Ring the bell, it’s locavore lunch time! We’ve shopped our way through our nearby farmers’ market and picked up ingredients to make an entirely local lunch.
Locavore Lunch: Semi-Niçoise Salad
Recipe and photos by Carly Browning
It may be cold outside, but it’s warm and cozy inside the Ithaca Winter Farmers’ Market. This week, I was drawn to the French country side. Niçoise Salad is traditionally made with tomatoes, tuna, green beans, potatoes and eggs—but some of that isn’t in season. And I’m not sure Cayuga Lake has a large tuna population… or any, for that matter. Here’s my Ithaca Winter Local Niçoise Salad! Anything in the recipe can be found at the Farmers’ Market with the exception of the spices, which can be found at the Greenstar co-op.
For this recipe, pick and choose which ingredients you like best and put more of those in! I love sunchokes, so my salad is full of those. The dressing makes more than enough; be sure to save some! It makes a wonderful marinade as well. I used only what I could find one Saturday in February when I happened to be at the market. Send us your variations!
For the Salad*:1-2 sunchokes 1-2 potatoes 2 hardboiled eggs Kale Olive oil 1 handful of red mix sprouts from Dancing Turtle Crooked Carrot Dilly Beans
For the Dressing:1 cup olive oil 1/4 cup white vinegar 1/4 cup cider vinegar 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 large garlic clove 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder 1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper spice salt & pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350º.
Peel sunchokes and potatoes and cut into cubes. Sunchokes can be frustrating to peel, but unless you love fibrous veggie skin, you’ll definitely want them naked. Place the sunchokes into a pan and lightly cover them with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Set a timer for 50 minutes. Cook the sunchokes for 20 minutes, then add the potatoes and continue to cook for the remaining 30 minutes. Once removed, place them uncovered in the refrigerator until cool. While those are in the oven, bring a medium pot of water to a boil on the stove. When it is boiling, place your eggs in. Set a timer for 12 minutes. When the timer is finished, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water. Peel and place in the fridge until you’re ready.
Next, it’s time to massage the kale. Massaging kale breaks down the fibers making it softer and delicious (not that it isn’t already!) To massage the kale, place a bit of olive oil on your fingers and rub the leaves together between them. If you aren’t one for massaging your veggies, you can place the kale in a bowl covered in olive oil overnight to achieve the same effect.
Combine the rest of the ingredients (the sprouts and beans) into a large bowl with the kale, hard boiled eggs, potatoes and sunchokes. I recommend going light on the Dilly Beast green beans. They have a flavor all their own and could be a bit intense for those with a lighter palate.
Make the dressing: Combine the olive oil, both vinegars, mustard and garlic into a medium size bowl or blender. I used an immersion blender stick, but a blender works just as well. Blend until the color takes on a creamy yellow. Whisk in the remaining spices and salt and pepper to taste. A medium sized salad needs only about 1/4 of a cup of dressing, it is strong!
*Want to bring this to work? Try the way I pictured it, in a mason jar! The trick to this kind of salad is all about the order. Put your dressing in first (about 1/4 cup) then put in the wet ingredients (green beans, potatoes, sunchokes), followed by the sprouts and finally put the kale on top! The order keeps the greens from getting soggy and protects all your ingredients. When you’re ready to eat, simply pour into a bowl and mix it up!
Carly Browning is a senior at Ithaca College and the writing intern for Edible Finger Lakes.