This month I'm delighted to introduce you to a super talented chef and very dear friend-- which makes this installment of my Perspectives series that much sweeter. Karen Popeo is the chef and owner of Fox and Grape, a private dining and personal chef service in Boston and Cape Cod. Fox and Grape specializes in intimate gatherings that bring fresh, local, restaurant-quality meals to your home. Karen treats every client like family, adding personalized, thoughtful touches to each event she does. I've been friends with Karen for over 20 years, and her approach to her clients isn't a marketing ploy. It's who she is and always has been. This week Karen's sharing an easy salad she's been serving up several times a week that takes less than 15 minutes to preare, is healthy and delicious, and will make you look very fancy to your guests this weekend.
When spring finally comes, I’m so ready to stop cooking everything to death. And by that I mean, the delicious stews, braises and roasts that take a long time, tons of seasoning and proper technique. The lover of quick fixes and more time to chill or make fun drinks in me is SO thrilled when the farms start serving up the goods -- the veggies and herbs you barely have to touch to produce something delicious, healthy, satisfying and damned pretty.
I spend two months prepping (notice I won’t even call it “cooking”) some rotation of this spring salads before I’m deep into grilling and seafood mode. Here's my latest addiction, a 15 minute, crunchy, vegetable-packed, every shade of green, plate that keeps me (and my guests) coming back for more.
The Summer Green Salad I’m Living For
4-6 generous servings
• 2 cups sugar snap peas - Whole or cut if you want smaller pieces
• 1 - 2 English Cucumbers- Sliced longways and seeded, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on the bias
• 3 Celery Spears- cut into 1/2 in pieces on the bias
• 1 Cup Parsley Leaves - Picked(you could chop, but the picked leaves are very pretty)
• 1 Cup Mint Leaves-Sliced thinly or chiffonade (I find the mint too hearty to leave the leaves whole)
• A handful of Tarragon Leaves- Picked
• 1/2 avocado cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Mix and dress with either green goddess dressing (I use this recipe by the New York Times) or a simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, honey and dried tarragon.
Optional: Add feta cubes or grilled, sliced chicken for a more complete meal versus a great side or starter salad.
Hosting a dinner party and want someone to make it an unforgettable experience? Contact Karen at Fox and Grape for an evening you and your guests will always remember.