Saturday, August 30, 2008

Strawberry Vinaigrette

The strawberries seem to be particularly sweet this year. I created this dressing when they first came into season and have been making it all summer long. We Californians are lucky to enjoy fresh strawberries for several months. I think the sweetness of the dressing is a great contrast for peppery arugula or even a spinach salad.

1 cup fresh farmer's market strawberries
1 Tablespoon shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced or put through a press
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dulse flakes (optional, but a great way to incorporate nutrients from sea vegetables)
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
pepper to taste
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Place strawberries, shallot, garlic, vinegar, dulse, salt and pepper in a blender and blend well. Slowly drizzle in olive oil with blender running until dressing is smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning as needed. Makes a little over 1 cup of dressing.

You may add a little water before the olive oil if you like a thinner consistency. Try adding some avocado for a nice creamy dip.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Clean 15

In response to the last blog discussing what fruits and vegetables are essential to buy organic due to pesticide residuals, I thought I would give you some good news. Below is a list of the "Clean Fifteen" as outlined in Cindy Burke's book To Buy or Not to Buy Organic. These rankings show fruits and vegetables least likely to contain pesticide residue, even if they are not organically grown. These foods have shown little or no residue year after year.
1. Asparagus
2. Avocados
3. Bananas (however, I do try to buy fair trade bananas)
4. Blueberries
5. Broccoli
6. Cabbage
7. Garlic
8. Kiwi
9. Mango
10. Onions
11. Papaya
12. Pineapple
13. Shelling Peas
14. Sweet corn
15. Watermelon (domestically grown)

Some of these foods have thick outer skins, making it difficult for insects to feed on them. Others have a taste that is unappealing to insects and pests. If the bugs aren't interested there is less motivation to spray pesticides. Salud!