Bitter Herbs Salad
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Bitter herbs – the maror – are part of the Seder ritual, symbolizing the bitterness of slavery experienced by the Jews in Egypt. Endive, romaine and chicory (for which I’ve substituted radicchio) are present on many Sephardic ritual platters, but often they also appear in salads served with the meal. This can be served as a separate course or as a side dish.
2 hearts of romaine lettuce
1 small head radicchio
2 Belgian endives
1 1/2 cups arugula or watercress, washed and dried
1 rib celery, preferably from the heart, sliced very thin
2 scallions, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (optional)
1 small garlic clove
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Wash and dry the romaine lettuce leaves and break into medium pieces. Separate the radicchio leaves and cut into medium pieces. Rinse and dry the endives and slice crosswise about 3/4 inch thick. Toss together all of the greens, the celery and the scallions in a large salad bowl and sprinkle the herbs over the top.
2. Skin the garlic clove, cut in half and remove green shoots. Place in a mortar and pestle with a generous pinch of salt and mash to a paste. Work in the lemon juice and then the olive oil. Taste and adjust salt. Transfer to a jar until ready to serve the salad.
3. Just before serving, shake the dressing in the jar, pour over the salad and toss.
Variations: Sliced radishes can be added to the salad for color.
Yield: 6 servings.
Advance preparation: The greens can be prepared, wrapped in a clean kitchen towel and then sealed in plastic bags and refrigerated, several hours ahead.
Nutritional information per serving (note that most of the calories come from the dressing; you can use less to reduce them): 210 calories; 19 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 13 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 10 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 56 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 4 grams protein
Martha Rose Shulman is the author of “The Very Best of Recipes for Health.”