Is warmer weather finally upon us (fingers crossed)? I’m more than ready to break out the flip flops, shorts, and tees.

Come early-spring, after plenty of root vegetables and nourishing, stick-to-your-ribs dishes, am looking for something a tad lighter yet equally satisfying. I love a big, hearty salad, a salad that’s a meal in itself, a fully-loaded salad with lots of color and texture (the texture compliments of toasted nuts/seeds or, in this case, homemade rye croutons).

This salad bids farewell to winter as spring awakens.

Salad components include…
Butter beans
Eggs (soft-, medium- or hard-boiled)
Blanched green beans
Boiled (or roasted) white and purple potatoes
Radicchio
Sorrel, should start popping up at the market early spring, has a tart/lemony flavor
Canned or fresh sardines and/or tuna (today I used canned)
Radish (or other spicy) microgreens
Rye Croutons
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

And now we need a dressing…to tie it all together.

I saw a big basket of tarragon just sitting by its lonesome. Nobody seemed to be buying any. It piqued my interest. Picked up a bunch and inhaled deeply. Alluring, seductive, aniseed aroma. Sold.

Tarragon pairs exceptionally well with eggs, fish, and potatoes (all of which I included in this salad).

This is a classic French tarragon-shallot vinaigrette.

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I brought back these sardines from Spain (these particular sardines are smaller than the ones I usually find in NYC). I realize that sardines, canned or otherwise, don’t appeal to most, but for my fellow sardine lovers, canned sardines make a nice addition to this salad. You can always omit or substitute with a good quality canned tuna. Or, how about grilled shrimp or chicken.

Oh, and fresh grilled sardines would be a lovely addition. Now we’re talking.

 

Make it colorful…

 

A Simple Tarragon Vinaigrette

makes 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
t tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, and tarragon. Let sit 5 minutes.

Stir in the mustard. In a thin, steady stream, add the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

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