Floral Spring Salad with Honey Vinegar

Deliciously fragrant honey vinegar and lemon oil give this delicate salad its sparkle

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

  • 2 decent handfuls of salad leaves (including oriental greens and/or soft herbs like coriander for some kick)
  • c. 1 tbsp Artisan Honey Vinegar
  • c. 1 tbsp lemon oil (see 'To make lemon oil' below)
  • a small handful of freshly picked primrose and/or daisy flowers, picked over for dirt and insects

Method:

  1. Soak the salad in a large bowl of lightly salted water for about 15 minutes; this allows dirt to fall off the leaves and settle at the bottom of the bowl. Lift out the salad with a slotted spoon, tongs, or your fingers, and then rinse it off. Spin dry in a salad spinner. Tear leaves into manageable pieces and place in your serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle over the vinegar and oil to taste. I like about equal quantities in this salad, as the high acidity level brings freshness and zing, but adjust to your taste. Gently toss the salad, making sure everything is (very lightly) coated with dressing. Normally, I would always season salad with salt and/or pepper, but the lemony taste of the oil means this salad almost doesn't need it, especially if it's going to be served with salty/savoury dishes (in my case, Claudia Roden's amazing meatballs in lemony almond sauce).
  3. Scatter the flowers over the top for decoration. Serve!

To make lemon oil:

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to gently strip the peel from an unwaxed lemon, removing as little of the white pith as possible (a Meyer lemon is best, if you can get your hands on one).
  2. Heat 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil ever so gently in a small saucepan on the stove until you see the first bubble appear, then immediately take it off the heat. Add the lemon peel, lightly crushing it as you do, then cover the pan and allow to steep overnight until completely cool.
  3. Remove the peel and store the now deliciously fragrant oil in a clean, odour-free jar away from direct sunlight.

— Beatrix Swanson

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