Peach, Arugula, Endive and Marcona Almond Salad

by Wolf Trap Executive Chef Chris Faessen

Embrace summer with a picnic at Wolf Trap, one of the very best things to do in the Capital Region. Go early and take a stroll on the historic property, check out the gardens and beehives that produce over 100 pounds of honey a year. Spread a blanket on the lawn, open a bottle of wine and watch the music under the stars.

We asked Executive Chef Chris Faessen for some seasonal, shareable and delicious bites with ingredients drawn from the summer farmers markets. No time to pack a picnic? Wolf Trap’s OVATIONS restaurant offers on-site dining, and the option to call ahead, order a custom picnic and pick it up before the show. To order, call 703-255-4017 or visit

 Peach, Arugula, Endive and Marcona Almond Salad (Photo by Peyton Weikert)

Peach, Arugula, Endive and Marcona Almond Salad (Photo by Peyton Weikert)

Peach, Arugula, Endive and Marcona Almond Salad

  • 1 head Belgian endive
  • 1 tablespoon peach purée
  • ½ tablespoon finely diced shallot
  • ½ tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley, no stems
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¾ pound ripened peaches
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tablespoons minced chives
  • 1 cup arugula
  • ¼ cup salted Marcona almonds

Prepare the endive by cutting ½ inch from the bottom of the endive head. The outer leaves will easily come off the core. Continue cutting every ½ inch or so, which will allow the leaves to fall off the core. Place leaves in a bowl of ice water to keep fresh.

In a medium bowl, whisk together peach purée, shallot, parsley and vinegar. Then slowly whisk in oil. Cut peaches into ¼-inch-thick slices. Finely chop any leftover peach trimmings to add to the vinaigrette. Stir diced peach bits into the dressing. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Remove endive from ice bath and pat dry. In bowl toss arugula and endive with peaches and the peach vinaigrette. Garnish with the salted Marcona almonds.

Greens and Rice Gratin

(Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times) 

This dish has become our standby for using greens from the market. If we’re pickling beets or using turnips in a stew or salad, we save the greens for this delicious casserole—which is as good cold for lunch as it is warm. And funny enough, some friends who don’t care for beets love the greens. If you don’t have beet or turnip greens handy, spinach and kale also work. 4–6 servings. 

  • 1 large bunch greens (beet or turnip, stemmed and washed) 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 3 eggs 
  • ½ cup milk  
  • Freshly ground pepper 
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 cup cooked rice, arborio rice or Calrose rice 
  • 3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (½ cup, tightly packed) 
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs  

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 2-quart gratin dish with olive oil or butter. Blanch the greens for 1 minute in a large pot of generously salted boiling water. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Set aside. 

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic and salt to taste (about a teaspoon). Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, so that the garlic starts to lightly brown. Stir in the cooked greens and the thyme and toss. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat. 

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add ½  teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Add the cayenne or a dash of hot sauce. Stir in the greens mixture, the rice and the cheeses and mix together well. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of oil. 

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until sizzling and lightly browned on the top and sides. Remove from the heat and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. 

Plummy Cannabis Spring Salad with Jonathan’s Vinaigrette

 Photo by Hannah Hudson Photography

Photo by Hannah Hudson Photography

Serves 2

This springy salad get a kick from plum and Jonathan Bardzik’s vinaigrette which made an appearance in our Spring 2016 issue and has become an Edible DC favorite.  

For the salad 

  • 3 cups torn butter lettuce 
  • 2 dried figs, thinly sliced 
  • 1 plum, thinly sliced 
  • 4 radishes sliced very thinly  
  • ¼ fennel bulb, thinly sliced 
  • 8-10 Cannabis leaves, cut into chiffonade 
  • 4 ounces feta cheese or goat cheese crumbled to finish (Use a creamier textured feta rather than day, such as Mt. Vikos Barrel Aged Feta) 

For the dressing  

  • 1 shallot, minced  
  • 1 teaspoon sugar  
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard  
  • ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar  
  • ⅔ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil 

 Combine all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl large enough for tossing, and top with feta.  

In a medium bowl, combine the shallot, sugar, mustard and vinegar with a pinch of salt. Whisk together. While whisking, add oil to vinegar in a thin stream to form a creamy emulsion.