Steak Salad

Oh, the pleasures of climbing the sladder and returning with a bowl full of dinner.

Minus the cow.

steak salad

Serves 2
Got cucumbers? Check. Tomatoes? Check. Lettuce? Check. Swiss Chard? Check. Very par-boiled peas? Check. (Peas courtesy of the farmers’ market.) Fresh, crunchy bread? Check.

Steak and Croutons
1) 60z flat iron steak (a relatively thin cut that will grill quickly) at room temperature.
1b) slice bread into 1/2″ rounds, rub with olive oil and garlic.
2) Blot steak dry with paper towel.
3) Brush with a splodge of olive oil.
4) Rub in some coarse ground black pepper and salt, press it into the meat.
5) Heat your grill as hot as you can. Sear each side for 2-3 minutes, depending on your preferences. Your grill lines should be nice and black.
6) Grill bread until golden toasty — it won’t take long.
7) Remove from heat, rest for 3-4 minutes. Break the bread into bite-size pieces. Slice the steak thinly and arrange over your salad.

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Flower Power

snapdragon
snapdragon pollinate!

Cucumbers need to get around. That is, they must pollinate (or be pollinated) to successfully set fruit. Sometimes, especially in urban gardens, a little matchmaking must be done for these heat-loving climbers.

female cucumber
female cucumber

When gardening on a small urban sundeck, each precious inch of soil must be put to good use (see: Making the Most of it). Although it’s tempting to fill every precious pot with something edible, to maximize your edible garden’s potential, throw in a few flowers to encourage the local bumble bees to stop by and get it on.

If your plants aren’t buzzing, and Mother Nature’s not quite hitting it off, don’t be afraid to help out. Grab a small watercolor paint brush, gently gather pollen from the male flower and dab it onto the female flower. (Honestly, it’s easy to tell cucumber flowers apart: female flowers will have a miniature wee cucumber at the base of the flower, male flowers don’t.)