I know that I am supposed to be offering a recipe that can be taken to a big July 4th picnic and consumed by your entire family or social group…. or something grilled… or an iconically American dish. Sometimes, my life just does not follow the holiday food schedule. I thought I had barbecue plans and found myself hugely relieved when they fell through. I am using my long weekend to grasp at some much needed alone time, and to catch up on writing about all of the delicious vegetables that I have been receiving from the Flatbush Farmshare over the last few weeks. Nothing says patriotism like solitude and vegetables. Whatever, I’m not even an American citizen, so I get a pass. Here is what I have been cooking most recently…
FARMSHARE COOKING WEEK 5
- Bok choy and snap peas- used in Healthy Ramen with Homemade Rice Noodles.
- Parsley- made into Gremolata and used to top poached eggs.
- Spinach- sautéed and eaten with poached eggs and gremolata.
- Head lettuce and Shell peas- made into salad with macadamia nuts, bacon, mint, spring onions and smokey buttermilk dressing (recipe below).
- Cherries- made into a light Summertime Black Forest Cake.
Hopefully, you will forgive my lack of holiday spirit when you read this salad recipe. It is so good! It is inspired by a salad the used to show up on buffet tables on Maui when I was a kid. Wailea Pea Salad was simply a mix of peas, macadamia nuts, scallions, sour cream (I think?) and bacon. It would seem very out of date now, but the basic idea was good and I have been wanting to make an updated, lighter version of it for a while. When we stared getting amazing sweet shell peas from the farmshare, I jumped on it. I took this salad to work for lunch last week lunch, and my poor, patient co-worker has had to put up with me literally crowing, at the top of my lungs, “My salad is so GOOD! I am such a good cook!” So, now that I’ve dashed any notion you may have had that I was a humble person who was above uncouth lunchtime behavior…here is the recipe
GREEN SALAD WITH SHELL PEAS, MACADAMIAS AND MINT
- Several leaves of lettuce per person. I’ve been getting head lettuce in my farmshare but really butter lettuce would be the best.
- The leaves plucked from a one sprig of mint per person
- 1 or 2 Tablespoons of thinly sliced spring or chives onion per person
- buttermilk dressing (recipes below)
- very fresh sweet shell peas removed from the pod (1/2 cup shelled per person)
- 1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts per person
- Crisp, fried bacon (1 piece per person)
- Combine the lettuce, mint and spring onions or chives in a large bowl and toss with buttermilk dressing.
- Sprinkle the peas, macadamia nut and bacon on top and serve!
HOMEMADE BUTTERMILK DRESSING
I get very fresh eggs from my farmshare, so I feel comfortable with raw egg yolk. If you don’t trust your egg source completely or if the idea of raw egg yolk just upsets you, just replace the egg yolk and oil with 1/3 cup store-bought mayonnaise. This recipe makes enough for 2 to 4 salads, depending on how heavily you like to dress your greens.
- 1 egg yolk (this will be raw, so use fresh, organic eggs)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (regular salt is fine too!)
- the juice of half a lemon (seeds strained out)
- mild oil (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- lots of freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the egg yolk with the smoked salt and lemon juice in a blender or jar (if using an immersion blender). Whir them together until combined.
- With the motor running, slowly drizzle the mild oil into the egg yolk. When a thin mayonnaise forms, stop adding oil.
- Stir in the buttermilk and lots of black pepper.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
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