Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chive and Lemon Zest Vinaigrette

salad of the season

It is really getting hot out there! The sun is starting to be downright sweltering. The a/c's are cranking and the parks are full of loungers.  Local veggies are starting to come into the markets and I'm getting  psyched for veggies to be overflowing onto my table every week! Salad season is upon us and I'm ready for some new salad inspiration.

To maximize the bounty of the season, focus on veggies as the main event on your dinner table. Choose colorful veggies that aren't necessarily considered salad veggies and toss or compose them with interesting greens and a simple delicious dressing.  Zucchini and crookneck squash are sweet and tender when fresh from the farm and are delicious raw. Tender, thin asparagus is wonderful chopped onto greens and soon, in-season corn will be tender and sweet enough to cut right off the cob into a salad for a sweet crunch.

Since it is still technically spring, you may need to blend greenmarket and supermarket veggies to make your salad. Maybe buy some arugula and Boston lettuce and toss with long carrot shreds, local herbs and asparagus. Before the sweet basil and pungeant herbs come in, let's take advantage of local chives and some organic supermarket lemons for a simple and delicious dressing that goes on almost everything. Top with toasted sunflower seeds for a seasonal, gourmet touch. Serve your great salad this hot, late-spring weekend and get seasonal!

Chive and Lemon Zest Vinaigrette

1 t garlic, grated on a microplane or finely minced
1/2 t finely zested organic lemon peel (on a microplane or grated and minced)
2 T Dijon mustard
2 T agave nectar
juice of 2 lemons (the one you zested and one more?)
4 T champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar if you can't find it)
1/2 t sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2-3/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup snipped chives

Set up a weighted and non-slip mixing bowl to mix the dressing. If you don't have a weighted bowl, fold a damp paper towel or work towel under the bowl so it won't slip.

Combine garlic, lemon zest, Dijon, agave nectar, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper in the bowl. Whisk it together using your dominant hand. With your other hand, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of the olive oil while you are whisking the ingredients. Taste for seasoning and add more sea salt, lemon juice, and olive oil to taste.  Fold in chives and dress your favorite vegetables.

1 comment:

marbark said...

This sounds so good- Just printed it off to shop for the goods