I love the Friday Greenmarket at Union Square, It is my favorite day to go as it is usually quite mellow there early in the morning. This week I met my friend Nancy Jo there. She is a crazy wild amazing intuitive cook and we generally bond over the baby Tuscan kale, the sweetest berries and the eggs from the Amish farmer. She gives the wave off to any produce she deems unacceptable like my Nonna in her flowered house dress. We talk about we ate that week and what we are going to make that weekend and then we dash off to work.
This past Friday we bought peas, pea shoots, asparagus, rhubarb, radishes, beets and summer savory. She had a plan to recreate a salad from Roman's and I wanted to continue my rhubarb lust by making a simple spring salad with a rhubarb dressing.
Shaved Asparagus and Shell Pea Salad With Rhubarb Vinaigrette
This is a raw salad.
For The Salad
6 stalks of asparagus
A handful of Fresh shell peas
A handful of Fresh Mint
A handful of Pea Shoots
Shave the asparagus into long ribbons with a mandolin or a small shaver.
Arrange half on each plate
Shell the peas and divide between the two salad plates
Add a few pea shoots and some fresh mint and a few micro greens.
Makes 2 portions
Don't feel limited to my suggestions; throw on a few your favorite microgreens if you feel like it or some chives or chive blossom. I used beet micro greens and a ramp scape to pretty it up because that is what i had on hand and they are deliscious.
For the Dressing;
1 stalk of Rhubarb
1 shallot (I used a ramp bulb because I was out of shallot)
2 tblsp. raw apple cider vinegar
2 tblsp. sugar
3 juniper berries
1/3 cup water
Makes about 1/2 cup
Chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces
Crush the juniper berries with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon until just broken
Combine the rhubarb, the juniper berries the sugar and the waterr in a pan
Simmer the rhubarb, the juniper berries,the sugar and 1/3 cup of water in non reactive pan for about 5 minutes or until soft and tender. It should fall apart. Puree or strain through a sieve into a small bowl and set aside to cool.
In the meantime; chop the shallot finely.
Add the shallot to the cooled rhubarb vinegar mixture.
Spoon the dressing over the salad and top with a really good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Add a pinch of sea salt and cracket black pepper on top