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by on December 13th, 2011

Bitter Greens with Yuzu Dressing

Greens for feast day. Bitter, but oh so good.

Hawaiian Feast Day — An all day rain did not dampen our Hawaiian get together. Rigging up a method for cooking our pig and organized chaos in the kitchen ended about 11 p.m. and all the food, drinks, and wine being enjoyed by all.

We Americans seem to always want to put our salad at the beginning of the meal or even right along with the main course. If you are like me, and I love salad, I tend to fill up on that course before the main event even makes its appearance. In Europe salad is often served after dinner and is a refreshing finish to the meal before dessert arrives. (I will not be turning down dessert in France)

This is a simple looking salad that had a pleasing punch of flavor and definitely did it’s job as a bridge between courses.

A salad does not have to have a hundred ingredients to be delicious and this recipe proves just that. Don’t get me wrong, I like lots of ingredients in a salad, but this salad was perfect for this meal.

We were looking for a palate cleanings salad and my friend Peggy’s nephew, Pal, came up with this recipe he was going to make. He ended up having dog problems and had to return to Austin and missed our feast. But, we did not miss his salad because his Aunt had all the fixings and recipe to produce this wonderful salad. This salad will freshen your tastebuds and leave you wanting more of what’s to come next to your table.

I’m not sure if you know what Yuzu (YOO-zoo) is because I didn’t. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus which is about the size of a tangerine and is quite sour. You can find bottle juice or dry, powdered yuzu but only occasionally find fresh fruit because it is quite rare in the US. (Pal actually found this fruit at Central Market in Austin.)

If you saw our menu a few days ago then you probably realize that we needed this type of salad to take us into the next course.  I loved the taste of the five spice powder in the dressing and the jicama gave a nice fresh crunch to the salad. Simple, but a very, very flavorsome salad.

Bitter Greens with Yuzu Dressing

1 head escarole
1 bunch watercress
pea shoots or micro greens
1 avocado
jicama, cut into match sticks
Togarashi powder*

Dressing:
1/2 c. yuzu juice
1/2 c. vegetable or grapeseed oil
1 Tbs. oilive oil
1/2 tsp. five spice powder
splash of sesame oil
pinch of sugar

Toss greens with salad dressing. Toss jicama separately with a little of the dressing.

Put a portion of greens on each plate. Garnish with jicama and two thin slices of avocado.

Sprinkle lightly with Togarashi powder

*Lemon/lime juice mixture can be substituted for yuzu.

Togarishi is a commonly used Japanese 7-spice blend that includes red chili pepper, roasted orange peel, yellow and black sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, seaweed and ginger. The mixture is used to flavor soups or noodles and yakitori.

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