Despite what you may have heard, carrot greens are not poisonous. And all you have to do to take them from unruly to proper salad is to give them a blanch—aka a dunk in boiling water, rinse, squeeze, and chop. This trick works well with other hardier leafy greens too, or other cold, cooked vegetables, tofu, or meats in the genre of salads known as liang ban—especially with a dressing as simple and powerful as this one. Adapted slightly from Cooking South of the Clouds by Georgia Freedman (Kyle Books, 2018). —Genius Recipes
Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the greens until the thick parts of the stems are tender and pliable, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the greens, rinse them with water until cool, then squeeze out all the excess water. Cut the greens into 1 ½ to 2-inch-long pieces (you will have 1 ½ to 2 cups of greens).
Transfer the greens to a small mixing bowl. Just before serving, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and add more vinegar or soy sauce if needed, then transfer to a serving plate.
Notes: Chinkiang (Zhenjiang) can be easier to find but more bright and tart than Shaanxi—when substituting, start with about 1/2 to 3/4 of the amount, and adjust to taste. Follow the same principle if you need to substitute darker or heavier sodium styles of soy sauce or a milder green.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore.