Recipes Salad:

The Springiest Spring Salad

Recipe from Cook Beautiful. Images by Johnny Miller

Highlighting the season’s daintiest delights—watercress, pea shoots, tender herbs—this salad is such a welcome change of pace after the muddled and muted flavors of winter. Making it relies heavily on a mandoline, so I encourage you to buy one if the tool isn’t already part of your arsenal. The lemon vinaigrette is a variation on my go-to dressing, with crème fraîche lending some welcome richness to the light, crunchy veg. Feel free to ad-lib with whatever looks best at the farmer’s market—endive, watermelon radish, and snaps peas would all work beautifully here. But whatever you do, don’t skimp on the fresh tarragon; its tender leaves add a complex anise-like flavor that really rounds out the dish. Keep reading for this delicious green spring salad recipe. 

This salad is such a welcome change of pace after the muddled and muted flavors of winter.

Serves 4

Ingredients

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE

¼cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 orange, grated zest and juice
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
½cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

FOR THE SALAD

1 fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and thinly shaved on a mandoline, fronds reserved
1 green radish, thinly shaved on amandoline
1 bunch watercress
1 cup (145 g) shelled peas, blanched and shocked
1 handful pea greens or pea shoots
¼cup (30 g) toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
Chive or pea shoot blossoms, for serving
Flaky sea salt, for serving

Method

Make the vinaigrette:

Whisk together the lemon and orange juice, crème fraîche, mustard, and honey. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh herbs.

Make the salad:

Toss the fennel, radish, watercress, and peas with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat them. Transfer to a serving platter. Top with the pea greens, pistachios, reserved fennel fronds, chive blossom flowers, and a light sprinkle of flaky sea salt

Swoon Tip

The earth feels so fertile in spring—even the herbs are bursting into flowers. Garnishing with a few blooming beauties— here, I used chive and pea shoot blossoms—is an almost effortless way to prettify a salad. Keep an eye out for them at the farmer’s markets, and don’t feel you have to pile them on—just a few will do.

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