I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest welcome to my most desired season: springtime. While blooming flowers begin to paint the city with their limitless palette and scent the warming air with their intoxicating perfume, while the days get longer and the skirts get shorter, and while the sunshine begins to lend my chalky skin a warm glow, my two favorite elements of springtime are, unsurprisingly, food-related.
My favorite part of spring? Visiting the outdoor farmers’ markets to obtain fresh, local produce, and planting my vegetable & herb garden. (Harvesting my own garden is my favorite part of Summer, but we’ll get to that when it happens.) This year, I’m trying something new: a balcony garden. As many of you may have experienced, urban living often comes with the sacrifice of a yard. However, inspired by a friend of mine, I’ve decided to be more proactive about where my food comes from and have decided that a little lack of terrain will not stop me from relishing the joy of harvesting my own veggies at home!
As it’s the first time I’ll be doing this, I’m keeping it quite simple, with an assortment of herbs, some lettuces and, (my favorite) yellow cherry tomatoes. If you have any advice on balcony gardening, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment here or on my facebook page.
Until my garden grows, I’ll be getting my fresh produce at the markets, where it seems as though each week something new is in season, which is an encouraging way to consume variety and enjoy fresh flavours at their peak!
A recent pot-luck dinner that I’d attended showcased a delightfully refreshing mango salad, and it inspired me to add some variety to my routine mixed greens. Today, I wandered over to the market, where I was further inspired to throw this fantastical salad together. The following is a recipe that I’m going to be making about one million times this summer. Once you try it, you likely will be repeating it, too.
The list of ingredients alone are enough to make any foodie drool: Mangoes. Avocadoes. Radishes. Mâche. An odd combination, perhaps in your mind. But in your mouth, I assure you, it is like no salad that’s ever grazed your lips.
Oh, and to top it off, a nutmeg balsamic dressing.
Yeah. That’s right. Nutmeg.
Crazy you say?
Note: if you cannot find mache in your area, it can be replaced with watercress or dandelion greens.
Avocado Mango Salad with Nutmeg
an original recipe by allison sklar
what you’ll need (serves 2)
3 ripe medium-sized avocadoes (1 cup, diced)
3 or 4 ripe medium-sized mangoes (about 1.5 cups, diced)
1 cup chopped baby spinach
2 cups mâche
10 medium radishes, slivered thin
3 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp dry mustard/mustard powder
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup light olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
how to do it
Combine all dressing ingredients into pouring cup. Whisk until well blended.
Combine mache and spinach. Toss with dressing. Lightly toss in radishes, mangoes and avocado. (Do not toss too much, as avocadoes will turn to cream!)
Preferably on a nice spring day.