This salad is an excellent way to showcase and enjoy some of the first produce of spring, now available at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market. The pickled rhubarb adds a huge flavour element to the salad, along with some great colour. The tender greens (kale and sorrel) have a delicate flavour and texture so it’s important not to overdress them when using in a salad. If you haven’t tried sorrel before, you’re in for a treat; it’s got a slightly tart, almost citrusy taste. Some people find it too strongly flavoured to enjoy on its own so combining it with other greens in a salad is an ideal way to enjoy it. Don’t skip the fresh breadcrumb garnish – the crunch it adds is worth the extra step. This salad is the first thing I made when I received a basket full of goodness from the OFM as part of this spring’s Farmers’ Feast challenge.
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) Acorn Creek sweet black currant vinegar *
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) kosher salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) cut rhubarb (in 1/4 inch or 65 mm pieces)
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of ginger, cut in thin slices
* or ½ cup / 125 mL raspberry wine vinegar plus 3 tablespoons / 45 mL white sugar
- Put vinegar and salt (and sugar, if using raspberry wine vinegar) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Put rhubarb and ginger in a heatproof bowl or jar and pour hot brine over top.
- Cover and let come to room temperature, then refrigerate.
- You should let the pickles steep for at least four hours before eating.
- Drain before eating but do not discard the brine – you can use it in sauces, dressings, cocktails or even drizzle it over ice cream.
- 1 bunch kale (4 cups / 1 L chopped)
- 1 cup (250 mL) sorrel leaves
- 1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced cucumber
- 1 cup (250 mL) pickled rhubarb, drained (reserve liquid)
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) pickling liquid from rhubarb
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) sunflower or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) Dijon
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chèvre, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh bread crumbs, preferably sourdough
- Wash kale, massaging well while leaves are under water (this tenderizes them). Cut or tear kale into bite-sized pieces, discarding tough stems. Measure out four cups (1 L) of kale.
- Wash sorrel leaves gently and pat dry.
- Put kale, sorrel and cucumber in a serving bowl.
- Make dressing by putting rhubarb pickling liquid, oil, Dijon, salt and pepper in small jar with a tight lid. Shake well to combine.
- Drizzle dressing over greens and toss gently.
- Sprinkle pickled rhubarb and chèvre over greens.
- In a small heavy pot (a cast iron frying pan is ideal), melt butter over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook until golden brown, 2 – 3 minutes. Sprinkle over salad and serve immediately.