I arrived home from Nova Scotia to an empty refrigerator. Panicked, I moved to my cupboards only to find them as barren as my fridge. I then succumbed to jetlag and shamelessly broke down and ordered sushi. The next day dawned and all I had to show for the $30 I spent the night before was some sad day old sushi. I knew I could not survive on takeout forever, my pocket book couldn’t handle such abuse, but I really didn’t want to go to the grocery store. Grocery shopping in Toronto can be an extreme sport.
Have I ever told you how much I hate grocery stores? Well, I hate them! I know it’s an odd thing for a foodie to say, but I do. I love markets (I love that Toronto has so many of them), but I think grocery stores are the devil. They’re always freezing, the staff is disinterested, other shoppers are oblivious (especially on Saturdays) and I always seem to select the worst possible cart.
My blood pressure is elevated just thinking about it.
But what else could I do, eat old sushi? So I mustered up my courage, took a deep breath and threw myself into the fray… I should probably mention I’ve been on a war movie kick lately.
I didn’t even have a list. I was determined to give each isle one shot to inspire me or seduce me with an exceptional buy. There was no plan; I was more or less blindly pulling things off the shelves. When I got home I surveyed my loot and scratched my head. What on earth could I make with all this stuff? Well, the answer was this salad. I started with some gorgeous Ontario peaches and the rest wrote itself. A base of peppery greens, a red bell pepper, a bit of cucumber, some raw cashews and, of course, bacon. Incidentally, I actually found the bacon in the fridge. I can always rely on my beau to replenish the all important bacon supply. Dish soap on the other hand…
The dressing was made with a dollop of my aunt’s homemade strawberry jam (made with Nova Scotian strawberries), some rosemary, and garlic. I married these bold flavors with some flax seed oil and balsamic. I watered the jam down a touch to give the dressing the proper consistency.
Not surprisingly my beau was a bit apprehensive about the peaches, but he came around and wound up liking the salad quite a bit. I, on the other hand, think I’ve found the salad of my dreams! I really dug this salad! Peaches and bacon laced with punchy accents of rosemary on a bed of peppery greens; what could be better?
Give this salad a try before the peaches go out of season.
Green Salad with Bacon & Peaches: Serves 2
2 cups mixed greens (I used baby spinach and arugula)
1 peach, stoned and sliced
¼ red bell pepper, sliced
1/6 cucumber, sliced
¼ cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
4 slices of bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
Strawberry Rosemary Vinaigrette:
1 ½ tbsp strawberry jam
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup flax seed oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl whisk together jam and water.
Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and whisk until combined.
Place all salad ingredients (except the cashews) in a large bowl and pour in the dressing.
Toss until the ingredients are evenly distributed and coated with dressing.
Serve salad sprinkled with cashews.