The Bloody Mary Salad That’s Taking Brooklyn by Storm
Last Saturday, I made my way to Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s waterfront to whet my appetite at Smorgasburg, a food fair for the borough’s hippest culinary startups. Among the Asian-inspired hot dogs, handmade salsas, and craft popsicles, crowds were circling around one newcomer, Better Half NYC. With the mission to make food as healthy as it is indulgent, creators and chefs Jeffrey Cutaiar and Sydne Gooden devised a simple brunch menu of handmade egg sandwiches and simple salads. Their Bloody Mary chopped salad, a hearty handheld dish inspired by all the tasty pickled garnishes in everyone’s favorite brunch cocktail, was so popular that I had to ask the creators to share its special sauce. Read on for the recipe.
Ingredients for Dressing
NOTE: Yields 1/2 cup
1 small shallot, minced
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. pickle juice
1 tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Tabasco
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1 small tomato, chopped
Fresh herbs: parsley, dill, tarragon, basil, chopped (about 1 tbsp. of each)
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette
In a small pan over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil, and “sweat” the shallots for 5 minutes. Sweating onions means coating them with oil and cooking them until they are soft and translucent (not browned).
After finished, add shallots to your food processor with the lemon juice, pickle juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and celery seed. Puree together. Add tomato and oils, and pulse just enough so the tomato remains slightly chunky. To finish the vinaigrette, add your mix of fresh chopped herbs.
Ingredients for Salad Mix
NOTE: Serves 4
1 romaine heart, medium chopped
1/2 radicchio, medium chopped
2 stalks celery, medium diced
6 pieces red radish, cut into matchsticks
1/4 red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup grapes, halved
1/2 cup soppressata, cubed (about 1/4 inch in size)
1/4 cup pepperoncini, sliced
1/4 cup pitted green olives, sliced
1/2 cup canned chickpeas
1/4 cup Granny Smith apple, medium chopped
Directions for Salad Mix
Halve the romaine heart and then divide that half into 4 long cuts running the length of the romaine. Cut these long slices of romaine into 3/4-inch cuts throughout. Cut radicchio to match the romaine in size. The rest is just lots of small cuts.
Combine all salad ingredients with salt and pepper and dress before serving.
Garnish with horseradish pickles. Better Half NYC makes its own, but you can buy pickled beans or okra and mix them together to garnish salad. Enjoy!
Shop some handheld salad essentials below.
Michele Varian Brass Serving Fork ($78)
Visit Better Half NYC’s website to learn more, and if you find yourself in Brooklyn on Saturday, be sure to check out Better Half NYC between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the northeast corner of the grounds. For directions and more information, visit Smorgasburg’s website.
What's the best food fair you have ever discovered? Share your faves in the comments below.