Arugula Salade Composee
This salad combines vegetables with salad greens, for a crunchy mix of fresh tastes and crisp textures. Delicate asparagus and haricots verts, along with heartier raw vegetables, are garnished with sharp-flavored cheese and black pepper and tossed with a refreshing, lemony dressing. Serve it as a dinner appetizer or a luncheon main course. Slice the raw vegetables as thin as possible, so they will be easy to eat. A mandoline does the best job, but you may slice them by hand. The cheese also may be sliced thin on a mandoline or by hand.
Order of preparation:
• Prepare the Lemon Vinaigrette.
• Cut, blanch, and shock the vegetables.
• Toss the vegetables with the Lemon Vinaigrette.
• The lemon Vinaigrette can be refrigerated up to 3 weeks; whisk to recombine before using.
• The blanched and shocked vegetables can be refrigerated up to 1 day.
Makes6 appetizer or 4 luncheon servings
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseappetizer, main course, side dish
Dietary Considerationdiabetic, egg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecheesy, crisp, fruity, sharp, tangy, tart
Type of Dishfirst course salad, main course salad, salad
- 12 thin asparagus spears, peeled if they are woody at the base
- Kosher salt
- 1 to 1¼ cups haricots verts or slender green beans
- 2 bunches of arugula (about 4 cups of leaves with 1 inch of stem)
- 1 large bulb fennel, with any discolored outer pieces removed, cored and very thinly sliced
- ¼ medium head red cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons blanched and julienne Lemon Confit or 2 tablespoons julienne fresh lemon zest
- ½ cup Lemon Vinaigrette (below)
- 4 ounces pecorino romano or Parmesan cheese, very thinly sliced
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra, if needed
- Juice of 4 medium lemons (about 1 cup)
- ½ cup olive oil, plus extra, if needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
In a medium bowl, whisk ¼ teaspoon salt with the lemon juice until dissolved. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Taste, and season with pepper and a little more salt, if needed. Add more lemon juice if the dressing tastes too flat. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Blanch the asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and still crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, and shock in a bowl of ice water. Remove it by grasping the stems, rather than the tips, with tongs.
Repeat the blanching, shocking, and draining for the haricots verts, using a colander to drain.
In a medium bowl, toss the asparagus, haricots verts, arugula, fennel, and cabbage with the lemon confit and enough lemon vinaigrette to dress lightly. Season to taste with salt.
To serve, divide the salad among chilled plates and top with the sliced cheese. Grind a little coarse black pepper over each salad.
For a main-course salad, top each serving with a portion of sautéed or grilled fish or chicken.
If you don’t want to use both asparagus and beans, use a double quantity of either one. Or add some zucchini or shredded carrots. The amounts and vegetables are very flexible.
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1996 Debra Ponzek and Joan Schwartz