It's the time of year on the farm where we have almost every vegetable imaginable ready for harvest, the most daylight of the year, and more work than we'll ever have enough time to complete. At the end of one of these long days, I often end up throwing together a salad kind of like this to accompany a simple protein or eat it on its own.
As Devin and I take our final walk of the farm before leaving for the evening, I regularly cherrypick a random pile of veggies from the field as the nightly question of "What on earth am I going to make for dinner?!" begins to rattle through my brain. You'd think being around our veggies all day long, the cooking inspiration would be endless, but quite frankly, at the end of the day all we want to do is get home, shower, eat, and sit down!
The texture and slight bitterness of the frisée is complemented well by the sweetness and crunch of the sugar snap peas and fennel and it all comes together with nice brine-y hits of olive and bright acidity from the dressing. The crunchy, torn bread gives it a little heft and in a matter of minutes, you've got yourself a darn good salad.
One of my favorite parts, which was completely unintentional, is the fact that everything in this salad (except the bread) is green! I am not surprised this salad ended up this way, seeing as how the hot summer days have us constantly craving crunchy, hydrating greens for our end of the day meal, but I really loved how this salad looked when I finished it. Every shade of green imaginable and a whole spectrum of lush, green flavor to boot.
As with all salads and recipes I like to share, it can be interpreted, switched around, and served however is most convenient to you, but it should always feel easy to throw together, taste incredibly fresh, and get you from standing, to sitting and eating as quickly as possible! (In true summer-farmer style)
1 head frisée, rinsed, spun dry and coarsely chopped
1 pint sugar snap peas, rinsed and chopped thinly
2 bulbs young fennel or about 1 cup, cored, halved and chopped thinly
½ cup cucumber, thinly sliced, about 6” piece of cucumber
1/3 cup Castelvetrano olives, chopped (or any olive of choice)
4 pieces torn bread, we love a grainy sourdough or anything from Front Porch Baking Co.
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 splash of olive oil
2 lemons juiced, or about 1/4 cup
1-2 teaspoons lemon peel, finely grated
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons olive juice from your jar of olives
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
1 to 1 ½ Tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
2. In a cast iron skillet, heat butter and splash of olive oil on medium-low heat.
3. Once butter begins to bubble a bit, coat the pan and add torn bread and toss around to coat with the butter and oil.
4. Let your torn bread toast. If your pan starts to smoke you can turn off the heat and let the bread toast with the residual heat.
5. When your bread is just starting to toast, toss it around and turn off the heat leaving the bread to dry a bit in the pan and get even more crunchy. Keep an eye out so you don’t burn anything!
6. Feel free to sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt.
7. To prepare the dressing, pour all ingredients into a jar with a tightly sealed lid or into a blender or food processor, if you don't mind doing the dishes.
8. Shake vigorously in the jar or blend to your hearts content in a blender or food processor.
9. Pour half of the dressing into your prepared bowl of greens and veggies and toss well.
10. Plate and top with torn bread and extra drizzles of dressing.
11. This salad is wonderful with seared salmon, roasted chicken, or falafel!
What's going on in the kitchen?
We love our vegetables and we cook and bake with them constantly. Here is a space where we can share what we have going on in the kitchen with you!