Spring Vegetable Salad

The most satisfying dishes are often those which begin with the best ingredients and then treat them simply, with tender loving care.  This salad harmonizes those tender, wonderful first offerings of the gardens in our area in a seemingly simple yet elegant explosion of flavor and texture.  You’ll see, for example, asparagus in this salad, from Gaia’s Breath farm.  Asparagus is just arriving, so you know spring is here!

Veg Salad Photo

Jennifer and James Vellano, of Maison-Privé, put this salad together to represent the very best of local farms, so you’ll see those farms named in the recipe.  We’d love it if you sought all these farmers out at your local farmers markets (in Mount Kisco or Gossett’s Nursery) but you can of course find excellent ingredients locally from the sources of your choice.

You’ll also note that James and Jennifer bring an extraordinary level of attention and technique to how they prepare this dish.  We encourage you to channel your inner Thomas Keller and follow these directions to the letter (including preparing your egg yolks with a Sous Vide machine!) but we’re pretty sure you’re going to love it no matter how careful you are.

Here’s an idea: prepare it your way, then visit the Maison-Privé tasting room sometime soon, and have Jennifer and James make it for you — compare and contrast!

So, here’s what you’ll need:

Early Spring Vegetable Salad (yields 6)

  • Amawalk Farm Carrots, 1 bunch
  • Riverbank Farm Potatoes, 10-12 small pieces
  • Gaia’s Breath Farm Asparagus, 1 bunch
  • Spring Garlic, 2 pieces
  • Abilis Microgreens, trimmed by hand
  • John Boy’s Farm Eggs, 6 yolks
  • Horseradish, freshly grated, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Lemon Infused Oil
  • Champagne Vinegar
  • Alder Smoked Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper

For the Vegetables:

Peel and trim the carrots, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and grill until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Boil the potatoes until tender (but not mushy) with the skins on.

Once cooked, remove and place in ice water for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, dry them off and split them in half.  Rub gently with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill.

Separate the tips of the asparagus from the stems.  Place the tips in salted, boiling water for 1 minute and then drop into ice water.  

For the Vinaigrette:

Place the stems of the asparagus and the spring garlic into salted, boiling water for 5 minutes and then drop into ice water.

After the stems and garlic are chilled, remove from the ice and place in a blender. Add 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon horseradish, 1 cup lemon infused oil and 1/3 cup champagne vinegar. 

Blend well, add salt and pepper to taste.  Thin with water if necessary.

Here’s a Fancy Bit:

Jennifer and James Sous Vide their egg yolks.  This produces an extraordinary yolk which, once you’ve had it, you’ll never stop thinking about it.  And, in fact, Sous Vide machines are increasingly common in home kitchens.  This salad is still spectacular with a poached egg, but if you want to know the Vellano’s Sous Vide preparation, here it is:

Set up the Sous Vide Machine to 64 degrees Celsius.  Once the temperature has been reached, place a shallow metal pan over the water and fill with olive oil (the pan should be half-way submerged in the water.  Drop the egg yolks (carefully) into the olive oil.  After one hour, gently remove the yolks with a slotted spoon and place on top of the salad.  Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the salad with the grilled carrots, potatoes, asparagus tips and Abilis Microgreens.  Dress lightly with the asparagus vinaigrette.