By Janeen A. Sarlin
May is a month of celebration—from May Day and Mother’s Day to graduations and confirmations.
Warmer weather dictates a menu that’s light but satiating and still filling. Here are two salads that can work well together for a lunch or evening meal or as a delicious addition to a buffet dinner party menu.
The Sugar Snap And Snow Pea Salad With Petit Pois And Edamame is as refreshing as spring flowers.
Be sure to blanch the sugar snap and the snow peas only until they are crunch tender for the best results. This can be done early in the day and refrigerated along with the defrosted petit pois and edamame. Drizzle the dressing over the whole affair just before serving.
For the Springtime Curry Turkey Salad, begin two to three days before you plan to serve it.
The secret to moist poultry is to allow it to cool in the stock and refrigerate it overnight before preparing. Likewise, make it at least one day ahead so the flavors blend together for the best results.
Sugar Snap And Snow Pea Salad With Petit Pois And Edamame
16-ounce bag frozen extra fancy petit pois, defrosted
12-ounce bag frozen, shelled edamame, defrosted
35 fresh sugar snap peas
35 fresh snow peas
For the dressing:
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as necessary
1/2 medium red onion, diced small
1/2 bunch fresh dill, chopped
Large fistful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
12 fresh mint leaves, chopped
Fresh pea shoots, for garnish
Place the frozen petit pois and edamame in a colander and let stand to drain well.
With a very sharp paring knife, pull off the strings from both sides of the snow pea pods and sugar snap pea pods.
Blanch the sugar snap peas in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 30 to 40 seconds.
Add the snow peas and blanch until all pea pods are crunch tender, about 1 to 2 minutes total.
Immediately pour the boiling water over the petit pois and edamame to defrost.
Plunge the pea pods into ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
Transfer pea pods to a colander and drain well.
If necessary, pat all the vegetables dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
While the peas drain, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegars, salt and pepper until blended.
Gradually whisk in the oil until the mixture becomes an emulsion.
Stir the onion and chopped herbs into the vinaigrette.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
A few minutes before serving, toss the pea mixture with just enough dressing to coat.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding salt or pepper if necessary.
Spoon the salad into serving bowl, garnish with pea shoots and serve at once.
Springtime Curry Turkey Salad
1/2 of a turkey breast (about 3 pounds), with skin and bones
1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, washed and cut in half (with skin on)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon pickling spices, wrapped in cheesecloth
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
For the salad:
1½ bunches scallions, trimmed and sliced
2 stalks celery, strings peeled, stalk diced, leaves chopped
3 tablespoons minced, crystallized ginger
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup sundried cranberries
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 to 2/3 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon coriander
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 bunch chopped flat-leaf parsley
Optional: 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
Baby arugula, for garnish
1 box grape tomatoes, for garnish
Prepare 2 to 3 days ahead
Add turkey breast, carrot, celery, onion, salt, pickling spices, peppercorns, coriander seeds and bay leaf to a large pot of salted water and cook over high heat.
Cover and bring to a boil, then immediate reduce the heat to low and simmer until the turkey is tender and the juices run clear when pierced with a two-pronged fork, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let it come to room temperature.
Once cool, pull the turkey out and refrigerate in the cooking liquid overnight.
The next day, remove the turkey from broth and strain out seasonings.
Reserve broth for another use.
Remove the meat and discard the skin and bones.
Cut turkey into bite-sized pieces and place in a mixing bowl, then set aside.
Prepare the scallions, celery and ginger, then stir into the turkey. Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl, whisk mustard, mayonnaise, curry, cardamom, coriander and salt and pepper together until blended.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Sprinkle lemon juice over the turkey and then stir in just enough dressing until the salad holds together.
Add fresh herbs, then taste and adjust the seasonings.
Cover and refrigerate until serving time; can be done up to 3 days ahead.
To serve, make a bed of baby arugula or Boston lettuce leaf, mound turkey in the center and garnish with tomatoes.