Remember back in 2007 when The Times’ ran Mark Bittman’s Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less? That was such a fun one. About this time of year every year, I think about that article, and though the truth is that I never don’t want to cook and never don’t want to turn on the oven, I do love a meal that comes together quickly.
This is the no-cook meal I’ve been making often the past few weeks: CSA greens* + anything else from the farm share I can slice thinly and eat raw (radishes, turnips, scallions, herbs) + tuna (Toninno Tuna is particularly good—pricey, but good) + shallot vinaigrette + avocado (super not local, but so good). This salad comes together in no time—as the shallots macerate in the vinegar for the dressing, you can prep everything else: slice the radishes, turnips, scallions, etc. With a hunk of bread on the side, the meal is complete.
I hope you all are enjoying a nice weekend. It’s been a strange few months here in upstate New York — as though we skipped spring and plunged right into summer — but I couldn’t be happier the sun has finally arrived.
PPS: ALL the CSA recipes.
I love the early summer CSA deliveries, which often include lots of delicate lettuces: mixed greens, arugula, tatsoi, all of which are so tasty on their own. For these tender greens, there is no better dressing, I think, than a simple shallot vinaigrette.
To make a large-batch shallot vinaigrette, use these proportions:
- 3 to 4 shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup white balsamic vinegar, my preference is Colavita
- 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, my preference is California Olive Ranch
- 1/4 cup finely minced shallots
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar, I like Colavita brand
- 2 pinches salt
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar, optional
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
In a small bowl, combine the shallots, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk in olive oil. Taste. Adjust seasoning with more salt if necessary or more oil for a little less bite. Store in a glass jar. Shake well before using.
- Category: Dressing
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: American, French
Keywords: dressing, salad, shallot, vinegar, balsamic
Use this recipe as a guide. I find the shallot vinaigrette (recipe above) to be the dressing I turn to over and over again, but use any dressing you like. My CSA has been abounding with greens, scallions, radishes, turnips, and herbs, and I’ve been chopping them all up and throwing them in a bowl with an avocado, the shallot vinaigrette, and a jar of tuna. As I noted above, I really like the Toninno tuna, which is pricey, but very tasty.
- radishes, thinly sliced
- turnips, thinly sliced
- snow peas, snap peas, or celery, membrane removed (see video), thinly sliced
- scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 jar of tuna (6.7 oz), see notes above, drained
- shallot vinaigrette, recipe above
- fresh cracked pepper
Place the greens, radishes, turnips, snow peas, scallions, and tuna in a large bowl. Pour over vinaigrette to taste. Crack pepper to taste over top. Toss gently and serve.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Toss
- Cuisine: American, French
Keywords: salad, tuna, shallot, vinaigrette, avocado, radish, turnip