It’s springtime, despite the snow falling outside and the ice on the windshield. At least, I want spring to be here. While stores may be out of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, I did notice an abundance of fresh herbs at my local grocery store. I stocked up on chives, cilantro, parsley and lots of dill. It seems as good as time as any to whip up a big green salad, whether it be to bring you closer to the freshness and new life that comes with the beginning of spring or to boost immunity during the current global pandemic.
My latest cooking inspiration has been Alison Roman, the New York Times food columnist and author of “Dining In” and “Nothing Fancy.” Her recipes are approachable and accessible, which is essential for cooking in an Alaska kitchen where certain ingredients can be a challenge to find. I got her newest cookbook, “Nothing Fancy,” for Christmas and I’ve been cooking my way through its pages. She has a non-recipe, an anecdote basically, about the best salads she’s ever eaten. They are always herby and always simple. She recommends an almost 50/50 ratio for greens to herbs.
I tried my hand at making my own perfect herby salad. I grabbed a selection of baby spinach, rainbow chard and kale, and tossed the greens with a very generous portion of roughly chopped herbs. You can make your perfect salad too, with your preferred greens and herbs. Here’s a general how-to, inspired by Roman’s perfectly herby salad.
Perfectly Herby Salad
4 to 5 cups of your favorite greens (kale, spinach, rainbow chard or mustard greens are good options)
2 to 3 cups of your favorite herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley, basil, chives or mint work great)
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1. Roughly chop all the greens and herbs. Toss together in a large bowl.
2. Squeeze lemon juice over the pile and toss to make sure all of the greens are coated. Add salt and pepper to taste, a few pinches or so.
3. Drizzle oil onto salad and toss to coat evenly. Pick some greens out to taste for lemon, salt and oil. Add more accordingly. Enjoy while watching the snowfall outside, knowing warm sunny days are ahead.