Ah, spring at last! While all seasons are evocative and beautiful in their way, springtime is so delicate and full of promise. It's a return to the senses, food for the soul: the kiss of the sun, the scent of the earth, brave buds and birdsong.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Here at the Pot Pie Bar, we thought it might be fun to share the promise of spring with some beautiful salads to pair with our delicious offerings. We love to use seasonal vegetables and herbs at this time of year to create light, visually pleasing dishes with inspired flavor profiles. We've curated three of our favorite recipes for you. So, say goodbye to the winter doldrums - to the garden and caesar salads and check out these outstanding greens!
"It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems." — Ranier Maria Rilke
Fennel & Cucumber Salad with Fresh Dill
Flavor profile: The cooling crunch of cucumber braced by the perfumed anise of the fennel, the vibrance of dill, subtly highlighted with a yogurt dressing.
- 6 cups Savoy cabbage, very thinly sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 lbs fennel bulbs, halved, cored and very thinly shaved
- Ice water
- 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
- Kosher salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tb white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup chopped dill
Directions:1. Put the cabbage, onion and fennel in three separate bowls and cover with ice water; let stand for 30 minutes.
2.Drain the vegetables and spin dry in a salad spinner.
3. In another bowl, toss the cucumbers with 2 tsps of salt and cover with ice water. Let stand for 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt with the vinegar until stiff. Add the dill and season to taste w/ salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, onion, fennel and cucumber to the bowl and serve.
Salad of Spring Peas, Watercress, Mint and Scallions
Flavor profile: The sweet freshness of peas, meld with the pepper of watercress and the refreshing brightness of mint
- 1 lb frozen peas (4 cups)
- 1 1/2 Tb extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium spring onions, very thinly sliced (3 cups)
- 3 cups small watercress sprigs
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
Directions:1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the peas until they are just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain.
2. In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, (abt. 5 minutes.)
3. Stir in the peas, cover and cook until heated through, (abt. 1 minute.) Remove from the heat and stir in the watercress until just wilted.
4. Add the mint, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Roasted Beet & Baby Arugula Salad w/ Sherry Vinaigrette & Shaved Pecorino
Flavor profile: The delicate pepper of arugula and earthy sweetness of beets highlighted by the gentle acidity of a sherry vinaigrette.
- 2 lbs small beets (golden or red)
- 1 lb Baby Arugula
- 1 cup Olive oil
- 1/8 cup Sherry Vinegar
- 2 Tb Dijon Mustard
- 6 oz Pecorino Cheese, Shaved
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions:1. Preheat oven to 375F. Clean the beets and cut off the stems. Golden or red are fine, just not together as the colors will bleed.
2. Wrap the beets individually in foil and roast for 45 min. or until cooked through.
3. Remove the beets from the oven, unwrap and allow to cool completely.
4. Cut the beets into eights and set aside.
5. To make the vinaigrette, put the Dijon and vinegar into a medium bowl and whisk together. Continue to whisk and very slowly add the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Place the arugula into a mixing bowl and toss lightly with the vinaigrette.
7. In a separate bowl, toss the roasted beets with a little vinaigrette and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
8. Place the arugula onto a platter and then add the dressed beets. Top with the shaved Pecorino.