Ask anyone who knows me; there is nothing I love more than a giant salad. That may make me sound incredibly boring, but don’t get me wrong. I can over indulge with the best of them, but my love for vegetables runs deep.
When I’ve had a few too many cocktails the first thing I reach for the morning after is a cucumber. I’m pretty sure the only thing I kept down my first month of pregnancy was red peppers and celery sticks. When I go out for dinner I order a salad to go with whatever else I’m eating NO MATTER WHAT. I’m not a salad instead of fries girl, I’m a fries on my salad kind of girl.
All that to say, when I set out to develop this recipe I had to employ some serious restraint. It’s Spring! Let’s add all the things!! But when it comes to recipe writing, that can make things a bit tricky and difficult for the reader to follow so I culled down the ingredient list to just the essentials. Okay, so maybe nine vegetables is slightly more than essential, but I promise you won’t be disappointed.
What I love about this recipe is that is can actually serve as a light meal, or it works beautifully for Spring entertaining. It’s also super versatile. If you want to add fresh peas instead of haricot verts, go for it! If you are vegetarian, skip the pancetta and fry the shallots in olive oil instead. If you don’t like blue cheese, use goat instead. Whatever you do, go out and enjoy all of the beautiful Spring produce popping up at the markets and share it with us on #feedfeed; we want to see what you are making!
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Yield: Serves or Makes 6-8
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set up an ice bath. Add asparagus and haricot vert and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bright green and crisp tender. Drain and add to ice bath for 1 minute, then drain and set aside.
Bring the water back to a boil and add eggs (lower them into the water carefully with a slotted spoon) and cook over a gentle boil for exactly 6 ½ minutes. Set eggs in an ice bath to cool, then when cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and cut them in half.
Meanwhile, place the pancetta in a cold pan sauté pan and place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until the fat has rendered and pancetta is crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Remove pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add thinly sliced shallots to the same pan and cook in the reserved pancetta fat over medium heat until crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove crispy shallots from oil with a slotted spoon, then drain and set aside.
To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a high speed blender and process until smooth.
To assemble the salad, arrange the butter lettuce, mixed greens and radicchio onto a large platter and top with asparagus, haricot vert, eggs, pancetta lardons, crispy shallots, radishes, artichokes and pistachios.
Serve dressing along side the plated salad and serve immediately.