Mâche is an underappreciated early spring green. Its dark green, glossy round leaves grow in clusters. Mâche has a tender, velvety texture and a clean, chlorophyll-like flavor that is vaguely nutty. The real take-away is the dressing. My formula for vinaigrette is infinitely mutable and should discourage you from buying commercial dressing. Make too much, shake it in a jar and keep it in the fridge.
Total time: 20 minutes
1 ping pong ball-sized shallot, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons hazelnut oil
8 cups mâche
Put all wet ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake it into submission. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and adjust acid and oil ratios to your palate. Toss the mâche gently with a little dressing (you can always add, but never take away). Avoid too much handling so it stays poofy. Garnish with some toasted hazelnuts if you’d like.
• Allium (onion family member)+acid+mustard+oil+ seasoning+garnish (optional). Alliums include garlic, shallots, onions, chives, leeks & scallions.
• Acids might be any kind of vinegar or fruit juice or a combination.
• Wet mustard (Dijon).
• Oil: olive, grape seed, avocado, almond, canola, bacon fat, or brown butter.