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A few years ago I found a recipe for a root vegetable salad I’d never seen before as I flipped through my Larousse Gastronomique. I was immediately intrigued at the combination of a creamy old-fashioned garlic dressing with the crisp and earthy vegetables, and decided to give it a shot.

Since then, I have tried all sorts of vegetable combinations. I love how colourful and fresh the salad is. Accompanied by a hard-boiled egg or grilled piece of meat, it can make a full lunch.

Living in Montréal now, I have begun to explore the local food scene. I visited the market in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue (a suburb on the western side of the island) on Saturday, and was delighted at what I found. Basically everything that went into this salad came from this market!

Ingredients – for 4 servings

-1 beet, finely sliced into half-circles
-1/2 small head fennel, finely sliced into strips
-1-2 carrots, cut into match-sticks
-1 celery stalk, cut into match-sticks
-2 medium tomatoes, sliced into rounds
-1/2 an apple, cut into thin wedges
-juice from 1/4 lemon or lime
-4 whole large leaves of lettuce (optional)
-a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds (optional), for garnish

-1.5 Tbsp cider vinegar
-1.5 Tbsp grain mustard
-1.5 Tbsp cream
-pinch fresh minced tarragon or dry tarragon
-cracked pepper and salt to taste

Directions

Wash and peel then finely slice all ingredients (feel free to leave all the peels on if you like – some like them and others don’t), leaving the apple for last. Drizzle lemon juice over apple to keep it from browning. Using a very sharp knife will help as well. Keep the beet separate so as not to colour everything in advance.

This salad can be assembled either on side-plates (the way that keeps it looking more special), or in a large, shallow bowl. Arrange the veggies however you like, over a leaf of lettuce if you choose to do so.

To make the dressing, mix the vinegar and mustard. Once thoroughly mixed, add the cream and mix some more, adding the tarragon at the end. Drizzle over salad, and add salt and pepper to taste.

The key to success with this salad is finely chopping all the ingredients. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

-Sitelle

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