2006 Original: Orangette calls it "Sliced Spring Salad". Gluten-free Girl calls upon its restorative, if habit-forming powers. Food Musings calls it to-die-for (and Mr Food Musings had double helpings).
Me, I'm happy to add this easy, quick, fat-with-flavor but light-in-weight salad to a spring- and summer-salad arsenal. I've made it a dozen times in April, May and June and can attest that it's both filling and satisfying, the perfect salad meal for a hot summer night and a lovely side salad with grilled pork and broiled fish. Orangette is right, however, about it being good especially good spring fare. Its ingredients are readily available in supermarkets when the weather turns warm but before the farmers markets fill with local, hours-from-the-field fruits and vegetables. But it serves that same purpose in summer, when it's Tuesday and the farmers market won't reopen til Friday.
It's another "concept recipe", a platform of inspiration, begging for the addition of each cook's own touches based on taste preferences and on-hand ingredients. Orangette, for example, places 1/4 of an avocado on the list of essential ingredients; me, I include a small bulb of the far-lower-calorie fennel.
FOR THE RECORD With Molly's permission, my variation of Orangette's salad is also published in the July 2006 issue of Sauce, St Louis' terrific monthly food magazine.
2010: "Salad" is my go-to lunch, just vegetables and a little salad dressing. Some times I get bored with the same-old-same-old vegetables and so splurge on these more expensive but remarkable vegetables. They spark up a lunch, for sure!
RECIPE for SPRING & SUMMER SLICED SALAD
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 1 as a main dish salad, 4 as a side salad
DRESSING (all to taste)
1/2 tablespoon good Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon good salt
1 small bulb fennel, root trimmed, sliced cross-wise quite thin
1 Belgian endive, root trimmed, sliced cross-wise quite thin
1/4 head radicchio, sliced thin
2 - 3 radishes, sliced thin
Handful cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon good feta, crumbled
Optional - chunks of meat, other cheeses, avocado, vegetables, beans, tomatoes
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add the salad ingredients. Serve and enjoy!