This healthy, late-spring salad ushers in the sixth chapter of our Sous Chef Series in true farm-to-table fashion. At New York City's Blue Hill restaurant, chef de cuisine Trevor Kunk puts the region's peak-season ingredients into play in sophisticated preparations. Like his mentor, executive chef Dan Barber, Kunk artfully combines flavors and textures: Here, delicate mâche leaves are tucked alongside crunchy curried almonds, and shards of cheese lend a salty bite to warm asparagus and broccoli rabe. But the salad's secret star is the pickled shallot sprinkled throughout; its brilliant pink color pops in a sea of green, and the piquant flavor lends each bite an element of surprise.
Yield: 4 servings
1. In a saucepan, bring the shallots, red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and ¼ teaspoon pepper to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the mixture stand for 20 minutes. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the almonds with ¼ teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and toast for 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with ¼ teaspoon sugar and the curry powder. Transfer to paper towels and reserve.
3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Working with one vegetable at a time, blanch the asparagus, broccoli rabe, sugar snap peas and snow peas in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes each. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
4. Place the drained vegetables in a large bowl and add ½ teaspoon olive oil, the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, chives and pickled shallot mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, add the mâche and toss gently to coat.
5. Divide the salad among 4 plates and scatter the curried almonds between the vegetables. Sprinkle each salad with cheese and serve.Download This Recipe