Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Salad Throwdown at Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen opened its fifth D.C. location last night in Foggy Bottom with a salad throwdown between three local chefs: Spike Mendelsohn (Good Stuff Eatery; We, The Pizza), Casey Patten (Taylor Gourmet), and Tiffany Macisaac (Birch and Barley).
The winner of the salad throwdown will have their salad featured on the Sweetgreen menu for the month of August. The challenge? Every salad needed to incorporate the secret ingredient: Golden Cherry Tomatoes.

Up first was Casey’s salad which featured romaine lettuce, golden cherry tomatoes, shrimp, zucchini fries, red onion, goat cheese, basil and was finished off with lemon hummus tahini. The salad was a perfect blend of fresh, seasonal ingredients. It was complex for a salad, yet still light and summery. The addition of shrimp and zucchini fries added substance to the dish and everything paired well together. Casey was clearly a front runner in this competition.

Next, Spike created a medley of spinach, watermelon, feta, mint, golden cherry tomatoes and finished the dish with a key ingredient that set his salad apart from the rest: Sriracha. I’ve seen sriracha used in numerous ways, but this was definitely a first. The watermelon, feta and mint were a classic combination, but the sriracha brought the heat to what would have been an otherwise cool and refreshing salad.

Last up was Tiffany’s salad in a blend of baby arugula, marinated golden tomatoes, white beans, fresh cucumber for the perfect crunch, pickled red onions, basil, kalamata olives, and finished off with torn bread dipped in balsamic dressing. Her salad made a beautiful, colorful combination with the taste to match!

So who's salad would be featured in August at Sweetgreen? With three incredibily delicious salads to choose from - the competition was high and the choice was tough for the judges! The end result: Top Chef's Spike! Congratulations and thanks to all three chef's for sharing their talents. To try Spike's perfect concoction, visit any Sweetgreen in the district during the month of August.

Sweetgreen has D.C. locations in Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, Georgetown and Logan Circle. Visit for more information.

By: Ashley Murray and Kathy Guzman
Capital Cooking Contributors

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