Ready for a fresh spring salad with a crunchy kick?
Well this Pickled Spring Vegetable Salad is just your thing. No need to plan ahead. Spring radishes, carrots, cucumbers, fennel and shallots are quick pickled in a tangy brine. Toss them with some roasted, salty sunflower seeds, fresh cilantro, and crunchy romaine hearts. And drizzle everything with a sweet and spicy honey harissa vinaigrette!
I think romaine or iceberg lettuces are best for this salad because they really hold up to the spicy vinaigrette while offering a contrasting cool crunch!
You can choose any vegetables you’d like to pickle. I kept mine simple. The pickling takes only 30 minutes. Just enough time to prepare the gorgeously colored, hot, sweet vinaigrette. For the brining and the vinaigrette, I happened to find a Ginger Honey by Braswell’s, which gave the flavors a little more warmth. But your favorite honey will work just fine.
I love this salad for the many contrasts it offers. Sweet, spicy, tangy, cool, crunchy, salty. And it’s a perfect salad to kick off spring. Here on the East Coast the farmers markets don’t open until May. So these early spring vegetables are readily available in my local supermarkets.
- For the Brine:
- 2 cups of unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 3 cups of water
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed
- ¼ cup of ginger honey (I used Braswell's, but any honey will be good!)
- 3 Tablespoons of salt
- For the Salad:
- 4 romaine hearts, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 4 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
- 3-4 shallots, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup of freshly chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup of roasted sunflower seeds
- For the Vinaigrette:
- ¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup of white wine vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons of harissa
- 3 Tablespoons of ginger honey (or any other honey you choose)
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- a few grinds of fresh black pepper
- Place all the sliced veggies in a heatproof bowl or container.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, water, garlic, honey and salt.
- Cook over moderate heat until the honey dissolves and the mixture is hot, about 3-4 minutes.
- Carefully pour the brine over the vegetables and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Drain the veggies and refrigerate them until they are chilled.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together (olive oil, white wine vinegar, harissa, honey, lime juice, salt & pepper)
- Season the dressing to taste.
- Place the romaine, cilantro and veggies together in a serving bowl.
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the salad and toss.
- Portion the salad onto your serving plates and drizzle with the vinaigrette.
- NOTE: You will have more dressing than you need for this salad.
Please support your local farmers!