Farmer’s Market Salad

IMG_0466 (1)Nothing beats a trip to the Farmer’s Market.  I love summer salads, and making one full of that local goodness feels amazing in the soul and in the tummy.  It is August as I write this post, and I look forward to our trips to the market on Saturday mornings.  The tables are overflowing with amazing goodness, gorgeous colours and foods yet to be explored.  We are so lucky to live in proximity to the people growing this amazing food, and we’re reminded of that every time we visit a local market.  This salad is inspired by the Farmer’s Market.  It is inspired by summery goodness, and the phytonutrient rich foods that are abundant at this time of year in Ontario. We talk a lot about eating a rainbow of colours around my house, and this salad delivers big time.

The Farmer’s Market salad is easily customized.  Use different combinations of goodness and it is wonderful every time.  Use whatever is freshest and most delicious.  We grow beautiful yellow pear tomatoes in the back yard and they are amazing for this salad.  I found assorted colours of mini fingerling potatoes at the market and they were delicious, however any (preferably organic) mini potatoes will do.  The beans have been perfect lately, so they were used too.  I add feta, however the salad is also delicious without the cheese.  It is also wonderful with the addition of roasted red peppers.

I have used this salad for a pot luck bring along (it always impresses!), as a side, and as a delicious summer meal topped with grilled chicken.  It is versatile, easy and beautiful.   This salad also packs well the next day for a colourful and delicious lunch.

Here’s the recipe:


2 tablespoons quality red wine vinegar (balsamic is also great)
1 shallot, minced (I have also used red onion in a pinch)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2tsp dried can work as well)
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or grainy mustard
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1lb green beans, trimmed
15 mini potatoes – cut in half (just make sure they are all about the same size)
handful of mini tomatoes in assorted colours
10 large basil leaves, shredded
10 kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
generous handful of baby spinach or any fresh greens

For vinaigrette:
Add all ingredients to a mason jar, cover tightly and shake until combined.   DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

For salad:
Steam or boil potatoes until just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool. Steam green beans until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water; drain. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. DO AHEAD Potatoes and green beans can be made 6 hours ahead. Wrap separately in paper towels. Place in resealable plastic bag; chill. Dress the salad just before serving.IMG_0315

Combine everything gently and enjoy!

If you haven’t been in a while, make sure to check out a farmer’s market in your
area.  Talk to the people growing the beautiful food you eat, try something new, bring home a bag of goodness.