valentine salad
Photo: Cristina Ferrare
You can use whatever vegetables or fruits you would like for this salad. Just be sure not to make the bouquet too big, otherwise you will have a honker of a salad and won't have room for the main course. And—warning!—not all flowers are edible. Here are some that are: lavender, nasturtium, pansy, rose, violet and dandelion. Use organic produce, if it is available.

Serves 4


Shallot vinaigrette:
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 8 leaves of red lettuce
  • 28 sprigs of watercress
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 parsley stems, leaves pulled off, stems discarded
  • A handful of wild or baby arugula
  • 24 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 pieces of frisee lettuce, torn
  • Pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 to 5 edible flowers
  • Ribbon to tie your bouquet together and form a bow


Place 4 serving plates in the freezer

Make the dressing: Combine the mustard and shallot in a bowl, and whisk in the olive oil slowly. Continue to whisk to incorporate all the ingredients until smooth. Add the rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk to blend all ingredients until smooth. Add salt and whisk.

To start your bouquet, place two pieces of romaine on top of each other and fan them out. Place two pieces of red leaf on top of the romaine. You now have your base and can begin filling your bouquet. Add 7 sprigs of watercress, 5 cucumber slices, 5 basil leaves, 1/4 of the parsley leaves, a few sprigs of arugula and 6 mint leaves. Wrap the bottom part of the bouquet with ribbon and tie a bow. Repeat for the remaining salads.

Remove the plates from the freezer and gently lift your bouquets onto the plates.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over each bouquet. Sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Place the edible flowers on top of the finished bouquets.


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