Garden Greens

Ghetto Gastro

We need and love the greens. Whether we’re catching our favorite vendor at Saturday’s farmers’ market or picking a small haul from the community garden, we constantly crave the assortment of flavorful, nutritious, and versatile green leaves.

If you’re able, try to venture out to a local, independent market, sign on to get a box of veggies from a local farmer, or if you have the space, maybe try your hand at a container garden to get into different tastes.

Experiment with leaves that you haven’t seen before. Talk to the shop attendants or farmers about how to use different herbs and leaves. The unexpected combination of sweet and bitter, soft and sturdy, can truly expand your idea of what a green salad can be. When you’re eating seasonal leafy veggies, you’re going to get a fulfilling mix of flavors that’s truly of your own local terroir. And don’t sleep on our vinaigrette, either. Whisk, whisk, whisk to get it emulsified for a nice, even, not-soupy coat to the greens. Do it up.

1. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, coconut nectar, and salt. While whisking, slowly stream in the oil and whisk to combine. (If not using immediately, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

2. Make the salad: Wash the greens. Transfer the greens to a bowl and add the radishes, carrot, cucumber, pepitas, herbs, and flowers (if using). Toss the salad with the coconut vinaigrette. Enjoy immediately.

Excerpted from Ghetto Gastro Presents Black Power Kitchen by Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao, and Lester Walker, with Osayi Endolyn (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2022. Photography copyright © 2022 by Nayquan Shuler.