I’ve long been an admirer of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks.  Keith and I finally had a chance to eat at one of his restaurants recently and the experience left us pledging to make more unique flavor combinations, especially when preparing salads.  Our market bag last Saturday consisted of mix lettuces and French breakfast radishes from Shooting Star Farm and a bundle of asparagus from Bures.  We also got invited to one of our first potlucks of the season.  Local produce and a party is always a great motivation to make something fun!

Spring Salad


The first step is to roast some sweet potatoes.  Cube 2 large sweet potatoes, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle it with a bit of salt and roast for 40 minutes in a 400 degree F oven.

The dressing takes a little bit of time but it is well worth it.  Keith made the yogurt but a good store bought whole milk yogurt will work well.

Yogurt Dressing


  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 t. mustard
  • 1 t. nigella seeds
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 1 T. sumac
  • 1 T. chopped chives
  • salt to taste

1. Gently roast the mustard, nigella, and juniper seeds in a pan on medium low heat until you can smell the spices (about 5 minutes). Grind after roasting and add it to the yogurt.

2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the thinly sliced garlic and anchovies into it.  Cook until the garlic is soft and the anchovies has melted into a paste.  Add this to the yogurt mixture.

3. Grind the black pepper and add to yogurt mixture.

4. Blend the mixture using an immersion blender or food processor to make it smooth.

5.  Gently spoon in the chopped chives into the smooth dressing.

6.  Add salt, to taste.

7. Place the dressing in a container and refrigerate.

French Radishes


Now it’s time to prepare the vegetables.

Choose a platter for serving the salad and place it in the freezer or refrigerator to cool.


  • tango lettuce (Shooting Star Farm)
  • French radish (Shooting Star Farm)
  • asparagus (Bures Berry Patch)
  • chive blossoms
  • 1/2 c. black walnuts

Gently roast the walnuts in a pan until you can smell it, roughly chop it, then set aside.  Clean and dry your veggies.  Make thin ribbons of asparagus and radish using a mandolin or a peeler or you can slice it however you like.  Take your platter out of the freezer/refrigerator and line it with the lettuce.  In a seperate bowl mix all of the veggies and walnuts with the dressing.  Use as little or as much as you like.  Place the dressed veggies atop the lettuce.  I saved a little bit of each veg to decorate the top.  The chive blossoms and the asparagus tops makes it look very festive.  A little dash of sumac on top and you are good to go.

Market Bouquet from Bures



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