Friday, June 1, 2012

Blazes, It's Battle Salad!

I had the best of intentions last weekend, trekking to four farmers markets earlier Saturday morning than I usually get out and about. My grand plan also included attending Taste of Cincinnati. But by 10:15, dripping through my shirt, I realized it was not to be. With temps in the 90s and humidity to match, this Memorial Day weekend felt more like Labor Day often does in the Queen City.

My intended Battle Salad entry was spurred by a recipe I saw a couple years ago for a blackberry and bacon salad along these lines. I picked up some herbed goat cheese from nearby Capriole Farm, thinking to try my hand at breading and frying it. To gild the salad lily a tad more, I contemplated extending my recent obsession with runny eggs, a technique I have yet to perfect at home in a skillet, although fresh thyme and sherry vinegar are plusses. Time spent photographing results, not so much, since runny eggs run only so long.

What to do when summer weather saps your ambitions and, darn it, you just need to eat a simple supper? Forget about that blackberry puree you'd need to strain the seeds out of. Heck, forget about following any ding dang recipe (my frequent approach here in the Intuitive Eggplant Kitchen). Consider what you have on hand, pay attention to anything that actually makes you want to eat, then wing it. These local strawberries from the inaugural weekend of the Mt. Adams Farmers Market were something I wanted to eat right right away.
Bacon always makes me hungry, so I fried up some Hickory Smoked Bacon I'd bought at Eckerlin's at Findlay Market and decided to incorporate strawberries instead of blackberries for this venture. A couple more farmers market purchases that piqued my tastebuds were a caramelized onion and herb foccacia from Savor at Covington Farmers Market and cheese brats made from a Napoleon Ridge goat (appropriately named Gouda) I met on a visit to the farm a couple months ago. Tricia from Napoleon Ridge partners with some of the best small sausage makers/butchers in the region to process her animals. If you're looking for local and sustainably raised proteins, check out her booth at the Saturday morning Covington farmers market, where she Kentucky-proudly offers up great stuff not just from her own farm but her great network of local/regional small farmers and producers. Here's the salad I ended up with.


GrumpyGranny said...

That looks amazing! I love that you used so many local ingredients, too. Did you grow the chard? Thanks for keeping up with the battle, even through your tough schedule and the hot weather.


Buzz Kill said...

I know how you feel. I don't handle the heat well myself. So your wing-it salad is kind of a strawberry-bacon vinegrette over sausage and foccacia. Simple enough and I like the strawberries with sausage.

I think iif you made toasted foccacia croutons, that would have made it nice and crunchy.

I'm probably still about 2 weeks away from getting my kitchen back, so I hope to be in the next challenge, assuming it's at the end of June. Nice job.

Katie D. said...

Looks amazing, as usual! I had a chance to check out the Covington farmer's market when I did the Know Your Farmer bike ride a couple weeks ago, they had some nice offerings. I'm sure the Napolean Ridge cheese brat was a zillion times better than the cheese-filled Oscar Meyer hot dogs I had as a child:)

Diana said...

Runny eggs o top of a salad is the best.I love it for my Sunday Brunch. Thanks for inviting me to join the smackdowns.

Anonymous said...

oh ho! A "wing it" salat--yum! an' ahyway, how is somethin' made wif bacon an berries NOT wunnerful??

Eggy, I had ya' in mind last night. I'se in Spain, they eat at midnight thirty. Thas' too late fer mah tired ole carcass. So I simply has a "bocadillio" afore headedin' up to bed. jes' to set the stage, lemme say I'se in a monastery hotel--place whar' lots o' pilgrims find a bed in the hostal--12 beds to a room--tho Aunty be beyond such, an' mah room is in the sleek modern hospitality buillding...geraniums on the balcony, wifi, monogrammed sheets wif' state of the art bathroom, includin' an extry accessory I use fer hand laundry but they call a bidet. Anyhoo....

I take mahself to the tapas wine bar in the cobbled plaza across the way. I chose a Tosta Tipico:
thick slice o' peasant grain bread grilled and spread wif' Cabrales bleu cheese an' topped wif warm caramelized onions. Mamacita!!

A memorable "little something" afore bed that I'se sure to try when I gits back to mah own hearth.

I know--ity ain't salat, but it t'was GOOD!

As always, your food photos make mah mouth water.

Aunty--unsigned in...

Angela said...

Everything looks wonderful and I am sure was quite tasty!

LaDivaCucina said...

Strawberries and sossage? Very interesting, Eggy! I like how you are supporting the farmer's markets and local guys, as always! And I usually wing it too once I see what's at the markets.

I think you would melt down here in Miami in the summer, Eggy, one tends to have perma drip down one's back each day....I almost got heat exhaustion at the garden hat and the hottest day here yet, I had forgotten to take the extra precaution as it had not been an issue until now!

I hope you poured yourself a cool ice tea and put your feet up after the salad! xo