Seasonal Salad With Bamboo

Most bento box salads are an iceberg lettuce afterthought. Chef Naoko Tamura's, however, celebrate peak-of-season Willamette Valley ingredients at her Portland, Ore., cafe. I used young Walla Walla onion with green stalks still attached. Any spring vegetables would be good here: blanched asparagus, fennel, pea greens. Chef Naoko tops this salad with the ancient food known as frikeh, field-burned green wheat from Ayers Creek Farm near Portland. You can find imported, packaged frikeh at Middle Eastern markets.

Makes 4 servings

For The Dressing

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/8 cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon canola oil

Mix soy and vinegar together, then slowly whisk in oil. Set aside.

For The Salad

4 ounces young sweet onion, thickly sliced

16 sugar snap peas

1/2 bunch kale raab or young beet or turnip greens

1/2 head green lettuce, romaine or butter, plus enough seasonal local salad mix for 4 portions

2 ounces boiled bamboo shoot tender tips, thinly sliced

Handful of frikeh (roasted green wheat), optional garnish

Soak the sliced onion in water for 5 minutes and drain.

Steam the peas and greens for 1 minute and cool.

Wash lettuce and salad mix and drain. Hand cut lettuce into strips. Combine the lettuce, salad mix, cooled blanched greens and onion, then give the dressing a few whisks and toss it with the salad before plating.

Top with tender bamboo tips and garnish with frikeh if available. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit