Spring Vegetable Salad
The ideal vegetables for this salad are the most
angelic: miniature squash, baby carrots, slender green beans, flat
snow peas, pencil-thin asparagus, etc. So use the loveliest
vegetables you can find. Also, feel free to make substitutions as
necessary. This is a very flexible recipe.
The salad can be assembled a day in advance. Just hold off on
adding the lemon juice until shortly before serving. (If the
vegetables sit too long in an acidic substance, their colors will
1/4 pound baby carrots
1/2 pound fresh green beans, as slender as possible
1/2 pound snow peas
8 to 10 very small red potatoes
1 small head cauliflower
1 or 2 small yellow summer squash
1/ 2 pound asparagus, pencil thin, if possible
2 to 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/ 4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
Minced fresh basil, tarragon, marjoram, dill, and/or chives
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- Prepare the vegetables: Trim both ends of the carrots, green
beans, and snow peas. If desired, cut them in half. Or leave them
whole. Halve the potatoes, separate the cauliflower into 1-inch
pieces, and slice the squash. Snap off and discard the coarse lower
ends of the asparagus. Cut off the tips, and slice the middle parts
into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
- Steam the potatoes until just tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
While potatoes are cooking, place the garlic and olive oil in a
large bowl. When the potatoes are done, transfer them – still
hot – to the bowlful of garlic and oil.
- Steam the carrots, cauliflower, and green beans together until
just tender, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Refresh under cold water,
drain well and transfer to the bowl.
- Steam together the asparagus, snow peas, and squash until just
al dente. (This will take less than 5 minutes.) Add to the
rest of the vegetables, and mix gently.
- Add remaining ingredients, except for the lemon juice, and stir
again. Cover tightly and chill until very cold.
- Stir in the lemon juice within about 15 minutes of serving