Foraged Greens with Young Pecorino Sardo
When Jonathon Sawyer, the 30-year-old chef/owner of downtown Cleveland’s Greenhouse Tavern, admits, “I tend to be a bit obsessive,” it’s hard to suppress a smile. Fixating on food and ingredients is common for great chefs, but Sawyer does it so cheerfully. Sawyer has made a name for himself with his approachable, French-inflected gastropub fare and his artisan food ethos. “I grew up eating tomatoes from my parents’ garden and home-baked bread,” he explains. “And I’ve been inspired to source locally and sustainably by the chefs I’ve worked with. But having my own kids really solidified that it’s just the right thing to do.”
The restaurant he owns with his wife, Amelia, reflects this philosophy. One look at Sawyer’s menu (which changes up to two items a week to keep pace with ingredients as they come into season), and it’s clear that cheese is another of his passions.
Because Sawyer looks for nearly any excuse to go hiking in the woods, he often features foraged foods on his menus. For this salad, he likes to use pungent wild garlic mustard. More readily obtainable substitutes include sorrel, red mustard, arugula, and rucola (wild arugula). To shave the young vegetables, use a sharp peeler or a mandolin.
THE VINAIGRETTE: In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Adjust seasonings as necessary.
THE SALAD: In a large bowl, combine the shaved vegetables with the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Set aside for 5 to 15 minutes while the flavors develop (essentially a quick pickling). Add the greens, herbs, and cracked coriander. Gently toss with your hands to combine. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. After plating, garnish with the shaved Pecorino and serve immediately.
As a substitute for the beer vinegar, Sawyer recommends Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (available at natural food stores) or one of the Gegenbauer cider vinegars (available online at gegenbauer.at).
Written by Laurel Miller
Photography by Michael Cavotta