Salad Inspired by Jamie Oliver

img_4403Awhile back we saw the show, “Food Revolution,” hosted by Jamie Oliver.  This took place in Huntington, WV, the town my husband works in.  Just recently they added vegetarian selections to Marshall University cafeteria entrees.  I don’t know if this was inspired by the show, but am glad to see it happen.

These directions were taken from www.oprah.com.  I put in my own changes.  I can’t seem to ever follow a recipe exactly, unless it is something baked.  And, even lately, I’ve been veering off in my own direction with baked items, as I adapt for vegetarian or vegan, and get more confidence in the kitchen.

Most all ingredients I used in the following salad were organic.  I would love to see more organic being used.  Well, actually, I would love to see all organic being used in schools.  Don’t we owe the best to our children?  Why couldn’t local organic farmers supply the schools?  Wouldn’t that be cheaper, as well as greener, and provide jobs locally?  Perhaps I’m living in a dream world.  In the show the cooks were dismayed at having to peel real potatoes.  I can certainly understand this.  My own grandmother was a school cook.  I know the hard work involved.  However, if organic were to be used, the whole potatoes, peel and all, could be eaten.  This would certainly save on time.  Plus, the skin of the potato, if free of pesticide, provides valuable nutrition including fiber.

From what was being thrown in the garbage, in which there appeared to be no composting or recycling going on, the children shown in the show were dismissing the healthier food prepared by Mr. Oliver.  I, myself, think this would require time.  It takes taste buds a while to adapt to what is actually real food as opposed to what I consider artificial food.  I know my own eating habits took time to develop.  There are so many “so called foods” that I used to eat that I couldn’t stomach at all now, and still I feel I have a long way to go in the healthy eating department.

At any rate, I certainly congratulate Mr. Oliver and applaud him in his inspiration and good work.

Everyday Green Chopped Salad Inspired by Jamie Oliver

 

  • 4 scallions
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves (I also used cilantro.)
  • 1 small avocado, just ripe (He called for two.)
  • Combination of Sweet Gem, Tango & Oak Lettuce (He used 1 head butterhead lettuce.)
  • Large handfuls sprouted cress or alfalfa (I used alfalfa.)
  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese, optional (I used a little bit of goat cheese grumbled on the salad.)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • English mustard (I used Dijon.)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (I used mixed pepper.)

Directions:

Get yourself a big chopping board and a large sharp knife. It’s best to start by chopping the harder, crunchier veggies first, so trim and chop your scallions and slice your cucumber. Slice your basil. Bring it all into the center of the board and continue chopping and mixing together. Halve your avocados around the big pit. Carefully remove the pit and peel the skin off. Add the avocado flesh, lettuce leaves and cress or alfalfa to the board. Crumble over the cheese, if using, and continue chopping. When everything is well chopped, you’ll have a big mound of salad on the board. Make a well in the middle and drizzle in 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add a teaspoon of English mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix up so everything gets well coated and serve on the board or in a bowl.

4 thoughts on “Salad Inspired by Jamie Oliver

  1. Looks and sounds delicious. I agree with all that you wrote. However, organic costs about 2 x as much as regular produce at the Texas chain where I shop. Organic farming is not widespread enough- maybe someday it will be.

  2. I just read a really interesting article about how the south east of the U.S. is the major hotspot for strokes. The reason was that the local’s like their food fatty and sweet. Fatty + sweet apparently = stroke :(. I have been a vegetarian for 24 years now and 15 of them I have been vegan. In the U.S. it is easy to be a vegan because of the amazing range of ingredients and food items on your supermarket shelves. I keep hearing about an amazing place called “Trader Joe’s” which makes me SO envious! We have 2 major supermarkets here and they make sure to keep their prices exactly the same. We get very little choice and if you are a vegan, it’s easier to make things yourself than trust what is on the supermarket shelves. I make a lot of our food from scratch and as a cook, a daughter of a gardener and a cook and a grandaughter of a gardener who was an amazing cook it isn’t hard. I only recently started to compost after my mother died back in January 2012. She had been on at me to do so and like the willful inner child that I was I didn’t listen. Now I compost everything. I feed our ancient soil and I help the plants to grow. I owe it to this fragile planet to tread as lightly as I can and to do whatever I can to redress some of the problems that we humans have foistered on its surface. Composting is vital to minimising food waste and maximising soil potential. Have you ever heard of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall? He is my gardening sustainable food hero from the U.K. Poor old Jamie Oliver is a bit of a wannabe compared to Hugh :). If you haven’t heard of him, take a look, he does some amazing inspiring things and is really there for the earth (and less for the publicity which I truly suspect is Mr Oliver’s main reasoning 😉 ). Love the salad and we are growing lots of salad ingredients in our little possum and wallaby endangered heavily protected vegetable garden. It’s 2 steps forwards and 1 step back with the “natives”…the possums lay on top of our heavily netted bean bed and reach in with their furry little arms and extract anything that they can reach…they are very artistic in their intent and have turned my bean bed into a “bean cube”… Andy Warhol would have been impressed ;). They are like angry racoons and I just heard 2 of them fighting out in the early morning dark as I type this comment over the chook wheat that I threw out for the 3 feral chooks who escaped being rounded up in our mighty chook wrangling event that saw most of them coralled off into an enclosed area rather than running amok in the garden and digging up all of our hard work. Country life isn’t easy! 😉

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