By Brooke Marshall
It’s heating up outside, so this week I decided to cool things down with a chopped salad. Produce is starting to pour into the market and I couldn’t resist the peas and broccoli we’re seeing for the first time this market season. I also picked up some beets and cucumbers to round things out. This salad required a little prep in terms of cooking some of the veggies first, but you can do this a day ahead or on the weekend and have everything ready for salads all week.
CHOPPED MARKET SALAD
- 2 heads of lettuce
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 2 quarts of hull peas
- 1 bunch of beets
- 2 cucumbers
- chopped dill
- salt and pepper
- pepitas or sunflower seeds (optional)
- ranch or blue cheese dressing
- Roast the beets – Preheat the oven to 350° Remove beet stems and clean beets with a brush. Make a packet out of aluminum foil and place clean beets in the packet. Put the packet on a cookie sheet and roast for an hour or until the beets are tender. Let the beets cool down a bit. Then peel them. The skin should come off very easily. I used my fingers to peel the skin off after roasting. Set aside or store the beets in the refrigerator if you’re cooking these ahead.
- Blanch the peas – Hull the peas and get set up for blanching. Get a pot of water boiling, fill a bowl with ice and water, and line a large baking sheet with kitchen or paper towels. Put half the hulled peas into a fine-mesh strainer. Once the water is boiling, immerse the peas in the strainer into the pot of boiling water making sure the peas are covered completely. Keep them in the water for 90 seconds. Remove the peas and put them into the ice-water bath. Once the peas are completely cooled, pour them out of the strainer onto the towels to dry. Add more ice to the ice-water bath and repeat with second half of peas. When the peas are dry-ish, set them aside or store them in the refrigerator until they’re ready to be used.
- Blanch the broccoli – Cut the broccoli into florets. Blanch the florets in two batches using the same method as used for the peas. You can use the same water you used to blanch the peas and the same ice-water bath, as long as you continue to add more ice.
- Chop the lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, and dill. Combine all of the chopped ingredients in a salad bowl with the peas. Season with salt and pepper. Then top with pepitas or sunflower seeds if you’d like. Dress with a creamy dressing, like ranch or blue cheese.
Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.