Two things happened. Predictably, high summer arrived in Ohio. One day it was quietly raining, a pleasant 75. The next, it was Hades. Turning on the oven would be a crazy, sadistic thing to do. At the same time, I started to boycott my urban Kroger. Its inadequacy infuriated me. I began to rely heavily on my CSA and the corner Turkish Halaal market. So many new flavors and unknown ingredients. This salad and my Tahini Sumac Slaw are a fusion of traditional Ohio ingredients and the new flavors melding quite harmoniously in the Gem City. —Hilarybee
2 entree portions; 4 side dishes
Almonds, finely chopped
Apple Cider Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
stalks of large Collard Greens (this will be about two cups, shredded and stems removed)
stalks of Kale, Blue or Russian recommended (2 cups shredded)
Prep your greens. Wash them thoroughly and remove the large stems from the Collards and Kale. Stack and roll the leaves, then cut the stack in half, lengthwise. Proceed to chiffonade into 1/2" wide ribbons.
Toast the finely chopped almonds and the Za'tar spice in a dry saute pan on medium heat until fragrant. This will be about three or four minutes. Watch it carefully- it goes from toasty and delicious to burnt in seconds. When fragrant, set aside in a small bowl to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the labneh and apple cider vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking. It will look curdling at first- so whisk it until its very creamy.
Add the greens to the labneh dressing. Mix until combined, then give the greens a good massage. This makes them tender and pliable. Collards can be tough-- but once the labneh dressing is massaged in, it softens everything nicely. Add half the almond za'tar topping and rub it in with the dressing. Add desired sea salt and ground pepper.
Wash hands and move the salad to a serving bowl. Top with sliced avocado and the rest of the crunchy almond za'tar topping.
Dedicated locavore. I spend my weekends on the back roads (often lost!) looking for the best ingredients Ohio has to offer. I am often accompanied by my husband, Mr. Radar and our dog, Buddy. Born in West Virginia, raised in Michigan, I moved to Ohio for college and have lived there on and off since. I love to meet farmers and local producers. Cooking is an extension of this love.
You can follow my move from government analyst to cottage industrialist and view the food I cook for my personal mad scientist on thistleconfections.com