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Summery Salad

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By Susan Rosser

A few years ago, I read a piece in the New Yorker magazine entitled “It’s Time to Admit that Iceberg is a Superior Lettuce” by Helen Rosner. Iceberg does get a bad rap and, as Ms. Rosner points out, “has never quite managed to secure a place in the gourmet pantry.” I love iceberg because it holds its own when doused with a robust dressing —not to mention the cruch. Here, I have topped it with blanched vegetables, blue cheese and a tangy green-goddess-inspired dressing for a crisp summer salad.

FOR THE DRESSING

1 5.3-ounce container of Greek yogurt (see note)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno (optional for kick)
2 scallions
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

FOR THE SALAD

1 head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced diagonally into bite
sized pieces
2 cups snap peas or snow pea pods, into bite sized pieces
5-6 radishes, sliced
3-4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

PREPARATION

To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine and then run until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water, and a little kosher salt.To make the salad, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2-3 tablespoons of salt.

Add the asparagus and cook for about 1 minute, until bright green. Remove the asparagus with a spider or slotted spoon and place in the ice bath.

Add the snow peas to the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and place in the ice bath.Arrange the iceberg on a large platter or salad bowl. Sprinkle the vegetables on top. Top with the crumbled blue cheese. Serve with the green goddess dressing on the side.

Note: You can substitute mayonnaise or sour cream for the yogurt. Or you can use half mayo, half yogurt. You can also use any green vegetables you like.

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Susan Rosser
Author: Susan Rosser

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