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.
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
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.