I like salads but I find it hard to get too excited about most of them. This Salad of Fennel, Edamame, Arugula and Parmesan with Crispy Croutons and Cheesy Tarragon Dressing is one to get excited about. So many flavors and textures. I slightly adapted a Nigel Slater online recipe--swapping the broad (fava) beans out for the more plentiful in Hawaii edamame, slightly reducing the oil in the dressing, and since I didn't have tarragon vinegar, making my own with champagne vinegar and dried tarragon. The dressing contains a raw egg yolk--I left it in as I had good quality local eggs and like to live on the edge. ;-) But you could always omit it if you prefer.
Salad of Fennel, Edamame, Arugula and Parmesan with Crispy Croutons and Cheesy Tarragon Dressing
Adapted from Nigel Slater via TheGuardian.com
400g (14 oz) broad beans in their pods (I used edamame)
1 Tbsp tarragon vinegar (I used champagne vinegar + 1 tsp dried tarragon)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
100ml (3.3 oz) olive oil (I reduced to 2 oz)
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan
a block of Parmesan for shaving
2 tsp lemon juice
2 thick slices of white bread
oil for frying the bread
1 medium fennel bulb
4 double-handfuls of small, hot salad leaves, such as rocket and watercress
(I garnished with some of the fennel fronds)
Pod the beans and boil them in lightly salted water for 4 or 5 minutes till tender. They shouldn't need skinning.
the dressing by whisking the vinegar, mustard, egg yolk and oil
together with a little salt and black pepper then beating in the grated
cheese. Squeeze in the lemon juice, stir, then set aside for a few
Cut the bread into small squares and fry in shallow oil till golden on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper.
the fennel thinly. Toss it with the leaves and drained beans in the
dressing. Pile the salad on to 2 plates, shave pieces of Parmesan over
with a vegetable peeler. I usually do at least 8 per salad, depending on
my dexterity with the peeler.
Tip the hot croutons over the salad and
eat straightaway while crunchy.
Notes/Results: A keeper salad and dressing recipe for sure. The flavors work well together--the salty creaminess of the Parmesan in the dressing is perfect with the peppery arugula and the light licorice taste of the fennel. The edamame and warm crispy croutons add good contrast to the crispy greens and fennel. Very satisfying. This is a nice starter salad--easy to prepare but elegant, or a perfect as a side with some grilled fish. I confess to eating most of both portions as my dinner and being very happy about it. I will make this again.
This Nigel Slater dish is linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's Serving Up Salads theme. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links of the post.