Cooking

Straight Shooter

A light, refreshing salad from a meat-heavy restaurant
Sprouts and Shoots

You wouldn't expect a restaurant that butchers two pigs each Wednesday night--in full view of the diners--to have a deft hand with vegetables.

Though chef Justin Brunson of Denver, Colorado's Old Major grinds and seasons that pork into an array of raw and cooked charcuterie, he also gives produce from local farms prime consideration on his menu.

Brunson's three-course vegetarian tasting menu changes nightly; on it, you might find a grilled Caesar made with lacinato kale, or a petite lettuce salad with quinoa, tomatoes, pistachios and dried fruit.

Another recent star on the meatless menu is Brunson's sprouts-and-shoots salad (see the recipe). In the light starter or side dish, tendrils of sunflower, pea and radish shoots intertwine with sunflower seeds and lentils that are sprouted in-house. A classic lemon vinaigrette lets the nutty flavor and crunchy texture of the sprouts speak for themselves.

As Brunson puts it, "You just feel healthy eating it." Even if you pig out on your main course.

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