roasted market salad

spring is definitely being felt here in nyc.  the past week we have had temperatures coming close to 60°!  after the winter we’ve had those temps feel amazing.  this past weekend frank and i were able to relax for a little while at our neighborhood park that overlooks new york harbor and the lovely lady liberty (statue of liberty).  we enjoyed the sun’s warmth; frank reading the newspaper, and me trying to soak up as much vitamin d as i possibly could.  it was a couple hours much needed.   just enough to forget the cold days that are behind us, and to remind us of the warmer ones that lie ahead.

onion

most of the farmer’s markets here (at least in brooklyn) are year round.  but you notice that as soon as spring hits the vendors are carrying things are actually green! i think i went a little overboard on shoots and sprouts this time.  a vendor had buckets upon buckets of the most beautiful looking little sprouts, i would have bought them all if i could! one of our favorite vendors that we usually see in brooklyn was there (we call him the “potato man” because he’s the only person to carry our white yams that we’re obsessed with), and he brought with him these awesome spring shallots (pictured above).  alone and raw the shallots are quite tasty, but roasted with some olive oil and salt, and these onions are really good!

the ingredients in the salad were inspired by what i saw at the market; what was fresh, and in season.  i understand that not everyone has a farmer’s market in their neighborhood. so if you’re wanting to make a roasted vegetable salad, use what looks good to you, or what veggies you like, and go from there.

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• for the salad •

1 bunch baby carrots, cut lengthwise

4.5 oz asparagus, rinsed and bottoms trimmed

2 oz spring onions, rinsed and bottoms trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil (for roasting)

2 teaspoons thyme (i used dried, but if you have fresh thyme 3-5 sprigs)

2 teaspoons parsley

large grain sea salt to taste

fresh ground pepper

3.5 oz pea shoots, sprouts, and baby spring greens (likewise, you can use mesclun or any other greens)

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• poppy seed vinaigrette  •

2 tablespoons shallot (about 1 shallot), chopped

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons good dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

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• directions •

pre heat oven to 400°

line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

in a mixing bowl, combine the carrots with some of the olive oil, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. (i don’t give a precise amount of each, because it really depends on your preference.) turn out onto the prepared baking sheet and place in oven.  time the carrots for 15 minutes

while the carrots are baking, toss the asparagus in the same mixing bowl with olive oil, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper.  after the 15 minutes, place the asparagus onto the baking sheet with the carrots, toss gently – turn timer to 5 minutes

in the mixing bowl, combine the onions with the last of the olive oil, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper.  add onions to the baking sheet, toss the vegetables again – return the pan to the oven, lower the temperature to 375° and time for 15 minutes

the vegetables should be lightly browned when ready (you may need to adjust the cook time depending on your oven).  remove from the oven and let cool

while the veggies are cooling, make your dressing (i made the dressing a couple days in advance, so you can totally do this whenever). combine all the dressing ingredients, except the poppy  seeds,  in a small (or large) food processor and blend until the ingredients are combined and smooth.  pour into a container and add the poppy seeds, mix to combine

in a large bowl, combine your greens with some dressing to coat.  add the roasted veggies and drizzle with more dressing.  serve and enjoy

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buckwheat soba noodles with dandelion greens pesto

over the past few weeks i’ve been experimenting more with buckwheat flour, baking with it alone, and also combining it with other flours.  i’ve come to appreciate its curious taste and its grainy texture.   therefore, when i went to pick out soba noodles i naturally went with the buckwheat ones.  i debated whether to prepare them in a more traditional way and pair them ingredients i usually see: tofu, scallions, sesame seeds and oil, tamari, or in a yummy broth.  i had my menu all planned out with a lot of the ingredients noted above.  but i also wanted to see how the noodles would hold up in a traditionally italian dish, using a pesto sauce.  i had been making note of the greens at my local farmer’s market and had been seeing a lot dandelion greens.  as we all know, there is an abundance of dandelion flowers in the spring (at least here in new york), so i thought it only natural to use what was in season and make dandelion greens pesto.

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*i left cheese out of my pesto.  however, pecorino-romano, or reggiano will work with the dandelion greens.

// dandelion greens pesto

1 package buchwheat soba noodles

1 bundle dandelion greens, stems removed and blanched

2 large cloves of garlic, chopped

1/3 cup unsalted raw pistachios, toasted (plus more for garnishing)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

sea salt + pepper

soba

// for the salad

2-3 cups arugula

1 cup pea shoots

1/2 watercress (i had the pea shoots + watercress on hand, but you can use whatever greens you want, or just use more arugula)

1 tablespoon unsalted raw pistachios, toasted (likewise, you can also use roasted and salted pistachios)

2 tablespoons pesto vinaigrette

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in a medium saucepan bring about 4 cups of water to a boil.  while water is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath.  when water comes to a boil add the greens.  blanch for 20 seconds.  transfer the greens to the ice bath, let soak for a couple seconds.  remove the greens while squeezing out water from them.  let them dry on a kitchen towel

while the greens are drying, toast the pistachio nuts ( if you’re using dry roasted pistachios, there is no need to toast them).  let them cool

in a food processor or blender, combine the dandelion greens, chopped garlic, toasted pistachios, olive oil, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, and salt +pepper.  blend, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  you may want to add more olive oil depending on how you prefer your pesto

transfer the pesto to a bowl. cover and let it sit in the refrigerator while you cook the soba noodles.  cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, reserving about a 1/2 cup of the cooking water.  drain the noodles.  transfer to a large bowl.  add about 1/2 the pesto and a 1/4 of the reserved water to the bowl and stir to combine.  add more according to your preference.  season with salt + pepper, and garnish with extra pistachios.  you can leave the dish like this, or you can put it over greens

mix salad greens together in a separate bowl, toss with pistachios and pesto vinaigrette.  add the soba noodles to the salad and enjoy

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