A light drizzle of rain overnight seemed to have awakened the budding green shoots all around. Spring has finally arrived. I want to make a dish that sings to the glory of the season. There are so many lovely green vegetables in the market calling to be enlisted: artichokes, asparagus, peas and cabbage of all kinds.
When you put all green vegetables in one salad bowl, as Ottolenghi suggests, you get the most glorious celebration of spring. Four of my favorite green vegetables are asparagus, haricots verts, green peas and baby spinach; I like them year round. Even my latest favorites, black sesame seeds and nigella seeds, are making a spectacular showing amid this spring madness salad mix. The emerald tone of the salad and the earthy flavor of the seeds heighten the call to the soil and the awaiting vegetable and herb patch to be planted. There is clearly excitement in the air.
This is a very simple salad; you don’t even need a recipe to make one. The key is getting the best and freshest ingredients that the season offers. Any number of green vegetables would do the trick.
First, blanch the vegetables in a big pot of boiling water until they are tender, but with a bite. Three minutes for the asparagus, five minutes for the green beans and two minutes for the peas, according to Ottolenghi’s recipe. Then shock the vegetables in a bowl of cold water. I couldn’t find fresh or frozen fava beans. I used green peas instead. Haricot verts would have been great, but I couldn’t resist picking out some loose green beans from the farmer’s market. So green beans went into the salad instead.
Toss all the vegetables in a dressing made with olive oil, sesame oil and lemon juice. A mad sprinkle of white sesame seeds and nigella seeds adds a finishing touch, bringing a feverish pitch to an already exciting mix. I should have sprinkled more seeds all over with abandon and exuberance. Spring is here!
|Green vegetables: asparagus, green beans, peas and spinach|
I am linking this post to IHCC’s potluck gathering this week. Please check the blogroll for other exciting spring offerings.