The Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom, tiny delicate flowers of pinks and whites dot shooting branches in their delicate momentary perfection, the bright yellow forsythias filling in the scenery while the multi colored tulips and tiny purple iris’s begin pushing their way through the earthy ground. Accompanying this season of nature’s freshest delights on the culinary menu, I’m thinking Salads, how about you?
Each week seems to bring more life as the nurseries begin filling their flatbed lined green warehouses with wider selections of garden vegetables and herbs. The Farmers Market goods add on to the list of what is new and fresh among the fruits and vegetables with lots of enthusiasm towards those special ingredients we perennially never seem to tire.
Perhaps you are getting your garden readied for planting, maybe you already have in your soil or planter the mixed spring greens so easily picked just before serving. I love the early growth of those baby greens so tender and fresh flavored. Especially while you are waiting to gently pluck off those first tender leaves, it is a good time to think on all of the many types and variations beyond the green salad that can be served as your salad course, one is the combined fresh and easy flavors Fennel and Endive Salad with Dijon and Grapeseed Oil Dressing.
As you extend the selection of choices offered in your refrigerator each week if you look at each item with a bit of thought you will soon realize how many vegetables you can set out as a first course salad, crisp and elegantly displayed. There are carrot salads, asparagus salads, radish salads, and cauliflower with chopped red pepper perhaps with the fresh green onion dressing salad the list goes on. Creating raw vegetable salads, decoratively prepared, your family may begin to think they are eating at a restaurant, and it saves on the pots and pans too leaving you more time to appreciate the cherry blossoms and bright yellow forsythias each coloring the landscape among the array of spectacular blooms as they pop through the soil all around.
- 1 Fennel, bulb sliced thinly, and leaves from one of the stalks chopped finely
- 5 small to medium Belgian Endive, ends cut off, sliced thinly
- 1 medium size carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 sliced radishes and 3 to 4 orange segments per salad plate, optional
- 2 teaspoons toasted chopped Macadamia Nuts (you may substitute other toasted, chopped nuts of your choice)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/3 cup Grapeseed Oil (you may substitute canola or olive oil as desired)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- For the Dressing
- Whisk Oil into Dijon Mustard and vinegar until oil fully incorporates into the Dijon Mustard, season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss together the Fennel, Belgian Endive, and Carrot Slices then a little at a time begin stirring in the Dijon Mustard and Grape Seed Oil Dressing. Transfer Salad to separate bowl, garnish with sliced radishes and orange segments. Top salad with toasted, chopped Macadamia Nuts and the chopped fennel tops. Serve.