Q. I recently read a recipe in an older cookbook that called for "corn salad." Is this a salad made of kernels of corn or something else? A. Corn salad is a green, and more commonly known these days as mâche (rhymes with "gosh"). It is sometimes put into a mix of field greens, but some stores sell mâche by itself, and it is usually expensive. Use it within a couple of days of purchase. If you wash it and want to store it for more than a short time, be sure excess water is drained or shaken off. The flavor of mâche has a little bite to it, but is tender and flavorful. Mâche Salad with Goat Cheese and Fennel-Mustard Vinaigrette
1 teaspoon fennel seeds 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 10 ounces mâche or other baby greens (16 loosely packed cups) 1/2 pound fresh goat cheese
In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over moderately high heat until fragrant. Transfer the seeds to a spice grinder and let cool completely; grind to a powder.
In a large bowl, whisk the ground fennel with the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and garlic.
Whisk in the oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the mâche and toss gently. Scatter the goat cheese on top and serve.
From Jim Clendenon, Au Bon Climat Winery