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salad

Sugar Snap Peas over Yogurt-Lemon Sauce

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 6
Adapted from Bon Appetit

I look forward to Sugar Snap Peas all year. In Pennsylvania, they are only available for a few weeks late Spring, and typically don’t ever make it back to my kitchen. I prefer them raw, so this salad is perfect on a evening when you don’t want to turn on the stove.

This recipe comes together in about 15 minutes, the most time consuming part being removing the stem and slicing. The creamy, tangy dressing pairs perfectly with the snappy sweetness of fresh peas. Truly a seasonal treat.

INGREDIENTS

Peas
1 lb. Sugar Snap Peas, stem & strings removed; Cut in half on a diagonal, or thinly sliced
2 tbls. olive oil
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Yogurt Sauce
1 cup Greek yogurt (If you can get your hands on Fiddle Creek Dairy products, their yogurt is amazing)
2 tbls. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. green garlic, minced
1 tbls. olive oil
A little buttermilk or water to thin, if necessary
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Sumac, for garnish

METHOD

  1. Toss peas with oil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Adjust seasoning to taste.

  2. Mix yogurt sauce ingredients together. Thin to desired consistency. It should be thickened, but saucy, rather than a dip.

  3. Pour sauce into a serving bowl and top with peas. Sprinkle with sumac and a few more grinds of fresh pepper to serve.

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Kale Salad with Shallot-Sumac Vinaigrette

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 6

This take on kale salad, with the addition of toasted pumpkin seeds and avocado, can be a substantial meal in its own. I like the combination of Lacinato and Curly Green Kale, for a mix of texture and color.

Sumac, the dried, ground fruit from the Sumac plant, has a tangy, citrus flavor. Common in Middle Eastern cuisine, it is delicious in dressings, marinades, salads, and sprinkled over a variety of dishes. The combination of sumac, lemon, shallot, and garlic is addictive—double the dressing and keep it in your fridge for easy salad prep.

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches kale; leaves stripped from stems and finely chopped.
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
A large pinch of sea salt
1 avocado, diced
Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced or grated
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sumac
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

METHOD

  1. Place the shallot, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle a large pinch of salt over the finely chopped kale. Massage for about 30 seconds, or until slightly softened.

  3. Toast the pumpkin seeds over low heat in a small skillet. Stir gently when they start to sizzle, and remove from heat when they begin to brown.

  4. Whisk the shallot mixture with the olive oil, sumac, black pepper, and Dijon mustard. Taste, and adjust seasonings. If it is too tart, add a bit of honey or jam to mellow out the acidity.

  5. Pour several tbls. of dressing over the kale and massage until coated, or until the kale has softened to your liking.

  6. Top with the diced avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds. Pour a few more tbls. of dressing over to taste, or keep on the side for folks to dress separately. You will have extra dressing—store in the fridge for up to a couple weeks, but let it come to room temperature before using since the oil will solidify. This salad tastes even better the next day, after it has soaked up the vinaigrette.

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Radicchio Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

Salty anchovies, capers, and sharp cheese cut the bitterness of radicchio. Double the salad dressing because you’ll want to drown everything in it. This salad is delicious the following day, especially with leftover roast chicken or pork chops.

INGREDIENTS

1 small head radicchio, cored & chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 large handful arugula or Italian parsley leaves, or a mix
1/4 cup shaved hard, sharp cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino, Ricotta Salata…)
Vinaigrette
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
3 - 4 salt-packed anchovies, cleaned and minced into a paste (if blending, leave whole)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 - 2 tbls. sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. capers, drained and chopped
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients, minus the salt. You can either whisk by hand, or blend with an immersion blender. If blending, stir in the capers at the end. Taste, and then add the salt at the very end, since the anchovies, capers, and cheese are already very salty.

  2. Place the radicchio and parsley/arugula leaves in a large, shallow salad bowl. Drizzle with half the vinaigrette and mix gently.

  3. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and scatter the shaved cheese over top.

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Smashed Persian Cucumbers with Sesame & Ginger

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 4
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Persian cucumbers have become very popular among our customers and chefs. Their small size and thin skins make them perfect for easy snacking or quick prep. They are surprisingly sweet and crunchy, while still retaining a refreshing, cucumber flavor.

Smashing cucumbers (my new alt. rock band name) is fun! It is also a great way to involve kids in the kitchen. But it’s not just about fun and games—the craggy edges have more surface area for seasonings, packing every mouthful full of flavor.

INGREDIENTS

5 - 6 small, Persian cucumbers
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts sliced
2 tbls. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted (a mix of white and black are nice)
Chili oil, to taste (look for a brand without additives or MSG—just chilies and oil preferably—or make your own!)

METHOD

  1. Tear cucumbers into bite size pieces.

  2. Place the cucumbers plus 1 tsp. kosher salt in a colander, and let drain for 10 minutes.

  3. Place sesame seeds in a small pan and toast until they start to pop, about 3 - 5 minutes. Stir to avoid burning, and remove from heat.

  4. Transfer the cucumbers to a medium bowl and add rice wine vinegar and grated ginger. Toss to coat and adjust seasoning.

  5. Transfer cucumbers to a serving dish, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and drizzle with chili oil.

Sweet Corn, Sungold, & Cilantro Salad

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

In the dog days of Summer, heat can make it difficult to grow tasty salad greens. This can be bothersome because we oftentimes crave a refreshing, crunchy, raw salad when it’s so dang hot out.

Cue the “Summer Salad!” This is one of my favorites because it epitomizes everything about the season, and takes just a few minutes to prep. For a more savory spin, substitute regular ol’ red cherry tomatoes or chopped plum tomatoes for the super sweet Sungolds. If you don’t like cilantro, use basil! Parsley! Dill! I love to add a little feta in there, but this can also be 100% vegan.

INGREDIENTS

3 ears very fresh sweet corn, kernels shaved off (save cobs for stock)
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, or herb(s) of choice
1 pint Sungold cherry tomatoes or red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbls. red onion or shallot, minced
1 oz. feta cheese (opt.)
Vinaigrette
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

METHOD

  1. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients.

  2. Gently toss together the salad ingredients.

  3. Dress with half the vinaigrette. Taste, and add more if necessary.

  4. Serve alongside grilled fish, chicken, or a couple hard boiled eggs. Or try half an avocado spritzed with lime if it’s just too dang hot.

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Dandelion Salad with Bacon & Jammy Eggs

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4
Adapted from David Tanis’s Market Cooking

Once the daffodils and crocuses start pushing through in the early Spring, I immediately have what I can best describe as a “primordial craving” for fresh dandelion greens and nettles. These first Spring greens pack an alarming amount of vitamins, minerals, iron, and calcium. Dandelion greens are best known for their detoxifying properties, especially in relation to the liver and bile production.

The salt & fat from the bacon, umami-heat from raw garlic, and acid from fresh lemon makes this a salad that will most likely turn into one, very large serving (with zero regrets).

INGREDIENTS

1 large bunch dandelion greens; stems trimmed & leaves roughly chopped or torn (smaller, tender leaves preferred, although larger leaves pack a little more ‘liver-detoxing’ bitterness)
4 slices bacon
3, “9-minute” boiled eggs
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, grated
2 tbls. red wine or sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbls. Dijon mustard
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesan, Gruyere, or other hard cheese, shaved (opt.)
1/2 large avocado, sliced or cubed (opt.)
Poppy seeds (I use an “everything” seasoning blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion & salt; opt.)

METHOD

1. If you haven’t yet boiled the eggs, bring a small pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add the eggs and boil for exactly 9 minutes. Transfer to cold water.

2. While the egg water is boiling, make the vinaigrette: Mix the garlic, vinegar, lemon, olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

3. Fry the bacon in a large cast-iron pan until slightly crisp. Remove and let cool. Chop crosswise into 1/4 inch wide lardons.

4. Put the greens in a large salad bowl and lightly sprinkle with salt. Massage very gently for a few seconds. Dress with half the vinaigrette, tossing to coat.

5. Peel the eggs, and chop into quarters. Arrange the lardons, eggs, optional avocado slices/cubes, and shaved cheese on top. If you want a little crunch, add the poppy seeds or “everything” seasoning, or other favorite nut/seed.

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Spring Strawberry & Pea Shoot Salad

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

This salad is the embodiment of Spring—it may as well be called “The Persephone”. The grassy taste & hearty texture of the pea shoots off-set the sweetness of strawberries, and the radishes add a spicy kick. Like Spring, it’s particularly delicious because the ingredients are so fleeting. Make sure you use the tender micro green version of pea shoots, rather than the tougher, stir-fry greens you often see in Asian markets.

INGREDIENTS

A few handfuls pea shoot micro greens
A few large handfuls tender lettuce greens or arugula
1/2 - 1 pint strawberries, sliced
A few radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
Toasted seeds or nuts (opt.): sliced almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
Goat cheese (opt.)
Balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. If you are using seeds or nuts, toast them in a small skillet on medium-low heat for a couple minutes until fragrant, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. Assemble salad ingredients in a shallow serving bowl: place the tender greens at the bottom, with the pea shoots over top. Sprinkle on the strawberry & radish slices, along with the optional seeds and goat cheese. Drizzle with oil & vinegar, and season with salt & pepper.

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