Monday, April 9, 2012

Bitter Greens Salad

Well, we made it through Seder. Do you have a stomachache yet? I am just starting to feel a bit queasy and ill at ease. You can try to avoid matzah meal, but what are you really going to feed the kids, right?

So, for those of you who have had just about enough of this to last you a lifetime . . .

. . . may I suggest this to make you feel a little less unleavened.

Plus, it uses up some of those bitter herbs. Because really, did we need four bunches of parsley and twelve heads of endive for two seders?

1 head of fennel, sliced thin across the grain (or two cups of celery or cabbage, sliced fine)
3 heads of endive, preferably mixed red and white, sliced thin
2 generous handfuls of parsley, rough chopped
2 spring onions, just the white parts, thinly sliced

Dressed with:
1/2 clove garlic, smashed/pureed/grated
1/2 t dijon mustard
pinch sugar
2-3 T olive oil
1-2 t red wine vinegar or white
1/4 t kosher salt, at least

For those who are not feeling the bread of affliction:
2 T chopped pecans or walnuts
2 T crumbled blue cheese

I think you know how to make salad dressing. But, humor me. Mix the garlic and mustard first with a little whisk or a fork. Add the sugar and olive oil, and try not to splash yourself (because it stains, ya know). Drizzle in the vinegar while whisking. Stir in the salt.


Does it taste just a little too salty and acidic? Then you've got it right, since this is a very wet salad that will dilute the dressing quickly. If not, fix it with more vinegar and salt. Too acidic? Add more oil.

Dress the salad and taste it so you can adjust the seasoning. Then let it rest for at least ten minutes. Right before you serve it, you have to taste it again. It probably needs salt, since the dressing has been leaching water out of the greens. Also, salt tames the bitterness of the endive and parsley.

(Last week I had a dinner party where nothing was seasoned right because my guests arrived early. I felt funny doing all that tasting in front of company. Later, I resisted the urge to go from plate to plate sprinkling everything with salt and lemon juice.)

Enjoy your greens. Tell me if you want to know how to make matzah rolls - we're doing it twice a day around here.

1 comment:

  1. Now we can make your amazing salad dressing! I know you've told me a million times before, but this time it'll stick.