The Queen of Spring: Fiddlehead: Wild Spring Salad with Rhubarb Dressing

This spectacular salad sings with the purple, yellow, and green colors of spring.

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Serves 4 to 6

This spectacular salad sings with the purple, yellow, and green colors of spring. You may substitute garden leeks for wild leeks; tender salad greens for the sorrel, dandelion, and violet leaves; and any fresh herbs for the dandelion and violet flowers.

3 cups fresh fiddleheads, cleaned and trimmed and lightly steamed
1 cup fresh wild leeks, chopped
20 sorrel leaves, torn
20 young spinach leaves, torn
20 young dandelion leaves, torn
20 young violet leaves, torn
6 chive flowers, chopped
6 dandelion flowers
10 violet flowers
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped fresh lemon balm
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh savory
Rhubarb Dressing

Place all ingredients except dressing in a large salad bowl and toss with Rhubarb Dressing.

Rhubarb Dressing

You may substitute applesauce for stewed rhubarb if rhubarb is not available.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup stewed rhubarb
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid or a small bowl. Shake or whisk to mix well.

Pat Crocker of Hanover, Ontario, Canada, leads walks in which participants learn to identify and gather wild herbs, then prepare them for a gourmet lunch. Her latest cookbook, The Healing Herbs Cookbook (Robert Rose, 1999), features culinary and medicinal herbs in timely, tasty dishes.

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