Friday, May 16, 2014

Garden to Table - Lettuces

So what's in your garden?
This planting season, I think I went a little overboard.
I have planted broccoli, a variety of peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, a variety of tomatos, pole beans, peas, lettuce, strawberries and lots of spices like rosemary, basil, oregano, garlic, onions and a lemon spearmint plant.  I walked into the gardening center and just kept adding plant after plant to my wagon.  I think I may have a gardening there such a thing?  At least my family reaps the rewards.

A great additon to any garden is lettuce and while the weather is still cool, you can  plant some lettuce seeds.

It really doesn't matter what kind of lettuce seed you plant, so pick your favorites and plant several different varieties so that you can make a delicious salad.

A couple of things I learned about lettuce in your garden...
*lettuce prefers some shade 
*when the lettuce starts to have flowers, it will probably be bitter - so don't eat it
*as a row of lettuce is harvested, you can replant new seeds
*after you harvest your lettuce, soak the lettuce in a pot of COLD water, this will allow any dirt to sink to the bottom and away from your lettuce leaves, then dry lettuce in a salad spinner
*as it gets hot, wait to reseed until the fall
*lettuce is one of those easy crops to grow and before you know it, you will have your own tender, homegrown lettuce.

Homegrown lettuce salads are the BEST!
But adding your own homemade dressing makes it the BESTEST!
Is that word used correctly?
Here are some of my favorite homemade dressings:

The Gracious Pantry has this delicious strawberry vinagrette that is perfect when you want a salad more on the sweet side.  It's low in fat and sugar.  Make sure to check out the link.

This lemon vinagrette is a delicious dressing that is light and has that fresh lemon flavor that will perk up any salad.  Just whisk together 1 lemon, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp coarse salt, 6 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp snipped chives.  Easy and so fresh tasting!

And finally, my favorite dressing is a Creamy Lemon Dressing that I love to serve on my
Spring Radish Salad.  Click on over for the complete recipe.  Use it on a salad or as a dip!!!

I love it when salads are so light and refreshing!  I especially love it when I am in control of the ingredients!  Dressings are one of those food items that you can make yourself...EASILY!

Garden to table...lettuce right from your garden and into the salad bowl.

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet and healthy!


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