endive, fennel, radish and apple salad, plus War and Peace in my garden

Hello, dear neighbors ! I recently attended a Webinar sponsored by my health insurance on the famous « 5 fruits and vegetables a day » recommendation. It was hosted by a dynamic and non judgmental nutritionist who managed to make it fun and educational. To be honest, before it started I was convinced I was already including the right amount of fruits and vegetables in our diet. So when he said this should be quantified not in volume but in weight, I was in a state of shock  ! Ideally, we should be eating about 500g (over a pound) every day… Have you ever weighed a green salad, dear neighbors ? After the Webinar, I did. Well, the non-negotiable green salad in my kitchen only weighs 75g tops. What a disappointment ! I decided that it was urgent to make it heavier. Hence this recipe, which is only one example of how I can achieve my goal : it all depends on what is in season. Here the vegetables are endives, raw fennel, radish slices, to which I added some apple chunks. Adding fruit is a trick I often resort to in order to make bitter salads more palatable. I made my “classic” white miso dressing to go with it but feel free to use your own favorite, preferably homemade if you want to avoid any undesirable additives. The main idea is for us to get to eat more “real” veggies than we used to, because, you see, potatoes or legumes don’t count! You should have seen my husband’s (long) face when I let him know 😭!

Ingredients for the salad (2 servings):

2 organic endives

1 small organic fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 organic apple

as many radish slices as you like

Ingredients for a sulfite-free miso vinaigrette: (given quantities are approximate)

to be combined in given order:

– 2 tsp white miso paste

– 2 TBSP rice vinegar

– 2 TBSP toasted sesame oil

No need to add any salt, the miso paste already has some. The sesame oil may be diluted with some water or a milder oil – something I do when in the U.S. as I find it has a stronger taste than the sesame oil I use in France.

Another way of making your salads more varied:

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Mustard greens ready to be picked.  In the background, this year’s peas are beginning to flower.

Last year, a very nice neighbor gifted me with mustard seeds. We put them in the ground this spring, not really knowing how we would use them, until I remembered reading about “mustard greens”. I harvest the leaves and add them to our salads, only a few at a time, just enough to give them a little kick .

We also have broad beans this year (from the same generous neighbor). Aphids have decided to colonize them, aargh! We are at war. I got out my heavy artillery: a spray, homemade from organic soap and garlic tea, with the end result a very stinky kitchen for two days, enough to scare away both aphids and humans!

In front of our house, after two years of planting different varieties (mostly sun resistant given the harsh summers we have been having), I finally have a very colorful flower bed that I feel quite happy about ! The plants take turn blooming. The earlier ones are fading, but the rose bushes and the carpobrotus (aka pigface) have just started and it won’t be long before the lavender adds its fragrance to the whole area!

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This photo was taken unartistically, but it gives you an idea.
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I love lupins!  Unnoticeable in the photo, a lot of busy pollinators on the small purple flowers further up.
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My latest baby: ceanothus thyrsiflorus.  Its tiny blue flowers have a light fragrance, similar to lilac, but a lot less overwhelming.  Bees seem to like it too!
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7 Comments

  1. Hello Joëlle. Lovely to see your garden blooming even though you have had a lack of rain. I have the same lupins in my garden too – I love their peppery fragrance. It’s turned rainy and chilly here these past few days. As we head towards the longest day of the year, it feels less like summer than it did back in March! I’ll try and persuade the rain clouds to head down to you – we need a break from it so I can get out in the garden again! All the best to you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kathryn, you did a great job: we had real rain yesterday, good and steady for a couple of hours! The temperatures dropped drastically, from 34° on Sunday to 9° last night. The garden is happy again and so are we 😊
      Have a good end of week, take care!

      Liked by 1 person

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