Difficulty level Easy
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In my post yesterday, I reviewed Vegetable Harvest by Patricia Wells. This lovely winter salad was the first recipe I tried from the book. I had just been to the farmers' market and bought an enormous bunch of radishes for 50 cents, so this recipe seemed fortuitous. You could serve this either as part of a family meal, or as a first course at a dinner party. It is quite colourful and attractive on the plate-and is really tasty.
The recipe calls for the beets to be steamed, but I absolutely adore the taste of roasted beets, so I did them that way. We tried this with both a soft sheep's milk cheese and a hard cheese, and both were delicious. Vegetable Salad: Carrots, Fennel, Radishes, Beets, and Onions
|1 large||bulb fennel, trimmed coarse sea salt|
|1/2 cup||creamy lemon-chive dressing|
|1 bunch||radishes, rinsed and trimmed|
|4||green onions, trimmed and peeled|
|8 oz piece of||sheep's milk cheese|
|Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing|
|2 tbsp||freshly squeezed lemon juice|
|1/2 tbsp||fine sea salt|
|1 cup||light cream|
|1/3 cup||finely minced fresh chives|
- With a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice the carrots and the fennel lengthwise into very thin slices.
- Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Fill a pasta pot with water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt and the carrots and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Remove the carrots to a colander and drain and plunge the colander with the carrots into the ice water so they cool down as quickly as possible. Drain the carrots. Repeat, with fresh water for the fennel. In separate bowls, toss the carrots and the fennel with just enough dressing to lightly coat the vegetables.
- Steam the beets over a pot of simmering water until the beets can be pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes for baby beets or up to an hour for larger beets. Or place beets in a baking dish and roast at 400 F for about 45 minutes. Peel the beets. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slice crosswise into thin slices. In a medium bowl, toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the radishes. Set aside.
- Slice the onions into thin rings. Place in a bowl and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat the onions.
- Trim the rind from the cheese. Slice the cheese into thin slices.
- On serving plates arrange an overlapping layer of the cheese. On top of the cheese, arrange slices of carrots at one end. Repeat for fennel, beets and radishes. In the centre, arrange a small mound of the dressed onions. Season lightly with fleur de sel and serve.
Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing
- In a small jar combine the lemon juice and the salt. Cover and shake to dissolve the salt. Add the cream and chives. Shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. Store, covered and refrigerated, for up to one week. Shake to blend again before using.
- From Vegetable Harvestt by Patricia Wells
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