November 02, 2022
Composed salads have become my new favorite dish, especially when cooking just for myself. Returning from a busy, buzzing shift at the restaurant, I’ll scrounge in my refrigerator to see what I can use.
Creating a base with hummus or any kind of smashed or whole lentils or beans, mashed avocado or yogurt, is usually the first step. Adding warm roasted carrots, seared mushrooms, peppers or squash can makes it feel more like a meal. Sliced cucumbers, apples, radishes and/or chopped nuts add crunch.
My favorite part about this salad is slowly laying it out on a plate, taking care to tuck in sprigs of herbs or hardy greens like endive or radicchio. If I am lucky enough to have some Blue Heron Farm feta, I’ll crumble it over the salad. Persimmons or pomegranate seeds can add a sweet note. The final flourish is a usually a sprinkle of salt and chile powder, a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of good olive oil or oil tempered with spices like cumin or mustard seeds. The best part about a salad like this is that cleanup is simple, usually one plate.
2 tablespoons of ghee or melted butter
3 cups of sliced mushrooms
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
4 Fuyu persimmons, cut in half and sliced thinly
2 medium Persian cucumbers, sliced
3 to 4 small radishes, sliced
2 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
Sprigs of herbs, such as mint or cilantro
Scant sprinkle of salt
Scant sprinkle of chile powder
Juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Makes 4 servings
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the mushrooms with melted butter, salt and pepper and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked through.
On a serving plate, spread the yogurt into a thin layer, using the back of a spoon to spread it out into a circle. Evenly spread the sliced persimmons, cucumbers, radishes and cooked mushrooms over the yogurt. Sprinkle with pomegranates and tuck herb sprigs into the salad. Sprinkle with salt, chile powder and squeeze the lemon juice over the salad. In a small frying pan, heat up the olive oil and pop the mustard seeds. Immediately turn the heat off and spoon over the salad. Serve right away.
December 02, 2022