Spring has sprung! And while sometimes in Ontario the first few days of spring can still feel like the middle of winter, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate the new season with a beautiful green salad, thanks to the local, organic lettuce and other fresh produce that comes in your local organic food box.
I was first introduced to the beautiful black radish last week, and I confess I did not know what it was when I first saw it. Once I found out it was a radish, I was excited! I love the earthy, crisp flavor the bite of a radish gives to a fresh salad, and my thoughts turned immediately to creating a new vinaigrette. I started making my own salad dressings a few years ago and haven’t looked back- the bottled stuff pales in comparison once you have enjoyed the real deal.
You’ll want to make the vinaigrette first, as you will use it as a marinade for your chicken and you can allow it to refrigerate and get happy while your salad makes.
Nicole’s Black Radish Vinaigrette
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 black radish
3 tblspn maple syrup
2 1/2 tblspn dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
Peel your radish and cut half of it in chunks and place it in your food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. (if you do not have a food processor a blender could work, and if you’re really old-school and have neither appliance, you can simply dice the apple and radish very fine and whisk the ingredients together).
Spring Equinox Salad
Note about ingredients: I do not usually list ingredient amounts for salads, as its really to your liking and how many people you are trying to feed with the salad.
Organic chicken breast, cubed
local, greenhouse boston lettuce
1. Heat a frying pat to medium high heat while you toss your cubed chicken breast in just enough of the Black Radish vinaigrette to coat.
*Note about vinaigrette: I find that marinades made with apple cider vinegar can be delicious, but unlike other marinades you do not want to refrigerate the chicken in this vinaigrette before cooking. Apple cider marinades should be applied just before cooking or it can make your meat mushy, and who wants that?
2. When pan is nice and hot, cook the chicken until its nice and browned, remove and set aside.
3. Tear your lettuce and slice the remaining fruit and veg into a medium sized bowl, along with your walnuts, croutons, and blue cheese.
4. Add your chicken breast and just enough of the Black Radish vinaigrette to coat, and toss.
5. Plate your salad and enjoy with some fresh local bread.
Happy Spring Everyone!
-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and seasonally for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife
photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller