Fresh mâche salad with creamy vinaigrette

After a lot of meat, pate, cheese and eating out at restaurants, what better idea than a bit of salad “chez soi”?

I love to whip up tasty dinner salads and never use ready-made vinaigrettes, as I find that with minimal effort homemade dressings are much better.  Here’s my take on mâche dinner salad for two:

Mâche salad


For the salad:

  • Roughly 2 – 3 cups mâche
  • 1 endive
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • ½ lemon

For the dressing:

  • 1 lemon (or two if they’re little)
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of xeres vinegar (red wine vinegar will do)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ½ cups of olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper

In order for your presentation to be as nice as possible  – and since you’re making this for two people – prepare the salad directly in two service bowls. This way you won’t have to wash that extra mixing bowl – and your salad’s going to be a feast for the eyes.

A good tip is to keep your mâche in the fridge while you prepare the rest. While mâche is easy to work with, and often pre-washed, I find that it gets limp very fast if you leave it out on the counter or if it sits in its dressing too long.

Preparation for the salad:

Begin with the endive. Cut the hard end off and chop the rest roughly into slices all the way to the end. Cut your fennel bulb into half – go about it from the wider side and cut it lengthwise (you don’t have to bother removing the finger-like ends of the bulb). Once your bulb is happily split open, make sure you remove the stiff nob-end of the bulb from each halve by carving it out with your knife in the shape of a “v”. Slice each half thinly by chopping all the way up to the “fingers” of the bulb. Chop the nice hair-like pieces from the fingers – dispose the fingers and reserve the cleaned “hairs”.

Place the sliced endive and the fennel evenly into each bowl. Squeeze the juice of ¼ of a lemon and a pinch of sea salt into each bowl and mix with your fingers in order to get the lemon juice and salt all over.

The dressing:

In a smaller bowl, combine the pressed garlic, the dijon mayonnaise, the lemon and the vinegar. Use a fork to whisk the ingredients together. Once the mix is homogenous, add the olive oil by pouring gradually (i.e. a filet) and whisk continuously in order for your ingredients to combine into a nice creamy sauce. Add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper to the mix and reserve until you’re ready to serve.

Take your mâche out of the fridge and dispose about a cup into each bowl. Use your fingers to gently mix it with the fennel and endive.

Cut your avocado into two lengthwise halves and remove the pit. Use a knife to gently trace top to bottom lines in both halves (be careful not to cut through the peel into your hand) and use a spoon to scoop the slices out. Serve atop both bowls and pour dressing evenly or as desired into each bowl.

Top each dish with the fennel “hair” and a twist of freshly ground pepper; smile and serve!

Mâche salad for two


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Categories: Food


Aspiring food writer, serious traveler, media enthusiast and communications specialist from Montréal, Canada. Follow me on twitter @aalavoie

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