June 10, 2011

berry & arugula salad with creamy mint dressing



This morning I returned from the greenmarket with strawberries and blueberries, arugula, shell peas, and a giant bunch of fresh mint. There's no mistaking it, we're in the thick of June. And our first heat wave of the season: ninety-eight and humid in New York yesterday, and it's getting up there today, too. I don't have much desire to do any official cooking. My mind is on berries and greens.





Shell peas. I can handle turning on a burner when it's for a quick blanch. These boiled in salted water for a couple of minutes and then went into an ice bath. Salad-ready.




Fresh spearmint for a creamy salad dressing.




The dressing. A dreamy shade of green, infused with fresh mint, lemon, and coriander seed, it's the perfect counterpart to the spicy greens and sweet berries and shell peas. You bet I could drink this straight out of a mason jar (it does bear an uncanny resemblance to my superpowered green smoothie) ... but drizzling it over a salad is nice, too.

Process in a blender until smooth and creamy:

  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I used a thinner style yogurt from Ronnybrook; if using a very thick yogurt such as Greek, you can thin out the dressing with a little water or lemon juice)
  • 1/3 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • a few grinds of black pepper (to taste)
{This recipe yields about 3/4 cup of dressing; store the leftover dressing in the fridge and use within 2 to 3 days.}

Assembly. A few handfuls of arugula seasoned with a little salt and black pepper, a scattering of sweet shell peas, lots of juicy berries, a drizzle of mint dressing. My idea of a perfect June lunch.

I was planning to garnish the salad with slivers of homemade preserved lemon peel -- I recently made up a fantastic batch according to the Tigress' recipe -- but hunger got the best of me and they never made it out of the jar. A sprinkling of toasted, chopped nuts would be a welcome addition, too.


12 comments:

  1. Wow, such lovely pics and what a speedy blogger! I am so making this dressing this weekend. Thanks!

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  2. This looks fantastic. A wonderful mix of flavors. I think it will have to be a weekend lunch.

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  3. so beautiful and cooling, Nancy. the heat wave is sparing no one, it seems!
    I just returned from picking Black Raspberries at a friend's urban thicket---destined for similar great things this week. My fingers are dappled with the deep purple juices.

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  4. If it were 98 degrees here, I would feel exactly the same. Salads are where it's at.

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  5. especially like the photos of this post!

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  6. thanks, Lentil! Finally getting the hang of the new camera.

    Denise - this is a perfect easy weekend lunch; hope you enjoy.

    Hi Nancy - wow, black raspberries, sounds like a very successful session of urban foraging!

    thanks, Jessica! :)

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  7. Kimberley - hope you're enjoying cooler temps right now. The latest heat wave has broken here and no complaints from me! We need a breather.

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  8. This is so wonderful! I am in love with this dressing, can not wait to make it. I agree, it is a very dreamy shade of green ;)
    It's in the triple digits here in Phx. so I'm not turning on my stove again till October!

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  9. Stay cool, Healthy Mamma - wowee, triple digits already, I can only imagine!

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  10. Love this fresh and seasonal recipe! It is so colourful and inviting!

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  11. thanks, Maria! I am loving all the colors going on at the markets right now.

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  12. Aaahhh. Your new layout is wonderful and this recipe has revved up my cooking mojo. Arugula is bulging out of my fridge, so ... I'm going to try this with gently thawed frozen berries. Many thanks.

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