This perfect salad - crisp, filling, flavorful, exotic - is inspired by one I love that is made by Black-Eyed Suzie's, one of my favorite vendors at the weekly Woodstock Farm Festsival. This post is a love letter both to the salad and also to the Farm Fest - one of my favorite things about our town. MWAH!
Farm Festival. It's so nice to be outside, surrounded by friends and I truly love having one night each week when I don't have to cook dinner or clean up afterwards. Before I had children, I washed all my dishes by hand and enjoyed doing laundry. But that is no longer the case... So vive the Wednesday market with its delicious prepared food!
Lately, our garden has been churning out kale, chard, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, onions, garlic, cabbages and herbs, leaving me with a pretty short shopping list, but I pick up whatever we need from the various farmers who spread out their offerings in the parking lot right off Tinker Street - Woodstock's main drag.
Then we walk across the street to Mower's field where the prepared food vendors and the musicians set up. We turn our older son loose to run around, play with the bubble wands, frisbees and hula hoops the Farm Fest provides or to scale the mountains of wood chips at the end of the field.
We'd like to turn our younger son loose but it's nearly impossible to pry him from our legs lately so he sticks close by unless his grandma takes him off to buy a small brown paper sack of apple cider doughnuts from Wrights Farm in Gardiner, NY. I think you could probably bribe the devil with one of these doughnuts. Thanks to his habit of wiping his dirty hands on his hair, James usually ends up covered in cinnamon sugar - it's how his nickname "Sugar Head" was born.
My husband always gets a falafel from Aba's (the best!) and I often order whatever Cheryl and Juan at Black Eyed Suzie's happen to be serving up. In addition to their tacos, pulled pork sandwich and mac n' cheese, people literally line up for a big plate of their baby kale salad with sesame ginger dressing, matchstick rainbow carrots and avocado (grilled chicken is an optional add-on). Sometimes there are radishes in it, sometimes not. Here's a pic of their salad from last week's market.
I like it so much that I've recreated at home a few times lately. I made my version with a bag of the wonderful baby braising greens from Sky Farms in Millteron, NY - their gorgeous greens are sold at the market's co-op booth. I like the tiny bit of heat the baby mustard greens impart. Especially when it's in dialogue with the sweet, salty, gingery dressing.
Unfortunately, my knife skills pale in comparison to Juan's so my carrot matchsticks are not nearly as thin and perfect as the ones in Black Eyed Suzie's salad. I don't really know how he does it - maybe he is part robot?
Do not skimp on the dressing! It's a delicious combination of salty, sweet and the wonderful spiciness of the ginger. Go heavy rather than light.
If you're in the Hudson Valley, stop by the market for some yums. And if you ever need an event catered, give Cheryl and Juan a call. I would like to have them cater my life :)
* 1 bag of mixed baby greens - kale, mizuna, mustard greens, arugala, spinach, etc.
* 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks
* 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
* 2-3 radishes, cleaned and thinly sliced (optional)
* Handful of sesame seeds for garnish (black is very striking)
For the dressing
* 1 garlic clove, pressed (mince it if you prefer)
* 1 Tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
* 3 Tbsps rice vinegar
* 1 Tbsp soy sauce
* 1 tsp maple syrup or brown sugar
* 4 Tbsps olive or grapeseed oil
* 2 Tbsps toasted sesame oil
* 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1. Make the dressing - simply mix all the ingredients together and blend well.
2. Compose the salad - toss the greens, carrots and radishes with a generous amount of dressing, lay the sliced avocado over the top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
You might also like:
- Lemony Kale Salad with Coconut Avocado Dressing
- Wakame Kyuri Su - Cucumber Seaweed Salad
- Nutty Forbidden Rice, Roasted Beet & Kale Salad
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