Heirloom Recipes 07. Fanny Singer's Summer Salad


Sustenance

19 - 08 - 22

It could be tricky to separate author Fanny Singer from her mother, renowned chef Alice Waters, founder of restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. But the two have found a way to exisit symbiotically; one ready to make, and one there to observe.

So, what does one absorb when they are guided through their years by Alice Waters? When it comes to cooking, Fanny echoes her mother’s values, reminding us that when you’re working with vibrant, organic produce, you don’t need to do much.

Inside her book Always Home, a memoir about her experiences around Waters’ pioneering eating establishment, Fanny dedicates an entire chapter to her love of salad – a direct effect of her family’s own eating habits. Her recipe below Summer Salad puts the creator in charge, giving ideas over facts, suggestions over absolutes, because, as Fanny says, salad is such a forgiving vehicle that can morph and adapt depending on one’s preferences to flavour and bite.

Images by: Greta van der Star

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS


4 bunches of Little Gems salad
1 large ripe yellow peach
1 ear of fresh sweet corn, kernels removed from cob
1/2 cup Sungold cherry tomatoes, halved (red cherry tomatoes work too)
1 firm fresh clove of garlic
1 lemon
1/8 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
2 sprigs tarragon
2 sprigs basil
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs cilantro
2 large leaves shiso chiffonaded (optional)
Edible flowers: fennel, butterfly mint, nasturtiums, calendula petals, etc.


Fanny Singer H2
Fanny Singer4

Salad is the cornerstone of our family's table — we eat salad at least twice a day, and often have a handful of leaves at breakfast too. We're obsessed with roughage, what can I say?

I first learned to make salad dressing when I was little, from my mom. She'd ask me to fetch a mortar and pestle and we would make the pounded, garlicky dressing together — always fresh, daily, and always within a few hours of dressing our leaves. This pounded garlic dressing remains a staple in my kitchen, and I like to adapt it with whatever vinegars (Banyuls, rice, red wine, champagne, flavored vinegars from Tart, etc.) or fruit acids (lemon or lime juice), mustards, miso, or other condiments that seem right for the contents of the salad I'm making.

When putting together a leafy, fruit and vegetable-filled salad, I like to keep things on the bright, citrusy side, so that the ingredients clearly shine through, but I firmly believe in "tasting and tweaking" — everyone has different likes and tolerances when it comes to acid and garlic; make your salad dressing your own.

— Fanny Singer

"Salad is the cornerstone of our family's table — we eat salad at least twice a day, and often have a handful of leaves at breakfast too. We're obsessed with roughage, what can I say?"

Fanny Singer H

METHOD

[See ingredients in left tab]

Start by cutting the gems in quarter wedges lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Wrap in a cloth towel and place in the fridge until ready to assemble the salad.

Pound the clove of garlic and a big pinch of salt in the mortar & pestle until pulverized and translucent. Add the zest of the lemon, a big squeeze of its juice and the champagne or white wine vinegar. Allow to sit and macerate for a few minutes while you remove the corn kernels from the cob with a sharp knife and slice the tomatoes in half through their stem scars. Whisk the mustard into the acid and then add olive oil whisking to emulsify. You'll want about 2 parts oil to 1 part acid. Add a few grinds of fresh black pepper, taste and adjust to your palate.

Remove the gem wedges from the fridge and place them in a salad bowl. Remove the leaves of all the herbs from their stems and chop to a medium size or tear them with your hands roughly and add them to the bowl. You can use all the herbs, or just a couple — whatever you like, really. Pour over 1/4 cup of the dressing and use your hands to toss, making sure the leaves are well-coated (you may need more dressing, but it's always easier to add than subtract). Leftover dressing will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days in a tight jar.

Arrange the dressed wedges nicely in the bowl. Wash, dry and slice your peach in crescents and arrange the slices nestled among the leaves. Scatter over the fresh corn and cherry tomatoes. Lastly, if using flowers, toss them over like confetti.

Serve immediately!

To make any salad, however simple, I always use the Permanent Collection mortar and pestle to pound a clove of garlic with salt to make the savory base. I make this bright and citrusy vinaigrette almost daily, and toss it with whatever seasonal greens and produce is available. I always prefer serving salad in a beautiful wood salad bowl along with wood salad servers — I like the warmth in contrast with the verdant ingredients. I love to garnish with all kinds of edible flowers.

Fanny Singer5
Fanny Singer EDM Hero
Fanny Singer7

Sans Journal

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS


4 bunches of Little Gems salad
1 large ripe yellow peach
1 ear of fresh sweet corn, kernels removed from cob
1/2 cup Sungold cherry tomatoes, halved (red cherry tomatoes work too)
1 firm fresh clove of garlic
1 lemon
1/8 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
2 sprigs tarragon
2 sprigs basil
2 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs cilantro
2 large leaves shiso chiffonaded (optional)
Edible flowers: fennel, butterfly mint, nasturtiums, calendula petals, etc.


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