Root-To-Leaf Chopped Salad with Spring Onion Dressing

Each Saturday, the sidewalks come to life as neighbors scurry by with empty shopping bags headed toward the Morningside Farmer’s Market located in the parking lot adjacent to the newly opened Morningside Kitchen on North Highland Avenue.

On this brisk Saturday, offerings included a variety of seasonal greens, carrots, spring onions, asparagus, beautiful strawberries and fresh meat products from Market regulars Crystal Organic Farm, Burge Organic Farm, Moon Organics, Grateful Pastures, and Riverview Farms. Market customers enjoyed hot coffee from Café Campesino and a nice selection of fresh breads and pastries from La Calavera Bakery.

A large crowd gathered for the first chef demo of the season by Steven Satterfield, Executive chef and co-owner of Miller Union restaurant and Author of “Root To Leaf.” Chef began his cooking demonstration featuring fresh greens of all sorts and root vegetables including radishes, baby beets and carrots chosen from market merchants mere moments before.

Chef Steven hand washed all greens, spinning them dry in a salad spinner. He was very focused as he finely chopped a wide selection of greens like kale, chard, arugula and the tops of carrots, beets, hakurei turnips, radishes. The root vegetables were very thinly sliced on a mandolin and added to the salad. He chatted with spectators about vegetables, his award-winning cookbook, and explained the nuances of the various vinegars used in his spring onion dressing. As you can see from the recipe, the dressing is quite complex with many layers of flavors that bring out the exceptional flavors of the fresh greens.

The dressing is made in two parts and then combined. The dressing base is a mixture of a few specialty vinegars with spring onion, honey and extra virgin olive oil. There is an herbal walnut pesto that is then stirred into the dressing base which adds a complexity and nuttiness to this salad.
Dressing base:
1 spring onion, sliced
1 tablespoons grain mustard
1/2 cup verjus
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup banyuls vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil

Combine all and pulse lightly in blender or food processor to fully mix.

Walnut pesto:
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup walnut oil
Zest of half of an orange
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup basil
1 sprig thyme, leaves only
Pinch maldon sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Toast walnuts in walnut oil on 300°F for 8 minutes. Allow to cool. Gather the rest of the ingredients while the nuts are cooling. Combine all in food processor and puree until well-combined. Then combine the dressing base and the walnut pesto and whisk together until incorporated. Taste for seasoning.

To dress the salad, Chef Steven recommends pouring the dressing along the side of the bowl of chopped greens and tossing the salad by hand to ensure that all ingredients are fully coated.