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[Week 14] A Celebrated Salad Exceeds Expectations
Plus: Quick, Fresh Enchilada Sauce, Cilantro-Lime Chickpeas & More
Hello Farm Share Friends,
Last Wednesday I met a dear high school friend for a 3 o’clock dinner at Via Carota. If you haven’t heard, Taylor Swift recently declared this already beloved Greenwich Village restaurant her favorite, making it even more challenging to get a reservation. When a late-afternoon time slot opened, we didn’t hesitate.
Of course, we ordered the insalata verde, the one Samin Nosrat wrote about for New York Times Magazine four years ago, a salad whose praises I’ve heard sung in countless publications since.
I have the Via Carota cookbook, and I have Samin’s recipe, but I never felt inspired to make the salad until this week, when I returned from NYC still dreaming about it. It’s not that I doubted Samin’s enthusiasm for it, it’s just that the recipe felt like a lot of work, calling for five different lettuces, two different mustards, and a fussy process: triple washing the greens, rinsing the shallots, and carefully assembling the salad in layers until you have a pile of greens, as Samin describes, “as high as gravity will allow.”
Is a salad worth all of this effort? I wondered.
It turns out yes. During this meal, we ate cacio e pepe, olive-oil toasted bread mounded with ice cream-sized scoops of cultured butter, and the most delicate fried zucchini I have ever tasted. But it was the salad that stole the show.
A few days after returning home, I made the salad, and while it was not quite as delicious as VC’s, it reminded me of the beauty of the union of a shallot vinaigrette and incredibly fresh produce. VC’s salad contains no nuts, no cheese, no fruits or vegetables: it’s simply greens + dressing, and it exceeded all expectations.
Incidentally, I followed Samin’s recipe for the dressing as opposed to the one in the cookbook because Samin’s recipe calls for grainy mustard, which the VC salad definitely includes, but which the book’s recipe does not. Samin’s recipe is linked below, and while it may not be particularly helpful for this week’s farm share, I think it’s the kind of dressing you could spoon over anything: boiled green beans, roasted squash, sliced tomatoes.
Friends, have you made (or experienced) this celebrated salad?
I need to work on my plating:
This week I’ll shoot to use the tomatillos first. I’ll store the scallions on the countertop (in a glass filled with a little bit of water), and I’ll store the tomatoes on the countertop as well.
Friendly reminder: trim the beet greens from their roots before storing.
Week 14 Vegetables
tomatillos → this Mexican Please post has great ideas
jalapeños → Jalapeño Recipes
leeks → Leek Recipes
beets → Beet Recipes
cilantro → Herb Recipes
tomatoes → Tomato Recipes
collards → Collard Greens Recipes
scallions → Scallion Recipes
peppers → Pepper Recipes
head lettuce → Salads
Find recipes for all the vegetables here → Farm Share Vegetables
8 Recipes to Make This Week
For the peppers and scallions from this week’s share, Deli-Style Pasta Salad
For the tomatoes and jalapeños: Quick Red Enchilada Sauce
For the tomatoes, jalapeños, scallions, and cilantro: Moosewood Tomato Salsa
For the leeks: Pasta Carbonara-ish:
Fellow Farm Sharers: Please share in the comments links to recipes you are loving for your farm share vegetables! Tips, questions, and suggestions are always welcome, too. Enjoy your vegetables! 🥦🥬🥒🌶🌽🥕 See you next week :)