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Chef Vs. Cook: Summer Salads

Chef Vs. Cook: Summer Salads
Avocado Tartine by Chef William Dissen of The Market Place in Asheville. Featured in June/July 2016 issue. Photograph by Johnny Autry.


On sweltering summer evenings, cooks in the South welcome ways to conquer dinner without overheating the kitchen. Chef William Dissen of The Market Place restaurant in Asheville and food writer Sheri Castle of Chapel Hill team up to take on that challenge by creating four summer salads that make a satisfying meal.

Dissen is known for his seasonal-driven menu. (Think wild nettle cavatelli, roasted morel mushrooms, Benton’s bacon lardons, and beurre monte.) Castle has a knack for transforming and translating chef recipes into streamlined versions suited for busy home cooks of any skill level. As the author of several cookbooks, including a hefty 2011 tome The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Farm Boxes, Castle also enjoys helping her readers make the most of fresh produce.

Here’s the approach: Dissen creates four recipes in his restaurant, and Castle tackles them solo in her home kitchen. Perhaps the most notable difference between chef-driven cooking for a white-tablecloth restaurant and home cooking intended for the family table is hands: the ingredients kept at hand and the number of hands involved in the preparation.

You can find all of Dissen and Castle’s takes on four summer salad recipes in our June/July 2016 print edition, but you can try these two in the kitchen today.

Peaches in prosciutto over lemony ricotta and herb salad

Heirloom tomato and cornbread panzanella

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