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Dec 17, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Hey Girl, I Made You a Salad
By Compiled by Meera Nagarajan | Recipes courtesy of Brian Lagerstrom | Photos by Greg Rannells
Posted On: 09/01/2016   


Salads don’t have to be dull diet meals. Union Loafers’ chef Brian Lagerstrom has proved they can be glorious, building his salads like any composed dish: with a balance of sweet, salt, fat, acid and textures, calibrating the frequency of those elements so you’re surprised from bite to bite. Be gone, bagged mixed greens with bottled ranch dressing! Lagerstrom shared six recipes so you never have to eat a sad salad again.

Courtesy of Union Loafers’ Brian Lagerstrom


Little Gem Salad
4 to 6 servings

This salad depends on the balance between sweet pickled onion and pops of fresh herbs. You’ll want to dip everything you own into the leftover dressing.

5 heads bibb or other butter lettuce, torn into small pieces
2 hearts of romaine, chopped
1 cup buttermilk dressing (recipe follows)
¹∕³ cup pickled shallots (recipe follows) 
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped chervil
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped chives
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped dill
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
3 Tbsp. toasted panko breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients until the salad is evenly coated in dressing.


Buttermilk Dressing
3 cups

¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
3 egg yolks
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. kosher salt
2½ cups canola oil

• In a blender, combine the buttermilk, sour cream, egg yolks, shallot, garlic, lemon juice and salt on high 20 to 30 seconds.
• With the blender running on medium speed, stream in the oil until emulsified.
• The remaining dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.


Pickled Shallots
2 cups

8 to 10 shallots
1¹∕³ cups distilled white vinegar
¹∕³ cup sugar
1¹∕³ cups water
1 tsp. kosher salt

• Use a mandoline or knife to thinly slice the shallots. Place them in a colander, rinse thoroughly and drain. Place in a small glass bowl and set aside.
• In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, water and salt to a boil over high heat until the sugar dissolves.
• Pour the vinegar mixture over the shallots and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Pickles will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 months.


Grain Salad
4 to 6 servings

3 cups pearled barley
2 Tbsp. plus a pinch of kosher salt, divided
1 cup distilled white vinegar
¼ cup golden raisins
1 bunch kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup parsley-almond pesto, plus more to taste (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped toasted, salted almonds, plus more for garnish
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

• Fill a large pot with water, the barley and 2 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes until the barley is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain any excess water and refrigerate until cool.
• Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and raisins in a small bowl and soak until the raisins are slightly rehydrated, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
• To assemble the salad, toss the barley, pickled raisins, kale, olive oil, lemon juice and the remaining pinch of salt in a large bowl.
• Add the parsley-almond pesto and toss until evenly coated.
• Divide the salad among serving plates and top liberally with the almonds, feta cheese and additional pesto.


Parsley-Almond Pesto
3 cups

1 cup grated pecorino cheese
1 cup olive oil
1 cup whole parsley leaves with tender stems
2 shallots, roughly chopped
¾ cup toasted almonds
½ cup basil leaves
1½ Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt 

• In the bowl of a food processor, pulse all the ingredients until well-combined.
• The remaining pesto will keep, covered and refrigerated, 1 day.


Italian Salad
4 to 6 servings

This salad wakes up your appetite for pizza or lasagna with hits of sour, salt and crunch.

3 hearts of romaine, chopped
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 12-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup pitted picholine olives, halved, plus more to taste
¹∕³ cup pickled peppers (recipe follows)
4 oz. mozzarella pearls
3 to 4 oz. Italian vinaigrette (recipe follows)
2 to 3 sprigs fresh parsley
2 to 3 large pinches of grated Parmesan or romano cheese, plus more to taste

• In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients until the salad is evenly coated in the dressing. Season to taste with more olives and cheese, if desired.


Italian Vinaigrette
3 cups

¹∕³ cup distilled white vinegar
2 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar
1 small shallot 
1 small garlic clove
2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
1 Tbsp. chopped red bell pepper
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste  
Pinch of dried oregano
Pinch of dried basil
Pinch of red pepper flakes 
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups canola oil 

• In a blender, combine the white vinegar, Champagne vinegar, shallot, garlic, mustard, bell pepper, sugar, salt, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and black pepper on high 20 to 30 seconds.
• With the blender running on medium speed, stream in the oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt.
• The remaining dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.


Pickled Peppers 
3 cups

10 banana peppers, stems removed
1¹∕³ cups distilled white vinegar
1¹∕³ cups water
¹∕³ cup sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt

• Cut the peppers into 1∕8-inch coins and place in a medium glass bowl.
• In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil over high heat until the sugar dissolves.
• Pour the vinegar mixture over the peppers and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Pickles will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 months.


Summer Salad
4 to 6 servings

2 pickling cucumbers, trimmed
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 ears of corn, kernels removed
Pinch of kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 heads frisee, chopped
½ lb. arugula
1 cup Very Simple Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup shaved ricotta salata

• Use a mandoline or knife to thinly slice the cucumbers and place them in a large bowl. Toss with the tomatoes, corn and salt.
• Add the frisee, arugula, vinaigrette and cilantro and toss. Season to taste with salt, then top with the ricotta salata.


Very Simple Vinaigrette
3 cups

¹∕³ cup distilled white vinegar
2 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar
1 shallot, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt 
1½ cups canola oil 

• In a blender, combine the white vinegar, Champagne vinegar, shallot, mustard, sugar and salt.
• With the blender running on medium speed, stream in the oil until emulsified.
• The remaining dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.


Spring Salad
4 to 6 servings

The ingredients being ripe in my backyard garden on the same day originally inspired this simple salad.
6 breakfast radishes
4 heads bibb or other butter lettuce, torn into small pieces
2 cups snap peas, strings removed and thinly sliced on the bias
1 cup pea shoots (optional)
¹∕³ cup chopped fresh mint
¹∕³ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup lemon vinaigrette, plus more to taste (recipe follows)
Pinch of kosher salt
1 Tbsp. grated pecorino

• Use a mandoline or knife to thinly slice the radishes. Place them in a large bowl with the lettuce, snap peas, pea shoots (if desired), mint and parsley. Toss with the lemon vinaigrette and salt. Let sit 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the pecorino before serving.


Lemon Vinaigrette
2 cups

1 cup lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt

• Combine all the ingredients in a clean jar with a lid. Seal and shake to emulsify. Refrigerate until ready to use.
• The remaining dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.


Beet Salad
4 to 6 servings

4 medium beets, preferably Chioggia
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1½ cups Champagne vinaigrette, divided (recipe follows)
2 heads Belgian endive, cored and chopped into coins
2 heads radicchio, chopped
1 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more to taste
½ cup chopped candied pecans, plus more to taste (recipe follows)

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, toss the beets with the salt and oil. Wrap each in foil and bake 40 to 45 minutes, until a paring knife can easily pierce the beet. Let cool in the foil.
• Remove the foil and peel the beets using a paper towel or peeler. Chop into bite-size pieces and place in a medium bowl with ½ cup vinaigrette.
• In a large bowl, combine the beets, endive, radicchio, cheese, the remaining 1 cup vinaigrette and pecans and toss. Season to taste, adding more nuts and cheese if desired.


Champagne Vinaigrette
3 cups

½ cup Champagne vinegar
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1½ cups vegetable oil

• In a blender, pulse the vinegar, shallot, sugar, mustard and salt to combine.
• With the blender running on medium speed, stream in the oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt.
• The remaining dressing will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.


Candied Pecans
About ½ cup

1 egg white 
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup chopped pecans

• Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
• In a medium bowl, whip the egg white until lightly frothy, about 20 seconds. Fold in the sugar and salt until dissolved. Add the pecans and toss to combine.
• Spread the pecans on a baking sheet in an even layer. Bake 10 minutes, then stir and bake another 15 minutes. Let cool.


Little Gem Salad
Union Loafers’ Brian Lagerstrom
Makes 4 to 6
This salad depends on the balance between sweet pickled onion and pops of fresh herbs. You’ll want to dip everything you own into the leftover dressing.

INGREDIENTS

5 heads bibb or other butter lettuce, torn into small pieces
2 hearts of romaine, chopped
1 cup buttermilk dressing (recipe follows)
¹∕³ cup pickled shallots (recipe follows)
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped chervil
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped chives
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped dill
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
3 Tbsp. toasted panko breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

PREPARATION

• In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients until the salad is evenly coated in dressing.

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