Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Spring Salad


I'm always looking for something to cook that shows off the fresh herbs I've been growing. This year I planted apple mint in addition to the spearmint I usually grow. It has really taken off in the last few weeks and is now trying its best to escape from its pot and sneak out the window.



Apple mint is a little sweeter than other types of mint I've grown. I like that it adds a bit of freshness without tasting like a tube of toothpaste.

I've also had a lot of success with cilantro this year. Last year it was droopy and didn't do so well, so I was quite surprised when it started going nuts and jumping out of its pot. It even grew a few little flowers which I snipped and used as a garnish for another dish. In the last few days it has fallen over, but I think it's just adjusting to its slightly larger new pot. Hopefully things will straighten out before too long.



Last night the cilantro and apple mint teamed up in a happy spring salad. I had a few English cucumbers and some gorgeous yellow and orange carrots from the farmer's market, and I knew they would benefit from fresh, bright herbs. I roughly chopped the cucumber into large chunks, sliced the carrots into crisp rounds, and tossed them with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. I then cut a handful of apple mint and cilantro from my plants, bruised them a bit to release their flavors, and sliced the herbs into thin ribbons. The mint and cilantro joined the veggies in a big bowl, were gently tossed about, then spritzed with a tiny bit of lemon juice before serving. The salad was just as I'd hoped it would be: light, fresh, and springy. It's not a show-stopper, but it does a little something to brighten a spring meal.


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