Thursday, September 22

Recipe: Arugula Salad with Pan-Fried Herbed Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Feta Cheese & Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette

A flavor-packed main course salad bursting with seasonal bounty (recipe here).

This scrumptious Arugula Salad with Pan-Fried Herbed Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Feta Cheese and Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette is one of those dishes that becomes much more than the sum of its parts. And it's a perfect way to celebrate the flavors of late summer and early fall from the garden and farmers market.

Despite my Irish ancestry, I'd never been big on potatoes—often going literally years without eating any—until I moved to the country and for some reason decided to try growing my own. Wow, what a difference. Though what possessed me to plant 250 feet of potatoes that first year I will never know. I didn't even know what a potato plant looked like.

This year I have a much more reasonable 16 feet of Yukon Gold and (some already forgotten variety of) red potatoes in my organic kitchen garden, but they went into the ground so late I still haven't dug any up yet.

These crisp, herby potatoes also taste great on their own, and the quick kalamata olive dressing is nice on other salad greens too.

The best thing about arugula is that you can quickly and easily grow this cold tolerant and nutritious peppery green from seed (baby leaves are ready for picking in about a month) and if you let some of it bloom, it will reseed itself.

No arugula? Try some crunchy romaine lettuce instead; or use some of each. For the last few years my favorite variety of lettuce to grow has been an heirloom romaine called Parris Island Cos, which tastes great and is amazingly heat tolerant. I wish I'd discovered it 20 years ago.

The combination of ingredients and the vinaigrette are what's most important with this salad, not the specific amounts. So once you've made the recipe, you'll be able to toss everything together more quickly next time. To make it a more substantial meal, simply add some slices of leftover grilled chicken or steak.

As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients. They really do make a difference. I don't, however, recommend planting 250 feet of potatoes for two people, no matter how much garden space you have available.

Thursday, September 8

Green Tomato Salsa Relish Recipe: No Sugar, Super Simple, Totally Delicious!

Wondering what to do with green tomatoes? Try my no sugar, super simple, salsa-like green tomato relish. No blanching, peeling, or canning (unless you want to) required.

It's become a Farmgirl Fare tradition to re-post this little shout out each year, and in the sales pitch below you'll find rave reviews from fans of my super popular No Sugar, Salsa-Like Green Tomato Relish Recipe, which is a tasty, easy way to use up all those green tomatoes still out on the vine. Enjoy!

When the first frost threatens in fall, I pick all the remaining green tomatoes in the garden that I can. Green tomatoes will eventually ripen when stored indoors at room temperature (don't put them in the refrigerator!), although the flavor won't be nearly as nice as vine ripened. Of course any homegrown tomato eaten on Thanksgiving or Christmas tastes fantastic, but why not celebrate their greenness instead?

I created this no sugar green tomato relish recipe
years ago for Kitchen Gardener magazine. It doesn't call for the usual raisins or spices and is really more like a thick salsa. It's easily adaptable to what you have on hand, and there's no blanching or peeling required—you just chop everything up and toss it into a pot. And since it'll keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, canning is optional.

But don't just take my word regarding this recipe. Below is a sampling of what others have said about it over the years. Thank you all so much for taking the time to come back and comment on my recipes. And thanks for pinning them on Pinterest!

Read the green tomato relish rave reviews below. . .