Spring Bread Salad (with asparagus, radishes, peas and mint) from Erin French
First published June 2017
This delicious and colorful recipe is from my friend Erin French's cook book The Lost Kitchen. Here are Erin's notes on this recipe:
Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, one of my top five things to eat is warm toasted bread soaked through with vinaigrette. And I feel a little bit better about it when I throw in some crunchy greens--or asparagus, radishes, and peas, when the farm stands are brimming over with them this time of year. Seek out a good white bread like a country bâtard or other crusty sourdough loaf--something made with a good, long ferment that gives it a rich, sour flavor.
photo by Nicole Franzen from Erin's cookbook The Lost Kitchen
- 1 pound asparagus
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup shelled fresh peas, blanched (**see Erin's basic method for blanching here**)
- 2 bunches of mixed radishes, such as French breakfast and any other beautiful radishes that catch your eye, halved
- 3 cups torn bread
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 2 cups pea tendrils or pea shoots
- 3 tablespoons Macerated Shallot Vinaigrette (**click here for the recipe**)
- Fresh Chives
Preheat the oven to 425℉
Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces, discarding the tough ends. Arrange the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Give the pan a shake to coat the asparagus. Roast until the pieces are tender but still a bit crunchy, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Combine the asparagus, peas, and radishes in a medium bowl.
Heat a medium skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat, then pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the bread and cook, turning partway through, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add to the vegetable mixture.
Spring in the mint, pea tendrils, and vinaigrette and toss to dress. Season with more salt and pepper if desired and garnish with a flurry of chives, snipped with kitchen shears.