Spring Luncheon

The secret is in the dressing.

Well, not really. The secret is a just-picked mix of lettuce and other greens such oak leaf-lettuce, Reine des Glaces, baby arugula, baby spinach, frisee, a few pea shoots, an asparagus or two (thinly sliced), sorrel, escarole, a smattering a baby mustard, flowering tips of kale and cabbage, a wee bit of anise hyssop & mint, and the very very last of the mache. To tell the truth, the baby arugula, baby spinach and baby mustard, are – truly! – thinnings: I sow the seeds too close, on purpose, knowing that I will harvest every other plant (several times) until the correct spacing is left for final crop to mature nicely. Meanwhile, the thinnings are big enough to make a real salad, and make a better use of preciopus real estate: no need to wait for that bed space to fill. Sow thickly & harvest with scissors.

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But a good dressing matters: at the bottom of the salad bowl, whisk one part balsamic vinegar of Modena & 3 parts extra virgin olive oil. Add the salad. Toss. Scatter a handful of Johnny-Jump-up flowers (Viola tricolor) on top so they can make faces at you. Needless to say the flowers have not received a drop of pesticide or herbicide…. only use edible organic flowers (and greens too of course) – in other words don’t expect to pick up a flat of pansies at the garden center and pluck the flowers for your salad. They are likely to have ben sprayed with stuff you do not want next to you plate – let alone swallow. Or grow some: they are some accommodating, so cheery and so daintily robust!

Take your prettiest chipped plate. Add a dollop of pork rillettes (French-style potted meat from pastured pork), a chunk of crusty homemade baguette and a large serving of salad. Sit down. Tuck in. That’s lunch!

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Note for locavore log: homemade bread, rillettes made with Rappahannock pork + garden herbs, all the greens and flowers from the garden.

9 comments

  1. El says:

    Do tell about your rillettes! Salad I have and pork in the freezer…maybe it’s time to experiment on this rainy day.

  2. Ed Bruske says:

    Gorgeous salad, Sylvie. We noticed Johnny-Jump-Ups growing out of a crack in the sidwalk yesterday. Our greens are not quite this far along though. Love the idea of the rillettes. Did you make them yourself? I would skip the bread–not eating grains any more.

  3. sylvie says:

    Ed – yes, i made the rillettes. Truly, easy.
    So thanks to the overwhelming popular demand (yeah, you too, El!), my next post will be on making rillettes. How about that for customer service?

  4. Jennifer Wheelock says:

    Yay! I was just going to post asking for your rillettes recipe.

    I love the look of the johnny jump ups in the salad. Do they taste good?

  5. Vanille says:

    Houra ! I also wanted the recipe for the rillettes !
    The salad is very pretty (specially with these tiny flowers) mais je vois que la rillette a tapĂ© dans l’oeil d’autres personnes aussi !…;)

  6. sylvie says:

    Jennifer, to tell you the truth they look prettier than they taste. The flavor is very faint – hardly noticeable, and you probably would not know you are eating them if you were doing it closing your eyes …. (violets, now that’s a little different…)

  7. Jennifer Wheelock says:

    Mmmmm. Sugared violets. . .I have a yard full of violets at the moment. Thanks for reminding me!

  8. Chelsea says:

    simple perfection!

  9. […] funny how some posts draw comments… and what for…Like my post on spring salads prompted requests for the recipe of the potted meat I served with […]

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