Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring Greens Salad

This salad is a celebration of the spring greens popping up and adorning our landscape, as well as a tribute to some of the winter staples that helped us stay local during the long winter months. A melding of winter to spring, cold to warm, root to leaf.

Spring has certainly been fighting its way in these past few weeks, and for me it has brought with it a myriad of new projects and significant "firsts". First big solo catering job in the new kitchen, first few weeks of my prepared meal service (CSK), first days cooking at home as my "real" job, and my first vegetable garden!!! I can't complain really. But aside from work and the kitchen, it has also brought along a bundle of home projects uncovered by the melting snow that are at once exciting and totally overwhelming. One (small) step at a time, right? Someday our yard won't look like a mud pit, I swear.

Anyway, back to the recipe. This is a nice mix of simple ingredients that comes together to become more than the sum of its parts (which I might add, is usually the goal of cooking). Toasted seeds become your crunch, the raw shredded beets add a brightness in their color and flavor, currants offer a subtle sweetness and the entire salad is coated in a very light and simple honey lemon dressing. All summed up on a bed of tender mesclun, you really can't go too wrong.

Fiddleheads is running its first class out of the new kitchen on June 8th, from 6-8pm on Entree Salads and Homemade Dressings. Come learn how to lighten up with fresh, ingredients that satisfy your every craving, made from scratch. Check out the full description at and Email me at to sign up.

To spring. To all things lighter, and brighter.

Spring Greens Salad with Currants, Shredded Beet and Toasted Tamari Seeds
Serves 4

4 cups mesclun
1 large beet, ruby or golden (or both!)
1/4 cup currants, or quartered figs
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbs. pumpkin seeds
1 tbs. tamari
1 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. ginger powder

Juice and zest of one lemon
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. white miso
salt and pepper to taste

Shred beet using a box grater and set aside. In a cast-iron skillet, toast sunflower and pumpkin seeds over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until slightly golden. Add tamari, syrup and ginger to the pan, toss to coat and continue to cook until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, place lemon juice through salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings.

To assemble salad, toss mesculin, half the shredded beets, currants and dressing in a large bowl. Portion into smaller bowls and top with toasted seeds (breaking up clumps as you sprinkle) and the remaining shredded beets.

Relax. Eat Well.

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