My Recipe Box

Spring Vegetable Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette


Serves 4

  • by from Southern Comfort: A New Take on the Recipes We Grew Up With

For the dressing
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
For the vegetable salad
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 bunch green asparagus
  • 1 medium head broccoli
  • 1/2 cup shelled fresh green peas
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce (preferably hydroponic)
  • 4 red radishes
  • 4-oz. wedge Parmesan cheese, for shaving
Make the dressing

Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Chill until needed.

Make the salad

To prepare the vegetables, bring a large saucepan filled with 4 quarts water and the kosher salt to a boil.

Meanwhile, for the asparagus, trim off the lower third of the stems and discard. Halve the asparagus diagonally. For the broccoli, using a small knife, cut off the florets from the stem (halve the florets, if necessary, so they are all in bite-size pieces).

Line a baking sheet with paper towels and have ready. Set a colander in a bowl of ice water and have ready. Once the water is boiling, blanch each green vegetable separately, transferring each with a slotted or wire mesh spoon to the colander in the ice water bath after blanching, and letting the water in the pot return to a boil between each one. Blanch in this order: the peas, boiling for 1 minute; then the broccoli, boiling for 1-1/2 minutes; then the asparagus, cooking until al dente, 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks. Remove the blanched vegetables from the ice water and let them dry on the prepared baking sheet.

Separate the leaves of Bibb lettuce, discarding the large, tough outer leaves. Wash and dry completely. Shave the radishes into paper-thin slices with a mandoline.

To assemble the salad, dress all of the vegetables and lettuce lightly with the vinaigrette and place in a bowl. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, shave the Parmesan over the salad to garnish.

Photo: Ed Anderson

This is the best salad dressing, so fresh and vibrant. Highly recommended. I make enough for several days worth of salads and keep it in the fridge. If I have lemon infused olive oil on hand, I use it, which boosts the lemon flavor even more. Don't leave out the salt, it's important to the flavor. I use a fine sea salt which dissolves instantly and isn't harsh like regular table salt. (I recently discovered the microplane, which makes zesting less of a chore and produces a finer zest.)

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