spring salad with dill croutons


one of my favorite cycling advocates (zero per gallon) makes fun bicycle icon t-shirts with a subtitle claiming '53 miles per burrito.' last summer i did a 60 mile bike ride after a delicious slice of quiche from my favorite bakery in seattle. i determined that made me more fuel efficient, right? perhaps it's more accurate to say i'm solar powered. sunshine feeds me energy more than anything else. i am insanely productive and active in the summer time - those short couple of months in seattle where we are graced with sunshine and a cool breeze. this week has been gorgeous in seattle. i hopped back on my bike for several long rides of sleeveless cycling! wonderful! post cycling, i was craving some carbs and some bright flavors. a friend had left a half a loaf of crusty rustic bread at my place after a lunch date, so i decided to make some croutons!... why do people buy croutons in a box? seriously. i love croutons to have a bite to them, crisp on the outer edges and chewy at its center. drizzled in olive oil and speckled with herbs. you can't find that in a box. this is a wonderful spring salad, and would make a great addition to an easter dinner served along side your deviled eggs! hurrah for spring time!

spring salad with dill croutons ~ serves 2

butter lettuce, enough for two
4 radishes
1/4 red onion
white balsamic vinegar
3oz sheep's milk feta cheese
1/4 - 1/2 loaf rustic bread
small bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper

preheat oven to 350. cut onion as thinly as possible into half-moon slices. trim ends of radishes, and slice thinly as well. place onions and radish in a small bowl or jar and submerge in white balsamic vinegar. place in fridge until ready to serve, or at least 20 minutes to pickle. 

cut bread into large cubes. place on a baking sheet, drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil to coat. sprinkle with lots of salt, pepper, and a tablespoons of finely chopped dill. bake in oven until edges are nicely crisp and brown but not burnt. stir croutons at least once while baking. let cool while you assemble the salad. 

tear butter lettuce leaves into halves or quarters. pile the lettuce on a platter or individual plates, top with pickled radishes and onions (drained from vinegar), crumbled sheep's milk feta and croutons. drizzle the salad with a nice olive oil. salt, pepper, and a few more sprinkles of fresh dill. 


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