Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Roasted Garlic and Greenhouse Vegetables

Tonight I roasted some garlic in preparation for my dinner tomorrow night. My housemate roasted garlic a few weeks ago and I tried a clove. It is delicious. If you have never done this or heard of doing this before, check out this video by Dani Spies, where she originally got the idea. One tip I was given was not to eat the whole garlic bulb in one sitting, as you will emanate garlic from places you didn't know garlic could emanate from.

On that note, I added a couple cloves to my salad for dinner this evening. Note: 2 only. Now, I normally veer from salad in the winter months (or when it is spring and snow is still in the forecast) becuase A) I am not in the mood for it, and B) most of my favourite salad ingredients are not as fresh and for the most part, not grown close to home. However, today while at the farmer's market, I found some Ontario greenhouse cucumber, tomato and bell pepper. I think I am a fan of this method of growing food. While very energy intensive, I like to think that it is better for the environment than importing these foods from the USA, Mexico, or Chile. Check out this link for more information on how the produce is grown.

With these vegetables in hand I had a fresh salad in mind. To add some protein I decided to throw in some lentils, and I would have added goat's milk cheese too if my last little bit hadn't gone bad :(

Greenhouse Vegetable Salad

1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup cooked lentils

2 roasted garlic cloves, mashed
1/2 tbsp olive oil
red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

For this salad I encountered a couple problems with putting it all together.
1) I had larger chunks of veggies and I think chopping them finer would have been easier to eat with the lentils.
2) I usually make salad dressing myself, directly into the salad, mostly eyeballing it. However, I think I would have gotten the most out of the garlic had I shaken it up with the dressing outside of the salad, being sure to break up the garlic, and then dress the salad.
So keep these points in mind if you decide to make yourself this salad.

All-in-all it was a refreshing change from my recent hot meals. The tomatoes, bell pepper and cucumber, tasted no different than what you find at your grocery store currently (read: tasted okay). I got a bit of a taste for summer, and I cannot wait to get my hands on some backyard tomatoes.

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