Scanty spuds stretch winter greens into salad

It can be a blessing to split a CSA share with another household, as I observed in the last post to this blog. In our case, it makes the task of cooking and consuming so much farm-fresh produce a bit less daunting.

But some items, such as potatoes, don’t go far enough when divvied up. After my mother-in-law took her portion of both red potatoes and French fingerlings from Runnymede Farm’s recent deliveries, the remaining spuds wouldn’t make much of a side dish on their own. While I could roast them with other veggies, that treatment didn’t seem appropriate.

Then I spied this salad that could marry the massaged kale concept and just-boiled potatoes. Throw in a few brined olives, and the dish starts to resemble Salade Nicoise, one of my favorite summertime specialties with the garden’s new potatoes and green beans.

I say kale because that’s what came in the farm box, although I prefer collards, which this Washington Post recipe specifies. But CSAs, as I’ve often opined (and now am learning first-hand) often test a cook’s flexibility.

The chickpeas make this salad appropriate for a main dish, albeit a light one in deference to healthier eating habits in the new year.

Photo for The Washington Post by Deb Lindsey

Collard Green, Potato and Chickpea Salad With Spiced Lemon Dressing

Kosher salt, as needed

1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed well

1 bunch collard greens (about 1 pound)

5 pitted oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1/2 teaspoon caraway seed

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup cooked or canned, no-salt-added chickpeas

1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves, for garnish

Freshly cracked black pepper

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add a generous pinch of the kosher salt, then add the potatoes. Reduce heat to medium; cook uncovered just until potatoes can be easily pierced with sharp tip of a knife, for about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.

Cut ribs from the collards by slicing along both sides of stalk from top of leaf to stem end; discard or reserve ribs for another use. Stack halved leaves and cut them into thin ribbons. Rinse in a bowl of cool water, spin dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the chopped olives.

If your collards are not particularly tender, blanch or steam them first, just until tender, then drain them thoroughly before tossing with dressing.

Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the cumin and caraway seeds; cook for about 3 minutes, until lightly toasted and fragrant. Let cool for 5 minutes, then grind to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a small bowl and add the crushed red pepper flakes (to taste). Spices can be toasted and ground 3 days in advance and held in an airtight container at room temperature.

Use same mortar and pestle to reduce the garlic to a paste. Add the lemon juice and the 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt; mix until salt has dissolved. Transfer to a bowl; slowly whisk in the oil to form an emulsified dressing.

Once potatoes are cool, cut them into bite-size chunks. Add to bowl, along with the drained chickpeas. Cooked potatoes and chickpeas can be dressed and refrigerated 2 days in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.

Add 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of dressing to bowl of collards and olives; use your hands to toss gently until well incorporated. Pour remaining dressing over potatoes and chickpeas, along with remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Use a spatula to fold it in until well-coated.

To serve, scatter potatoes and chickpeas over bottom of each plate. Mound collard-olive mixture on top, and garnish with cilantro leaves. Season lightly with the black pepper. Serve right away.

Makes 2 to 4 servings (4 appetizer or side-dish servings or 2 main-course servings).

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • Blog Author

    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives