Orthodox Easter and Catholic Easter (I didn’t name it this, Google did) are about as close as they’ll ever be, which makes my life that much more full of the traditional fare for two whole weeks. The American classics are in full swing for the first week. Think lovely brunch spreads, hams, lamb, and bright spring vegetables here. Then the Greek fare kicks in for the second week, much of this due to the many, many Greeks in my life. Think American Easter, but tripled in size and with more dietary restrictions throughout the Easter season. Fasting, vegetarian, and pescatarian meals are all included at some point and I’m looking forward to sharing this salad for one such meal.
If you know me, you know I love fennel. You’ll find it tucked into any meal I’m involved in creating. It’s here, and I’m not sorry. Finely shaved fennel and soaked shallot play with the spiciness of arugula and brightness of boquerones in a delicious, complex way. A few capers and sherry vinaigrette seal the deal with extra vibrancy. Serve on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, or whenever you feel like it.
A few notes on making this and any other salad especially delicious.
- Season your greens – Wanna know why salads are especially delicious when you dine out at restaurants? Those lovely little lettuce bits get tossed with a sprinkle of salt before anything else touches them. Don’t salt them enough to make them salty, just enough to help coax out the flavor of your greens.
- Soak your sliced onion (or shallot) – Do your onions have a little too much bite? Give them a soak in cold water for about ten minutes before using. The flavor will mellow and let the rest of your ingredients share the spotlight.
Easter Boquerones Salad
- 12 ounces arugula, washed and seasoned
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 tablespoon salt preserved capers, soaked in water for 1 hour
- 24 Spanish white anchovies in vinegar or tinned sardines
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Combine arugula, fennel, shallot, and capers in large bowl. Whisk sherry vinegar and oil, season to taste, and toss with salad. Arrange on a serving platter and top with anchovies. Serve immediately with toasted baguette and more anchovies.