Need a last-minute idea for tomorrow afternoon’s Fourth of July picnic? Look no further. After a day that started and ended with chocolate yesterday, we needed a good salad around here today. (I don’t mean that in a we-must-repent-with-salad way. I mean that in a let’s-have-more-cake-today-but-maybe-some-salad-too way.)
This one is a beaut. I think that my love for radishes has been well documented here, and when I saw this Smitten Kitchen recipe I was pretty sure that a radish-less version would be a pale imitation. But in a very unusual turn of events, my fridge is relatively bare (we were out of town for 10 days and I haven’t gone shopping yet). The only crunchy vegetables I could scare up were romaine lettuce, a yellow pepper, a few baby carrots, and a couple of green onions. Into the salad they went.
I toasted pepitas for more crunch, and because I was thinking of Barrio’s chopped salad, a place my mind often wanders in my wistful-for-salad moments. I piled on the one-two-three punch (is that a thing?) of feta, mint, and lime juice, which I copied from Deb and Deb copied from April Bloomfield. Genius. Do it.Summer Crunch Salad with Feta, Mint, and Lime: Thinly slice a big handful of romaine lettuce leaves and a couple of green onions, then finely dice a sweet pepper and a carrot. (Alternatively, chop up whatever crunchy vegetables you find in your own fridge or garden.) Stir in a couple handfuls of well-toasted pepitas, a crumbled chunk of feta, and a sprig’s worth of slivered mint leaves. Squeeze a juicy lime all over the salad, then drizzle with olive oil and a few good pinches each of salt and chile powder. Toss well and taste, adjusting the flavors as needed. The lime, mint, and salt flavors should all come through.
Note: If you are taking this salad to a party, as you surely will this summer, keep the feta, pepitas, and dressing separate until just before serving (otherwise the salt in the dressing and feta will soften your crunchy veggies and make them watery, which in turn will soften the pepitas).