Well, it's officially summer, or so say the vegetables here in Birmingham. The tomatoes are starting to taste more like the sun and less like cardboard; arugula is hanging on for dear life before the heat truly sets in; and peas are starting to show up at the market.
A saturday stop at Pepper Place Farmer's Market means a relatively well-stocked fridge. I thought about making summer succotash, but I didn't have corn or okra. And once I started dreaming of that creamy chive sauce I couldn't get away from the idea of something creamy and cool to pair with my salad. My thoughts turned to mousseline, which is usually a term used with forcemeats lightened by folding in whipped cream. I decided to forgo the pureed animal and transform some plain old crumbled feta into a creamy smear of cheese to serve as a base for the salad.
Y'all, it was real good.
After cooking the other ingredients, truly simple preparations for each and every one, we ended up with a delectable salad. The light drizzle of the tomato marinade (essentially balsamic vinaigrette) around the side of the plate leaks into the feta mousseline, and the combination of the tangy, creamy sauce with the caramelization on the squash, the bite of the arugula, the brightness of the tomatoes, and the nutty, dirty flavor of the black-eyed peas is kind of to die for.
farmer's market salad with feta mousseline
1 cup black-eyed (or other type) peas
Boil in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
tsp balsamic vinegar
Toss with a pinch of salt and fgbp, set aside.
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. feta
1 tbsp milk
Whip heavy cream until it holds peaks; season with a pinch of salt and generous pinch of fgbp. Beat feta and milk with a paddle attachment (or beaters) until it is smooth and creamy. Fold in seasoned whipped cream.
one yellow squash
Saute over high heat until tender, seasoning with salt and fgbp.
1 cup arugula
Season arugula with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over and drizzle with a bit of evoo, toss to coat.
Smear plates with feta mousseline. Top with arugula, then ladle on squash, black-eyed peas, and top with cherry tomatoes. Drizzle remaining balsamic and oil around the side of the plate.