Recipe by Rachel Perlmutter
This salad looks simple, but the flavors are springy, complex and elegant – perfect for a special occasion – like Mother’s Day! Homemade gomasio (Japanese sesame salt) is easy to make and adds an addictively nutty crunch. This recipe makes more vinaigrette than you’ll need for the salad, but the leftovers make excellent dip for crudite or dressing for a warm potato salad. If ramps are unavailable as they often are, you can replace them with any allium you like – green garlic, scallions and even a shallot will totally work.
Yield 3-4 servings
1/4 cup pear vinegar (Black Duck Cidery), or white wine/rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/4 cup flat parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
1 egg yolk
1/2 – 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salad and Assembly
1 T roasted sesame seeds
1/2 ts flaky salt
4 cups mizuna leaves, larger leaves torn
1/4 cup flat parsley leaves and tender stems
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. While it’s heating up, separate the ramp leaves from the stalks. Roughly chop the stalks, removing the root end. Once the water comes to a boil, blanch ramp leaves until they soften and become very vibrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the leaves and immediately run them under cold water until they are cold.
Transfer ramp leaves and stems to the bowl of a food processor along with the vinegar, honey, 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley, egg yolk and 1/2 cup olive oil. Blend until very smooth and fully incorporated. Add salt and up to 1/4 more olive oil (if it’s more tart than you’d like) to taste and blend again. Taste and add more salt if needed.
In the bowl of a mortar and pestle (or with a small bowl and the handle end of a wooden spoon), grind flaky salt and sesame seeds together until the seeds are very coarsely ground.
Gently toss mizuna and remaining 1/4 cup parsley leaves and tender stems with 1/4 cup dressing to coat. Add more dressing as desired. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle generously with sesame seed mixture. Serve immediately.
Dressing and sesame mixture can be made a day or two ahead, but the salad shouldn’t be dressed until serving time.