Spring Salad Recipes | Cooking with Chef Mead

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Makes about 1 cup
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Fresh-ground pepper

Optional Extras: spoonful of mustard, minced shallots, minced garlic, minced fresh herbs, teaspoon dried herbs, spoonful of honey or brown sugar


  • Combine the olive oil and balsamic in a container with a good-sealing lid.
  • Add a big pinch of salt and few grinds of black pepper. Adjust the salt and pepper to your tastes.

This vinaigrette will keep on the counter for several weeks (refrigerate if you added any fresh ingredients). The oil and vinegar will separate a few minutes after shaking – shake to recombine before dressing your salad

Strawberry, Goat Cheese and Persian Cucumber Salad


1 Serving

5 Fresh Strawberries, sliced
Handful of mixed lettuces
½ ounce of goat cheese
1 Persian cucumber, sliced in rounds
¼ small red onion, sliced
1 tbsp. toasted pistachios
1 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette (or more to taste)
Salt and Pepper


  • In large bowl, combine all ingredients and add balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the salad and serve immediately on a cold dish.


Aparagus and Fava Bean Crostini


4 servings

Ciabatta Bread
4 stalks of asparagus (blanched and cooled)
2 grilled spring onions
1 ounce of sungold tomatoes
4 tbsp. fava bean puree
2 tbsp. charred Meyer lemon vinaigrette
Shave parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper 


  • Slice Ciabatta bread, toast and set aside
  • Slice asparagus and spring onions in 1 inch pieces
  • Slice sungold tomatoes in half
  • Combine asparagus, spring onions and tomatoes in a small bowl and toss with charred Meyer lemon vinaigrette.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spread fava bean puree on the toast and add dressed vegetables to the toast.
  • Top with shaved parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Fava Bean Puree


3 cups fava beans, removed from their pods (from about 3 to 4 pounds of favas in their pods)
6 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
¾ cup water
Zest of 1 orange
1 medium thyme sprig
1 (6-inch) rosemary sprig
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about ½ medium lemon)
Freshly ground black pepper 


  • Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside
  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the shelled favas and boil until the bean inside the outer skin is bright green and firm but not hard, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the favas and immediately place in the ice water bath until cool. Peel the light green skin from each bean to reveal two bright green inner halves, discard the skins and place the beans in a medium bowl.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, season with salt and cook. Stir occasionally until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add reserved favas and stir to coat with oil. Add the water, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the beans are tender, about 10 minutes more. (Add more water as needed, a tablespoon at a time, to keep the beans from sticking to the pan)
  • Remove and discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs. Blend until the remaining fava mixture is finely pureed. If the puree is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time to reach the desired consistency. Transfer the puree to the bowl with the reserved chopped favas. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Charred Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette



Zest of 1 Meyer Lemon
2 tbs Meyer lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mayonnaise
½ tsp sugar
1 garlic clove, minced


  • Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a medium bowl until smoothly blended. Add salt to taste. Holds up to a week in the refrigerator.

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