Farmer's Market Salad

It's no secret that I love vegetables.

With that in mind, the amount of enthusiasm I have for farmer's markets almost seems normal.

almost.

My mom and I have a summer ritual: every Saturday possible, we wake up early, drive to West Bend, and run on the beautiful Eisenbann Trail. (it really is great, I highly recommend it) We end our run on the main drag, which is closed off to cars and open to the West Bend Farmer's Market! Colorful tents line the street, bustling with bakery, vegetables, soap, coffee, and all sorts of interesting people. I like to see everything, so we usually do a full lap, but always return to our same favorites. (Which we christened with very practical nicknames.) There's Soap Lady, Greek Place, and most importantly, Soup Guy. Yup.

However, my mom has become a world traveller this week, so I decided to check out Elkhart's market. I was pleasantly surprised, and scored some fruit/vegetables that I've been looking everywhere for. Heirloom cherry tomatoes, purple asparagus, raspberries, strawberries,  and blueberries. 

There was also a lot of gluten free options (cookies, scones, granola, etc) Which West Bend is sorta lacking. Hmph. 

Let's talk salad.

For all the wilted-lettuce-unripe-tomato-fat-free-dressing-boring-awful-salad haters out there grumbling at their computers and maybe thinking about throwing eggs at my house right now....deep breath. 

Salad can be interesting, filling, delicious, spectacular. It's true.

I kept it simple today because the vegetables are so vibrant and fresh and delicious on their own, I didn't want to drown out the once-a-year flavors. Ahh, summer. 

Let's let the pictures do the talking, shall we?

Anyone want some lettuce? Ours is taking over the garden. I see more salad in my future... 

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This salad simply tastes like summer. Use whatever vegetables are in season, bonus points if they're from the farmer's market....or better yet: from your own garden!

Farmer's Market Salad

makes: one large serving 

Ingredients: 

  • handful of assorted heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 4-5 stalks asparagus sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon high quality olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 big handfuls of lettuce
  • optional: toppings such as cheese, herbs, olives, seeds, or nuts
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400° 

On a foil lined baking sheet, toss the tomatoes and asparagus with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the asparagus is tender and the tomatoes are bursting.

Meanwhile, assemble lettuce on a plate and prep any toppings. (I used goat cheese, chopped mint, and kalamata olives) 

Gently put the roasted vegetables on top of the lettuce, add toppings, and finish with a drizzle of balsamic. 

Dig in, nourish your body, and give thanks for summer.