2000s Recipes + Menus

Italian Vegetable Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:25 min
May 2009
Consider this a reintroduction to some old standbys, because cauliflower, asparagus, and fennel taste utterly new with a mellow garlicky dressing. Food editor Kay Chun, who developed the recipe, prefers to use vegetable oil for its light, neutral flavor, which allows the garlic and the deep savor of anchovies to shine. Tossing the salad right before serving ensures that it retains its crunch.
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 1/4 head cauliflower, broken into large florets
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 garlic clove, grated (use a Microplane)
  • 2 flat anchovy fillets in oil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Trim fennel (reserving fronds) and remove tough outer layer. Thinly slice fennel crosswise and cauliflower lengthwise (1/8 inch). Slice asparagus on a diagonal (1/8 inch). Combine vegetables in a large bowl.
  • Purée yolks, garlic, anchovies, mustard, lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper in a blender. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream, blending until dressing is thick and emulsified.
  • Toss vegetables with enough dressing to coat. Season with salt. Sprinkle with fennel fronds.
Cooks’ notes:
  • The egg yolks in the dressing are not cooked. For a quicker, egg-safe dressing, use 2/3 cup mayonnaise in place of the yolks and oil.
  • Vegetables and dressing can be prepared 3 hours ahead and chilled separately (vegetables in sealable bags lined with damp paper towels).
  • We’ve also got a Web-exclusive recipe using the leftover anchovy fillets.
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