My sister Silvi has been visiting me in New York City. Usually when she comes to visit, I work her to exhaustion helping me build puppets for some show or another and then tearfully beg her to extend her trip another month. This is the first time that she has come to see me just for a few weeks and purely for fun since she was 10 years old and I was just graduating from college. The highlights of that visit were a visit to the Egyptian wing at the Brooklyn Museum (one of the best by the way) and going to see The Blue Man Group…which happens to be a great way to introduce your 10-year-old sister to “weird” theater in case your interested.
This has been a lovely visit. I have already described our excursions to the Russian baths and the lecture on birds of paradise as well as our stellar trip to Coney Island. Since then, we have visited the bioluminescent exhibit at the Museum of Natural History and then walked about 80 blocks (6 miles) downtown to see Taylor Mac at Joe’s Pub. I think he was more magically bioluminescent than the exhibit actually! On another day, we bought handmade jewelery and lotions at the BUST magazine craftacular and then bought masses of good food at the Union Square green market….most of which ended up in this salad. The whole meal made me feel like a forest gnome at a fancy banquet….not a feeling I get all that often here in the big old city.
If this salad is your cup of tea, you may want to check out our recipes for Birds Nest Inspired Rosolje, Wilted Dandelion Salad with Cured Meats and Quinoa with Wild Plantain, Dandelion and Peppers. Clearly recipes that have the “foraged from the meadow and forest” element are our cup of tea here at Big Sis Little Dish. Some of the ingredients in this salad are a quite rare, so I will include suggestions for substitutions.
FLOWER AND PHEASANT EGG SALAD
- Fry a handful of almonds in a bit of olive oil and sea salt until they are toasted and set them aside to cool.
- Place a pheasant egg for each person in a saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring it to a boil and then immediately remove it from the heat. Leave the eggs in the hot water for 6 minutes then rinse them under very cold water. Make the salad dressing while the eggs cool. Quail eggs could be used instead or a duck or chicken egg for every two people would do just as well (prepared the same way but left in the hot water for 10-12 minutes)
- Make a salad dressing by processing a handful each of fresh chives and fresh parsley in a blender with a splash of olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon. Silvi did not add any salt and it was perfect! For variations on the sour herbal dressing theme Silvi suggests using French sorrel in place of all but a drop of lemon juice and/or replacing the parsley with fresh mint.
- Toss a few handfuls each of young red sorrel and red spinach in a bowl with the salad dressing (a mix any of any tender, flavourful green would work… sorrel spinach, arugula, dandelion, endive, radicchio, watercress ect). Silvi would like me to mention that this salad would be a good way to use up weird greens that you decided to grow/ forage and don’t know what to do with.
- Top with a handful each of arugula flowers and tatsoi flowers (homegrown chrysanthemum, nasturtium or borage would also be tasty here).
- If you like, you could add a couple of sliced radishes for each person. I am personally having a major radish moment and want to eat them all the time. Silvi says that very fresh raw asparagus would be good in this salad too if you have access to it.
- Sprinkle the cooled almonds on top.
- Peel the eggs and add them to the salad.
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