June 3rd, 2013
Summer salad time! This is a new favorite, hearty enough with potatoes to make a filling meal alongside simply grilled fish or chicken. It’s also an easy salad for picky little ones to deconstruct. Can’t deal with salad greens or wispy fennel? They’ll enjoy a balanced meal of haricot vert, potatoes and whatever main you’re serving. Easy breezy, the way summer salads should be.
Assembling this salad is a breeze. Start by steaming washed baby potatoes and, once cooked, gently toss them with salt and olive oil. Ideally, you can get your hands on potatoes that are small enough to be quickly steamed and easily served whole. If not, cut them in half or in quarters after they’re cooked and have been tossed with oil. Set aside.
You’ll also want to steam haricot vert. Regular green beans will do, too. You can do this with the potatoes or separately.
Use a mandolin or sharp knife to thinly slice cleaned and trimmed fennel. One bulb should be fine for any salad feeding one to six people. Toss sliced fennel with washed and dried salad greens.
Now slice an avocado or two. Maybe three if you’re avocado crazy like me. Sprinkle the slices with salt.
Finally time to make the vinaigrette. Then toss some with haricot vert, just enough to coat them well. Do the same with the salad greens and fennel.
Add dressed greens and fennel to a serving bowl. Pile potatoes on top of the greens in one corner. Pile dressed haricot vert on top of the greens next to the potatoes. Lay slices of avocado between the potatoes and haricot vert and drizzle with a bit of dressing. Finally, serve.
Simple Basil Vinaigrette
(Can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*
Makes about 2/3 cup
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 teaspoon dijon mustard
8-10 fresh, large basil leaves, washed and dried, cut into a thin chiffonade
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Add minced garlic to white wine vinegar and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.
2. Combine garlic and vinegar with olive oil, lemon juice, dijon, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl or jar with a tight fitting lid. Whisk or shake well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
*Note: This flavorful vinaigrette is a fun way to wake up even your littlest eater’s palate. Drizzle it on anything from mashed avocado or potatoes to rice. Just remember that baby’s taste buds are more sensitive than ours, so just a little bit goes a long way.