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Crunchy Summer Salad with Hard Cooked Egg and Avocado

by Chef Samin Nosrat

Serves 4

The Vinaigrette

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a small glass, combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, and 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Add the smashed clove of garlic and season with salt.
  3. Stir to combine and use a lettuce leaf to taste the dressing. It should be pleasantly acidic.
  4. Adjust salt and acid as needed.

The Salad

Ingredients

Directions

First, cook the eggs:

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and gently lower the eggs in.
  2. Get a bowl of ice water ready.
  3. Boil for 8 minutes, then transfer to ice water.
  4. If the eggs are very fresh, they might be difficult to peel; I find cracking the shells and leaving them in the ice water for fifteen minutes makes peeling easier. Peel the eggs and set aside.

Prepare the salad elements:

This salad has four parts: the base of egg and avocado, the lettuce and herb mix, and the shaved radishes and cucumbers.

  1. Make the lettuce and herb mix by tossing the lettuce leaves with the picked herbs. If you don’t have all of them available, just used whatever you do have on hand—tarragon, chervil, basil, parsley, cilantro, and dill work wonderfully in any combination, and they lend a lovely freshness to the dish.

Shave the radishes and cucumbers:

  1. Stripey peel the cucumbers, leaving about half of the skin on, and shave them using a mandolin or a sharp knife into 1/8-inch-thich slices.
  2. Shave the radishes in the same way.

Assemble the salad:

  1. Halve the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Place on a large platter, not too perfectly.
  2. Halve and pit the avocado, then season with salt. Use a dinner spoon to scoop out spoonfuls and place amongst the eggs.
  3. Dress the lettuces in a large mixing bowl with just enough vinaigrette to coat and a pinch of salt—but first, remove the garlic clove and give the dressing a good stir to mix it up.
  4. Taste the lettuces and if needed, add another squeeze of lemon.
  5. Gently mound the lettuces atop the eggs and avocado.
  6. Finally, dress the crunchies with vinaigrette and a pinch of salt, until they taste just right, and sprinkle them over the lettuces.
  7. Serve immediately.

Confit Tomatoes on Toast

by Chef Samin Nosrat

Serves 4

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. First, confit the cherry tomatoes. Lay the cherry tomatoes in a single layer into a shallow roasting dish over a bed of basil stems and three garlic cloves. Cover with about two cups of olive oil. The tomatoes don't have to be totally submerged, but they all have to be touching the oil.
  3. Season liberally with salt, give them a stir, and then stick them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. There should at no time ever be any boiling happening--at the most, just a little simmer. You'll know they're done when they are tender all the way through and the first skins start to split. Pull them from the oven and let them cool a bit.
  4. Crank up the oven to 500°F for the peppers and toasts.
  5. Preheat a cast-iron pan on the stove.
  6. Toss the peppers with a little bit of salt and some of the tomato confit oil, then throw them into the hot pan and let them start to blister. As soon as you hear sizzles, give them a toss and throw them into the oven until they are tender throughout and blistery, about 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit.
  8. Brush the bread liberally with the olive oil from the tomatoes and toast until perfectly golden, about 6 minutes.
  9. When you pull them from the oven, swipe them gently with a clove of garlic to lend them a rumor of flavor.
  10. Chop the stems off the peppers, and roughly chop them up with some basil leaves.
  11. Slice the fresh tomatoes and season with salt.
  12. To assemble the toasts, smear liberally with the ricotta, seasoned with salt.
  13. Layer on the sliced tomatoes, chopped peppers, and tomato confit.
  14. Drizzle with the confit oil. Make sure to use lots of salt along the way, seasoning everything as you go.

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Published August 31, 2007