Have you ever been to a salad party? Not a party where you ate salad. But a party where the salad was the point?

GrowGood threw just such a party on Feb. 9 in the Pregerson Dining Hall at the Salvation Army Bell Shelter.

About three dozen Bell Shelter staff and residents joined in the festivities. Earlier that day, we harvested a variety of greens and brought them inside, labeled them and put them in separate baskets so everyone could taste the components of the mix we’ve been providing for the salad bar that’s part of every lunch and dinner.

Farm manager Corinne McAndrews, along with farmhands Eric Tomassini, Katie Lewis and James Washington, passed around the baskets of arugula, speckled romaine, green leaf, rapini, chard and other kinds of greens for tasting.

“They have a lot of flavor and different textures, so a simple vinaigrette is a nice way to dress the salad,” Tomassini, who also is a chef, told the group. Then he demonstrated just that dressing, with a three-to-one ratio of olive oil to lemon juice or vinegar.  The lemon juice was squeezed from GrowGood Meyer lemons.

People who wanted to make their own dressing did so by shaking the ingredients in Mason jars. Tomassini suggested adding herbs, such as cilantro and substituting lime juice for the lemon or vinegar. “That’s a good combination,” he said.

Many thanks to Amie Carrillo-Wolfe, food service manager at the shelter, for publicizing the salad party and providing space and equipment.

GrowGood hopes to have regular food demonstrations. Next up is likely to be beets.

by Mary MacVean