Recipe: Crisp Vegetable Salad for Spring

I haven’t been doing much cooking recently, or at least, not much that is creative, but this little salad has been a nice change from the usual lettuce-cucumber-tomato-capsicum deal, and is a nice, fresh, crisp-tasting side-dish for spring.

Today’s version is brought to you by my friend A, who gave me a bag of baby carrots – really carrot thinnings, so even cuter – mint and other goodies from her garden when we went to pick her up for a freecycling trip.  The amounts are vague, because I am vague too, but the combination of small, sweet, crisp carrot with spicy radish, fragrant mint and aniseedy fennel is very tasty, and very easy to bring together on a plate.  You can use any light tasting vinegar – cider or white wine vinegar would work – but strawberry vinegar seemed to fit with the spring-like theme of this salad.

This recipe serves two as a side dish.

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2 spring onions
1 bunch of carrot thinnings
3 sprigs of mint
2 spring onions
1 small fennel bulb
4 radishes
splash of strawberry vinegar
olive oil

Peel off the outside leaves of your spring onions, and then slice the white bits and as much of the green as you feel moved to use.  Toss into a bowl.  Slice the radishes and mint finely, and add to the bowl.  The fennel bulb should be halved and the core bits removed, and then you can slice it into onion-like half-rings.  Add to the bowl.

Scrub your carrot thinnings well.  The teeny, tiny ones can be topped and tailed and eaten with the skins on.  The ones that are, say, as thick as your little finger, can be peeled before topping and tailing them.  I left the miniature ones whole, halved the finger-sized ones, and the one larger carrot got sliced diagonally into three or four pieces.  These go in the bowl, too.

Splash in some oil and vinegar, toss everything together, and serve.

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Variations

This recipe is obviously gluten-free, vegan and low GI.  Not low fructose, sorry.  You could vary it in all sorts of ways, but I think the goal is to stick to vegetables that are crispy.  Some toasted nuts or seeds might be a nice touch.  If you wanted to make it a bit more filling, a little Persian feta might be a good addition.  But really, the essence of this dish is simplicity and freshness and crispiness.  So long as you stick to that, you’ll be fine.

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