Fiddlehead Salad with Japanese-style Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette is a Japanese yoshoku (Japanized western cuisine) recipe and is great for most vegetable salads. It is often served over shredded lettuce, cabbage and sweet pepper in Japanese steakhouses and for bento boxes or yoshoku meals. It easy to make in a food processor and keeps well refrigerated in a jar.
3 tbsp / 45 mL chopped carrot
3 tbsp / 45 mL chopped sweet or white onion
1½ tbsp / 22 mL finely diced Chinese celery or celery with leaves
2 tsp / 10 mL finely chopped ginger
3 tbsp / 45 mL rice vinegar
3 tbsp / 45 mL vegetable oil
1 tbsp / 15 mL ketchup
2 tsp / 10 mL light soy sauce
1½ tsp / 7 mL sugar
1½ tsp / 7 mL sesame oil
½ tsp / 2 mL Japanese chili powder (shichimi togarashi)
Fiddleheads, trimmed and cleaned of any brown bits
Red and/or daiikon radish, thinly sliced
Shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce (optional)
Shiso (perilla) leaves, shredded (optional)
Vinaigrette: In food processor, work the carrot, onion, celery and ginger until finely chopped. Add vinegar, oil, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, chili powder and salt; process until well mixed and solids are very finely minced, but not puréed. Refrigerate.
In salted boiling water, blanch fiddleheads until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, chill under cold water and drain well. Meanwhile, soak radishes (about 5:1 ratio to fiddleheads) in iced water for 15 to 30 minutes; drain well. Plate lettuce and shiso leaves, if using, to taste; top with fiddleheads and radish. Spoon vinaigrette over salad.