This is the perfect spring salad...an incredible combination of intense flavors, with a delightfully crisp texture. With a sweet-tart dressing that gentles and enhances the tastes, this salad relaxes the liver and opens our energy to spring as beautifully as opening crocus blossoms.
Makes 4-5 servings
3-4 red radishes, very thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, tops trimmed, 2-3 teaspoons leaves, reserved
generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch dandelion, rinsed very well, left whole
1 cucumber, thinly sliced on the diagonal (do not peel, unless non-organic)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 fresh lemon
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
3-4 sprigs fresh parsley, finely minced
Place radishes in a shallow bowl and sprinkle generously with ume vinegar. Toss well and set aside to marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Place a small amount of oil, garlic and fennel in a skillet and turn heat to medium. When the fennel begins to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes and sauté until the fennel is just limp, about 2 minutes. Slice dandelion into thin pieces and stir into fennel, with a light sprinkle of salt, just until it wilts, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Arrange cucumber slices around the rim of a serving platter and mound dandelion and fennel in the center. Drain radishes and sprinkle over the top. Whisk dressing ingredients together and spoon over top the salad just before serving.
Cook’s Tip: If you don’t have umeboshi vinegar, simply use red wine vinegar with a pinch of sea salt in its place.