Quick-Pickled Vegetable Salad
The best salads don’t have to be laborious. This one benefits from pickled red onions, which take only minutes to make and can perk up salads, seared meats and vegetables, pasta and even grilled cheese. Make a double batch, and you’ll brighten future meals in a flash. And, for excellent flavor in every bite, season the ingredients before combining, bearing in mind that celery, carrots and firmer vegetables need far more salt and pepper than delicate salad greens.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1small red onion, very thinly sliced from tip to tip
- ½cup apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
- ¼cup granulated sugar
- 2tablespoons coriander seeds (optional)
- 2teaspoons kosher salt
- 2large celery stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced on a sharp angle
- 2medium carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced lengthwise using a mandoline or thinly sliced diagonally
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1teaspoon fresh lemon zest and 2 tablespoons juice (from 1 lemon), or 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 8cups torn butter lettuce or romaine hearts (6 to 8 ounces)
- 3small radishes, very thinly sliced (optional)
- ⅔cup torn or chopped mixed fresh herbs (any combination of parsley, dill, basil, mint or chives) (see Tip)
- 2to 4 teaspoons coarse or Dijon mustard, to taste
Step 1Prepare the pickled onions: Set the sliced onion in a small heatproof bowl. Combine the vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds (if using), salt and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high, then pour over onions. Stir to combine, let cool, then transfer onions and brine to a lidded container. Refrigerate until chilled. (Makes about 2/3 cup drained onions. Onions will keep up to 3 weeks.)
Step 2Prepare the salad: In a medium bowl, combine the celery, carrots, olive oil, lemon zest and juice. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Step 3When ready to serve, add the lettuce, radishes (if using) and herbs to a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper and gently toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the celery and carrots to the vegetables in the large bowl, leaving the vinaigrette behind in the medium bowl.
Step 4To the vinaigrette, add the mustard, 1/4 cup drained pickled red onions and 4 teaspoons of the pickled red onion brine and stir to combine; season to taste. Add vinaigrette to salad, toss to coat and season. Serve immediately.