Salads sans tomatoes

When I was growing up, no one would ever consider a garden salad without tomatoes adorning the top of it.  It didn’t matter what time of year it was.  It didn’t matter that Australian shop-bought tomatoes tasted (and still do taste) like card-board and had a texture that was rather on the floury side.  No, a garden salad was just not a garden salad without tomato.

But in the last few years I’ve been moving more and more towards seasonal eating.  And tomatoes are not a creature of the winter or spring.  Now I will admit that despite their less than desirable taste and texture, tomatoes do have a hold on me and so I still buy a few that have been shipped down from Queensland during winter and spring.  But mostly, I am trying to move on and find ways to not eat fresh tomatoes out of season.  This leads me back to garden salads and the need to survive without tomatoes adorning their top.  And so I find my winter and spring salads are becoming increasingly innovative and much much better for the lack of tomatoes.  Isn’t it funny how so often something we see as a necessity has really just been holding us back from exploring and discovering something much better?

Some of my winter and spring garden salad combos

  • Mixed garden greens – lettuce, raddichio, endive, parsley, mint, chives, endive – whatever I have from the garden and farmers’ market – served with a fresh mustard or honey based vinaigrette
  • Finely chopped fennel, sectioned orange pieces, very finely chopped red onion and an orange juice based vinaigrette
  • Strips of raddichio (from the garden so it’s not as bitter), chunks of mushrooms, lots of chopped fennel leaves and a smidgen of garlic shoots dressed with a fresh vinaigrette.  This one is GOOD and Mr Bee’s invention not mine 🙂
  • Lettuce, radish, fennel and red onion slices served with a fresh vinaigrette

We’re always looking for new and interesting seasonal salads, so I’d love to hear your winter and spring salad combinations too.

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6 Responses to Salads sans tomatoes

  1. cindy says:

    Thanks for the tips, Bee, I’m currently having a bit of a love affair with fennel 🙂

  2. herby says:

    I love endive, sorrel, silverbeet, lettuce, rocket, dilled cucumber (dilled in the summer of course) and cheddar cheese.

    • Bee says:

      Oh that sounds like a great combination. Where do you get your sorrel from? Do you grow it yourself? And how big can you let your silver beet get before eating it raw doesn’t taste good anymore? Thanks Herby!

      • herby says:

        I grow my own sorrel. I got some from a market stall in the city a few months ago. It’s growing well (though it will get a bit burnt in summer).

        I just pick the small leaves from the silverbeet (or its cousin the rainbow chard) for eating raw. The picking also seems to encourage new growth so you will always have both young and mature leaves on the plant so that you can chose between cooked or raw.

      • Bee says:

        I’ll have to keep a look out for some sorrel now. And I’ve never eaten silver beet fresh so I’m inspired to go out and pick some baby leaves from the garden for a salad. Thanks Herby

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