Spring Vegetable Chopped Salad
Source: Kevin Davidson, Project Open Hand
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 26, 2016.
Serves 4 to 6
1 dozen eggs
3 heads cauliflower (preferably a mix of colors)
2 bunches asparagus
5 bulbs fennel
4 blood oranges
2 bunches baby carrots (preferably a mix of colors)
1 pound English peas or snap peas
2 bunches radishes (preferably a mix of colors)
1 bunch mint (spearmint or wild)
2 cups fava leaves, packed (or pea shoots or any seasonal leafy green)
¼ cup vinegar (apple cider or red wine)
1cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
Cook the eggs by covering with cold water and bringing to a boil in a pot just large enough to contain them. After 4 minutes of boiling, drain the water to let the eggs cool and set aside.
Cut the cauliflower into florets. Blanch the cauliflower in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Drain the water and set aside (do not shock the cauliflower in cold water, as this will cause the cauliflower to absorb the shocking water and will dilute the flavor). Set the cauliflower aside.
If you are using “pencil” asparagus, clean and cut it into 1-inch pieces. If you are using jumbo asparagus, trim the bottom third of the asparagus spears and cut into quarters after blanching. Blanch the asparagus using the same method as the cauliflower and set aside.
Wash and trim off fennel fronds so you are left with just the bulb. Using a mandolin or a knife, thinly shave the fennel bulbs and set aside. Peel the oranges, trim off the white pith and slice into ¼-inch rounds. Set aside. Trim the tops and the tails of the carrots, then wash thoroughly and cut in half lengthwise. If the carrots are larger, then cut into quarters.
If using snap peas, wash and cut them on the bias into ½-inch pieces. If using English peas, remove them from the pods. Wash and slice the radishes into thin rounds. Wash enough mint leaves to make a cup and remove them from the stems. Wash and pick the fava leaves, keeping them whole. Peel the hard boiled eggs.
To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine the carrots, asparagus, and cauliflower. Toss with ¼ cup of vinaigrette. In a separate bowl, combine the peas, shaved fennel, oranges, mint, fava leaves, and 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Toss and combine well.
To plate, divide the carrot, asparagus, and cauliflower combination evenly between 4 or 6 plates, placing it in the middle of each plate. Divide the the snap pea, fennel, orange, mint, and fava leaf mixture and place on top of the first set of vegetables. Quarter the hard boiled eggs and distribute around the plates. Drizzle with olive oil to finish.