We have a wonderful farmer’s market a few miles from our house, but it had been more than a year since I had gone. Saturday, we returned, and I got a wee bit excited, which is to say that I bought everything except the dandelion greens. The man standing in line behind me assured me that the dandelion greens would be delicious when cooked with some bacon (You don’t say!), but I decided to go for more familiar fare.
When we got home and dumped everything on the counter, I saw that I had possibly overdone it. Carrots, green beans, chard, bibb lettuce, lemon cucumbers, cherry tomatoes. zucchini, basil, mint. It all looked so crisp — and impatient. The vegetables were about three shades brighter than grocery store goods, but I knew that without those magical grocery store preservatives (whatever they are), I would have a pile of flaccid food in short order. And so began a manic weekend of chopping, roasting, and dish-washing.
Not knowing what I would find at the market, I hadn’t been able to do my usual preparation (you know, obsessively surfing cooking websites for two hours before I make my list). But this salad I stumbled across is just right for summer because it will accommodate whatever crunchy veggies you have on hand. It was labor-intensive with all of the chopping, but you can walk around afterward with your chest high because you just ate a day’s worth of vitamins. Or, you could have a big slice of cake instead. You’ve earned it, right?
Crunchy chopped vegetable salad adapted from Smitten Kitchen
I used blanched green beans, lemon cucumbers, and radishes. You might also try carrots, peppers, and corn. The original recipe called for sunflower seeds, but I thought peanuts were a great match with the lime juice and cucumbers. You can make this salad a main course by adding some cooked grains or black beans.
3 cups chopped, crunchy vegetables
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 t. chile powder
handful of peanuts
pepper, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1 head of lettuce, chopped
Mix veggies, feta, and scallions in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt. and chile powder. Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix. Scatter lettuce on a plate, and then mound vegetables on top. Sprinkle with peanuts and mint.