If I had to choose a favorite cheese, which would be a very hard task, I might have to choose burrata. Creamy, fresh, salty – it’s the perfect compliment to a bright green spring salad. Served with lightly steamed sugar snap peas, asparagus, and french green beans layered on top of an earthy kale and black barley salad, sprinkled with fresh tarragon and lemon, and drizzled with a grassy olive oil—-these are the makings of dinner last night.
I snapped these photos around 6:30pm. Yes, natural light at 6:30pm! There is nothing like a sunny, 60-degree spring day to remind you that sometimes it is worth it to suffer through winter. I’m pretty sure these feelings of euphoria that one experiences after running outside in a tank top for the first time in months do not occur in places that have steady year-round temperatures.
I like to make big pots of grains and beans or lentils at the beginning of the week to bulk up salads. It’s usually a cup to a cup and a half of something like this black barley or wheat berries or quinoa and another cup of lentils or chickpeas or white beans. This little trick turns simple salads into full-on meals and really helps you use up veggies when you’re craving something big and hearty.
Spring Pea Salad with Kale, Black Barley, and Burrata
Like many of my “recipes” now, there are no measurements. Use whatever quantities you get at the grocery store or farmer’s market and adjust seasonings to taste.
bunch asparagus, woody stems snapped off and sliced into thirds
bunch french green beans, sliced in half
bunch sugar snap peas, ends sapped off and sliced in half
bunch baby kale, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cooked black barley or other grain
1 piece of burrata per serving
a few sprigs fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
juice of one lemon
Steam the asparagus, snap peas, and french beans for a couple minutes, until you can easily slip a fork into the veggies.
Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil over the sliced kale and massage it into the leaves. Mix in black barley and season the salad with a bit of salt.
To serve, layer the steamed veggies over individual portions of kale and black barley salad. Top with the burrata and tarragon, then drizzle olive oil and lemon juice on top. Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and serve.