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food detective

Categories: Salads and Dressings, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on June 26, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten

Being active in my local and national garden club has many benefits. One that always thrills and delights me is when we are invited to lunch. I rarely go to lunch. Since I retired from teaching, my noon day fare is usually something I can piece together out of the frig or a bite on the road. So, when an invitation to a proper lunch comes my way I most certainly accept with glee.

The women of the Garden Club of America and their affiliate club members are not only a force when it comes to conservation, preservation, and beautification. They are also awesome entertainers who have incredible flair when it comes to table settings, floral arrangements, invitations, and scrumptious menus. 

This past spring, I was lucky enough to go to two such lunches. The first was a luncheon following a biedermeir floral design workshop. Biedermeirs are beautiful low arrangements that consist of tight circles of symmetrically placed blooms. We learned how easy it was to create one, thanks to the wonderful instruction of two Garden Club of Dayton members. Of equal interest was the incredible salad served at the post-workshop lunch. It was a symphony of crunchy and tender greens. The flavors were bright and intriguing. The conversation at my table quickly went from floral design to what was in this spectacular salad.

The one elusive part was the dressing. So, under the ruse of pouring myself another glass of ice tea I went into the kitchen to ask one of our hostesses how that phenomenal dressing was made. She brightly replied, “it’s Garlic Expressions!”

This brings me to my second memorable luncheon. I was fortunate to be asked to judge a fabulous flower show in Perrysburg, Ohio. It was a creative event housed in their local library. Kudos to the Country Garden Club for their innovative schedule and commitment to having their show in such an accessible and public venue. The judges’ luncheon was notable on many counts. First the tables were unbelievably creative, mirroring the literary theme of their show. The lunch was simply delicious and made us all feel like queens. And to top it off we each received a gift bag containing several treats from this Toledo suburb. One was a bottle of Garlic Expressions. Who knew this wonderful dressing was made and bottled in Northern Ohio?

It’s the secret ingredient in this edamame and avocado salad.

Start with four generous handfuls mixed baby greens.

Thinly slice two small Persian cucumbers.

Dice one ripe avocado.

Thinly slice four radishes.

Thinly slice the white light green parts of a small bunch of scallions.

Add one half cup of shelled edamame beans, either fresh or thawed and drained from the freezer.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with Garlic Expressions dressing to taste. Toss lightly.

This is sure to win a blue ribbon every time!

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