Fresh, seasonal and light this Kale Salad with Raspberries, Edible Flowers, shrub vinaigrette, grilled chicken and pistachios is a perfect warm weather meal.
Simple eating is easy when there’s fresh vegetables, fruit and edible flowers growing all around. But can be easily recreated using store produce any time of year.
Small space gardening
After my daughter, Chayce, was born and we were a family of three living an old house on a small lot right in the middle of town, my stepmother, Cheryl brought me over perennial flowers and bulbs to plant.
I told her that I didn’t want to waste them on a rental house and she said, “nothing is a waste if you enjoy it“.
And it’s so true!
We planted those perennials and when we moved a few years later I dug a few to bring to our new home.
When I drive by that house in the summer the whole side yard is filled with the same perennials with a new young family enjoying them.
I now have just a bit more garden space. The hubs and I really make the most with our space by mixing edible plants in with the flowers.
We’ve tried growing different produce over the years and we enjoy figuring out what works best.
There are definitely some garden stars for our growing area and family tastes:
- Scallions, garlic and/or sweet onions make an appearance at every meal, are easy to grow and are amazing when fresh so over the months when I can grow them, I do.
- Edible flowers are beautiful in the garden and in the kitchen. Marigold and pansy are both very mild while phlox and nasturtium are slightly spicy.
- All varieties of chard and kale have a long growing season and a very rewarding even when given only a small space. I especially love that you can harvest the outer leaves frequently and the center just continues to grow all season.
- Herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, chives and dill are easy to grow and give instant flavor to everything from breakfast eggs, to cocktails and sauces.
- Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries keep us supplied with fruit from May through September. Plus growing your own berries gives the kids an easy diy snack and something to do when summer boredom hits- “just go pick berries!”
Small space garden star salad
Using all five “garden stars” this salad is fresh, flavorful, and nutritious. And if using your own produce, it could be very economical as well.
Sweet, spicy and tangy this is one meal 15 minute meal is as almost too pretty to eat. But somehow always disappears. It’s a lovely, sturdy green salad that stays fresh even when dressed ahead of time. Perfect for potlucks, lunchboxes and picnics.
- Kale – or other sturdy green like swiss chard or cabbage.
- Edible flowers – add a subtle spice, great texture and make for a beautiful unexpected topping. Don’t have them? Just leave them out or sprinkle on a bit of crushed red or aleppo pepper instead.
- Raspberry Shrub Vinaigrette – made from local farmers market favorite, Cascade Shrub Farm Raspberry Citrus Shrub (a type of drinking vinegar). Combined fresh basil and olive oil it’s perfect for homemade dressing. No shrub? Use a red wine or other vinegar combined and some fresh or frozen fruit or a dollop of jam.
- Pistachios – for crunch. Substitute with whatever mix of nuts and/or seeds you have.
- Grilled chicken – shredded rotisserie, grilled, pan fried or quick poached chicken. Or leave it out all together.
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked and sliced
- 8 cups kale about 2 bunches
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup pistachios roasted, salted and shelled
- 1 medium scallion sliced
- 6 large nasturtium flowers stems removed
Raspberry Shrub Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup raspberry citrus shrub
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil sliced
- salt and pepper
- Combine shrub with basil and slowly whisk in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Wash kale well, remove stem and cut into bite sized pieces. Dry thoroughly.
- Pour vinaigrette over kale and massage to coat evenly.
- Mix chicken, scallions and pistachios into the dressed kale. Top with raspberries and nasturtiums or other edible flowers.