This might as well be called the ’Better Late Than Never Salad’! I made this salad with this season’s spring vegetables at least a few times in the past few weeks, wanting to post it. Alas! we kept pecking away at all its various components, I didn’t have much left behind to photograph! So before the summer season begins let me make another attempt and swat away those pilfering paws, just enough to take some pictures!
These days we are pampered by the continuous availability of fruits and vegetables from all parts of the world without regard to which season we are in. I had completely lost sight of what each season’s bounty was. Growing up in India, we only ate seasonally and that too as farm fresh as possible. Every day we would shop at the humble vegetable shack at our street corner for our daily fruits and vegetables. We also had the luxury of having vegetables carted to our front doors, not to mention our regular vegetable lady who sold her produce from her basket which she expertly balanced on her head as she stopped by every house in our street. Several varieties of greens, mud still clinging to its roots were staples in her basket. It doesn’t get any more ‘in season’ than that.
Nowadays with a return to a more localized way of eating, I am learning that artichokes, fava beans, asparagus, leeks and peas are typical spring vegetables, here in the U.S. I saw tender new baby potatoes in the market which must have just been harvested. So I put all these vegetable together along with greens from my garden and some dumplings that I made. I found eggless, spinach gyoza wrappers, which gave me the idea to make dumplings with fresh peas and mint which are growing like weeds in my container. I tossed it all together with a simple dressing for a wonderful ‘taste of spring’.
For the dumplings
About 15 Gyoza wrappers [I used Twin Marquis brand, which is vegan]
1 cup blanched fresh or frozen peas
½ cup finely chopped leeks
1 tablespoon butter + extra for sautéing the dumplings
30 mint leaves
Salt to taste
Saute the chopped leeks in the butter over a low flame for a couple of minutes. Add the blanched peas, salt to taste and puree the mixture. This is the filling for the dumplings.
Thaw the dumplings wrappers according to packet direction. On each wrapper place a couple of mint leaves in the middle and mound a teaspoon and half of the pea puree on top of the mint.
Keep a small dish of water close by. Dip your finger in the water and go around all over the edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the filling and seal all around so none of the filling escapes while cooking. Cover the dumplings with a cloth to prevent it from drying.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and drop about 5 dumplings at a time and cook for about five minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and arrange on drying rack. Finish all the dumplings this way. Then lightly saute in some butter till blisters appear on them.
1 cup light white wine of your choice
½ cup finely chopped leeks
1 tablespoon salted butter
Additional salt if required
Put the wine and chopped leeks in a small pan and let it come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook it down to about ½ a cup. Remove from stove and whisk in the butter to form a creamy dressing. Add salt if required.
The salad vegetables
Fava beans, shelled, boiled and peeled
Artichoke hearts, steamed
New baby potatoes, boiled
Spring greens from my garden
Carrots also from my garden
Putting the salad together.
Arrange the vegetables and spring greens, top with the dumplings and dress lightly with the vinaigrette.
Enjoy the taste, flavors and freshness of new born vegetables in this spring salad.
Thanks for dropping by.