This week at La Domestique is about treating your greens with some respect. You’re gonna learn about growing greens and how to harvest and store them with care. You’re gonna get some fresh ideas for salads. You’re gonna throw out the bottled dressing you bought in the supermarket and learn how to make your own. Soldier, you’re gonna do all these things and you’re gonna like it!

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This Past Week at La Domestique: Oats

Oats

Last week at La Domestique was all about oats. The only oats kept in many a home pantry are the instant variety, so I explored rolled oats, oat groats, and oat flour. This versatile grain isn’t just for breakfast. Throughout the week there were suggestions for desserts, snacks, and even savory rice pilaf style preparations for oats. Cooking in the moment, I paired oats with the freshest produce of the season. From rhubarb and fresh berries to honey and fennel seed, the week was full of fresh inspiration. This time of year when it’s not too hot but we’re all out hiking and working up our appetite in the garden is perfect for satisfying, nourishing oats. Just in case you missed anything, I’ve got a recap for you!

Weekly Recap:

  • Monday: Announcing oats as the ingredient of the week.
  • Tuesday: 10 Ways Tuesday! Learn 10 spring inspired ways to use oats.
  • Wednesday: A recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp.
  • Thursday: Learn the story behind oats with a photo collage, flavor pairing and cooking techniques.
  • Friday: A recipe for honey-oat muffins from Top Chef Spike Mendelsohn.

I hope you enjoyed this past week and can’t wait to see you Monday as we transition from spring to summer here at LaDomestique.com!

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Honey Oat Muffins

 

It’s Friday! Let’s celebrate with muffins, shall we? The time has come to wrap up muffin week, and I have enjoyed it- maybe too much. Lots of baking and sweets this week. Maybe I’ll focus on salads next week, so I can recover. For now, let’s enjoy the muffins. While researching oats this week I came across this recipe over at Food & Wine. Chef Spike Mendelsohn, of Top Chef fame, contributed a recipe for White House Honey-Oat Muffins. Spike was inspired by the new beehive in the White House Garden. Cool, I get to use some local Boulder honey. After trying every honey at the Boulder Farmer’s Market, I’ve settled on a favorite from 2 R’s Farm. I’m a fan of the deep, rich, slightly floral flavor and dark golden color. Spike’s Honey Oat Muffins have a nice delicate crumb and are moist without being oily or wet. Honey lends a lovely soft sweetness to the muffins. The ground coriander is an interesting flavor, sweet and citrusy with a mild spice that lingers after the last bite. I keep coriander seeds in the pantry and grind them fresh as I need to. I really like these muffins because of what they are not: too sweet, oily, too big, or too dense. I enjoy the comforting flavors of oats, wheat, cinnamon, and honey more than something super sweet and sugary.

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Storyboard: Oats

Storyboard-Oats (c)2011 LaDomestique.com

Oats

Oats are comforting, hearty, and nourishing. We’re all familiar with quick cooking oatmeal for breakfast, but that’s just the beginning of the story for oats. This crop prefers the cool, wet climates of the northern hemisphere. Think of oats, and you most likely think of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Switzerland, who all have unique traditions for preparing this cereal grain. The Swiss have their muesli, which is oats combined with dried fruit, nuts, and a splash of fresh-squeezed orange juice. In the U.S. we’re into granola. My Irish husband says his father would soak Irish steel cut oatmeal overnight so it would be tender for his breakfast in the morning. Scotland is famous for many dishes from ground oat flours used in farls (a flatbread) to whole oats used in cranachan (a whisky spiked dessert). Oats have many purposes as a pantry ingredient. They can be used as a thickener for soup or a filler for meat loaf and sausage. Oats retain moisture and so extend the shelf life of baked goods like cakes, breads, muffins, and scones. Keep a muesli or granola mix in a jar ready to enjoy for breakfast. Oat flour adds flavor to pancakes and breads, while whole oats can be used to coat a loaf of bread. Cook oats like a rice pilaf and serve them with roast chicken or pork. Crackers made with oats and cheddar are tasty with Guinness. As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do with oats. It’s a free for all! It’s a chance to experiment and try something new!

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