Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with a spacious kitchen. They often bring some of their market's best ingredients home with them and cook up a feast, and when they're not cooking at home, they're working with the staff at Marczyk to create recipes for the rest of us to enjoy, usually turning to Whitney Ariss, a home cook and the market's marketing project manager and events coordinator, for inspiration.
"One of Pete's favorite mottos is 'keep it simple, make it great,' which also might as well be the motto for this salad recipe," says Ariss. And by simple, she adds, "I don't mean store-bought dressing and a bunch of random pre-cut vegetables you happen to have in the fridge."
Simple, yes. Memorable? No. "For this salad, you want really, really good, fresh greens, and a couple other best quality ingredients, which are key, and at the markets, we have a full line of field-grown bagged salad greens from one of our favorite farms, Oxford Gardens, which is in Niwot," says Ariss. "Since the greens are grown in the biologically active and mineral rich soil, which Oxford works so hard to cultivate, they're absolutely full of flavor and nutrition," she notes.
See also: Recipe Wednesday: Chocolate crackles
The mizuna, reveals Ariss, "is one of my favorite lettuces, because it's got a nice, peppery flavor and a bit of texture, but it's still delicate, and I also insist on busting out my best olive oil for this recipe, plus, I get to use preserved lemons, one of all-time favorite ingredients for its bright, intense, salty and lemony awesomeness."
She also uses the chèvre from Broken Shovels, a local farm in Commerce City. "You're allowed to use whichever chèvre you please, but their chèvre is the best chèvre I've ever put in my face," Ariss insists. "It's creamy and rich, but it has a light, fluffy texture, and it comes from the happiest goats in Colorado."
The result, she says, is an "easy and crazy-delicious salad" that pairs well with grilled fish and beef. Then again, she suggests, "just enjoy it as a light meal on its own or with a fried egg on top, which is how I ate mine, and it was awesome."
Mizuna, Chèvre and Preserved Lemon Salad Serves 2
4 ounces mizuna (about 1/2 bag) 2 tablespoons chèvre, kept cold until ready to use ( Broken Shovels) 2 tablespoons preserved lemon, finely chopped and seeds removed 2 teaspoons good olive oil
1. Wash greens well and spin dry, then place in a medium mixing bowl. 2. Drizzle with olive oil, add preserved lemon, and toss well to combine. 3. Crumble cold chèvre over the greens, reserving a a handful for garnish. 4. Lightly toss and serve immediately, topping salad with reserved chèvre.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.