Have you ever eaten a flower?
Adding a few to this salad certainly makes it a celebration of spring. Start with some tender butter lettuce. Add some purple greens for color. A few strawberries and kumquats for their fruity flavors. Bring in some texture with walnuts and radish sprouts. A sprinkling of your favorite herbs. A splash of some luscious honey vinaigrette. Spring has sprung!
You know, you can build this salad in so many ways. I would definitely keep the butter lettuce. It is so light and velvety and really is the perfect vehicle for the delicate flavor of the honey vinaigrette.
So, back to eating flowers. I’ve had pansies before. This year I decided to grow nasturtiums.
Since moving from a big house with a small yard, to a small apartment with no yard, I’ve really missed planting a garden. So I will make due with a few pots of herbs, and a couple of nasturtium plants.
The flowers really don’t have a flavor. But they have the same velvety texture as the Bibb lettuce. And they mingle well with the other ingredients. And like all of the greens, they are the perfect vehicle for the sweet, tangy honey vinaigrette.
But let me tell you about this lovely honey vinaigrette. It is among the best that I’ve ever had! Slightly sweet. A little tangy. But very very light. There is a surprising ingredient that makes this vinaigrette so special. Look at the jar. Can you guess what it is?
It’s cinnamon! So so good!
I loved every element of this springtime salad. Buttery lettuce. Sweet strawberries. Tangy kumquats. Herbs. Shallots. Walnuts. Honey. And cinnamon!
I’ll only give you the recipe for the vinaigrette. You can add any combination of greens that are available to you. If the strawberries don’t look good, use raspberries instead. Not a fan of kumquats? Leave them out. Use any herbs that you have on hand to garnish. And add any other ingredients that feel like spring to you.
Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.
- 4 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped shallots
- 1½ Tablespoons of wildflower honey
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon of salt
- Place all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a jar and shake well.
- Build each salad plate separately. The dressing amount is for 4 servings.
- Place 3 or 4 butter lettuce leaves on each plate.
- Add torn lettuce leaves of your choice. (red leaf, purple kale, sorrel, purple mustard greens)
- Add 2 or 3 sliced strawberries to each plate.
- Add 1 or 2 kumquats, halved, to each plate.
- Add a handful of toasted chopped walnuts to each plate.
- Add a sprinkling of fresh herbs of your choice to each plate.
- Add a few radish sprouts or pea shoots to each plate.
- Add 1 or 2 edible flowers to each plate.
- Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper and serve with the Honey Vinaigrette.