Not having any preconceived notion of how bamboo shoots are supposed to be used, I tasted the fresh shoots and loved everything about them. Their delicate texture, the beautiful intricacy of their structure, their subtle flavor reminiscent of asparagus, artichokes and hearts of palm. I created this salad using some of my favorite springtime ingredients: Fuerte avocados and Meyer lemons from my garden, butter lettuce and fresh herbs from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market, cold pressed olive oil from a local shop. It is easy to do and has become a favorite.
You will only be able to make this delicious salad from late April until the end of May, while fresh bamboo shoots are available. They are a traditional Japanese delicacy, hard to find in stores, but available directly from the farm at https://www.penrynorchardspecialties.com/
Ingredients – Serves 6
1 head red butter lettuce
6 bamboo shoots
2 Tbsp, green garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chives, minced
1 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. minced Italian parsley
½ tsp. Kosher Salt
½ tsp. fresh ground pepper
- Prepare your bamboo shoots per the master recipe: .
- Wash and spin dry your lettuce. Reserve in the fridge to keep it crisp.
- While the bamboo is cooking, make your dressing: Mash together the garlic, chives, lemon zest, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Slice the bamboo shoots lengthwise to reveal their pretty inner structure. Depending on the girth of the shoots, you may want to quarter them or even cut them in thinner segments.
- Arrange the lettuce leaves on a serving platter.
- Drizzle with half the dressing.
- Lay the bamboo atop the lettuce.
- Slice the avocados and intersperse avocado slices alongside the bamboo.
- Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.
NOTES: Sometimes I include chilled cooked shrimp and make a bed of butter lettuce leaves for a spring lunch. Crusty baguette and a crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio pair well with this dish.