Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Spring Salad


Spring is tip-toeing in and I’m delighted. Despite some snowflakes last week, a family of chickadees moved into our birdhouse and the air is now warm and filled with the scent of freshly cut grass. Long-simmering stews are fading from memory and being replaced by spring’s bounty.


With all the matzah and chocolate macaroons we are eating for Passover this week, a spring salad is really quite welcome. When I spotted this pretty head of lettuce at the market, it reminded me of a blooming flower and I couldn’t resist picking it up. What better way to highlight the crisp radishes and tender peas that were already in my basket than with a salad?


Once home, I soft-boiled a few eggs to include. Another happy sign of spring has been our chickens actively laying again. Their clucks announcing a new egg each day can be heard around the neighborhood!

The kitchen filled with marvelous scents as I chopped dill, mint and parsley. I tossed the fragrant herbs with sliced radishes, young peas and the gently torn up head of gorgeous lettuce. A zippy dressing of lemon, honey, Dijon and olive oil completed the salad nicely.


In each bite, there was a bit of soft and a bit of crunchy. The eggs lay nestled in the baby lettuce leaves, their luscious egg yolks mixing beautifully with the bright dressing.  This salad just bursts with fresh flavor, much like the buds bursting into color on our plum tree. And I think it’s best enjoyed while gazing out at the hummingbird feeder hanging from said tree.


Spring Salad
Serves 4

1 large head of butter, Boston or red leaf lettuce
1/2 cup dill, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 bunch (8-9) radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh peas
4 eggs
1/4 cup lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 cup olive oil
A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper and a couple pinches of flaky sea salt

In a large salad bowl, tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Add the fresh herbs, radishes and peas.

Cook’s Illustrated recently shared the best method for soft-boiling eggs. Bring 1/2 inch of water to a simmer in a pan. Gently place your eggs in it and cover. Set a timer for 6 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and run them under cold water. Peel and then slice open when ready to eat.

While your eggs are cooking, whisk the lemon juice, Dijon, honey and olive oil together. Add the pepper and salt and taste for seasoning. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Place an egg on each plate and slice it open just before serving. Drizzle some dressing on each salad and enjoy.

28 comments:

  1. This is just beautiful! I think this will be perfect for our dinner tomorrow night with friends.

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    1. Thank you, Brooke! I hope you enjoyed the salad. So nice that we actually have spring weather now after last week's crazy snow/hail/rain! Hope you're having a marvelous weekend!

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    2. It was lovely, even though I overcooked the eggs... All those herbs in there and the honey in the dressing, it was delicious!

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    3. Oh, thank you for letting me know, Brooke! I'm delighted you enjoyed the salad. Fresh herbs really sing of spring, don't they? The scent of dill and mint is just heavenly.

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  2. What a beautiful salad, I can't wait for the spring vegetables to appear at the farmers market. Your salad is so fresh and crisp and just exudes Spring,

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    1. Thank you so much, Suzanne! I'm excited for the new veggies at the farmer's market, too. I just love this time of year. Hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend!

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  3. Oh, yum! I understand the need to eat something fresh in the midst of indulgence. It's--ironically--such a treat!

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    1. You're right, Brianne - fresh and healthy is definitely a treat in the midst of heavier eating. We have a lot to look forward to with the arrival of spring veggies! I hope you're having a marvelous weekend. :)

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  4. I love the way you have written about the salad and Spring here :) It makes the beautiful salad even more tempting!

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    1. Oh, thank you, Chinmayie! I just love this time of year - so much that is new and fresh. Happily, we have some gorgeous sunshine today, too. I hope you're enjoying a terrific weekend!

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  5. This sounds like the best possible way to eat all the new spring vegetables in the land. That oozing egg yolk is making me super hungry! :)

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    1. Thank you, Eileen! Isn't this a marvelous time of year? It feels like a celebration with so many new veggies to enjoy. And I can never resist a soft egg on anything. Happy spring to you!

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  6. Wow, Hannah this is so beautiful!! I cannot tell you how much I am LOVING this weather. It's awesome :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Alyssa! These past few sunny days have been truly stunning - what a switch from the prior week. I'm so happy for everyone doing Easter egg hunts today! What a day to spend outside. I hope you enjoy a marvelous day!

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  7. Gorgeous...& actually perfect for Autumn down here! We are still enjoying some beautifully sunny days & this is the perfect light & fresh salad needed after a little to much chocolate & hot cross buns over Easter.

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    1. Thank you, Mairi! I'm glad you are enjoying such a lovely autumn. Happy Easter to you! I hope you indulged in lots of chocolate treats. :)

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  8. Your salad does look like spring...love your photos. We had our first day that feels like spring as it got to 50. That will certainly help melt our snow.

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    1. Thank you so much, Karen! I hope the warm days keep coming your way - you've had quite a winter. Happy spring to you!

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  9. Hannah -- the best part about spring is this salad. it has everything we can smile about :)

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    1. Oh, thank you so much for your kind words, Kiran! With the new produce and some warm, sunny days there is much to celebrate this season. Happy spring to you!

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  10. Love this salad - anything with egg in it is so good. And spicy radishes are just plain fun to eat! Good stuff - thanks.

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    1. Thanks, John! I do love the spicy kick radishes add. Can't wait to eat some with butter and salt - my favorite way to enjoy them!

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  11. I've been using Cooks Illustrated's recipe too. So good!!!

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    1. Isn't Cook's Illustrated the best? You can always count on them for the best tips, techniques and recipes. Have a good week, Mikaela!

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  12. Gorgeous spring salad Hannah! I was almost there with my greens and dijon dressing yesterday, I should have dropped by for more inspiration. Spring in a bowl!

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    1. Thank you, Orly! I'm so happy spring is here. I'm just loving the new produce. I'm ready for fresh, green, crunchy flavors! Happy spring to you!

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  13. Hannah, your picture and light is so beautiful. I am really happy that you enlarged your photo size (I think I mentioned when you changed it but I wanted to say again). Beautiful and delicious salad. Dinner time is over, but I crave for eating this salad!

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    1. I appreciate your kind words, Nami! I'm happy with the larger photos, too. And eating fresh, crunchy salads helps remind me that spring is truly here, even though we're back to pouring rain!

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