Springtime Salad for Dinner

Inspired by the arugula poking up from the planters on our roof, which then caused me to browse through “Salad for Dinner,” by my super-cool cousin-in-law Tasha DeSerio, I searched through my fridge and came up with a duo of springtime salads.

baby arugula
Baby arugula

The first was actually inspired by a recipe I read in Jerusalem, but I improvised a bit. The substance of the salad are 1/2 inch cubes of jicama (Jerusalem calls for kohlrabi) and sprigs of watercress. For a dressing, I whisked greek yogurt, cultured cream (you can use sour cream or just additional yogurt), lemon juice and one small clove of crushed garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Fold the jicama or kohlrabi into the dressing along with some fresh mint, sliced thin. Then add about 3/4 of a bunch of washed and dried watercress or arugula and gently toss. Mound the salad on a platter and garnish with a generous sprinkling of ground sumac (or leave out if you don’t have any) and the rest of the cress/arugula.

Jicama and watercress salad

The second was quite a mish mash of what I had in the fridge. I started with my fresh arugula and added:
– chopped romaine lettuce
– roasted beets
– pink pickled onions
– toasted pumpkin seeds
– sliced radishes
– diced carrots
– popped sorghum
– queso fresco “croutons” (dice and fry in a non-stick skillet until crispy on both sides)
– slices of medium boiled eggs (I like the yolks a little creamy)

I added a simple dressing of equal parts mustard and white wine vinegar, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Chef's salad with queso fresco croutons

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