This is my first time participating in the Paper Chef event, so like an idiot, I misread the instructions a little. I’ll explain about that a little later. Paper Chef #22 – Slow Edition, hosted by Tomatilla, asks us to create a dish out of the featured ingredients, a la Iron Chef. For an amateur like me, it’s a daunting task. While I’m great at following recipes, and even winging it from time to time, creativity isn’t really my forte (at least not yet). To take four random ingredients and create a dish that tastes good? Wow, tall order. OK – here’s where I screwed up. I misread the instructions to read that we had to use at least three of the four ingredients listed. Oops, I left out one. My solution to that small problem is below, although it isn’t in the picture.
This months four ingredients were quite diverse – barberries (never heard of them, but luckily we were able to substitute another berry), pumpkin, spinach (good luck, I still haven’t found any fresh locally – but again, we were able to substitute any green), and slow.
Excuse the bluriness of the picture, my camera wasn’t quite cooperating with me with this salad, for some reason. This salad is inspired by the mixed baby greens salad at Pastaria at the North Market, and the dressing for the salad was based in part on Emeril’s Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette – I like my dressing sweeter than the recipe calls for, so I used 4 tablespoons of brown sugar rather than 2 teaspoons.
To make the salad, toss baby greens (there’s ingredient #1), with thinly sliced onions, goat cheese, blueberries (ingredient #2), and top it with the balsamic vinaigrette (ingredient #3 – qualifies as slow because it’s aged balsamic, and also because you have to incorporate the oil slowly so it emulsifies the dressing). As I mentioned, I forgot #4 – but I’d incorporate it by tossing some salted pumpkin seeds into the mix for a little crunch.
So there you have it – a salad. Simple, but effective. If you’d like to make it more like Pastaria’s version, you can also add a handful of golden raisins as well.