Tokyo Turnip Summer Salad with Cilantro Crème Fraîche Dressing

Tokyo Turnip Summer Salad with Cilantro Crème Fraîche Dressing

Tokyo Turnip Summer Salad with Cilantro Crème Fraîche Dressing

Chef Allie Wolfe Phelps

This summer salad will be a welcome addition at your next al fresco dinner party or family barbecue, and pairs beautifully with Joseph Phelps Chardonnay, Freestone Vineyards or Sauvignon Blanc. The tang of the dressing paired with the crunchiness of the raw vegetables makes for a wonderfully bright and fresh first course.  If you're not able to find Tokyo Turnips, you can substitute any of your other favorite summer vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, summer squash or fennel.  The dressing would also make for a fantastic crudités dip.

Makes 6-8 appetizer sized portions

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1 shallot
2 limes, zest from 1
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only
8 ounces crème fraîche
1 ripe avocado, cubed
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
¼ cup olive oil


½ cup raw almonds
Olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch frisée, washed and spun dry
1 bunch flat leaf lettuce, large leaves only
½ cup dried apricots
1 bunch Tokyo turnips
1 bunch radishes


For the dressing:

1.      Finely mince the shallot, and place in a small bowl.  Remove the zest from one of the limes and add it to the shallot.  Then juice both limes and add it to the shallot/zest mixture.  Allow the shallots to mascerate in the lime juice for ten minutes.

2.      Meanwhile, pluck the cilantro leaves from their stems and place all of the leaves in the bowl of a blender or food processor.  Next, add the crème fraîche, avocado, salt, lemon pepper and olive oil.  Add the shallot, lime juice and zest to the blender or food processor.  Pulse the mixture until the cilantro leaves are fully incorporated with the crème fraîche and avocado.  It’s important to pulse the mixture, as opposed to letting it run, so that you don’t churn the crème fraîche.  Taste and correct with more lime juice and/or salt if necessary.

For the salad:

1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Turn the almonds onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and toast them for 6-8 minutes, until they are lightly toasted.  As soon as they come out of the oven, place them in a small bowl, and toss them with a small amount of olive oil and kosher salt to taste.  Once the almonds have cooled, give them a rough chop and set them aside.

2.      Trim the tough ends off the frisée, and tear the tender portions into bite-sized pieces.  Add to a large mixing bowl.

3.      Pluck the large leaves off the parsley stems, and add them, uncut, to the bowl of frisée.

4.      Next, use a mandolin or chefs knife to cut the Tokyo turnips and radishes into very thin rounds.  Add these to a separate bowl.  Cut the dried apricots into thin slivers and add to the bowl of turnips and radishes.

5.      When you’re ready to serve the salad, toss the greens mixture with a small amount of dressing and a pinch of salt.  Do the same thing to the bowl of turnips, radishes and apricots.  Plate a small amount of the greens on a chilled salad plate, and scatter a portion of the turnip & radish coins and apricot slivers on top.  Finally, garnish with a sprinkling of salted almonds and serve.