Slowly, as spring has been creeping in, the local farmers markets have been filling up and the seasonal ones are just beginning; bringing with them all the fresh spring produce I look forward to every year. I get so excited bouncing back and forth between the vendors, seeing what each one has brought for the day.
The seeds I started for our little garden weeks ago, are slowly, one by one, emerging from the soft dirt. Every year I seem to go a little overboard, and now that April is here and the danger of frost will soon be gone, I can’t wait to get them outside; considering almost every window sill in my apartment has been occupied since then. Along with all the vegetables, I planted some herbs too, and am excited to say that I snipped off the seasons first few chives and placed them in this spring salad. I love how simple and easy that was, well worth the short wait.
This feels like a lady salad to me. Not to say men won’t enjoy it too, I know Scott did, but it’s so light and refreshing, and has a cleansing feeling to it. I love the crisp texture it has and the soft wisps of fennel fronds add so much for the eye. It makes good use of sweet storage apples that are available now, I used Gala, one of my favorites.
Sunchokes were nowhere to be found at my local farmers market, but if you happen to have some, slice them paper-thin and toss those in as well. Instead, I added a large handful of thinly chopped radish leaves, which have a peppery taste to them, almost like arugula. This salad only gets better if its had a chance to sit overnight in the refrigerator, I suggest making it the night before or early in the day, but it’s just as nice if you run short on time and want it now.
Spring Vegetable and Apple Salad
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, fronds reserved, cored, and shaved or sliced paper-thin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 storage apples(such as Gala, Winesap, or Red Delicious) quartered, cored, and sliced paper-thin
6 large or 8 small radishes, trimmed and sliced paper-thin
handful of thinly sliced radish leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chop enough of the reserved fennel fronds to make 2 tablespoons (you can discard the rest).
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, chives, and fennel fronds.
Add the apples and vegetables to the vinaigrette, toss well, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day, to allow the flavors to meld.
Taste the salad again and add additional salt if necessary before serving.