Radishes! Asparagus! Sugar Snap Peas! It’s that time of year when winter seems like it actually kind of might be possibly over for real, and spring is elbowing it’s lovely way forward. Although today the sky in my neck of the woods is gloomy, and the air is raw and damp, my yard is bursting with neon rods of forsythia, white crocuses that look like little trumpets, delicate purple forget-me-knots, and of course the cherry blossom trees. I’m eagerly waiting for (and hoping that the winter frosts didn’t kill) my dogwood tree, peonies, and lilac to bloom next…they are three of my favorite things. My other favorite thing? A spring salad, with lots of raw vegetables, sliced thin or shredded, and then matched with a bright vinaigrette. I’m a little obsessed with creating new vinaigrettes, and so in honor of the season, I have concocted another one, which is sort of a variation of the Asian Dressing in KEEPERS: It’s funky, citrus-y, a little sweet, mysterious with flecks of nori floating in its depths, and full of that elusive delicious thing we call umami.
I love this dressing drizzled over delicate lettuces, thin slices of radishes, avocado, slivers of asparagus, maybe wedges of hard-boiled eggs. If you want to make it more of a “meal”, then toss in some crisp pieces of warm bacon or pancetta. It’s also wonderful tossed with a soba noodle salad with ribbons of carrots, jicama, and leftover rotisserie chicken. You can be exact with the measurements for the vinaigrette, but this is also one of those cases where personal taste does matter (depending on how tart, sweet, funky, you like it.).
In a bowl or jar combine the following: 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoon lime juice (plus the zest of 1 lime), 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, 1 teaspoon of honey or agave, drizzle of sesame oil (optional), 1 sheet of nori (shredded into tiny pieces by hand), 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds. Whisk or shake to combine. Taste for seasonings (you might need only a little salt because the nori is salty). Enjoy!