This Spring Salad with Alain Passard’s Aigre-Doux come from Russ Parson’s in the LA Times. The secret to success is in the sweet and sour Aigre-Doux dressing from Alain Passard’s Michelin three-star restaurant l’Arpege. The best possible vegetables are also key, so choose the season’s best from your local farmers market. Mix and match as you like.
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 cup walnut oil
- 8 baby beets (washed)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
- 8 baby carrots
- 1 cup shelled, fresh peas
- 2 raw baby turnips (peeled)
- 4 cup loosely packed baby spring greens (mix and match as you like)
Make the aigre-doux: In a small bowl, blend honey, white wine vinegar and lemon juice with an immersion blender. With the blender running, slowly add the walnut oil, blending until you have a smooth sauce with a consistency somewhere between heavy cream and loose mayonnaise. You will have more dressing than required for the recipe; the remainder will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for several days (just blend briefly before using).
Cook vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the tops off the beets; save for another use. Place beets in a baking dish, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper; cover the dish tightly with foil. Roast in the heated oven until soft and fragrant; about 30 minutes. Remove skin while warm, then cut in half and set aside.
Prepare an ice bath.
Cook the baby carrots in a large pot of rapidly boiling, generously salted water until just tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes depending on size. Refresh in ice bath to stop cooking, pat dry and cut in half lengthwise. Cook the peas in the same pot of water, refresh in ice bath, pat dry and set aside.
Assemble the salad: Slice the peeled raw baby turnips crosswise, as thinly as you can. Place them into a work bowl, followed by the baby greens, and peas. Toss to combine.
When ready to serve, re-blend the aigre-doux briefly to recover the consistency. Spoon a generous few tablespoons into the work bowl with the vegetables; toss to combine. Divide the salad between four plates. Nestle the peeled, roasted beets and boiled baby carrots on top. Serve immediately with more aigre-doux on the side.