Barbara Dombrowski knows her herbs, edible flowers and vegetables.
Dombrowski, as proprietor of Goose Cove Gardens in Gloucester, grows and sells all organic vegetables as well as perennial and annual flowers and herbs. Every summer the varieties change, and Dombrowski expands the farm’s selection. For example, this season they have 40 different varieties of tomatoes, not counting all of the other vegetables and herbs.
To Dombrowski, a fresh garden salad means fresh garden ingredients that you grow yourself. A salad this fresh can complement any dish and adds a lighter component to many heavier entrees.
“Adding basil to the salad is a nice surprise to your taste buds,” says Dombrowski. “I think that it is really fun for your tongue to find that taste of basil buried in your salad.”
Another benefit to a fresh salad is time. From the garden to the bowl, any garden salad, tossed with an even more simple vinaigrette, can be made in less than 10 minutes. Dombrowski has a few tricks to make the process not only easy, but to make it look better as well. Every chef or cook knows that presentation counts as well as taste to get people interested in the food. Her advice? Use edible flowers that will make your salad look as good as it tastes. The Nasturtium flowers she uses have a peppery taste similar to water cress.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red vinegar
1 to 2 medium size tomatoes
5 to 10 Nasturtium flowers
Your choice of mixed lettuce and greens
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Prepare the dressing by putting olive oil and vinegar in a large salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Tear the lettuce and greens into your bowl.
3. Chop the tomatoes into your desired size, and add them as well as the nasturtium flowers into the bowl.
4. Toss the salad gently, making sure to coat all the greens.
This simple garden salad can be made easily in just a few minutes, and can complement any main course.
Recipe courtesy of Barbara Dombrowski, Goose Cove Gardens, Gloucester, MA, 2012.