Wild Berry, Mizuna and Smoked Trout Salad
Yesterday’s early morning trip to the farmer’s market bore no direction or plans for dinner with a corresponding list. For the first time in a long while, my eyes and nose were the sole decision makers as I was shopping. My haul:
One package “wild berries”
One bag of mizuna greens
One head of red leaf lettuce
One fuji apple
Baby zucchini, purchased because the same vendor a month ago was selling the predecessors to these zucchini in the form of squash blossoms some of which I used here, prompting the bright idea to follow and cook this vegetable through its growth cycle
One handful of sugar snap peas
One German pastry, of the cream cheese and strawberry variety
One bunch fresh flowers
In the office, I carved out community refrigerator space, set up my flowers in a vase and victoriously ate one German pastry and an apple. At home, I made a salad and stumbled upon a new favorite flavor combination that will stay with me for a while. Dear readers, I present to you the combination of sweet berries, peppery greens and smoked trout. New favorite picnic salad.
Why didn’t I fully realize before now the flavor combination of spicy greens and berries was such a brilliant one? Probably because I always shop with a list in hand, and those two things have never been planned onto the same list.
Also, perhaps because I have never run into a package of wild strawberries before. Turns out packages of wild strawberries are like boxes of free kittens. You cannot see them and not come home with one.
The salad is bright, fresh, and smoky. What’s not to love?
Farmer’s Market Salad
Burwell General Store
Equipment: a pulse, and an empty stomach
This is my favorite kind of recipe. It involves handfuls of things.
Two cups of red leaf lettuce, about five smaller leaves, torn
About a cup and a half of mizuna greens, or arugula
One small handful of wild berries, or chopped strawberries, about 1/4 cup
A couple raw sugar snap peas, chopped
About one Tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese
About a third of a cup of smoked trout or salmon (leftover from the day before)
A few turns of black pepper
About two Tablespoons of lemon juice
Wash and pat dry greens and berries, toss fish in lemon juice, assemble greens, top with fish, squeeze remaining lemon juice to taste over the salad, and eat with a loved one. I thought to put a little olive oil in but I am glad I didn’t. I think olive oil would have bullied the greens right out of the bowl
I don’t want to be flip about having access to amazing year-round growing seasons while the rest of the country is still shivering cold, but wherever we are, we are not far from a farmer who would love to tell us what’s in their backyard garden. Perhaps our next surprise is right around the corner from us. Drop the list, and go meet someone new!