Early spring means that a lot of vegetables aren't in season yet; summer tomato salads and cucumber relishes are a long way off still. So I try to give my spring salads snap and crunch using other all-season ingredients, like these pumpkin seeds. Their fresh green color complements the dark greens of the salad, and the radishes (first treat of the spring garden!) also add great color.
A little cheese, a simple dressing, and you have yourself a salad in five minutes. You don't even have to emulsify a vinaigrette in a separate bowl; this salad just gets dressed right there in the bowl, in a simpler and more old-fashioned method.
Spring Salad with Radishes and Pumpkin Seeds
10 ounces fresh spring greens (could include baby spinach and arugula, mixed mesclun lettuces, overwintered kale and chard, dandelion leaves, pea sprouts, or whatever other greens are in season where you are)
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 large radishes, cut in half and then into paper-thin slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or citrus vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
If necessary, tear the greens into bite-sized pieces. Toss with the pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, and sliced radishes. Toss with the oil, coating all the leaves well. Then add the vinegar and toss. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
(Image: Faith Durand)