I know, trust me. No one is more surprised than me to see food here in this space. Particularly raw, green, crunchy food!
It has been ages since I’ve posted any recipes or even indicated that I still cared about food or cooking here. You guys have been so patient and understanding, and I am so grateful. I could offer a million excuses – pregnant, no appetite, moving, busy, uninspired – and while all of those are true, the reality is I just haven’t been at all interested in food for months now. I have fondly nicknamed baby #2 “the baked potato” because that has been his or her main food source for nineteen weeks.
Of course I can’t expect Cullen and Casey to starve and join my potato fest, so I am still throwing together really simple meals each night. And while this space is most definitely important to me, I feel like I owe it to you guys to offer up things that are worth sharing, not just things to fill space if you know what I mean.
And so I’ve shared family pictures, stories, and odds and ends in between, but not much food. I’ve been feeling pretty guilty about the lack of green in my diet, and I’m finally just turning the corner where I can imagine eating things like salad. So last night I threw together a simple raw chard salad – I thank the fresh basil on my windowsill for some much needed inspiration!
As I tossed the leaves in my hands and rubbed in the dressing, I pondered digging my camera out to take pictures for the first time in a month. This salad is by no means fancy or mind-blowing, but it IS delicious, and it’s really easy to throw together. I questioned sharing it here as I clicked each photo and said, “I don’t know…it’s pretty basic.” Casey just kept munching and telling me how good it was though, so you can blame him for seeing it here today. Here goes!
Swiss Chard & Herb Summer Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: none
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 bunches Swiss chard, washed and sliced into ribbons
1 cup loose basil leaves, sliced into ribbons (chiffonade)
2 medium carrots, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
salt to taste
Clean and tear Swiss chard from stems. Lay leaves flat and cut into thin ribbons. (This cut is called a chiffonade!) Add to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Clean basil leaves and cut into thin strips as well. I also think other herbs such as mint and tarragon would be great in this salad too, but my summer garden isn’t planted yet!
Grate two carrots into the bowl with the chard and herbs, and mix to combine. Another good addition would be red bell pepper, but Cullen is actually allergic to them so we don’t have any in our house. But don’t let that stop you!
Pour olive oil and lemon juice into bowl, and then massage liquid into the greens. The dressing should slightly wilt the salad. Cover with a damp paper towel pressed directly against the top of the salad, and let greens marinate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, add sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, along with a few grinds of fresh salt.
Serve immediately at room temperature. I highly recommend washing it down with an ice cold glass of orange-grapefruit juice. Amazing!
Despite my attempts to convince myself otherwise, I’m not actually a big fan of cooked greens. I much prefer them just like this – raw, wilted, and tasting like summer.
As soon as I took these pictures, I scraped my salad onto my big dinner plate directly next to a heaping baked potato. Old habits die hard I guess. But a tasty, healthy side dish a great start, and I happily cleaned my plate.
I am so excited for the summer farmer’s markets to open in the next few weeks! I have a feeling I’ll feel a lot more inspired to create fun, new things out of all the gorgeous, local produce. Until then, I hope you enjoy this one!