Saladwithstrawberries

Salad Days: Cream on the Crop

VICTOR FISCHER | DREAMTIME.COM

Ireland Hopping | By Margaret M. Johnson

Once upon a time in Ireland — at least at the time I made my first trip in 1984 and even a decade later — a salad was not a salad as we know it today: think a few leaves of iceberg and a slice or two of tomato. Perfectly acceptable at the time, but three decades later you’ll find that no two salads are created equal. Sure, mixed greens can arrive with a simple dressing of oil and vinegar, but you’re more likely to see choices like these on current menus: Macroom bocconcini with black pepper strawberries, green tomato consommé, balsamic pearls and pine nuts (Hayfield Manor, Cork City); warm heritage tomatoes, pastrami, smoked bone marrow, and lovage (Eipic, Belfast); or Ballyhoura wild mushrooms with parmesan, smoked mozzarella, and baby spinach (Ballymore Inn, Kildare). Restaurant offerings to be sure, but during this salad season adding a few creamy toppings made with blue cheese, goat cheese, or buttermilk can give new meaning to a plate of romaine, arugula, spinach or endive at your next meal. Buy your favorite greens loose or in convenient 10-ounce bags.

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BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup cold water

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Cashel Blue brand, plus more for topping

Mixed greens


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, water, and pepper; stir in 1/2 cup blue cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  2. Toss mixed greens with dressing and sprinkle additional cheese on top.


BLUE CHEESE-CHIVE DRESSING

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped chives

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Cashel Blue brand, plus more for topping

Mixed greens or endive

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, for topping


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cream, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, chives, and pepper; stir in blue cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  2. Arrange mixed greens or endive on a serving plate, top with dressing, and sprinkle additional cheese and walnuts on top.


CREAMY CUCUMBER DRESSING

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

1 cup plain yogurt

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

1 garlic clove, peeled (optional)

Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Mixed greens


  1. Combine yogurt, cucumber, oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse 4 to 5 times, or until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  2. Toss mixed greens with dressing; serve immediately.


EVELYN THOMAS | DREAMSTIME.COM

CREAMY GOATS CHEESE DRESSING

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

1 (8 ounce) log goats cheese, such as St. Tola brand

1/4 cup crème fraîche

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon minced shallots

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mixed greens


  1. Combine goats cheese, crème fraîche, oil, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse 4 to 5 times, or until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  2. Toss mixed greens with dressing; serve immediately.


STRAWBERRY-BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mixed greens

1 cup whole strawberries

1 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 red onion, sliced (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, milk, poppy seeds, and vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  2. Combine mixed greens, strawberries, blueberries, and onion (if using) in a large bowl or on a plate and toss with half the dressing; pass additional dressing in a jug.


 

MONKEY BUSINESS | DREAMSTIME.COM

TOMATO SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK-HERB DRESSING

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1/2 cup sour cream or mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon each chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, dill, or chives

Mixed greens

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream or mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, Tabasco, salt, pepper, and herbs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

  2. Combine mixed greens and tomatoes in a large bowl and toss with half the dressing; pass additional dressing in a jug.


 

Margaret Johnson’s “Recipes” page expands this year to “Ireland Hopping: Adventures in Food, Drink, and Travel.” For further details on her work, or to order a signed cookbook, visit www.irishcook.com

 

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