Fennel and Belgian Endive Salad, Dijon and Grapeseed Oil
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 or maybe you already have mixed spring greens planted in soil for easy picking just before serving. I love the early growth of those baby greens so tender and fresh flavored.
While waiting to gently pluck off those first tender leaves, its 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 creating a 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 thinly sliced, feathery leaves from one of the stalks finely chopped
- 5 small to medium Belgian Endive, ends cut off, thinly sliced
- 1 medium size carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 sliced radishes
- 1-2 oranges peeled and cut into segments
- 2 teaspoons toasted, chopped Macadamia Nuts
- Dijon and Grape Seed Oil Dressing:
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/3 cup Grapeseed Oil
- one or two pinches coarse kosher salt
- few grinds cracked black pepper
- Preparing the Dressing: Whisk together the Dijon mustard with the vinegar, whisk oil in a stream until emulsified, stir in salt and pepper
- Preparing the Salad Assembly: In a large bowl toss together the Fennel, Belgian Endive, and Carrots. Drizzle in the dressing and toss through. Transfer Salad to serving plates, garnish with sliced radishes and orange segments. Sprinkle over the Macadamia Nuts and chopped fennel leaves.