Passover has many symbolic foods which commemorate the story of the Jews’ liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt. Bitter herbs or horseradish represent the bitterness of slavery and are traditionally served on a seder plate. If you are interested in making a symbolic dish that utilizes the bitter herb theme, consider this salad for your holiday table. It is filled with sliced radish, radicchio, parsley, romaine lettuce, and zippy lemon horseradish dressing. If you don’t celebrate Passover, this bitter herb and lettuce salad would make a welcome addition on any Easter or spring table. You can toss in some farro or bulgur wheat for a more hearty side or top with hard boiled eggs, slow roasted salmon, or grilled chicken for a light main.
Herbs may not seem like nutritional powerhouses, but do not underestimate the benefits of these foods. Traditionally used as a garnish, these flavorful additions can add a healthful value to whatever dish you are topping or mixing them in. Green herbs contain Vitamins A, C, and K and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can protect against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Next time you finish your plate with a little cilantro or parsley, know that you are doing more than enhancing the flavor and palatability of your dish!
bitter lettuce and herb salad with horseradish dressing
recipe inspired by New York Times
1 head romaine lettuce or bibb lettuce, chopped
1 small head radicchio, chopped
1 head endive, chopped
6 Easter egg radishes, thinly sliced
4 scallions, chopped
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1/2 to 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (depending on your palate)
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
To make the dressing, whisk together the horseradish, mustard, white balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, and olive oil. Dip a piece of lettuce in the dressing to taste. Adjust acid/oil, if needed.
Right before serving, pour dressing into a large serving bowl. Add lettuces, celery, scallions, and most of the herbs and radish. Gently toss together with the dressing. Add remaining radish and herbs on top for garnish. Serve immediately.