Trio of salads, recipe for one below

Last Friday, I got together with my Cooking Crew. Three to four times a year we get together and take a cooking class. This time, the class was with Myra Kornfield, cooking instructor, chef and the author of one of my favorite cookbooks The Healthy Hedonist. Myra sent over some menu options in advance; we all knew we were in for a treat.

We cooked for four hours, made seven recipes that I know I will make again. However, my favorite part about cooking with friends are those little information nuggets you know will stick with you.
Do you “dashi” I do now, first time making what is basically a fish stock.
Check your soy sauce ingredients- two of the recipes we made had Asian lavors and Myra advised us to use shoyu which is better quality than typical soy sauce.  I use a wheat free tamari but know condiments are where lots of preservatives, coloring and sugar can sneak into our diets.  Be sure any soy product is organic as most soybeans are GM. And while we’re talking ingredients, never use “cooking wine”. Use a wine that’s leftover and passed its prime instead.
Ginger Experience
Do you know the “ginger smash”? Ginger is one of those things that can turn into a mess when prepping it. Myra showed us ginger root could be smashed much like you do a garlic clove. You peel garlic and then turn your knife with the blade horizontal and smash, after give a quick chop whenever ginger is called for.
Kale Secret
Kale Massage
How many times have you burned kale chips? I hear this complaint all the time from clients. Myra says to check kale chips every 5 minutes and pull them out as they get done. Kale cooks unevenly and if you wait for all of the pieces to be done some will burn.
No More Kosher Salt

I think I own every kind of salt white, pink, black you name it. I do fall back on kosher salt while cooking just because I’m familiar with it. Myra’s not a fan of kosher salt and uses Celtic or Himalayan for everything because of the taste and mineral content. Now I have to figure out what to do with the gigundo box of kosher salt, exfoliation perhaps?

A Kitchen Essential
I have a “lime” version of this. Myra points out you only really need the lemon as it fits both lemons and limes. 

This salad is delicious, I made it sans feta with the salmon dish (pictured above) last night.

Turkish Chopped Romaine Salad with Dill and Scallions
6 cups shredded romaine
¾ cup chopped dill
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
Salt *see above and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Sprinkling feta cheese, optional
In a large bowl mix lettuce, dill and scallions (this can be done in advance and kept). Whisk garlic, lemon juice and olive oil together or shake in a small jar. Right before serving sprinkle greens liberally with salt and pepper, add dressing to greens and toss together. You’ll use less salt if you salt the greens versus adding it to the dressing.
As we were leaving we thanked Myra and told her we couldn’t wait to attempt the recipes on our own. “Do it sooner than later so you remember what we did.” More great advice.
How often do you cook with friends? What’s the best info nugget you’ve learned? And what is your essential kitchen gadget or gizmo?
orange blossom water, we used in a dressing
I am no longer intimidated by baby artichokes, for record different than baby carrots
poking the broccoli 


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