June Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
It’s about time for some health food around here. The past several posts have all be scrumptious sugary goodness…and now my teeth are starting to hurt just a little bit and the thighs have really taken advantage of the “situation”. Good thing I’m working up a serious sweat every day in my gardening gig. My garden is growing gold these days. I’m harvesting beets, carrots, lettuce, all sorts of herbs, broccoli, swiss chard, and young mustard greens. But my two favorites have to be the kohlrabi and sugar snap peas.
I had a friend recently tell me he’d never even seen a kohlrabi before, let alone eaten it. Of course I made him try it offered him one to eat as soon as they came into season (about a month ago). But before he would take a bite, he wanted to know what it tasted like. I always have such a tough time with that question. Kohlrabi tastes like…um, well, sorta like broccoli. Yep. And sorta like a mild radish. Okay. And maybe even a little like an apple. What?? Well, that’s just my take on it anyway. It’s definitely very crunchy and when it’s peeled, it looks like the white crisp flesh of an apple. There is a mild sweetness to mine, but I’ve had other people tell me that’s not always the case with kohlrabi. Another friend who overheard me trying to describe this to my kohlrabi-virgin friend declared it was just like eating a giant broccoli stem. Hmmm, perhaps, though I like to give this alien-looking vegetable more credit than that.
I do believe my friend liked the kohlrabi, by the way. And I know for sure he and everyone else who’s visited my garden as of late loved these sugar snap peas. I can only tell you that if you’ve never had a sugar snap pea plucked straight off the vine and popped directly into your mouth, pod and all, then you’ve been denied one of life’s most delicious experiences. Don’t even kid yourself if you are thinking right now, “Well, maybe I haven’t been there to pick them myself, but I’ve surely had the same great taste from the fresh peas I buy at the farmers market”. Peas are the one vegetable everyone should try to grow themselves as they are never quite as good as they are those few precious minutes after they’ve been picked. Really, mine rarely make it into the kitchen as I inevitably eat them standing before the vine, dirt in the crack of my hands to boot, about mid-way through my evening of gardening when my tummy reminds me I never made it into the house to have some dinner. Obviously I made an exception to make this salad. Talk about practicing self-control!
So, you see, when I think of the month of June, which is shockingly about to pass us by, and what I love most to eat in this month that bridges spring and summer harvests, a salad of peas, kohlrabi, radishes and even a few strawberries tossed with a homemade buttermilk dressing is just about the epitome of fresh crisp eating straight from the garden/farm. What always surprises me the most is how delicious something so healthy can be. If sugar snap peas were in season all year long here, I might finally give up my addiction to chocolate! They’re just that good.
June Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
A Straight from the Farm Original
1/2 C. buttermilk, shaken up
2 T. mayonnaise
2 T. cider vinegar
2 T. minced shallot
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
3 t. finely chopped herbs (oregano, chives, thyme)
1 lb. fresh sugar snap peas
1 large kohlrabi, peeled
4 large radishes
5 or 6 large strawberries
Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, shallot, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until sugar has dissolved, then whisk in herbs. Refridgerate for 30 minutes to overnight.
Wash all vegetables and berries, dry, and cut into small pieces. Toss together chopped vegetables in a bowl. Shake dressing up and pour over the salad, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with toppings as desired (croutons, bacon, cheese) and serve immediately.
(serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main)