Saturday, April 04, 2009

Baby Kale Salad, Pea Shoots with Sheep's Milk Cheeese








Last weekend we went to the farmers expo, an annual event where community residents can find local farms and food, CSA memberships, local meat sources, grain, honey, soap, plants ... and a first taste of spring with fresh greens and kale, and a new ingredient I had not tried yet — pea shoots.

These are the first growth of pea plants, the leaves and vines. I never thought to eat them before, but now I doubt my pea plants will keep theirs when they show up! I'll be out there with clippers waiting.

We had some fresh salads over the weekend, the flavor was made even more incredible when you are eating and watching six inches of unexpected spring snow fall — "snow peas."

I paired the pea shoots with fresh goat cheese from Green Dirt Farm, and a blackberry balsamic vinaigrette. By substituting the "flavor" ingredient you can make a wide variety of salad dressings.

Blackberry Balsamic
2 tbs. blackberry preserves (flavor)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil (for a less tangy blend, use 2/3 cup oil)
black pepper to taste and salt

This same dressing can be made with stone ground mustard for the kale. You can change out the flavor using other mustards, or other kinds of preserves, or just honey. You can also swap out for the same amount of a different vinegar like red wine, champagne, or white balsamic; or oil like walnut, sesame. You'll never buy store-bought dressing again.

Garlic Mustard Dressing
2 cloves garlic chopped (flavor)
2 tbs. stone ground mustard (flavor)
1/3 cup balsamic
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the baby kale, spin dry. Then lightly saute it in a bit of olive oil. Two minutes only. It's too good to overcook! Toss with dressing.






9 comments:

The Austerity Kitchen said...

What beautiful photographs!

I love sheep's milk cheese; unfortunately, it's quite hard to find in New England, where I live. Perhaps I should start haunting farmer's markets again.

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Leslie said...

Hi Expat!

I found this post while looking at tastespotting and as I was reading, I realized something. You must have bought this kale from the Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture at a farm expo that was held a few weeks ago. Thats my farm! I work there as a member of the farm crew and it is very possible I harvested the very kale you photographed. I hope you enjoyed the meal and I hope you have a chance some time to come by the farm and take a look around. We love visitors!

Expatriate Chef said...

Hi Leslie, you are right. I am also working on the urban ag tour blog. Say hi to everyone at KCCUA for me!

Past Expiry said...

Speaking of peas....
http://pastexpiry.blogspot.com/2009/05/cartoon-strained-peas.html
Past Expiry Cartoon *LINK*

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