Sunday, March 13, 2016

Farm fresh salad

A few days ago, I was heading towards Camp Hope out in Arabi. As I was pulling up, I saw a familiar face. It was Jimmy of Parish Farms walking his dog. I met him a year ago when I had my internship rotation at Hollygrove Farmers Market and he was delivering his salad mixes and arugula. Since then, I've always returned to Hollygrove for the arugula because that's the only place where I can get the spicy mature green (the supermarket boxes taste bland after you try his).

I waved Jimmy down and he offered to give me the "50 cents tour" of his plots in the area. He took a knife and a large bag out of his little pick-up and I followed him around his after-rain muddy half wild rows. As he chopped me pounds of broccoli, several types/colors of romaine, baby bibb, frisee, and what seemed like endless amounts of his famous sharp peppery arugula, we chatted extensively about the health of our country and the obesity epidemic. At the end of walking through five out of seven plots, I had a hefty bag of garden fresh greens that I could not wait to go home, rinse off and eat. I thanked him for his generosity and he encouraged me to call him whenever I was in the area in the late afternoon because he has so much produce that he may not be able to sell, but would love to share so it won't go to waste.

After lots of rinsing and drying, Henok put together a green mix with all the fresh salad greens we got from Farmer Jimmy. He tossed it with fresh Ponchatoula strawberries and cherry tomatoes from the Crescent City Farmers Market, while I roasted carrots with honey and baby portobello mushrooms with balsamic vinegar. They all went together with some pecans, walnuts, and I topped it off with mozzarella pearls. With a drizzle of my homemade Creole mustard vinaigrette and a side of rosemary (fresh from volunteering with Edible Schoolyard) biscuit pancake, oh goodness, what a perfect lunch!

Farm fresh salad (serves 4)
2 cups mixed lettuce
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup frisee
1 dz cherry tomatoes, halved
1 dz strawberries, sliced 
1/2 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts) 
6 carrots, sliced and roasted with olive oil and honey at 400F for 15 min
1 dz baby portobello mushrooms, roasted with olive oil and balsamic vinegar at 400F for 15 min
1/3 cup mozzarella balls

1. Prepare all ingredients 
2. Toss together and serve 

Creole mustard vinaigrette (serves 4)
1 tbs Creole mustard
4 tbs olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp black pepper 
1 clove garlic, minced

1. Mix all ingredients 
2. Drizzle over or toss with salad 

... still working on my biscuit shaping, hence biscuit pancake! 

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