- Posted February 12, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Share your heirloom recipes
Vegetarian Salad Nicoise for Spring
The best time to make this salad is in the spring when most of the ingredients are in season. This vegetarian version of salad nicoise is made with potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, fiddleheads, asparagus, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, green onions, and wild garlic-mustard greens. The salad is dressed in tangy mustard vinaigrette made with virgin olive oil, cider vinegar, Dijon style mustard, tamari, and clove garlic. This crisp and refreshing salad is satisfying enough to be enjoyed as a light meal if you are on a diet. It contains protein, starches, vitamins, minerals and nutrients to supply you with substantial energy. Watch some recipe videos .
You can use either fiddleheads or asparagus, or both, in this recipe. Fiddlehead greens are the young edible fronds of the ostrich fern and got its name because its curled top resembles that of the fiddle. Its taste is often compared to asparagus and bit can be used interchangeably or combined in one recipe. A rich source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 and contains a lot of antioxidants, fiddlehead greens has long been part of the human diet in many parts of Asia and Northern France. They are often added to salads such as in this recipe. Before steaming the fiddleheads to cook, the yellow brown inedible skin should be removed first. Fiddleheads are best enjoyed in their tender and crisp texture and should not be overcooked.
If you are using asparagus, remove any hard or woody stem before cooking. You can also trim the stem with a knife to get the crisp and tender center although this is not necessary for smaller and younger asparagus spears. Lightly steam the asparagus and take care not to overcook them. They should still be a vibrant green in color and have a pleasant crunch when you bite into it. Take note that the asparagus and fiddleheads will be sautéed with the rest of the ingredients, further cooking them.
For the Salad:
1 lb small fiddleheads and/or asparagus
6 baby potatoes OR 1 large potato, peeled
6 hard-boiled eggs
6 hothouse cocktail tomatoes
½ cup crumbled walnuts, pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds
6 green onions OR one small yellow onion, diced
2 handfuls wild garlic-mustard greens (small leaves only)
For the Dressing:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp grainy (Dijon Style) mustard
1 tsp tamari
1 clove garlic (wild, if possible), minced
Pick over the fiddleheads, removing as much of the papery skin as possible and discarding any greens that are more than 2 inches long. If using asparagus, wash and chop it into two-inch lengths. Steam the fiddleheads and/or asparagus in a steamer/basket for 15 minutes, or until brightly colored.
Meanwhile, shell the eggs and quarter them. Slice the cocktail tomatoes into quarters.
In a bowl, mix the olive oil, cider vinegar, mustard, tamari, and garlic to make the dressing.
In a large skillet, combine the fiddleheads/asparagus, onion, potatoes, nuts, seeds, and dressing. Sauté the mixture until onions are translucent.
Spoon the asparagus/fiddleheads mixture, hot, onto beds of mustard greens, and top with the hard boiled eggs and the cocktail tomatoes. Serve with the dressing and enjoy.
Watch more of cooking recipe videos.