Although the calendar says spring, slim pickings at the Greenmarket say not so fast. A harbinger of what’s to come, though, is mâche, available at the Windfall Farms stand (Union Square, Wednesdays and Saturdays). The velvety lettuce with the fancy French name (a.k.a. lamb’s tongue) is a good interim green, delicately sweet and mildly nutty—its aristocratic ﬂavor enhanced by honey and radish, as in this recipe from Craftbar’s Akhtar Nawab.
Craftbar’s Mâche-and-Watermelon-Radish Salad
1 pound mâche
1 small watermelon radish
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon acacia honey
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 medium shallots, ﬁnely minced
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
(1) Trim the ends of the mâche leaves. Rinse and dry. Peel the radish with a vegetable peeler and slice thinly with a mandolin.
(2) In a medium bowl, add mustard, honey, vinegars, and half of the minced shallots. Whisk until combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, continuing to whisk until emulsified, and season with salt and pepper.
(3) In a large bowl, combine the mâche, the remaining minced shallot, the sliced radish, and the vinaigrette until the leaves are well coated. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately. Serves 4-6.