Easter brunch will be ham, buns and cheesy potatoes at my brother-in-law's house. I'm assigned the salad, which I often am because I make a good salad. I'm not bragging because it's not hard—hunt for really high quality fresh lettuces and vegetables (which usually means not going the pre-bagged or washed route) and make dressings from scratch. I know a Caesar or Greek or straight up spinach would be a hit but I feel like showcasing some spring flavors so here comes raw asparagus, pea pods, pea shoots and spinach and roasted artichoke hearts* and fennel and the ever-Easter-present hard boiled eggs. Serve with lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper or this lemon vinaigrette.
Leftovers make a fantastic egg salad sandwich—just chop up, add mayonnaise, a bit of fresh lemon juice and a big pinch of salt.
Serves 4-61 can artichoke hearts
1 large fennel bulb
1 bunch asparagus
2 cups pea pods
1 cup pea shoots
6 cups spinach
2-3 hard boiled eggs
Lemon and olive oil
Preheat oven to 350º
Drain artichoke hearts, halve and pat dry. Trim fennel bulb and cut into eighths. Toss both with 1/4 cup olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast for 40 minutes until fennel is softened. Cool to room temperature.
Peel thorns off asparagus stalks using a potato peeler and chop all but tough bottom third into small dice. Cut pea pods in half and tear spinach leaves into bite-sized pieces. Dice eggs. Arrange all vegetables on platter or in bowl and drizzle with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper or lemon vinaigrette (or put vinaigrette on the side for people to help themselves).