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Spring vegetable salad with l'Arpege's aigre-doux

Time 35 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Spring vegetable salad with l’Arpege’s aigre-doux
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
1

In a small bowl, blend the honey, white wine vinegar and lemon juice with an immersion blender. With the blender running, slowly add the olive and vegetable oils, blending until you have a smooth sauce with a consistency somewhere between heavy cream and loose mayonnaise. You will have more dressing than required for the recipe; the remainder will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for several days (just blend briefly before using it).

2

Cook the whole peeled carrots in a large pot of rapidly boiling, generously salted water until just tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Refresh in an ice bath to stop cooking, pat dry and, if they are big enough, cut them into lengthwise quarters. Cook the peas in the same pot of water, refresh in an ice bath and pat dry.

3

Quarter the fennel, cut out the solid core and slice it lengthwise as thin as you can. Collect it in a large work bowl. Slice the radishes as thin as you can crosswise and add them to the work bowl. Quarter the heads of endive lengthwise, cut out the solid core and cut the leaves into thin strips. Add to the work bowl and set aside.

4

When ready to serve, blend the dressing briefly to recover the consistency. Spoon a generous tablespoon of the sauce in the center of a salad plate and use the back of the spoon to carefully spread it in a circle. Lightly season the shaved vegetables with salt and pepper and arrange over the top of the dressing in an attractive pattern (this must be done at the last minute or the salt will soften the vegetables).

5

Drizzle a half-teaspoon or so of dressing over the shaved vegetables and arrange the carrots and peas over the top. Sprinkle with minced chives and serve immediately.


Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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