Spring Vegetable Salad
This salad can be made with a variety of spring vegetables – fava beans, blanched baby leeks, braised Morels, radishes – whatever suits your fancy on what shows up at the market. For extra spark, sprinkle tiny sprigs of tarragon, chervil and mint over the top to finish the salad just before serving. Serves 4-6.
1. Break off the tough ends of the asparagus. Peel the bottoms of the stem down to the white but try to keep the stems as thick and round as possible. Don’t peel off too much.
2. Cut carrot tops off and reserve for pesto. Leave a little green stubble on the carrot. Peel the carrots.
3. Use a mandolin or vegetable peeler to thinly shave 6 carrots and the beets. Place the shaved vegetables in a mason jar. Pour pickling liquid over and let sit for 1 hour or overnight.
4. Cut the remaining carrots in half lengthwise. Reserve.
5. Bring a large pot of water to a bowl and salt heavily. Ready a bowl of ice water.
6. Drop the asparagus into the boiling water and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes until just tender. Remove with tongs to the ice water until cool. Remove to a plate.
7. Add the peas to the boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain in colander or strainer and place the whole colander or strainer in the ice bath to contain the peas. Drain and reserve.
8. Cut the asparagus tips off the stems on the diagonal. Slice the asparagus stems on the diagonal into 1 inch pieces.
9. Arrange the vegetables on a large platter. Roll pickled carrot ribbons into corkscrews. Scatter the pickled beets around.
10. Dot the platter with pesto and drizzle vegetables with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and grind black pepper over lightly.