Monday, July 18, 2011

Farmers Market Salad

Since it's farmers market season and all of that labor spent on our gardens is starting to pay off with fresh vegetables, I thought that this recipe was perfect for the meal plan this week!

The verdict: major yum! With temperatures climbing into the 90's today, this cool, tasty salad totally hit the spot. It's packed with good things like fresh green beans, zucchini, tomato, eggs, and bacon and then smothered in ranch dressing. You can't go wrong with ranch dressing. From my experience, my family will eat just about anything if they can dip it in ranch or if I smoother it in processed cheese. This ranch dressing, made with light sour cream and skim milk is definitely the less of those two "evils".

I started by snapping the green beans. I have extensive experience with snapping green beans. You can read more about that HERE.

I purchased my green beans at the grocery today. I looked for them at the local farmers market on Saturday, but no one seemed to have beans. Maybe they're just not ready here yet? I know the green beans in my garden aren't even close to ready.

I dropped the beans into salted boiling water to cook for 3-4 minutes. You don't want to thoroughly cook them, you still want them to "snap" when you bend them in half. (Mushy green beans would not be a good addition to this salad.)

Remove the green beans with a slotted spoon, then drop thinly sliced zucchini and yellow squash into the water for a few minutes.

Drain the squash. Then add the green beans and the squash to a large salad bowl.  I sprinkled mine with a little salt and pepper after tasting them.

Then add some chopped hard-boiled eggs and crispy-fried BACON! I tripled the amount of bacon in this recipe. Bacon is awesome. I'm pretty sure that this salad was so amazing because there was bacon in every bite.

Sequentially, this picture is not in the correct order. I actually made the dressing first so that it could thicken in the fridge. It's just sour cream, milk, and a packet of ranch dressing mix. Because I had just enough sour cream left in the manufacturer's container, I poured in the milk and dressing mix, then returned the lid and shook it up to mix. It worked beautifully!

Pour the dressing over all of the ingredients in your salad bowl and toss to combine.

Then top with tomatoes (These tomatoes are the only component of this salad that I bought at the farmers market. Ha!) and chill for at least an hour before serving.

And there you have it: A gorgeous, delicious salad your friends and family will love!

Here's the recipe, which I adapted from Tasty Kitchen.

Farmers Market Salad

½ cups Light Sour Cream
½ cups Skim Milk
½ containers Ranch Dressing Mix
1 pound Green Beans
3 whole Zucchini (or 2 zucchini and a yellow squash)
4 whole Hard Boiled Eggs
1/2 lb. Thick Cut Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 teaspoon Salt
pepper, to taste
1 Large Red Tomato

Start by mixing the sour cream (regular or light) with the milk. Add the ranch dressing mix and whisk or shake it till combined. Put it in the fridge to thicken.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. While you wait for the water to boil, snap the ends of the green beans and rinse them thoroughly. Then wash the zucchini and slice them with a vegetable peeler. Cut the hard boiled eggs into small cubes.

Now put the green beans into the pot of boiling water and blanch them until barely tender (you want them to have some “snap”). Remove with a slotted spoon (you will need the water for the zucchini, so don’t dump everything into a colander). Rinse the green beans under cold water to stop the cooking and set aside.

Blanch the zucchini very briefly in the hot water you used to cook the green beans. Now you can use a colander to remove them, or you can use a slotted spoon. Rinse them briefly under cold water.

In a large and pretty salad bowl, mix the green beans, zucchini, eggs, bacon and salad dressing mix. Season with salt and pepper. Taste, adding more salt as necessary. Return to the fridge for at least an hour. You want this cold!

Just before serving, seed and chop a tomato and sprinkle it over the salad to make it even prettier. Do not mix the tomato into the salad.



Velva said...

Your summer "Farmers Market" salad looks divine. You are right it is perfect for days when the temps are climbing in the 90's.



Gina @ MoneywiseMoms said...

That looks delicious! I think you're right, it's a little too early for green beans.

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