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Peasant Salad for Spring

April 3, 2011

Photo by Gerik

It’s almost Spring.  For a little bit I thought we were golden but Mother Nature fooled us again.  Personally, I’m ready for Spring.  The opening day of the outdoor Farmer’s Market must have brought that yearning to the surface.

I didn’t actually attend the market, but the big sign post on the street corner was enough to make me want to delve into my recipe box for one of my springtime favorites.   Peasant Salad is perfect for spring because it combines the bright rich colors of spring vegetables with a vibrant and flavorful dressing which gives the veggies a polish that makes them glow with jewel-like colors.  The addition of fresh chopped parsley and sliced green onions enhance the spring flavor.

There are several ways to make this salad fit your personality.  Sometimes I add a bit of fresh leaf lettuce or whole button mushrooms.  It really depends on the fresh vegetables that are featured in the store or farmer’s market.

Anyway you decide to make it, this will bring a cheery note to the dining table.  And while we are on the topic of dinner,  I’ve noticed that a few of my local grocery stores are starting to sell some great artisan breads that are commonly found on the West Coast but can be harder to find in the mid-west.  Pair this salad with a slice or two of good earthy bread, warmed in the oven and served with a dish of seasoned olive oil or a smear of fresh garlic butter over the top.   Come on Spring!!

Peasant Salad
12 servings

2 lbs. tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 lb. red onion, thinly sliced, separated into rings or
1 bunch green onions, sliced
¾ lb. red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
¾ lb. green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 can whole pitted black ripe olives, drained
1 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil or both
dressing, recipe below

Core and take out the seeds in the tomatoes before cutting into wedges.  I use Roma tomatoes which have less seeds.  Prepare the rest of the ingredients and mix.  Toss with the dressing just before serving.

Optional: ingredients would be romaine, leaf lettuce or a Spring Mix, mushrooms, green olives, cucumbers or other fresh vegetables of your choice.

Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. dry oregano
¼ c. red wine vinegar
½ c. olive oil
1/8th tsp. black pepper

Mash the minced garlic into the salt with the back of a spoon to make a paste.  Add the salt, oregano and vinegar.  Whisk in the olive oil and finish with the black pepper.  Refrigerate the dressing until needed.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 3, 2011 11:29 pm

    I cannot wait for spring, lots of color out in my gardens. This salad is perfect, will add it to my list. We have several salads a week. Maybe I will make your Wheat bread with sage and black olives this round (I put sunflowers and sage in mine this first time I used your recipe, it was delicious!) It was so good, it did not last three days in my home. Your salad is so colorful as spring should be….RaeDi

  2. April 5, 2011 2:32 pm

    That’s simply gorgeous. And spring has definitely arrived in our neck of the woods.

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