Farm to Table is the new buzz phrase in food lingo and is quickly becoming a worn out slogan. What does it mean for us who don’t live on a farm anyway?! Basically, it means eating seasonal and locally grown produce. Local means: in your area, in your backyard, on your patio, or even on your balcony. In the middle of a Texas winter, I’ve got growing in my raised beds, swiss chard, arugula, spinach, broccoli, parsley, celery, and an assortment of lettuce.

I get giddy each day going out to pick my salad for lunch. Each lettuce leaf, each bitter green, each herb has its own unique bite. I just pick my greens, rinse them off in the sink, and spin them in the lettuce spinner. Do you know the gadget that is sold on infomercials? I actually use mine every day! On my salad I’ll put leftover crumbled cheese (any kind), a boiled egg from my chickens, any leftover roasted vegetables from dinner the night before, and my trusty lemon vinaigrette.

The vinaigrette is one we made in Lebanon for almost every meal. The only change up was alternating lemon juice and red wine vinegar. You can make a large quantity in the blender and keep unrefrigerated in a tightly lidded jar or make it one serving at a time.

I pound my garlic with salt in my olive wood mortar and pestle, add the acid and olive oil right into the same bowl, slightly stir, and spoon on top of my salad. The vinegarette brightens the salad without drowning out the individual notes of the fresh greens. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use any deep bowl and pound with the blunt end of a wooden kitchen utensil.

Enjoy your greens!

Have you eaten your greens today?

Salad Dressing

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

Pound garlic with salt in a mortar with pestle. Add lemon juice or red wine vinegar, stir releasing garlic paste from sides, and add olive oil. Add fresh or dried herbs as desired. 

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