Eat, don’t spray! No need to buy fancy spring specials at the market when your lawn is full of free, fresh greens and herbs. I’m talking dandelion greens, purslane, and wood sorrel; wild alliums like chives, ramps, and scapes. Instead of spraying Roundup and contaminating our water supply — when it rains, all those herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides wash down our lawns and into our sewer systems — let’s eat from the free greenmarkets that are our lawns! So much healthier and less costly than purchasing chemical “weed”-killers. (I put “weeds” in parentheses because most “weeds” are actually valuable edibles.)
For this simple bean-and-broccoli salad, I snipped some chives that have started sprouting up in unexpected places. I don’t have dill growing in my garden yet, but if you do, by all means snip off some fresh dill to include, too. Or perhaps you have some radishes already coming up. They add a pleasing crunchy texture and slightly spicy flavor to this made-in-minutes dish.
Herbed Broccoli & White Bean Salad with Capers Serves 4 as a side salad or 2 as a main course.
For the dressing:
4 anchovies (I know, I know, people say they don’t like anchovies, but guess what’s the signature flavor of Worchestershire sauce and Caesar salad?)
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon (if it’s an extra-juicy lemon, you might want to start out with juice from 1/4 of it and then do a taste test)
For the salad:
2 heads broccoli, florets and trimmed stems only
2 cups cooked white beans (or one 15 ounce can, drained)
4 radishes, chopped
2 T. drained capers
2 T. chopped fresh chives
1 tsp. dried dill or 2 tsp. minced fresh dill
To make the dressing, place all four ingredients in a small food processor and blend well. Set aside.
To make the salad, fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add prepped broccoli, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes and then promptly drain. While broccoli simmers, place all remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked broccoli and dressing and toss well.
Serve immediately, perhaps with a wedge of aged cheese and/or some whole-grain crackers. You could also toss some cooked chopped chicken or canned tuna into the salad if you’d like to include meat or seafood. Leftover salad can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.