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Late Summer Chicory Salad with Seeded Whole-Wheat Croutons

Relishing the final tastes of summer, this mélange of leaves is complimented by the crunch of the seeded croutons and a tangy dressing.

for the salad:

6 leaves chicory, any type

2 radish

2 small patty pan squash (also known as scallop squash or white squash)

6 sprigs purslane

12 small sprigs watercress

12 thin slices bulb of fennel

12 thin slices cucumber

6 fronds of top of fennel

1 thick slice whole wheat bread, torn into croutons, tossed in olive oil with fresh thyme and salt & toasted on a sheet pan until golden and crisp throughout.

for the dressing:

¹⁄₄ packed cup of watercress leaves

³⁄₄ cup aioli or mayonnaise

2 – 4 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbs fine dijon style mustard

2 tbs tarragon leaves

4 stems chives or 1 scallion, white and green, 5” long

¹⁄₄ tsp salt

pepper to taste

1. Cook watercress in a small saucepan of salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse the watercress in cold water. Squeeze out excess water.

2. Put all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. If the dressing needs to be thinner, add a little bit of water and stir in until it is thin enough to drizzle on the salad. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

3. Toss all of the salad greens, shaved vegetables, herbs, and croutons together, plate, and drizzle with the dressing.

Contributed by Chad Robertson, author of Tartine Bread.