Lettuce is easy to grow and so fun to pick fresh right before mealtime. Cucumbers might not be quite ready yet, that depends on how early you got them in the ground. If you have early tomatoes and possibly a young pepper, try this fresh take on a Greek inspired salad.
Greek Artichoke Salad
1 (14.75-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 large cucumber, halved and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cubed
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Teaspoons Italian seasoning
Lettuce – use a variety of whatever is growing in my garden. Romaine is good along with lighter textured lettuces
1 (4-ounce) container crumbled feta cheese
In large bowl, combine artichoke hearts, cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and olives.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and Italian seasoning. Drizzle dressing evenly over vegetables in the larger bowl. Cover and gently toss. Allow the veggies to marinate in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
Wash the lettuce, pat, or spin dry. On each plate, top a heap of lettuce with lots of the marinated veggies, use some of the marinade as dressing if you’d like more. Top with crumbled feta.
If you’re eating light these days, the salad may be enough, but if it’s cool and rainy or you just need a little something more with your salad, here is a basic biscuit that I’ve been making for many years. They always turn out light and flaky due to three tricks: 1) make sure you cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it’s a really fine texture; 2) make sure to knead the dough gently 10 times and; 3) roll the dough out until it’s ¼ inch thick and then fold it in half. Lightly roll it 2-3 passes before cutting out your biscuits.
Baking Powder Biscuits
1/3 cup shortening
1 ¾ cups all -purpose flour (you can substitute up to ½ of the total quantity of flour with whole wheat flour)
¾ teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 450. Cut shortening into flour, baking powder and salt with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in just enough milk so dough leaves side of bowl and rounds up into a ball. (Too much milk makes dough sticky, not enough makes biscuits dry.)
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll ¼ inch thick, fold in half and gently roll again. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to a cooling rack.
Photo Credit: Joy Johnson (1,2,3,4)