Joined: 16 May 2006 Posts: 456 Location: california
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:50 am Post subject: Winter Salad Doldrums
Even in California, we are experiencing the Winter Salad Doldrums. While we can continue to purchase nearly anything we would want (thanks to south of the border countries such as Mexico and Chile), the quality and taste are not, sadly, top notch. And if WE have trouble buying good produce, I can only imagine what so many others are dealing with these days.
For salad lovers (like my husband), I did come up with this tasty winter option. New "fennel lovers" like Griffin and Erin, take note...This truly came about as a thrown-together salad of ingredients I had handy. It worked so well, I thought you might like to know about it.
Winter Salad with Fennel and Beets (serves 2)
1 head hearts of Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 head fennel, very thinly sliced into half-moons
1 or 2 scallions (green onions), chopped
1/2 half peeled apple, quartered and thinly sliced
1 small/medium,peeled, roasted beet, quarted and very thinly sliced (or 1/2 cup canned beets)
Feta or goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
For Dressing: your favorite vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar and a combination of flavorless oil such as canola plus either olive oil or a nut oil like walnut oil. Salt, pepper.
Toss the romaine lettuce, fennel, scallion, and apple together with the sherry vinaigrette to taste. Add the beets and cheese just before plating.
The sweetness of the apple works well with the fresh taste of the fennel and the earthy flavor of the beets. And sherry vinegar does just to all of these ingredients. (Come to think of it, a handful of toasted walnuts would certainly not hurt, either...) Hope this brightens your winter menus.
(Note: to roast fresh beets, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash beets; cut off tough ends but do not peel; place in a shallow ovenproof dish with a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover with foil. Roast about 50 minutes, or until a sharp knife penetrates the beets easily.)
finely sliced fennel
green beans semi cooked (ie cooked as little as possible to still be edible to you)
crushed clove garlic
fresh parsley chopped
salt and pepper
Mix the fennel and warm/hot beans in a bowl
add garlic and mix really well till the heat of the beans has taken the edge off it
when cool add parsley, lemon juice and small drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well again
place in fridge (if in warm climate) or sit on table to allow flavours to develop while you cook the chicken, fish or pork to accompany it
best served room temp and I sometimes add the zest of the lemon to the salad as well if I want a stronger lemon flavour
A nice crunchy and tangy salad to wake up the taste buds _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Joined: 16 May 2006 Posts: 456 Location: california
Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:35 am Post subject:
Excellent, Debbie. It's on my "To Try" list. Tonight, we've got a crowd coming and the salad is green beans, diced red and yellow bell peppers (yes, pricey, but I bought small ones and...face it...everything is pricey in the middle of winter), sliced red onion, fresh herbs, in a mustard vinaigrette.
The combination of nuts (walnuts, pecans), greens, a crunchy fruit (apple, pear, persimmon), a salty cheese (feta, goat, or parmesano-reggiano) with a sherry vinegar-nut oil dressing (or fruity vinegar with mild oil) offers many variations and is delicious. If you candy the nuts, it's even better:
In a small skillet, cover approx. 1/2 cup pecans with water. Bring to a quick boil and then drain immediately. Return the pan to the stove and heat 1 Tablespoon canola oil. Add the nuts and stir to coat with the oil. Sprinkle the nuts with a Tablespoon or two (maybe more) of granulated sugar (and add a pinch of cayenne pepper, if you like a bit of fire) and stir constantly over medium heat until the nuts turn glossy and the sugar melts. THE INSTANT IT STARTS TO SMOKE, remove from the heat. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool. (Do not line the plate with a paper towel...duh...trust me on this...)
I've known folks to get fancier with the nuts or to candy them more heavily, but I like this mild sweetness that just coats the nuts with a bit of sugary crunch. Doesn't overdo it.
I love fruit in salad, but only in summer when I can have stone fruit to pair with chicken, ham etc. I always use a sharp feta or chevre frais with the stone fruit and you are right, it gives so much flavour. Nuts are optional for me, but I do like to add steamed baby potatoes while hot. They soak up the dressing and are delicious against the cold and crunchy salad.
Made the mistake of buying carrot salad today. Never again. It was disgusting. No sharpness of lemon and really gluggy with salad dressing instead of vinagrette. YUCK! Oh well, live and learn as they say. _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
Grate 1/2 head of raw cauliflower (large holes on grater),
brown 1 cup of fine dry bread crumbs in butter (2-3 tablespoons butter), let cool
sprinkle the above evenly over about 10 cups torn Romaine lettuce that have been tossed with this dressing:
1 cup mauyonnaise
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic mashed
salt & pepper to taste
A fine flavor!
from "Food Editor's Favorite's--Treasured Recipes"
I bought a hand of ginger and fresh beans yesterday..... guess what I am having for dinner tonight after reading Donna's post?? Might put raw cabbage instead of onion though as it doesn't agree with me.....
The cauliflower salad sounds interesting. I had a craving for cauli the other day and found teh most perfect snow white baby cauli which I steamed and ate with white pepper. Delicious. The salad might be a nice change next time I get the craving though. _________________ If you cannot feel your arteries hardening, eat more cheese. If you can, drink more red wine. Diet is just "die" with a "t" on the end. Exercise is walking into the kitchen.
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