I asked friend and Seattle freelance chef Olaiya Land to help me with the creation of several salads to pair with our ciders. She pulled flavor notes from each of our ciders and I pulled recipes that I wanted to reference. When we came together in my kitchen to start creating, we approached each salad, cider and ingredients with what can we add to make this an unexpected recipe. I wanted salads that were simple and came together with ease for the cook at any skill level. Chicken, green beans, corn and tomatoes at the height of summer are my favorite. Potatoes are a must in any recipe where I serve our Apricot Cider. When Olaiya looked at this list of ingredients, she said, “Curry?” We quickly mixed together a dressing with curry, sampled it with the ingredients and a smile appeared on both our faces. We prepared the salad and it was perfect.
Yield: 4 servings
3 tablespoons minced shallot Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
½ pint of cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Black pepper, to taste
2 cups waxy potatoes (Yukon Gold or fingerlings), halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups tender young green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 ear of corn, kernels cut from the cob
1 ½ cup of shredded cooked chicken
2 tablespoons mint, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a small sauté pan, cook the shallot and a pinch of salt in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until just tender, 1-2 minutes. Add the curry and cook for one minute more. Remove from heat and transfer to small bowl. Set the sauté pan aside. Whisk in 4 tablespoons olive oil and set aside.
In a small bowl, gently toss cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon olive oil, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Place the tomatoes, cut-side-down on a parchment-lined rimmed sheet pan. Roast at 275 degrees until slightly softened and lightly caramelized, about 1 1/2 hours. (Tomatoes can be prepared ahead of time and stored, covered, at room temperature.)
Bring a medium saucepan filled with 1-2 tablespoon water to the boil. Place a steamer basket in the pan and add the potatoes of Steam potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through but still firm. Remove steamer basket from saucepan and set potatoes aside to cool. (Potatoes can be prepared ahead of time and stored, covered, at room temperature.)
Bring a medium saucepan filled with generously-salted water to a boil. While you wait for the water to boil, prepare an ice bath by filling a medium bowl half full of ice and covering the ice with cold water. Cook beans in until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice bath.
When completely cool, drain, transfer to a towel and pat dry.
Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in the pan used to cook the shallot, add the corn kernels and sauté until just tender, about 2 minutes.
Combine all the salad ingredients with the dressing and serve!
Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. Best served warm, at room temperature or chilled! Enjoy!