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Chino Chopped Vegetable Salad
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Sauté the diced artichoke until al dente, about 3 minutes.
Blanch the carrots and beans until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes, then plunge into iced water.

Chino Chopped Vegetable Salad

Serves 4

No one I know grows better vegetables than the Chino family on their farm in Rancho Santa Fe. If you live in Southern California it’s worth a trip just to see them growing in their fields. If you live further afield, shop carefully at your local farmer’s market. What tastes better on a hot summer day than a fresh vegetable salad!

Ingredients

Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almond or safflower oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Salad:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh artichoke hearts
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced green beans
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced radicchio
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato
  • 4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mixed greens of your choice (curly endive, chicory, baby lettuce), cut or torn into bite-size pieces
Method
  1. Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the mustard and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oils. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. Whisk again when ready to serve.
  2. Prepare the salad: In a small skillet, heat the olive oil. Season the diced artichokes lightly with salt and pepper and sauté until al dente, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
  3. Blanch the carrots and beans by placing in a wire sieve. Set the sieve into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain, cool, and add to the artichokes. Add the onion, radicchio, corn, and celery.
  4. When ready to serve, dice the avocado and the tomato and add to the other vegetables with the vinaigrette, sprinkle with the grated cheese, and toss again. Correct seasoning to taste.
  5. Toss the greens with the reserved vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Presentation

Divide the salad greens among 4 salad plates. Mound the chopped salad on the greens and serve immediately.

Wine Recommendation:

It’s always a challenge to find a wine that can match the acidic power of a good vinaigrette but I find that some of the really rounded and rich Californian Chardonnays can taste surprisingly good with a salad like this. Estancia, Woodbridge (from Robert Mondavi) and Beringer Chardonnays are all readily available and represent great value. Don’t be surprised if you find something you really like at your wine store for around $10!
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