Serious Eats: Recipes

Asparagus, Peas, Beans, and Fennel Salad

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Patricia Wells, author of Salad as a Meal, knows how to treat her vegetables. It's her respect for vegetables that takes her salads from mere piles of dressed greens to beautifully arranged and expertly seasoned plates of vegetable-centric bounty.

This Asparagus, Peas, Beans, and Fennel Salad is a lovely and simple take on her salad savvy. Each vegetable component of the recipe is blanched for optimal flavor and greenness, and assembled right before serving with her genius Lemon-Chive Dressing. The dressing is a creamy, bright mix of lemon juice and zest, snipped chives, and heavy cream shaken together to make for a rich, tangy sauce than can work equally well as a dip, spread, or salad dressing. This recipe can be tweaked into late summer friendliness by subbing in any sort of beans from the garden (I subbed in purple and white Dragon's Tongue beans for the peas), kernels of blanched sweet corn, and crunchy slices of cucumber.

Reprinted with permission from Salad as a Meal by Patricia Wells, copyright © 2011. Published by William Morrow.

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