The temperature climbs and climbs, with no particular sign of slowing down. What does this mean for me? It means salad. And lots of it. It feels like I’ve eaten lettuce + other ingredients in almost every conceivable variation, so I figure it’s time to share one of my new favorites!
Radishes are positively overflowing their tables at the Farmers Markets, along with mountains of kirby, yellow, and burpless (whoever came up with that clearly wasn’t into marketing) cucumbers. Fennel just arrived, and after a long separation, we’re quite happy to be together once again. Scallions and green onions have graduated to baseball-sized “spring onions” that are just…onions (absolutely nothing wrong with that, we all need onions in our lives), but they are accompanied by their subtler and sweeter cousin, shallots. Oh, produce.
To be honest, I’m sort of overwhelmed by the choices presented to me at the markets. In the winter and spring it’s like playing a game – a puzzle, really. What can I find, and of those six items, what can I make? You’re forced to be creative, and root vegetables are roasted, boiled, pureed, and mashed. But right now I wander the stalls in a half-crazed delirium, overwhelmed by the colors and sheer amount. It’s a pretty awesome problem to have.
This salad celebrates some of my favorite raw summer vegetables, and is crunchy and juicy and full of flavor. The inherent sweetness of the apple cider vinegar plays well against the subtle bite of the shallot. It’s great with a couple fried eggs or some herb roasted chicken (recipe to come!).
Radish, Cucumber, and Fennel Salad with a Shallot Vinaigrette
- 8 large romaine lettuce leaves (or about half a head)
- 3 radishes
- 2 large cucumbers, or 3 smaller ones
- 1/2 fennel bulb
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 shallot, finely minced
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Roughly chop the romaine and place in a bowl. Thinly slice the radishes, cucumbers, and fennel, and add to romaine.
2. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, and pour over salad. Toss to coat vegetables, and enjoy!