: A Beautiful Salad

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As I have stated before, we are blessed to have such great produce in the Annapolis Valley.

It’s abundant, and it’s cheap. AND our growing season starts earlier than the rest of Atlantic Canada.

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Grocers offer some of the ¬†local produce but the best places to get is at one of the many farmer’s markets here. Our favorite is the Wolfville’s Farmers Market. It’s packed full of farmers and artisans selling their wares. Ethnic foods are becoming more available, which is exciting to see. Already there are stalls representing Indian, Japanese, Turkish, and Moroccan foods.

And the vendors are so friendly! If you are ever passing through Wolfville, consider checking it out…

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photo credit to Wolfville Farmer’s Market webpage.

While we were there, we found a pretty bag of delicate lettuces. Much like a spring mix. But there was also nasturtiums ¬†and pansies inside. I crossed my fingers all the way home that this masterpiece of produce wouldn’t wilt.

It was the most beautiful salad I had ever thrown together! I won’t tell you how many photos I took of it, because it’s embarrassing.

When you have a ‘showy’ salad like this, consider keeping the dressing simple. Here is one that I like to use:

1/4 tsp garlic puree

2 tsp creamy dijon mustard

2 tsp liquid honey

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

100 ml virgin olive oil

pinch of salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together. Add one at a time, from thick to thin consistency (start with garlic puree).

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: harvest apple dressing

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To help dress my Thanksgiving table, I decided to do something unexpected with an apple and some cardamom seeds.

(cardamom is my favorite spice)

Typically, we have sage dressing at our table, but I thought I’d surprise everyone’s taste buds this time. I wanted to leave them guessing what was different.

The result was a simple, spicy dressing with a hint of sweet from the apple…

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As well as dry spices, I used fresh sage which is so much nicer than dried. Fresh sage, to me, tastes like mint and pepper had a baby. A word of caution; keep in mind fresh sage packs more taste than dried and can taste very peppery if too much is used.

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Ingredients

1 loaf crusty Italian bread (450 grams)

1 cup fine bread crumbs

1 large onion, diced (1 cup)

1 large apple, peeled and diced (1 cup)

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tbsp fresh sage, sliced and diced

1/2 tbsp cardamom seeds, crushed (or 1 tsp ground cardamom)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 tbsp melted butter

2 cups salt-free or sodium-reduced chicken stock

Method

In a large bowl tear or chop loaf into small pieces (about the size of the tip of your finger). Get the kiddos to do this, if you want, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Add to this the bread crumbs, onion, apple, and all the spices. Toss really well to distribute the spices evenly. Then add in the melted butter and stock and toss well to make evenly moist.

Grease (or spray with cooking spray) a 3 quart casserole dish and add the dressing. Cover with lid and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, until top is slightly browned. * I used a round, deep casserole dish. If you chose to cook in a shallow casserole dish, you will have to check on your dressing and reduce the cooking time accordingly.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!