In May, nature’s quiet but persistent insistence that the New England landscape give up its stark, gray winter cloak overcomes its hesitance and spring arrives in all its vibrant glory. Bright yellow daffodils smile despite early month frigid temperatures. Deciduous trees seem to be dressing up when their leaves unfurl and waltz in the spring winds. Blushing, pink-tinged apple blossoms burst from bare branches. For two short weeks, the lilac’s intoxicating fragrance wafts through the air and the fleeting presence of their tiny sweet, nectar filled blossoms may be picked and eaten. Combine these delicate flowers with a spring harvest of blanched and shocked English peas, snow peas, and snap peas, the first crop of blackberries, creamy mild burrata, and some soft, tender, gently cupped Boston lettuce leaves, spring most definitely has arrived on a plate.
Ingredients1 head Boston lettuce 2 balls burrata 1/2 pint blackberries 1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed & tough strings removed 1/2 cup English peas, shelled 1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed & tough strings removed Light fruity olive oil Tiny mint leaves Lilac blossoms, a small handful of individual blossoms picked from the stem with green bits removed Blackberry balsamic vinegar Maldon Sea Salt Flakes Freshly ground black pepper
- Place a 4 quart pot filled with cold water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the 3 types of peas and blanch for 1 minute. Remove the peas and plunge into an ice water bath for 3 minutes. Remove, pat dry, and reserve.
- Gently remove the individual leaves from the head of lettuce and layer in concentric circles around the plate.
- Remove the burrata from its container and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the cheese in the center of the plate and gently pull apart the skin to reveal the creamy centers.
- Place the sugar snap and English peas around the plate. Slice each snow pea into 1/8” to 1/4” pieces. Sprinkle all over the plate, including over the burrata.
- Cut 8 blackberries in half and arrange over the top of the salad. Add the remaining blackberries to the perimeter of the plate.
- Sprinkle the mint leaves and lilac blossoms over the salad.
- Lightly drizzle olive oil over the salad, sprinkle with the sea salt flakes, and finish with a bit of black pepper. Pass the balsamic vinegar at the table.