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Spring flavors pop at The Bristol, Chicago

By Sheridan Lane, director, culinary programs and operations, Lincoln Land Community College

As one of many end-of-school-year activities at Lincoln Land Community College, Chef Specialist Joshua Dineen and I took the student-led organization associated with our culinary and hospitality programs, The Epicureans, to an end-of-year celebration.

Our excursion of culinary cuisine was highlighted at The Bristol in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. We were able to experience the eight-course chef’s tasting menu as a thank-you to the Epicureans for their hard work this semester, and we all agreed that the execution and simplistic, yet flavor forward, nuances of the menu were spectacular.

While The Bristol is not new by Chicago standards, opened in 2008, Executive Chef Larry Feldmeier and Sous Chef Jeff Rueth, along with the front of house service staff, are making very special dinner memories for guests with their spring menu entitled “Growth.” One course that, in particular, I felt highlighted simplicity yet was screaming the bright flavors of spring, was the salad with fresh spring peas, sugar snap peas, Stracciatella and green goddess dressing.

While recreating the exact nuances of this dish will only be possible by the chefs at the Bristol, they have inspired me to assemble my own version with spring treats I hope to find at the Old Capitol Farmer’s Market this weekend: fresh lettuce, peas and asparagus, among others. If nothing else, try this delicious dressing on your own salad combination of choice. Also, if you are not familiar with Stracciatella, try it first on a piece of crusty bread with just a little dollop of the green goddess dressing. YUM! Here are a couple of tips to ensure the flavors and freshness really pop in your next fresh spring salad.

  • If you are using fresh vegetables like the ones I mentioned above in your salad, blanche (see instructions below) them just until the color pops while still retaining the crispy crunch and flavor that makes them great!
  • Season your greens! Just after washing your fresh lettuce, sprinkle just a pinch of finely ground sea salt directly on your greens. While this is a small step, it makes a big difference in the flavor of your salad.

Spring green goddess

  • ¾ cup parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Kewpie mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Greek Yogurt (full fat)
  • To taste- Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.


Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management and Baking/Pastry, and non-credit cooking and food classes through LLCC Community Education.

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