Happy Spring, my friends! It’s been a long time coming, I know.
Let’s kick it off with one of my favorite salads, Shaved Spring Salad with Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette, perfect for Easter or any spring lunch.
When the weather temps start to rise, I lean HARD into salads. You may have picked up on that with a couple of my favorites from last year, this Grilled (Faux) Caesar Salad and Herby Marinated Lentil Salad. I find salads one of the most fun dishes to create. The fitting together of colors, textures, and flavors – acid/creamy/savory/sweet/crunchy… they all need to play off each other and round out the salad to get that unspeakable satisfaction you can’t quite pinpoint. I like to think mine do that, and this one definitely does.
This salad was inspired by a shaved salad Geoffrey Zakarian made when we had him as a guest on The Martha Stewart Show. He used raw egg yolk in his creamy dressing, and this is my version without. I also boosted the color using various vegetable varieties (only partially as a ploy to maybe, please, perhaps, get my kids to try it).
Carrots – I love the tricolor varieties for color, but regular orange carrots work fine!
Frisee – Such a pretty lettuce, and the texture is the perfect blend of soft and textured for this salad.
Radishes – Again, I love to mix pink and purple radishes, or better yet, use watermelon radishes if you can get your hands on them.
Asparagus – Asparagus can do a whole lot more than be roasted, this is a great use for fresh asparagus. The thicker the better, to get the most from each stalk.
The colors do all the heavy lifting for you in terms of presentation, be still my pastel loving heart.
“what else can i use?”
- If you can’t find frisee, butter lettuce or fennel are good substitutes
- I use either unsweetened coconut yogurt or a bit of full fat Greek yogurt in the dressing. The coconut yogurt makes this dish vegan. Use whatever plain yogurt you like best.
- Tarragon is beautiful in this spring salad, but if you don’t care for it, basil is a lovely swap.
- A bit of thinly sliced pear is a nice addition to this salad, as is grilled chicken if you’re making it the main course for a Sunday lunch.
I will be eating this salad for months to come, and I highly suggest you do as well. As always, let me know if you make it as I so appreciate your feedback and you!
Shaved Spring Salad with Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette (Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Vegan Friendly)
- 10 asparagus stalks, the thicker the better
- 4 large radishes or 6 small
- 4 carrots tricolor if available
- 2-3 heads of frisée
Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt of choice Greek, coconut, etc
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp water for thinning dressing
- For the salad:
- Cut the bottoms off of the washed heads of frisée and place in a large, shallow bowl.
- Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus and carrots lengthwise into strips.
- Discard the remnants of vegetable that are too thin to shave.
- Using a mandolin, or a sharp knife, very thinly slice radishes.
- Top the frisée with the prepared vegetables.
For the dressing:
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk well until emulsified. Add 1 or 2 Tbsp of water to thin it to desired consistency.
- Top the salad with the dressing, toss, and enjoy!