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Garden of Spring

The artistic home cook will enjoy creating a collage of color, texture and flavor, not to mention the fact that this salad contains scads of fiber and nutrients.  Add depth by placing a glob of goat cheese (or feta) on top if desired, but flavor also comes from a drizzling of vinaigrette. Proper blanching of each vegetable is critical, so note how long each should be dunked in boiling water, then shock them in ice water. Three tips:  BIG POT, LOTS OF HEAVILY SALTED WATER, BIG BOWLS OF ICE WATER.

Instructions

Lower layer: Beet Tartare

Take one large beet, trimmed and peeled, and roast it in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Finely chop it into tiny squares and season with salt and pepper to taste,  then add a  tiny splash each of EVOO and balsamic vinegar, plus ½ tsp. Dijon mustard

Upper layer: Spring Vegetables

Boil water in a large pot, and drop veggies in one by one, using an egg timer to make sure none get too thoroughly cooked.

  • 1 radish, raw, sliced thin
  • 4 whole stalks asparagus, raw, peeled then shaved
  • 4 Snow peas- blanched 50 seconds
  • 4 Fava beans- blanched 70 seconds
  • 4 Sugar snaps- blanched 60 seconds
  • 4 asparagus tips- blanched 75 seconds
  • 4 Pearl onions – peeled and blanched 80 seconds

Allow vegetables to drain and cool on a paper towel, then toss them in the dressing.

Caper-Mustard-Honey Vinaigrette: Place 1 tbsp. each capers, Dijon mustard and honey into a food processor, adding 2 tbsp. lemon juice and EVOO as needed until smooth and emulsified.

To plate: Shape beet tartare in an 8”x 1” high rectangle on the plate, then top that with the vegetables in whatever design you choose.  Top with cheese if desired, and/or garnish with chives, lemon zest and fleur de sel.

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