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My Accidental Amazing Salad


It's grilled romaine with avocado lemon parsley dressing and buttered golden beets. I even impressed myself! But honestly, this salad evolved from a series of mistakes and not any sort of kitchen expertise. Let me explain...


One of my favorite summer moments is when my bi-weekly farmbox arrives. Unloading it feels a little like opening gifts on my birthday...not sure what I'm going to get, sometimes I love what I find and sometimes I'm left questioning what it even is. Take these long green curly stalks I found. I bit off an end to find out what they were and nearly burned a hole in my cheek. WTF. So, I checked my farmbox newsletter and it made no mention. It did talk about grilling romaine - which wasn't in my box - and making an avocado dressing with parsley, which also wasn't in my box. It did say I had radishes, so that's what I assumed those small red bulbs were - odd looking, but maybe a new varietal.


Our friend and stellar home-chef, Will, has served us grilled romaine - and grilled bread - both of which I love. Turns out I had romaine, avocado, lemon and parsley in my fridge, so I set out to make the dressing and grill the romaine. Back to the radishes...I was super excited to cook up these babies. I had once asked Mark what these delicious quartered round things were in a salad, and he answered without hesitation - radishes. They were cooked, so I thought, "hmmm, cooked radishes, interesting." Combing the web for cooked radishes, I found a simple sauté-in-butter recipe. So while my romaine was grilling, I cooked up my "radishes" and whipped up the dressing in seconds. I put it all together and ate the whole thing for dinner. It was heavenly, although my "radishes" looked and tasted more like beets. 


Later in the "everything-is-all-cleaned-up-time-to-check-my-email" moment, I found an "alert" from my farmbox friends apologizing for sending out the wrong newsletter with our box. That explains why there was no romaine or parsley in my box and that the red bulbs were in fact golden beets and the long curly things were garlic scapes - the pungent "flower stalks of hardneck garlic plants" that should come with a warning label if eaten raw. I should have also felt a little stupid, but I was in total veggie bliss. Plus all's well that ends well, so here's how to make the same mistakes I did...


Grilled Romaine



  • Hearts of romaine (one half per person for a side dish, or two halves for a main dish) 

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt to taste



  • Heat up grill

  • Cut romaine heart in half, leaving on the bottom stalk to keep the leaves together

  • Brush with olive oil

  • Grill with grill top open, flipping once until leaves are wilted and browned on both sides. Keep an eye on them!

  • Salt to taste


Time: 20 minutes



Avocado Parsley Dressing


Just saying I've made this dressing every week this summer. Every ingredient is so good for you, you could skip your multi vitamin! If you make it thicker, it can be a dip for veggies or side sauce for proteins like chicken or eggs.



  • 1 small avocado

  • 1⁄2 bunch parsley with stems, washed

  • Juice of 2-3 lemons - depending on how tart you like it

  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water

  • 1⁄2 tsp salt

  • black pepper, to taste

  • optional: touch of shallot or garlic



  • Combine all the ingredients in Vitamix or blender until smooth. For a dip, use less water.


Makes: about 1.5 cups

Time: Less than 5 minutes



Sautéed Golden Beets


Beets and I usually don't get along, but I've found golden beets to be milder, sweeter and less dirty tasting. Plus they don't muck up a pretty salad by turning everything red!



  • 3-6 golden beets

  • 1 TBL unsalted butter

  • Salt to taste



  • Scrub beets clean, dry and cut in quarters, roughly 1 inch per piece

  • Melt butter over medium heat

  • Sauté beets uncovered until slightly browned

  • Cover beets and turn heat to low. Beets are cooked through when you can pierce easily with fork. Check often!

  • Salt to taste


Time: 20 minutes




HEARTFUL RECIPE - One of our real food recipes that focuses on veggies, protein, healthy fats and/or healthy carbs and doesn't include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn or peanuts.

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