Heidi says, “This is one of those hand-me-down recipes—a friend gives it to a friend and somehow it makes it to you because it is that good—everyone making his or her tweaks along the way. I encountered a version of this salad when my friend Sarah Lonsdale brought it to a beautiful al fresco vineyard lunch on a sunny afternoon in Napa. It was her take on an Eric Gower recipe. This is my version.”
From Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
(Serves 4 to 6)
1 1/2 cups (9 oz) shelled edamame
1/2 cup (2 oz) whole smoked almonds* (I used smokehouse almonds)
1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1 large garlic clove
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
fine-grain sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cook the edamame in a pot of boiling, salted water for 30 seconds and drain well.
Pulse the edamame, almonds, mint, garlic, olive oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a food processor six or seven times, aiming for chunks the size of pencil shavings. Transfer half of the mixture to a serving bowl and pulse the remaining mixture a few more times before adding it to the serving bowl.
Season with generous amounts of black pepper and lemon juice to taste. (Heidi recommends that “you really go for it”—stirring to combine along the way.
*Heidi's Tips: Heidi says that smoked nuts can be tricky to find so she often uses un-smoked almonds and smoked salt in place of the sea salt to develop the desired flavor. She also says to be sure not to skimp on the black pepper as the key is getting the balance of flavors right. She suggests serving it over sesame-oiled noodles or brown rice to make a meal.
Notes/Results: I really like the flavor of this spread--a little smoky, crisp cool mint, the acidity of the lemon juice. It has a texture like a tapenade, or a very chunky pesto. It went well on the soba noodles and tasted great on cracked pepper water crackers too. It is very quick and easy to put together and the color is pretty in the bowl. I will definitely make it again.
I'm linking this recipe up at I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week--our week to make any recipe from our current featured chef, Heidi Swanson, or any of our previous IHCC featured chefs.
Happy Aloha Friday!