With temperature in high 80's on Tax Day 2012, salad for lunch (or dinner) seems a good fit.
Persian Cucumbers, Haricots Verts, Feta are 3 reasons to love today's recipe from Salad for Dinner 'Complete Meals for All Seasons by Jeanne Kelley (Rizzoli USA, April 2012).
You get bonus points for making it a Meatless Monday.
Green Goddess Salad
-------------------------------------------------------| 4 servings
I am lucky that the closest restaurant to my home is a wonderful little place that is famous for its sea-salt caramels. Aside from her fabulous sweets, Christine at the Little Flower Candy Company makes delicious sandwiches and salads. The Goddess Salad is one of her most popular. While the Goddess Salad at Little Flower is dressed with a lemon-thyme vinaigrette, I just couldn’t resist merging Christine’s Goddess with a tangy green goddess dressing and juicy green zebra tomatoes.
8 ounces haricots verts (thin French green beans), trimmed
12 cups mixed greens
2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
2 tomatoes, preferably green zebra or yellow tomatoes, sliced into thin wedges
4 hardboiled eggs (page 97)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
COOK THE HARICOTS verts in a saucepan of rapidly boiling salted water until they are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool rapidly. Drain the beans well and pat dry with a clean dish towel. (Haricots verts can be prepared up to 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
Divide the greens among 4 large individual salad bowls. Arrange the haricots verts, cucumbers, and tomatoes in sections atop the greens. Using a cheese grater, grate 1 hardboiled egg onto each salad. Sprinkle the salads with the feta cheese and serve with the Green Goddess Dressing.
Green Goddess Dressing
----------------------------------------------------------| Makes about 1 cup
There was a time before my mom started making salad dressings from scratch when I was allowed to choose any kind of bottled dressing I wanted at the supermarket. I always picked green goddess. As I was a little girl, I think the whole goddess thing was a big part of the appeal, but even by the age of six I had acquired quite a taste for chives (chive cottage cheese being the only form of curds that I would eat). I don’t buy the bottled version anymore, but a taste of the homemade reminds me why this delicious dressing, created at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel in the ’20s, has never really gone out of style. Anchovies are in it, but if you plan on serving this to vegetarians, capers make a worthy stand-in.
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup snipped chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons chopped anchovy (about 2 fillets)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
COMBINE ALL OF the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (The dressing can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
You might notice that in many of the recipes calling for cucumber, I specify a Persian cucumber. If you are not familiar with Persian cukes, go and meet one right away. Persian cucumbers are smaller than the standard slicing variety; generally, they are about six inches long and an inch in diameter. These delicate cukes have thin, edible skin and are nearly seedless. Peeling or seeding is not required. The Persian cucumber has the sweetest flavor of any cucumber I have tasted and the coolest crunch. It used to be that I could only find Persian cucumbers at my local farmers’ market or at the Middle Eastern produce store. Now my neighborhood supermarket carries them almost year-round.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Salad for Dinner' Complete Meals for All Seasons by Jeanne Kelley- published by Rizzoli USA, April 2012- Photos by Ryan Robert Miller, all rights reserved)