A literal "everything but the kitchen sink" type of salad.
Now, I'm not complaining. Nor is a vegetable loaded salad a bad thing. However, I forget about the delicious simplicity that comes out of just a few ingredients and a delicious dressing. And this was the salad that reminded me of that whole "simplicity is key" thing.
A vegetable, a fruit, a nut, and some dairy. Seriously. Could it get any more simple?
Before I let you in on the whole simplicity thing, we obviously need to chat about the whole fiddlehead fern thing. I first had fiddleheads at Journeyman, an unbelievable little restaurant in Somerville (that I've probably already told you about). They were served with a spruce panna cotta, morel mushrooms, and a spruce crumble. Easy to say I was swooning as soon as the plate hit the table.
They have this unbelievably earthy flavor (but nothing like eating dirt) that I can't compare to anything else, they have the perfect "crunch", and let's be honest...they are easily the most fun looking vegetable.
So go grab some fiddleheads. They are a little hard to find so check your local farmers market or a local grocery store with a great produce section. Don't wait though. They have a short season and won't be around long!
Adapted from Roost
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 pint fresh fiddlehead ferns
spring mix lettuce
1 large orange, cut into chunks
handful of toasted almonds, roughly chopped
for the dressing-
1 medium shallot, finely minced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Trim the stem off of the fiddleheads and wash thoroughly, gently rubbing them between your fingers. Drain well. Blanch fiddleheads until tender, about 5 minutes. Pour into a strainer and run under ice cold water to halt the cooking. Drain again and chill until ready to serve.
- To make the dressing, combine the first four ingredients in a blender and pulse several times. Slowly pour in the olive oil while on low speed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Toss the lettuce, orange, almonds, and fiddleheads in a large bowl. Top with parmesan and toss with dressing.