Fresh Farmers Market Salad and Market Pizza/Quesadilla

I must admit that I have been a bit remiss in posting recipes lately, too much time traveling and finding other seemingly more interesting stories to share. But I just made a lunch that had me think, I have got to share this one.

I came up with the idea while driving home and being really hungry, so once I got home I headed straight to the kitchen and got busy. Fortunately I had everything on hand so it was easy to put together…but nothing is set in stone so use what you have on hand. This is a great dish to use what you may have lingering in the fridge or something easy after you have just come home from the market, and hopefully the farmers market.

I am in Los Angeles on an extended stay so I have been enjoying the bounty at the Santa Monica farmers market. I love Santa Fe, but I must admit it is wonderful to have the great year round availability that you find throughout California.

So here is what I had for lunch today. I hope that you will try it and enjoy it as much as we did today.

Fresh Farmers Market Salad and Market Pizza/Quesadilla

I will start with the Pizza/Quesadilla. It was more like a pizza except for the fact that the “crust” was an organic whole wheat tortilla, so it is sort of a cross between a pizza and a quesadilla. I was inspired after a recent meal at Mozza Pizzeria-one of the best pizza’s you will find in LA.

Put tortilla on a cookie sheet, preheat oven to 350. Make as many at once as you want. (You could even make extra to cook the next day.)

This is what I put on it, and in the order that I layered the ingredients-but don’t hold yourself to any of these…get creative and use your favorite vegies. Almost everything was from the farmers market on saturday, even the chicken, so they were all really fresh.

Sliced sweet peppers and yellow onion

Thinly sliced fennel

Two large leaves of chard thinly sliced

Shredded chicken topped with fresh cilantro-This can certainly be omitted if you don’t eat meat. Tofu could be good or one of the mock-meat sausages. I just happened to have roasted a chicken Sunday so this was handy to add.

Shredded cheddar cheese, or a non-dairy cheese-you don’t need very much

Bake until the cheese has melted, or if you are skipping the cheese till warm.

Once out of the oven I dropped spoonfuls of ripe, fresh avocado on top and a little bit of a great organic chipotle lime salsa from Drew’s.

This was definitely a winner. Along with this we had a great salad with super fresh ingredients from the farmers market. Here is what was in the salad:

While making the pizza I chopped extra peppers, fennel and chard and grated a little extra cheese so this went in.

Fresh mixed lettuces from the market. You could use a spring or herb mix or a few different types of lettuce. A few beet greens could also be added.

I usually grate carrots and beets into my salads and this one had both golden and red beets.

Fresh broccoli-Many people don’t use the stalks of broccoli but they are delicious if you peel off the woody exterior, so don’t miss out.

Thinly sliced sun-chokes

I added chopped cilantro, thyme and dill. Fresh herbs always make a salad extra delicious so be generous with herbs and you will see how much flavor you add to your salads.

I had a few potatoes already cooked (from the roasted chicken) so I popped them in the oven with the pizza to warm them a bit and then sliced them and added them to the salad.

Lately my favorite dressing for salad has been a really good olive oil, a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and bit of fresh orange squeezed over the top (I use about a quarter of an orange for a pretty good sized salad and I toss in the orange pieces too), sea or himalayan salt and a grind or two of pepper and then just toss.

This is quite easy to prepare and quick. I made the salad while the pizza warmed up.

I hope that you will find these ideas an inspiration and get creative. Let me know what you come up with…..