Nasturtium-Dressed Baby Greens
|4 C.||mixed baby greens (shown here are green and red lettuces, shungiku, mustard greens, kale and mache), loosely packed|
|1/2 C.||nasturtium leaves (loosely packed) for vinegar|
|2 C.||nasturtium flowers (loosely packed) for oil|
|4||flowers for garnish|
|1 C.||extra virgin olive oil|
|1 C.||white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar|
In the Nasturtium story in issue 60, we talked about this versatile, cheerful plant and how to design with it and keep it looking its best. Now, for another way to enjoy this tasty annual, here is a delicious recipe from Cathy Wilkinson Barash, author of Edible Flowers: From Garden to Palate.
- Using one cup of greens per person, build the salad as a “pyramid” at the center of each plate. Be sure the plate is large enough to artfully add the dressing around the greens.
- In a food processor or blender, whiz the nasturtium leaves in white vinegar until the vinegar becomes reen. Empty vinegar into a small bowl. Wipe out the processor (not necessry to thoroughly clean after vinegar) and then do the flowers and oil.
- Process the nasturtium flowers with olive oil until it becomes an orange emulsion.
- Using a spoon, drizzle the oil and then the vinegar over and around the greens. Have fun making swirly patterns.
- Garnish with nasturtiums or other edible flowers (yellow flowers are shown in photo).
- Serve immediately; otherwise the blended nasturtium will begin to separate from the vinegar and oil.
Note: The first three steps can be done ahead of time. Make as much of the vinegar and oil as you want. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Shake well before using to reblend the nasturtiums with the vinegar and oil.
The secrets to making this elegant presentation are:
Use a mixture of leaves with different colors and shapes, yet the same size. It’s more aesthetically pleasing to have them similar size. If it were a regular tossed salad, it wouldn’t matter so much, but with a “placed” salad, similar sizes work best.
So you can see the drizzle, use a clear glass plate if you’re using a white tablecloth; otherwise prepare it on a plain white plate.