My husband Mike writes the cocktail column for Edible Rhody magazine, and he and I were recently guests at a reception celebrating the release of the book “Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods” held at New Rivers restaurant here in Providence. As you can imagine, we enjoyed a wonderful array of local food and drink that evening, and one dish that my friend Jen and I kept going back for more of was a beautiful spring salad of tiny radishes, fiddleheads, and tender peas, barely dressed and studded with chive blossoms and slivers of mint. It was the kind of dish I love, subtle and elegant, as beautiful to look at as it was delicious, and I was eager to try to recreate it at home. We had an impromptu potluck with some neighbors last night, and one of my contributions was a version of that salad. I used slender asparagus in place of fiddleheads, but I suspect that blanched snap peas or even tender young green beans would work as well. —lastnightsdinner
Kosher or sea salt
rice wine vinegar
grapeseed or other neutral oil
very thin asparagus, sliced on the bias into about 1-inch pieces
fresh peas, blanched
bunches tiny radishes (I used a variety called Cherry Belle), greens removed, trimmed and quartered
Put a pinch or two of salt into a mixing bowl, add the rice wine vinegar and whisk until the salt is dissolved. Whisk in the grapeseed oil until the dressing is emulsified.
Add the asparagus, peas, and radishes to the bowl and gently toss. Separate the chive blossoms into individual little buds by pinching the blossoms off where the feathery stems connect to the chive. Just before serving, toss about half of the chive blossoms and the mint with the dressed vegetables and spoon the salad into a serving bowl, scattering the remaining chive blossoms over the top.