A Farmers Market Salad

farmers market salad

You’d never know it from this blog, but at 9 (!!) months pregnant, I’m still cooking dinner just about every night. Photos, too, are still being taken on a fairly regular basis, though they don’t often make it to my Flickr stream until days after the fact. As for the blogging… well, after commuting and work and more commuting and dinner-making and possibly ice cream, I’m lucky if I can keep my eyes open to read a chapter or two before passing out for the night. And I’m generally okay with that.

But I really had to tell you about this salad.

Farmers market season is in full swing here in New England, and between Providence and Boston, we could hit a market just about every day if we wanted. Though Mike and I are no longer just a short walk away, we still frequent the big Saturday market at Lippitt Park, and when we’re there, our friend Lynn (hi Lynn!) makes sure we don’t leave without a big bunch of kale.

Now, I like kale, I really do, but I had darn near run out of new or interesting ways to prepare it until I found a folded up page in the middle of a stack of old papers to be shredded. It was a printed list of specials from one of our favorite old NYC haunts, and as my eyes scanned the list of ingredients for this salad, I knew that even though I had never actually eaten it at any of our many visits to Diner, I’d have to try to replicate it at home.

sweet corn, shucked

I started with the dressing – a splash of red wine vinegar, a pinch of coarse sea salt, the juice of half a lemon, and a palmful of chopped fresh cilantro leaves, whisked together with just enough of our best olive oil to bring it all together. I added slivers of red onion next, allowing them to steep for a bit to lose their sharpness, then I added the kale – half a bunch or so, torn into manageable bites, tossing it with the dressing until the leaves were well-coated. Next came some fresh sweet corn (an ear’s worth of kernels), a couple of ripe white peaches, sliced, and finally, a shower of salty, crumbled Narragansett Creamery feta. Let it sit for a minute or five, until the kale softens up a bit. Then eat.

We ate this alongside Mike’s delicious brick chicken, but the salad was the star – an unexpected combination of flavors that worked just beautifully together. We each had two bowls of it, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this right through the end of summer.

9 thoughts on “A Farmers Market Salad

  1. Christine says:

    That looks delicious! So glad to hear you’re feeling well. Can’t believe it’s almost time! So excited for you guys…

    Best wishes!

  2. A really delicious looking salad. Does the kale really soften though or does it go a bit soggy? I love cooked kale but not too keen on it raw.

  3. Jennifer Hess says:

    Thanks, all!

    Lisa, it does soften – not too much, and it definitely didn’t get soggy, just pleasantly tender, and still salad-like. Of all the raw kale salads I’ve played with recently, this one was definitely our favorite in terms of texture and flavor 🙂

  4. we love raw kale salads, too — haven’t yet made a summer one, mostly because it’s harder to find good kale this time of year. but we have some going in the fog-garden, so it might be time to harvest a little of it. 🙂

  5. heather says:

    Hi – first time commenter 🙂 I just had to write and say – I tried this salad last night and it was AMAZING!!!!! thanks so much for posting it !

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