Day 66: Sunflower-Sprout Inspired Salad ♥

A salad as beautiful to behold as eagerly eaten, inspired by sunflower sproutsTonight's supper was more inspiration than recipe.

The start was plucky sunflower sprouts from yesterday's green market. I didn't know how to use them beyond the obvious: the greens in a sandwich, a salad topper. Home, I turned to for ideas. I'd wondered about a salad plate and a recipe there clinched the idea, even though I didn't follow it. The frig was full of possibilities. Instead I kept it simple.

First the dressing. There was a garlic/rosemary/olive oil rub, left over from last night's lamb. I added good vinegar and a bit of cream -- it's so obvious, of course, but I didn't know til today that the transformation of a vinaigrette to a creamy vinaigrette requires only, well, cream. There was a bit of that leftover from last night's supper too.

And some salmon from the night before. And some home-grown strawberries the size of fingertips. And goat cheese. And a few capers for salt. All on a bed of butter lettuce, baby spinach and yes, the inspiration, the sunflower sprouts.

The lesson: If you find something interesting in the produce section or the farmers market but don't know what to do with it, take it home, spend 15 minutes on the web. Start with Epicurious' treasure trove of recipes, nearly all rated by other cooks so you get a head start knowing if it'll be a hit or a miss. If need be, return to the store for anything extra that's needed. But chances are, with vegetables, you'll have the ingredients or substitutions on hand.

Here's what I threw together tonight. But find your inspiration and make it your own.

Active time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes

5 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vinegar (preferably white wine, champagne or cider)
2 tablespoons cream

Butter lettuce or other lettuce
Baby spinach
Sunflower sprouts

Poached or grilled salmon
Strawberries tossed with sugar
Goat cheese

Salt & pepper

Process garlic, olive oil, rosemary and salt until smooth. Add vinegar. (Make ahead to here.) Stir in cream.

Toss lettuce, spinach and sprouts with part of the dressing, then the salmon with the rest. Arrange greens on the plates, top with salmon, strawberries, goat cheese and capers.Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.