Spring Celebration: Salad Greens with Fennel, Radishes and Garlic-Mustard Vinaigrette

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Fennel and radishes add a pleasant crunch to the first, tender salad greens of the season.
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Nothing can compare with the first, tender salad greens from the spring garden.

New Lettuces and Baby Greens with Fennel and Radishes
Serves 6 to 8

Nothing can compare with the first, tender salad greens from the spring garden. If you don’t garden, look for fresh greens in your local market. Follow the suggestions below, or mix and match to suit your palate. Fennel and radishes add a pleasant crunch.

About 6 cups assorted lettuce leaves such as limestone, oak leaf, baby red or green Romaine, buttercrunch, or deer tongue1 small bunch spinach
1 bunch watercress
1 small head of radicchio, frisee, or escarole
1 fennel bulb
1 small bunch radishes
Garlic-mustard vinaigrette

1. Wash and pick over the salad greens and spin or pat them dry. Trim and remove the outer tough portion of the fennel bulb and cut it lengthwise into thin slices. Cut each slice at the core so the fennel separates into long pieces. Top and tail the radishes as needed and slice them thin.

2. Arrange the salad greens on a platter or in a large, shallow bowl. Scatter the fennel and radishes over all. Dress the salad with garlic-mustard vinaigrette, toss, and serve.

Garlic-Mustard Vinaigrette
Makes about 2/3 cups

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 generous teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced very fine
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar, close tightly, and shake well. Taste on a piece of lettuce, and adjust with a dash more vinegar or salt and pepper as needed.

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