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Making Summer Salads With SOO N Food

While things continue to heat up, we turned to our dear friend, Saehee Cho of SOO N - and former CV Employee - to share with us one of her favorite new recipes to keep us cool and satiated this Summer.

I love a 4 pm salad, not quite lunch, not quite dinner - just something to tide me over.  And during the Summer, I especially like clean acidic flavors to break the heat.  

This is my latest favorite 4 pm salad - bright lemon juice with grassy cucumbers and little sweet bursts from tomatoes make for a very happy snack.  The addition of the avocado (because of course, avocado on everything!) and the tangy yogurt-based dressing add the creamy/fat elements to round out the dish.  
1/2 Head of Cauliflower (shaved with a potato peeler or mandolin)
2 Persian Cucumbers (thinly sliced)
7-10 Cherry Tomatoes (quartered and coated in olive oil/sprinkled with salt)
1/2 Avocado (cubed and coated in lemon juice)
1/4 Red onion (thinly sliced / quick-pickled)
3-4 Mint leaves (roughly torn)
1 tsp Sumac
Feta cheese (crumbled)

1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
6-8 Mint leaves (roughly torn)
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Mix all ingredients for the dressing and refrigerate while you assemble the salad -- give it some time for the garlic to mellow out and the dressing to chill.  I think this dressing is best when it's very cold.
2. Shave head of cauliflower with a potato peeler or a mandolin slicer.  You can also just use a knife. Sprinkle lemon juice over the cauliflower and season with salt.  Set aside.
3. Slice cucumbers thinly and sprinkle with salt and let drain in a colander.  You can use the drained cucumber juice to thin out your dressing if it's too thick.
4. Quarter cherry tomatoes, coat in olive oil, and salt to taste.
5. Toss together cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, and torn mint.  Drizzle a little olive oil, squeeze some more lemon, and salt to taste.
6. On your salad plate, put a heaping spoonful of the yogurt dressing as the base for your salad
7. Top with the cauliflower/cucumber/tomato mixture
8. Garnish with avocado, pickled red onions, feta and sumac.  Eat with flatbread, brushed with olive oil.
A few salad tips:  
1. Season things separately.  I toss all my vegetables together only right before serving, and after they've been seasoned and sitting in some olive oil or lemon juice with salt for about 10-15 minutes.  I'm not sure what the science is, but something about letting the ingredients break down their own flavors in a liquid/fat for a short period gives clarity to the taste of that ingredient.  
2. Keep a pantry of pickles! If you have extra vegetables after a meal, pickle them.  My refrigerator always has 3-4 different types of pickles going.  It's an easy cheat move to add pickled red onions or pickled pink radishes to your dish because it is zero work, but adds so much taste and visual appeal
3. When in doubt, put an egg on it.  

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