Our Favorite Fall Salad

Our Favorite

When the fall weather turns cool and crisp and the days get shorter and darker, we sometimes slip into a blue mood.  We crave sunshine and brightness.   A crisp, balanced salad with tangy-sweet fall flavors is just what the doctor ordered!

We developed this salad to celebrate the the flavors and textures we love — crunchy and aromatic fennel — honey-sweet persimmons — juicy-tart pomegranate seeds — earthy walnuts — and velvety mâche leaves, all tied together with a bright and tangy vinaigrette.

Persimmon and Fennel Salad | Dear Martini

A composed salad is a salad in which each component is seasoned  and dressed individually and then artfully arranged.  It’s an excellent choice for a leisurely lunch.  Take it to the the next level with some grilled shrimp or soft dollops of goat cheese and it becomes a quick and easy dinner.

The Dear Martini method of building the composed salad is also mirrored in our Bite-Sized Technique videos:  you can actually watch a video for each component needed for this salad!  Click on the blue links to jump to each technique video — we promise you’ll learn something awesome!

 

Persimmon, Fennel, and Mâche Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette 

Serves 4

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

½  teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon minced shallot

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¾  cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced

½ fennel bulb and fronds, bulb thinly sliced and fronds chopped

4 cups mâche lettuce

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

1/3 cup toasted walnuts

To make the vinaigrette:  In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, thyme, and shallot with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Slowly whisk in olive oil and continue whisking until dressing is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Just before you are ready to serve, season and dress with vinaigrette each of the salad ingredients in separate bowls and then arrange on a platter or individual plates.

 

How to Make a Composed Salad recipe video thumbnail

 

PEAS, PLEASE!

Springtime is the best time for the softest, sweetest, most tender produce!  We love PEAS!  All kinds of peas, but in particular, English peas (aka garden peas.)  They are at the height of their season right now (March – May) so hurry and get these on your table NOW!

Serve them with anything…  And everything.

English Peas with Shallots and Mint

(serves 4)

One of our favorite way to eat peas is simply blanched, then tossed with melted butter, shallots and mint.  Variations on this theme:  substitute the mint for chervil,  chives, or flat-leaf parsley.

1 pound English pea pods, shelled and blanched

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, minced

Pinch of kosher salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon mint chiffonade

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Shell the peas into a small bowl and blanch.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized saute pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté for 2 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant.

Add the peas and sauté until they are hot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Turn the heat off and toss in the mint and zest.  Serve immediately.

Remember, when working with our recipes on the blog, simply hit the blue hyperlinks in the recipe to see the associated technique video. It’s our way of guiding you through the recipe. Alternatively, you can view our Vimeo Portfolio, where all of the pea-related videos are bundled: http://vimeopro.com/dearmartini/peas-please