With its cascade of delicate textures and bursts of flavor, this salad is simple to make for those who garden but daunting for those who don’t. Its simple beauty, or difficulty, lies in the accessibility of the ingredients. For those with a kitchen garden it requires only a quick harvest and a gentle touch. For those without a garden, I have no advice other than a trip to your local farmer’s market. The ease of creating memorable food, as demonstrated by this salad, convinced Jill and Eric Skokan to start their Black Cat Farm in Boulder, Colorado.
- 12 baby carrots, trimmed
- 5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sunflower oil or grapeseed oil
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar (or hand-made vinegar, see below)
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/4 pound baby lettuces, picked and washed
- 1 cup baby Swiss chard, picked and washed
- 1 cup baby kale, picked and washed
- 1 cup chervil, picked and washed
- 1 tablespoon burnet leaves, picked and washed
- 2 tablespoons leek roots, picked and washed
- 1 tablespoon chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a small bowl, combine the carrots and 2 teaspoons of oil; season with salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in the oven until golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 5 tablespoons oil, vinegar, shallot and thyme; season with salt. Whisk well to combine.
- In a large bowl, combine the lettuces, leaves, herbs and vegetables, including the roasted carrots. Dress lightly with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
1/2 cup Bragg's unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
3/4 bottle of red or white wine
Pour the vinegar into the wine bottle, close the top and shake well to combine. Remove the top from the wine and set the bottle in a dark place at room temperature.
Shake the bottle to mix and aerate every 4 days. The wine will turn to vinegar in about 3 weeks. Pour 1 cup of this vinegar into a new bottle of wine to continue the process.
Handmade vinegar keeps indefinitely and is a good way to use up unfinished wine.