With the weather starting to warm up, and fresh produce is easier to find, preparing salads is so much more enjoyable. The following salad is one example of that.
As I was using a salad mix that included tangy baby sorrel leaves, with their unique dark purplish veins, I’ve decided to enhance their effect, by adding some beautiful “breakfast radishes” and purple Belgian endive, to the salad components.
Green Persian cucumbers added their crunchy texture and freshness, and a contrasting bright green color, along with lightly steamed fresh asparagus with its unique herbaceous flavor. The more common Belgian endive added its slight bitter flavor and pale yellowish color to the board.
I finished the salad by adding some aromatic fresh mint leaves, Parmesan cheese curls, and sweetish tangy maple-mustard vinaigrette.
This tasty combination of greens and vegetables is easy to assemble. Placing it on a large wooden cutting board, creates a stunning effect, while allowing each guest to pick the ingredients they prefer. The salad can be served for a light lunch, or as a side dish for dinner. Try it and enjoy.
* Breakfast radishes originated in French. They have elongated shape, and milder flavor than the more common radishes.
* For instructions on how to peel and steam asparagus, and other cooking tips, click HERE.
* Don’t toss away the radish greens. They are edible and nutritious, and can be used in several ways. Click HERE for recipe.
Prep time: 15 minutes
For the vinaigrette:
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup olive oil
1-2 tsp salt
2 tsp stone ground Dijon mustard
¼ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
For the salad:
10 asparagus stems
1.7 oz (50 grams) Parmesan cheese
2-3 breakfast radishes (see notes)
2 Persian cucumbers
14 yellow and purple Belgian endive leaves
4 loose cups of mixed greens, with baby sorrel leaves
A handful of mint leaves
- in a small jar, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Cover and shake vigorously until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep at room temperature until needed.
- Trim the lower tough part of the asparagus stems. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the lower half. Place in a wide pan, in one layer, add a small amount of water and sprinkle a bit of salt over. Cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-high and let steam for about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. (Or use the microwave.)
- Create curls from the Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler. Set aside.
- Trim off the radishes ends, and cut on the bias, to medium thickness.
- Trim off the cucumbers ends, and cut on the bias, to medium thickness.
- Arrange the greens and vegetables on a large cutting board. Just before serving, shake the vinaigrette again, pour into a small serving bowl and add to the board.