It's Now Officially Salad Season
A spring salad can be as simple as tender greens tossed with vinaigrette, or you can step it up by adding seasonal treats like peas, asparagus, radishes, and baby artichokes.
In Season: arugula, Bibb lettuce, Boston lettuce, mache, and mesclun are available year-round but thrive in the cooler weather of spring and fall.
What to Look For: Leaves should be bright and fresh looking. Choose crisp lettuces that are free of blemishes.
How to Store: Lettuce should be washed and thoroughly dried in a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture. Refrigerate washed-and-dried greens in an airtight plastic bag for three to five days.
Related: 14 New, Lighter Comfort Food Ideas
Pea-Shoot and Baby-Artichoke Salad with Parmesan Croutons
Combine vibrant green pea shoots with the season’s first radishes and baby artichokes for a salad that’s full of texture. Add rustic Parmesan croutons, which get a little kick from cayenne, for richness and heft.
3 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 1/4 cups), divided
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 ounces rustic bread, such as pane pugliese, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lemon, zested
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 or 2 lemons), plus more for drizzling
1 1/4 pounds baby artichokes
4 ounces pea shoots (about 8 cups)
5 medium radishes, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss together 3/4 cup Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Toss bread with 2 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet, spread into a single layer, and sprinkle with half of cheese mixture. Bake 10 minutes. Flip bread with a spatula and sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture. Bake until bread is golden brown but still soft in center, about 5 minutes more. Reserve any cheesy bits on baking sheet.
2. Combine lemon zest and juice, 1/4 cup oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, peel tough outer leaves. Trim 1 1/2 inches from top and trim stem. Trim fibrous green skin from base and sides. Thinly slice each artichoke lengthwise, adding it to the bowl with dressing and tossing (this prevents discoloration). Add remaining 1/2 cup cheese and croutons, and toss to combine. Let stand until bread is slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
3. Just before serving, add pea shoots, radishes, and cheesy bits from baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil and more lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
Bibb Salad with Radishes and Asparagus
Crunchy radishes, delicate Bibb lettuce, and fresh asparagus are mixed with a homemade dressing for a unique salad that will complement any spring menu.