The weather has finally turned warm. We may actually see Spring – as in officially see Spring.
Yesterday was a perfect Easter day – low 80s, lots of sun, no humidity… today it’s rain – but still warm enough to have all the windows open.
Warm weather means an end to soups and stews and the beginning of salads. I loooooove soups and salads, but by mid-March my body is calling for fresh vegetables. With a few exceptions – because there are always exceptions – we do try to eat as seasonally appropriate, as possible. I rarely buy tomatoes in the winter and never buy berries – I don’t care that they’re in season in Argentina. It takes away from that anticipation of the first blueberries of the season. Strawberry Shortcake loses its significance when you can eat it any time you want.
Besides… they just don’t taste as good.
But once the weather starts turning, my thoughts start turning – to leafy greens and crusty bread.
One of the things I like to do when creating a dinner salad, is have a few different salads already made to add to the plate. Chewy grain salads, rice salads, pasta salads, and fruit salads all have a place on the plate. A couple of spoonfuls of several different salads just makes for a fun meal – and they’re also good for a quick snack instead of some of the crap I can find myself noshing on if I’m not paying attention. Tortilla chips and salsa come to mind…
Today, I started off with a grain salad – hard white wheat berries from Palouse – and a potato salad.
Both were throw-togethers. Typical clean-out-the-refrigerator salads.
Wheat Berry Salad
- 1 cup wheat berries, cooked, drained, and cooled
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped fine
- 2 radishes, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2/3 cup roasted unsalted pistachios
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
Simply mix everything together, check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper, as desired.
And then there was the potato salad.
I’ve been making variations on this salad since I first learned to make potato salad, lo these many years ago. It’s my go-to.
Mom’s Potato Salad
- 2 lbs potatoes
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
- 1 dill pickle, diced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 3 green onions, chopped (yellow or red onion also works)
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp catsup
- 1 tsp yellow mustard
- bit of garlic powder
- salt and pepper
Cut potatoes into serving-sized pieces. Cook until juuuuust done. Drain and chill in cold water. When cold, drain, again. Mix all ingredients, toss well, and refrigerate. That’s it.
I added a bit of radish to this batch – since I had the radish to add. Both salads went into the ‘fridge and will be available for many meals, this week.