This post initially appeared in Genius Dishes on Food52.

I make the exact same damn salad every night. Despite the fact that I’ve collected lots of even more tasty and fascinating ones for many years, night after night I toss together arugula, lemon, olive oil, and salt with one hand and claw it onto our plates — just since it fills the green space in any supper, and I don’t need to fire up a single additional brain cell.

Provided my requirements, it took this powerfully basic green salad to push me out of my workday rut. And despite the fact that the dish originates from the opposite of the world, I’ve discovered it fits simply as nicely into my regular as my snoozy stack of arugula.

As Georgia Freedman was collecting dishes and stories in the Yunnan province of China for her current cookbook Cooking South of the Clouds, she came across lots of salads in this design, however discovered this especially gripping one from Tusheng Shiguan (Native Foods) dining establishment, established by Yang Lifen to support the farmers surrounding Kunming, the province’s capital city. The resulting dish resolves a minimum of 2 significant salad issues, and takes valuable little effort to arrive.

The initially significant salad issue (MSP1) is the unfortunate lettuce deadlock — when you get to the marketplace and every last head of red leaf and sack of spinach is looking limp and uninspiring. At Tusheng Shiguan, the kitchen area utilizes a turning cast of in your area foraged greens, consisting of one that’s a close cousin of the carrot (without the sweet, carrot-y root) — so Freedman adjusted the dish to deal with the bushy carrot tops that many people toss away. (No, in spite of what you might have heard, the greens are not dangerous.)

All you need to do to take carrot tops from rowdy to correct salad is to provide a blanch — aka a dunk in boiling water, rinse, capture, and slice. This technique likewise works well with other hardier leafy greens, or other cold, prepared veggies, tofu, or meats in the category of salads called liang restriction. With good lettuce no longer a requirement, this breaks our green salad alternatives on any old night large open. MSP1, gotten rid of.

Food52 / / James Ransom

The 2nd significant salad issue (MSP2) is our desire to make a well balanced, just-right vinaigrette — quick — that will influence us to consume stacks of otherwise plain veggies. You may have your preferred ratio of vinegar to oil (and I have my lemon), however this dressing deals another, more interesting course.

It’s simply 4 active ingredients, with even more character than straight oil and acid: the funky-sweet pow of black vinegar, the salted umami of soy sauce, the heat of garlic and fresh chile. Though this design of salad prevails throughout China, the garlicky, appetizing dressing particular to this area is Freedman’s preferred. I can see why — once it burrows into the cooling, parsley-like taste of the greens, you might quickly consume an entire bushel.

For the very best minutes to serve this salad, Freedman advises richer meals that require a brilliant pick-me-up, in a comparable spirit to the vinegary slaws that raise the weight of barbecue. She discussed roast chicken and, from one unforgettable see to a regional ham-maker in Eastern Yunnan, stir-fried ham with fried potatoes and garlic chives. However I’d likewise advise it whenever you’re resenting your own every-night salad and prepared to make the break.

Here it is — Georgia Freedman & Tusheng Shiguan’s Carrot Greens Salad

Makes: 1 1/2 to 2 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 2 minutes

Active Ingredients

  • 6 cups jam-packed (1 pound) carrot greens
  • 5 teaspoons Shaanxi vinegar (or replace Chinkiang black vinegar — see note)
  • 4 teaspoons light soy sauce (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh Thai chiles


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the greens up until the thick parts of the stems hurt and flexible, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain pipes the greens, wash them with water up until cool, then eject all the excess water. Cut the greens into 1 ½ to 2-inch-long pieces (you will have 1 ½ to 2 cups of greens).
  2. Transfer the greens to a little blending bowl. Right before serving, include the staying active ingredients and blend well. Taste and include more vinegar or soy sauce if required, then move to a serving plate.

Notes: Chinkiang (Zhenjiang) can be much easier to discover however more intense and tart than Shaanxi — when replacing, begin with about 1/2 to 3/4 of the quantity, and adapt to taste. Follow the exact same concept if you require to replace darker or much heavier salt designs of soy sauce or a milder green.