Posts in Summer
Fettuccine Alfredo a la Thomas - with broccoli and summer peas
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens



“This is the kind of recipe you serve your mother-in-law if you want her to roll out of your house when she leaves.” - Thomas

I do most of the cooking in our house, but Tom has a handful of sensational recipes that he keeps in his back pocket for the days where I really can’t be bothered to cook (or the ones where he feels like treating me to a sprinkle of his culinary genius).

Tom has been making this particular pasta recipe for as long as I’ve known him, and it’s still part of our special occasions rotation today. I’ll be frank in saying it’s definitely not something that makes it to our table more than a two or three times a year, as it truly is an indulgent dish.

A friend told me that Alfredo sauce is completely absent in Italy. So, there’s no real saying where this is from. I can tell you however that Alfredo pasta is quite popular in Quebec. Most of us have, at some time or other, had some form of it from a glass jar or a simply-add-milk type of pouch.

This alfredo sauce recipe is neither here nor there.

While it is made from very few ingredients, don’t be fooled by its simplicity. When combined, these ingredients sing each other’s praises and make for a dish worthy of a queen. It’s very creamy, perfectly umami and a touch on the salty side. One must approach it with a certain sense of epicurean greed and appreciate that your tablemates may not want to share their bowls as they relish in every bite.

MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

Gratitude for the hands that cook

This recipe always floods me with gratitude towards Tom and the time he takes to cook for me. Especially at the height of summer when it is his busiest season. I feel like it's one of the gifts of life that keeps on giving. This seemingly simple act of kindness fills my cup in more ways than I can explain.

It has me reaching for the quote on my desk (sent to me by a friend & pen pal) which you can see in the photos. It reads:

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite, only a sense of existence. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague, indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” - Henry David Thoreau

MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
MEL × RIVERBEND: Fettuccine alfredo with broccoli and summer peas - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens


Serves 6-8

¼ lb salted butter
473 ml heavy cream (35% or more)
250 g parmesan

1 package fettuccine


16 large raw shrimps

1 C freshly shelled peas
2 C broccoli florets

* the three cups of veg can be swapped out for greens like kale, spinach or collards

10 min PREP + 20 cook

  1. Place a large pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Add butter over medium heat to a pan large enough to accommodate all of the ingredients.

  3. Place pasta in the water and cook until al dente (usually a few minutes less than the package indicates) then drain.

    • keep a little bit of the cooking water in case your sauce doesn't thicken to your liking

  4. Once butter is melted, add cream.

  5. Once cream has begun to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and incorporate Parmesan a little at a time

  6. When the Parmesan is completely incorporated, add the shrimp and veggies.

    • If the sauce is still very liquid, add the pasta water.

  7. The minute the shrimp turn fully pink, add the drained pasta, toss well and serve immediately.


Pro tip:

  1. Keep an eye on the butter as it’s melting and don’t let it brown. Add the cream in as soon as your butter is fully melted.

  2. Keep a bit (2-3 T) of pasta water in case your sauce doesn’t thicken enough, the starch will help it thicken.

more Broccoli recipes

Quick-pickled kale & new potato salad
Quick-pickled kale & new potato salad



Quick pickling

Quick-pickling is one of those things I discovered out of necessity. I love red onion you see, however for Tom they are indigestible in their raw form. So, I started looking into ways I could incorporate them into our salad without giving him indigestion. After much googling and pinterest-ing, enter quick-pickling.

The first time I attempted it, I did it with white vinegar. I chopped the red onions finely, set them at the bottom of a bowl and tossed them with a splash of vinegar. I let them sit a bit while I prepared the remaining components of our meal. When I returned to them and did a taste test, I thought they turned out a little too far on the tangy side and made the whole experience a little abrasive. However, I knew it was on to something. It just needed some finessing.

My preferred quick pickling vinegar

These days, I tend to reach for wine vinegar, rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar for quick pickling. They all have a slightly different taste and are somewhat softer and more rounded out in flavor than white vinegar. Since they all have different tastes (and this is also true when you change from brand to brand) this may require some experimentation of your own, but for the sake of this recipe, I used the slightly fruitier Bragg apple cider vinegar.

Moving on from red onions, I figured if this works for them it must work for other things as well (and it does)! I’ve now quick pickled carrots, garlic scapes, cukes, zucchini and most recently kale.

Quick-pickled kale & new potato salad
Quick-pickled kale & new potato salad

About this recipe:

It’s simple. Much like the rest of my kitchen.

However, it’s the small details and technique which elevate this dish past being another simple salad. The kale gets softened by the vinegar & salt, as do the red onions. The potatoes are quickly boiled then pan seared to create a golden exterior and a fluffy soft middle.

Topped with the nutty roasted pumpkin seeds and the crunchy salt flake finish, it makes for the perfect side dish on a barbecue night or a fantastic base for a weekday bowl.




1 bunch kale
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 golf ball sized red onion
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1 T butter
2 T olive oil
Sea salt for finishing

10 min PREP + Cook 20 mins

  1. Rip the kale into bite size chunks, reserving the stems for later use.

  2. In a medium bowl, place kale, thinly sliced red onion, apple cider vinegar, 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt.

  3. Mix well by hand making sure all the kale & onion is well coated.

  4. Place potatoes in a pan with enough water to cover half way up the potatoes.

  5. Boil for 10 minutes, turning halfway then drain.

  6. Add butter & remaining olive oil then pan fry over medium for 5 minutes.

  7. Chop the kale stems to the size of a large pea,

  8. Flip the potatoes over, add the pumpkin seeds & kale stems.

  9. Once the potatoes are golden on both sides, remove from the pan, chop them up (careful not to burn yourself) and toss with the kale.

  10. Serve warm or cold, enjoy!

more kale recipes

On farm dinners, CSA & Roasted Carrots with Honey & Cayenne
Roasted Carrots with Honey & Cayenne | Recipe by The Nomadic Wife | Photo by Sara Jewell Photography


Photos by Sara Jewell Photography


On farm dinners

Ever get that feeling like you did something just yesterday and the stream of time just slipped on by without you truly noticing?

That’s how I feel about the dinner I hosted this summer at Riverbend Gardens. When I get out there, all I want to do is kick off my shoes and feel the earth beneath my feet. It seems to me like I was doing that just yesterday.

I’ve included a few photos from the dinner, because I also want to slip you a quick word that this may be a more frequent thing in years to come. Farm to table right there on the farm. Maybe with some workshops. Hopefully with lots of laughter. Definitely with lots of food.

Aga of Herbologie | On farm dinner at Riverbend Gardens Alberta
on farm dinner alberta by the nomadic wife | photography by sara jewell
on farm dinner alberta by the nomadic wife | sara jewell photography

Vegetarian menu for our farm dinner

The menu was an easy one, made for sharing & inspired by the season but with ingredients that can easily be found from the Riverbend farmstand even now that the city is covered in an icy slick. You could just as easily make the roasted beet salad on a bed of winter mix, the roasted carrots with honey & cayenne (see recipe below) or the potato salad from my youth. They are all recipes that transcend the seasons because at their core is veg that grows in the summer but stores incredibly well during the colder months.

These are all recipes that are still featured on our table, long after the last carrot has been plucked from the ground.

on farm dinner alberta by the nomadic wife | photography by sara jewell

Though you can no longer get carrot tops this time of year, you could easily replace those with parsley, and it would most likely be quite different but just as good.

The Nomadic Wife on farm dinner edmonton alberta
easy roasted carrots with cayenne and honey recipe by the nomadic wife

Our CSA share

*CSA stands for community supported agriculture*

While the Riverbend Gardens winter CSA season is now over (their farmer’s market stands are still going strong), looking back at this season my heart is filled with joy. I would have never guessed when I arrived in Alberta a few short years ago that I would meet this lovely farm family and the wonderful people who support and surround them. Never mind host a dinner for some of my favorite women right there on their land.

For our family, getting a CSA is about more than just knowing where our produce comes from. It’s about being part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s the being part of this larger farm family and feeling welcomed among them, that’s what gets me every time.

So, here’s to another great CSA season next year & cheers to all of you who support your local farms. May your coffee be strong and your veggies be fresh.



2 lbs carrots
Olive oil
Sea salt
Raw honey

10 MIN PREP + bake 25 mins

  1. Wash your carrots well and trim the tops off if there are any.

  2. Place on a baking tray, over parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil.

  3. Bake at 400 for 15 mins, flip your carrots and bake for another 10 mins.

  4. Pull from the oven, sprinkle with salt, a small pinch of cayenne & a drizzle of honey.

  5. Serve hot or room temperature.


6 Ingredient Sweet Potato + Butternut Potage
Simple sweet potato and butternut squash soup recipe



keep the soup base simple

I'm of the opinion that every ingredient on a plate, or in a bowl, deserves it's time to shine! Now, I love a good soup or stew packed to the brim with all the veggies as much as the next gal, but there's something about blended soups (potage for the food geeks among us) that has me drawing the line at a handful of ingredients.

I feel that this way, it allows each ingredient to lend a hand to the others instead of competing for space and flavor. This particular recipe could be done with even less ingredients by going entirely in one direction with the sweet potatoes or the butternut. In both cases, it results in a similarly luscious texture and gives the primary veg just that much more space to showcase its complex sweetness. 

easy butternut squash soup recipe

What grows together goes together

Making potage is, I think, is as old as the world. Well perhaps at least the french world, and then maybe a little bit beyond that. In Europe, people often planted potage gardens or potager which were vegetable gardens named this way because if you were to harvest everything and boil it together it would make good soup. Pretty nifty right?

In today's day and age, I'm not sure I'd want to blend together everything in my garden. For one, there are way too many herbs. However, CSA baskets (or farm stands) are a great place to start exploring the potential of doing one or two main ingredient potage because if they old addage is right, if it grows together it goes together. 

luscious and easy butternut soup recipe
toppings make the soup

toppings make the soup shine

I think you've now figured out that I really play by the keep it simple silly approach, but there's one more thing that we really need to have a quick chat about. Creating a base that doesn't compete with itself opens the door to some really fun topping options. I usually dig through with what ever I have in the pantry at that moment, looking for a little punch of salt or acidity to add on top. Sometimes, salt flakes is all it takes but in this case I was really craving a salty & herbaceous blend to cut through the sweetness of the base.

I went for cilantro + feta, with a few sliver of almonds (because they're pretty but also complement the earthy goodness of this soup). I know everyone isn't a huge fan of cilantro, so if that's not your jam, consider parsley or a tiny bit of rosemary or sage. Be warned though, they go a mighty long way!



4C sweet potato
1 small butternut
2 small yellow onions
1/2 head of garlic
4C vegetable stock
2 T coconut oil


Slivered almonds
Fresh cilantro or parsley

10 MIN PREP + 25 mins cook

Peel & chop onions & sweet potatoes roughly.
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add the coconut oil & the onions.
Cook them until they begin to caramelize then add the sweet potatoes, garlic & stock.
Bring up to the boil & cook until the potatoes have softened.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, it should be thick & creamy.
Serve topped with almonds, feta & fresh herbs.


Storing most varieties of winter squash is as easy as keeping them on the counter. They tend to hold up quite well for a few weeks if the kitchen isn't crazy hot and steamy most of the time. If you'd like to hold on to them longer, consider storing them in a cool dry place (basements are usually ideal) where they can keep for a few months.

Pro tip: Rotate them from time to time and check for moisture to keep them from rotting.


Watch out charcuterie boards, vegetable boards are in town
Vegetable board perfect starter dish - the nomadic wife



A quick board for when friends come over

I always love having friends over, even when they pop by for an impromptu visit! Depending on the time of day they drop in, I like to whip up a quick something that we can snack on while we hang out and catch up (or just slow down long enough to take a good deep breath).

So, I started making this little spreads, inspired by the classic charcuterie board or cheese boards that are all over right now. The main hiccup is that we don't really keep fancy salted meats or strong cheese in the house so I got creative and started using what I love most, pulses and veggies.

simple cabbage & white bean salad - the nomadic wife
Cabbage with lime, cilantro & white bean makes the perfect salad - the nomadic wife

Something bright and fresh

The recipe of this post is the one you see above right here. It plays a crucial part in the board by adding a nice dash of bright zesty freshness! I make this salad for people who love cilantro, but you can easily swap that out for a parsley dressing if cilantro is in your hate pile.

The beans in here add a nice little light-lunch feel, where you feel full but not stuffed & to make the process even faster, I usually keep canned beans on hand so you don't need to worry about anything other than rinsing them and draining them well.

Simple cabbage and white bean salad - the nomadic wife

Good bread: The Foundation

If you're anything like me, you know a good crusty bread when you see one. For impromptu visitors, however, I tend to just pull flutes or baguettes out of the freezer, let them thaw a touch and pop them in the oven so they have that fresh-baked feel. It takes about 5-6 minutes for flutes and 10-15 for baguette which is about the time you'll need to put together the rest of the board. Perfect!

Be warned though, once bread is reheated after it comes out of the freezer it tends to get hard, so you may want to consider doing this with any leftovers.

Half smashed white bean dip - the nomadic wife
New alternative to charcuterie boards - the nomadic wife

Mix and match

Now comes the fun part. You have a bright, zesty salad and some good bread...time to round out this board.

My approach is simple. Cut up some veggies, call it good.

If you have avocado kicking around, a quick guac may be the way to go. If you don't use the whole can of beans you can turn THAT into a 5 min dip by blending it with olive oil, salt, paprika & a clove of garlic.

I also like to add freshly pickled or fermented things to the board. So kimchi, pickled veggies or olives make for a great way to take this thing over the top.



1/2 head of cabbage
1/2 14 oz can of white beans
Fresh cilantro or parsley
1 lime, juiced
Olive oil


Shred the cabbage & add it to a large bowl with a good pinch of salt.
Rinse & drain the beans and add them along with the chopped coriander.
Juice the lime over the bowl, drizzle olive oil and toss until everything is well coated.


Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.



MEL × RIVERBEND: Herbaceous Spanish Tortilla de papa
perfect weekend brunch recipe, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Quiche or tortilla: a simple recipe by the nomadic wife



Eggs are seldom only eggs.

I'd love to say I grew up on quiches and variations there of, but the truth is I mostly have fond memories of eating them in small restaurants and food-court lunches in Montreal with my cousin, Cat. When she worked downtown, I would go meet her every so often for lunch and we would have this beautiful quiche in a little sandwich & soup place near her office.

Those fun loving lunches, filled with laughter and all matter of things not only left me with an immense sense of joy, but they introduced me to a gloriously fluffy egg dish, typically filled with vegetables and herbs. I was smitten with quiche and always thought it must be immensely difficult to reproduce. Little did I know.

As the years went on, I then discovered the French omelette (thank you Julia Childs), the Italian frittata & finally the Spanish tortilla. While I loved them all for their differences, and they all have a place in my kitchen, these days I have to admit I'd rather not turn on the oven for a plate of eggs.

Call it laziness if you must, but if I'm hosting a group of girlfriends or enjoying this by myself, I like to just be able to cover for a few minutes, let it fluff up to a soft pillowy goodness, then rest and scoop it right into my mouth.

Herbaceous spanish tortilla recipe by the nomadic wife
simple brunch recipe all your girlfriends will love

Tortilla, Quiche & Frittata 

To crust or not to crust? To add dairy or not add dairy? To pan fry or bake? Ahh! How many existential questions can possibly surround a good plate of well whisked eggs?

Truth be told, this recipe falls somewhere in the middle. While it does include yogurt for fluffiness (which I love to substitute in the place of a more traditional creme fraiche), it's crust-less so by definition not a quiche, which usually comes in a crisp, flaky, well buttered crust.  Both the filling ingredients and the egg are set together in a pan, so one could argue it's truly a frittata, yet it's loaded with potatoes which is most often found in tortilla.

The way it's cooked and set also makes a difference. Typically a quiche is baked in the oven. While a frittata is started in a hot pan and finished in the oven & a tortilla is done completely stove top by flipping it halfway (if you're a ninja) or covering immediately after adding the egg mixture which is the technique I've used here.

Let me say that all three types of egg filled dishes are divine, but this one has a special place in our kitchen.

simple spanish tortilla with herbs by the nomadic wife

Poh-tay-toh   Poh-tah-toh

Not all potatoes are created equal & exploring the different varieties is definitely part of the perks of getting a Riverbend Garden CSA share. In this recipe, I used the Mozart variety (beautiful pink on the outside and yellow flesh on the inside) because it lends itself well to be smashed or mashed. I find that it tends to be a little bit more tender than most, but cooked the way I've done it here it doesn't quite fall apart.

Each potato has it's purpose, because of how the flesh is composed. Some are better boiled, others baked or even make the perfect french fries. If you're curious about which direction to head when you're facing a new potato, there's a handy-dandy little page right here that can give you some insight.

Torilla with chives, parsley, garlic & shallot by the nomadic wife
A simple weeknight potato dish, spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife

What can I put in tortilla?

Well the traditional take is potatoes (Tortilla de Papa) to start and then truly you can add what ever you like. Softer vegetables tend to do well in here, especially if you give them a chance to release their water before pouring in the egg mixture. Think of onions, shallots, peppers, zucchini or even greens like spinach or kale.

In this version, I focused on aromatics and herbs. So I skipped the vegetables in favor of chives, shallots, garlic & parsley and it always turns out perfectly lovely.

Our new favorite potatoes and egg dish spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife
Steaming hot plate of spanish tortilla by the nomadic wife


10-12 fingerling potatoes
1 clove garlic
1 medium shallot
½ C chopped chives
½ C chopped parsley
2 T butter, divided

2 eggs
1 T yogurt
2 T milk
1 t olive oil
Salt & pepper


Start by dicing your potatoes into uniform bite size pieces and placing them in a small pan with enough water to cover.
Boil the potatoes over medium heat until all the water has evaporated then add 1 T of butter and reduce heat to medium low to allow the potatoes to finish cooking and brown slightly.
In the meantime, chop your garlic, chives, shallot and parsley, then add them to the potatoes & mix well.
In a small bowl, mix eggs, yogurt, milk, olive oil, pinch of salt & pepper until you have a uniform blend.
Give the potatoes a good stir, then pour over the eggs and give the pan a quick shake to ensure even distribution. 
Cover with the pan lid and cook until the middle is set, about 5-6 minutes.


Herbs tend to be the ficklest of friends in the kitchen, but many of them (basil, garlic, parsley shallot, chives for example) can be stored frozen in ice cubes covered in olive oil. Just remove them to sealed containers once frozen. Others can be hung to dry for later use.



Green Apple, Cabbage & Chickpea Salad
Green Apple, Cabbage & Chickpea Salad by The Nomadic Wife

One season saying hello to another

We're at the intersection of the seasons right now, when spring and summer's fresh herbs like dill are met in market stalls by fall produce like cabbage, potatoes & squash.

It's during these few weeks when summer classics and fall favorites overlap, that our plate vacillates between seasons, depending on the day's weather... and in these parts the mercury has been running high, so this recipe is summer inspired.

It's fresh, crunchy, slightly tart and perfectly filling.

Red cabbage, chickpea & apple salad by the nomadic wife

Goodbye soft greens & fresh herbs

Dill will only be available for a short time still at the market, at least the local varieties. I have a few plants growing in my personal herb garden, but even those are getting ready to call it quits.

So now is as good a time as ever to get the last dilly plates on the table, and dry the rest for winter use (same goes for fresh basil, lovage, cilantro).

Same goes for the soft, peppery greens like arugula, mustard greens & other leafy lettuces. Stock up now, get them on the plate & get ready to say goodbye to these summer favorites!

Cabbage for days

Since a few weeks, cabbage has made its way from local farms to our kitchens. I tend to stock them for a few weeks before I eventually wind up digging into them since they store so much better than most other produce. When the outer leaves begin to fade, I know it's time to get cracking!

Note: You can peel back those damaged leaves to reveal a perfect cabbage on the inside & store it for slightly longer if you're not ready to eat it just yet.



1 bunch arugula
½ red cabbage
1 shallot
1 green apple
1 C green chickpeas
2 T olive oil
1 t red wine vinegar
Fresh dill
Salt & pepper to taste

10 mins prep

Slice shallot & red cabbage thinly, then marinate in a large bowl with olive oil, dill, salt & vinegar.
Place arugula at the bottom of two large bowls.
Julienne green apple then layer it along with the cabbage mixture over the arugula.
Finish with chickpeas & serve right away.

Roasted Fennel, Onion & Carrots
What can you do with fennel?



For the love of fennel

Fennel is one of those things that tends to pop up at farmers markets or show up in CSA shares quite a bit in these parts. Which is incredible for us anise-flavor lovers but maybe not so great for the other half of the population who doesn't care for it as much as we do.

Think of it as a mild licorice flavored veg, that has a crunchy texture like celery when raw but becomes sweet and caramelizes easily like onion when cooked.

Recipe for people who don't love fennel | The Nomadic Wife

got few bulbs kicking around and you realize you're just not that crazy about it?

Happens to the best of us doesn't it? We head to the farmer's market with our best intentions in our back pocket and decide to try something new or follow the advice of a well meaning friend just to realize that maybe we're not as into it as we initially thought.

This tends to happen with fennel, but don't despair. You can still use up that crunchy bulb in a beautiful way even if you're not a fan of how it tastes raw!

Simple roasted fennel and carrots recipe | The Nomadic Wife

Fennel: One fancy onion

There are two vegetables out there that I like to sub for onions in recipes and fennel is one of them (leek is the other). Once fennel gets nice and roasted (or cooks down in a mirepoix) it looses a lot of that flavor most people aren't so sure about and turns into a really lovely, sweet onion substitute.

Mix that with some sweet carrots, smoky paprika, fresh mint and a dash of cayenne and you're well on your way to a side dish no one can dispute!

Easy oven roasted fennel and carrot recipe | The Nomadic Wife
Simple roasted fennel, onion and carrots | The Nomadic Wife

The start of something good: Variations that I love

This is one of those recipes that have the potential to become something else entirely. If you make a big batch, and you have leftovers just chop them up, pop them into a soup pot & cover the vegetable stock. Once it comes to the boil, serve with a splash of apple cider vinegar (or sauerkraut) as a hot vegetable soup with some crusty bread.

You can also serve them cold with some more mint, cooked chickpeas, olive oil & lemon juice as a fresh salad bowl it really is divine!

Simple roasted vegetable side dish | The Nomadic Wife
Simple baked fennel & carrots


10-12 carrots
1 small white onion
1 fennel bulb
4 T avocado oil or olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 t cayenne
1 T smoked paprika
1-2 T apple cider vinegar
6-8 small mint leaves


Start by washing your vegetables and cutting the fennel bulb into 8 or so pieces. 
Toss with salt, pepper & half of the oil then place on a cooking sheet.
Next cut your carrots so they are all roughly the same size, this will help them roast evenly, and toss them with salt, pepper and the remaining oil.
Roast both trays at 400° for about 30 minutes tossing every so often to get a nice golden color on all sides.
In your mixing bowl, add your still warm veggies, vinegar, paprika, cayenne and torn mint leaves.
Give it a good stir, then adjust with more salt & pepper as needed.


Fennel doesn't keep really well in the fridge, so plan on using it early in the week when you receive it in your CSA or bring it home from the market. Note that you can also use the stems & fronds! You can even freeze them to add to your next vegetable stock. 



Roasted beets, winter mix & raspberry salad with balsamic dressing
winter mix greens - photo by Sara Jewell Photography Edmonton



Earlier this season, I created an entire country pic nic menu based around local, seasonal ingredients. Most of the produce in those recipes was from Riverbend Gardens, and I rounded it out with a few things from my personal garden.

I invited a bunch of women to experience the meal and it turned out wonderfully! Everyone enjoyed being out at the farm and tasting the produce that had grown just feet away from where they ate. More on the whole experience in a future post, I promise.

Making friends with the underdog

When I came up with the flavors of this salad, I thought long and hard about the best way to make roasted beets shine. They're such an underdog in most kitchens, often overlooked for a more exciting or familiar vegetable. Yet, they have such a beautiful flavor, slightly sweet and earthy, especially when they are quite small and fresh.

I decided to riff off of this recipe that I did last year, which was an instant favorite in our house.

Roasted beet & raspberry summer salad by The Nomadic Wife
Roasted Beet salad by The Nomadic Wife

Pairing for flavor

I decided to pair them with spicy winter mix (which is a leaf salad mixture that includes mustard greens, leaf lettuce & Asian greens). It packs a little bit of punch and holds up well on it's own, which is why we grow so much of it every year in our garden. If you like arugula, which could be used instead, odds are you will enjoy this too!

Then, to contrast the sweetness that develops in the beets when roasting them, I topped the salad with a generous amount of freshly picked raspberries which have a delightful tartness to them. Of course, you can replace them with the store bought kind, but if you can sneak off to a UPick farm and get them fresh, you won't regret it.

Making a meal of it

To transform this wonderful side dish into a main worthy of summer vibes and without competing with the beets, I turned to my friends at Eat Grain. They have a wonderful Canadian grown farro that pairs so well with beets! Plus it's full of fiber and protein which keeps you fuller longer.


wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, vegetarian


1 C farro, cooked
10-12 small beets
4 C winter mix or arugula
1 pint raspberries
Balsamic glaze & olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste


Start by washing your beets well & removing the tops to create a flat surface.
Toss the beets in a little bit of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and place cut side down on a lined baking sheet.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, then check for tenderness by poking one with a fork, bake for 10 minutes more if they are still quite hard. Keep in mind that a little crunch is fine!
Let your beets cool.
In a large bowl, place your greens and farro in layers ending with a sprinkle of farro.
Then top with raspberries, beets and a drizzle of balsamic & olive oil.

Note: If you’re on a wheat free diet, you can swap the farro for quinoa or wild rice!


If you're into pickling like I am, head on over this way I have a few tips in store for your extra beets. If on the other hand, pickling isn't your cup of tea, I found a really cool article about how to store roots for winter. It's a fun, traditional approach.