I’m pretty happy these days. Warm summer days just do something to my body. This is my first summer in LA after moving here from NYC in the fall. I’ve been hitting up the Hollywood Farmer’s Market on the weekends and just marveling at the explosion of produce going on over there. Rows upon rows of fresh greens, summer squash, corn and artichokes. Baskets and milk crates full of tomatoes and peppers. Tables overflowing with peaches, plums, nectarines, and every available cross-breed and hybrid of those. It’s hard, as a chef, not to let my mind fill up with ideas for classic green salads, pastas, drinks, everything.
My home garden has been coming along too. It has been an all out war against bugs, fungus, super-high temps and 2 broken hoses, but I think I am getting it under control. My greens and herbs are doing the best, so I snipped a bunch of those and added them to the red and green little gem lettuce I picked up at the market. I also harvested my first cucumber! I thought that the vine as barely making it and I pulled back a leaf one day to discover a cucumber. The joys of gardening.
This salad represents this exact moment in the summer. The best of the market, and of my garden. And ricotta, because it’s awesome. I could easily see the ricotta substituted for some amazing marinated feta.
How to Make a Classic Green Salad
Classic Green Salad
- Bowl, whisk
- 1/2 cup English peas
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic grated
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 6-7 cups fresh green lettuces any type (I used little gem, red and green)
- 1 cup fresh herbs chives cut in 1" sections, chervil, parsley, red veined sorrel, mint
- 2 Persian cucumbers sliced
- 1 cup ricotta
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil with 1 Tbsp salt. Add peas and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, then dunk into ice water. This step may seem extra AF but it is the easiest way to cook peas while preserving their freshness and color. Drain and dry.
- In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, zest, mustard, garlic, olive oil and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Toss with greens, herbs, cucumbers and peas.
- Divide ricotta on to 2 large plates and spread into an even layer. Top the ricotta with salad. Season with flaky sea salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.