by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Monday, July 11, 2011
Fruit and Grains Salad w/ Edible Flowers and Strawberry Vinaigrette inspired by Garden Spells
Or perhaps an outdoor garden party in the evening shade, sitting under a canopy of bougainvillea and serving "fried dandelion buds over marigold-petal rice, stuffed pumpkin blossoms, and rose-hip soup" which ensure that my company ignored any flaws at my home and reveled in its beauty. Or maybe a picnic with people who are on shaky ground with each other and a basket heavy with rose geranium wine that ensures a return to happiness.
Thinking of Garden Spells makes me want to stir the petals of a velvety, purple violet into silky white cake batter. It makes me want to eat an apple thrown from a feisty tree and fall asleep to dream my future. Getting lost in a world of enchantment is something I've done easily since I was a little girl.
If you like getting lost, too, grab a plate of this salad packed with lettuces, herbs, fruits and edible flowers straight from the earth around my yard and community garden with some added grains and nuts to make it a satisfying meal. The combination of nasturtiums and marigolds should guarantee your affection of the book in hand.
- 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, chopped
- pinch sugar
- 3 strawberries (or 2 if very large)
- 1 tablespoon lemon balm, chopped
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil, or another neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups mixed lettuces, ripped or sliced into big-bite-sized pieces
- 1 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cups cooked barley
- 1 cups blueberries
- 1 cups strawberries, halved if large
- 1 cup chunked sugar kiss melon (or cantaloupe)
- 1 cup mulberries
- handful of edible flowers/petals (nasturtium + a few of their leaves, marigold, yucca, strawberry, thyme)
- 1/4 cup chopped, mixed herbs (basil, lemon balm, thyme, mint, chives)
- 1/2 cup toasted, chopped nuts (macadamia and/or pecans)
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
*More enchanting Sarah Addison Allen selections... The Sugar Queen (my favorite), The Girl Who Chased the Moon, The Peach Keeper (not as food centered as the others, but equally charming)*
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.