Most bento box salads are an iceberg lettuce afterthought. Chef Naoko Tamura's, however, celebrate peak-of-season Willamette Valley ingredients at her Portland, Ore., cafe. I used young Walla Walla onion with green stalks still attached. Any spring vegetables would be good here: blanched asparagus, fennel, pea greens. Chef Naoko tops this salad with the ancient food known as frikeh, field-burned green wheat from Ayers Creek Farm near Portland. You can find imported, packaged frikeh at Middle Eastern markets.
Makes 4 servings
For The Dressing
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
Mix soy and vinegar together, then slowly whisk in oil. Set aside.
For The Salad
4 ounces young sweet onion, thickly sliced
16 sugar snap peas
1/2 bunch kale raab or young beet or turnip greens
1/2 head green lettuce, romaine or butter, plus enough seasonal local salad mix for 4 portions
2 ounces boiled bamboo shoot tender tips, thinly sliced
Handful of frikeh (roasted green wheat), optional garnish
Soak the sliced onion in water for 5 minutes and drain.
Steam the peas and greens for 1 minute and cool.
Wash lettuce and salad mix and drain. Hand cut lettuce into strips. Combine the lettuce, salad mix, cooled blanched greens and onion, then give the dressing a few whisks and toss it with the salad before plating.
Top with tender bamboo tips and garnish with frikeh if available.