Spice Up Salad

There are some really nice additions you can make to salad to give it a little extra punch.  My two favorites are watercress and nasturtiums.

Watercress sitting pretty. Photo thanks to nanoew2006.

Watercress is a highly nutrient-dense green (up there with kale) that I usually pair with other greens to mellow out the spice. The spice of watercress has a similar zing to radishes.   Often times I will use one part watercress to three parts spinach, baby greens, or arugula.  Watercress also goes nicely laid across fish or mixed into soup.  To store, be sure to put the root ends into water- this will help it keep for longer. There are other varieties of cresses out there; we grew curly cress on the farm I worked on.

Nasturtiums are another spicy addition to a salad.

Nasturtium flower just waiting to be chomped on...Photo thanks to ms. Tea

They are beautiful flowers and are quite easy to   grow from seed.  I will pick nasturtium flowers off just before putting on top of a salad.  Not only do they make it taste delish, they look so pretty and it is a really nice detail in a salad.  Everyone likes to eat pretty salad.


Cleaning Cast Irons & Saving a Rusty Cast Iron Pan

How to clean and season after every use:

A Collection of Cast Iron- the more, the merrier. Photo thanks to Cybrgrl.

  • Scrub with nylon scrub pad or stiff-bristled non-metal brush
  • Dry immediately with a towel and rub lightly with olive oil
  • You may have to soak it briefly to get all food off of the pan
  • NEVER put in the dishwasher or scrub with metal

What to do if food sticks:

  • Place the pan on the burner on high heat for a minute or two
  • Take pan off burner and sprinkle a ½ teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil inside of the pan

    Cast Irons are the way to go. Photo thanks to Cybrgrl.

  • Using a rag scrub the inside of the pan
  • Wipe out any leftover salt and let the pan cool

How to save a rusty cast iron pan:

  • Scour the pan with a plastic scouring pad
  • Wash in hot soapy water
  • Rinse well
  • Dry thoroughly with a towel or on a burner on low heat
  • Re-season

Excerpts from The Cast Iron Cookbook

Seasoning or Re-seasoning a Cast Iron Pan

How to first prepare a brand new pan for seasoning:  

Cast Iron Filled with some felt bacon & eggs thanks to TinyApartmentCrafts.

  • Place pan in the sink and fill with boiling water
  • Allow it to cool
  • Scrub with a mild dish soap and a plastic scouring pad
  • Do the same for a lid if it has one
  • Season the pan following the instructions below

To re-season an old pan or season a new pan:

  • Dry pan thoroughly
  • Coat lightly with Crisco shortening inside and out (do not use vegetable or other liquid oils as they will leave the pan sticky)
  • Place pan on a baking sheet on a rack in the middle of the oven or on a grill outside
  • Turn on oven/kitchen fan if using oven
  • Bake for one hour at 350 degrees
  • The pan will smoke, but it should stop in 20 minutes
  • Turn off heat and let pan cool completely in oven or grill
  • First few times it is used, try to cook fattier foods like bacon, as this will help it have a permanent non-stick surface

Excerpts from The Cast Iron Cookbook