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 http://www.npr.org/.