Archive for the ‘Winter salad’ Category

Brussels sprouts and pecorino salad

6 December 2013

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I nearly didn’t make this salad for Thanksgiving.

With Sam Sifton’s peremptory Thanksgiving book still ringing in my ears, I did, in fact, briefly debate the pros and cons of his strict no-salad rule. Might it diminish the lusciousness of the meal? Is it the last thing anyone wants to see on a festive table? On the other hand, this barely counts as salad. Surely by salad, Sifton means lettuce?

As it turned out, this deceptively simple dish of raw Brussels sprouts and fresh pecorino, both finely shaved and tossed with a simple dressing, was — again — undoubtedly one of the favorites of the table. On the contrary, what a welcome bounce on the palate between forkfuls of turkey and chestnut stuffing.

This dish wasn’t born as a Thanksgiving side, and shouldn’t die as one. It is a salad for any occasion. I first encountered something similar quite some years ago in the lunch bar up the block from our office in Soho. That version had walnuts, and though adding nuts would be overkill on Thanksgiving, they marry perfectly.

This is barely a recipe, just a few very good ingredients tossed together. It must be made a few hours ahead, so the dressing has time to soften the Brussels sprouts. There should be enough pecorino for a shaving or two in each mouthful.

Very fresh Brussels sprouts, preferably still on the stem because snapping them off is a fun occupation for children on Thanksgiving morning

Pecorino, not too aged

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Sherry or good wine vinegar

Best olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly hulled walnuts (optional)

Trim and remove one or two outer leaves of each Brussels sprout, then shave them finely with a mandolin or a sharp knife and lots of patience.

Cut the pecorino into paper thin shavings.

The salad is very thirsty and will soak up the dressing, so plan generously, but the proportions are roughly: 5 lemon juice plus 1 vinegar to 8 olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper. Taste the salad and adjust dressing/seasoning as necessary.

Winter cabbage slaw with miso ginger dressing

1 February 2013

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Where has January gone? It disappeared in a few flurries of snow that sprinkled the city white and pretty and were swept away in a wink. It was devoured by raclettes and tagines, spicy lentil soups, and the best chocolate brownies.

And so, suddenly, hello February. Today you are my favorite month. After a couple of unnaturally warm days the cold is back, which is as it should be.

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It seems I wouldn’t make a very good Texan, because I prefer slaw without mayonnaise, This isn’t to say that I don’t like slaw with mayonnaise, I love coleslaw in general, even the limp overdressed versions of average diners. But, given the choice, I prefer a citrus-y, Asian-inflected variant. This miso ginger dressing is adapted from the beautiful blog 101 Cookbooks. I added fresh grated ginger, lime juice, and reduced the sweetness for something more assertive.

Winter slaw

1/2 small red cabbage

1/2 small white cabbage

1 fennel bulb

2 or 3 celery stalks

Fresh parsley leaves

Slice all the vegetables very thinly, using a food processor, a mandolin, or a very sharp knife.

Miso ginger dressing

A 1/2 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated

2 Tbsps white miso paste

1/2 tsp strong Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp mild runny honey

Juice from 1 lime

1/4 (60 ml) cup rice vinegar

1/3 (100 ml) cup olive oil

Mix together the grated ginger, miso paste, mustard, and honey until they are all well combined into a smooth paste.

Add the lime juice and rice vinegar, stir well, and finally the olive oil.

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Related posts

Endive salad with apples, walnuts, and comté

Dandelion, fennel, and pumpkin seed salad with pumpkin seed oil

Dandelion, fennel, and pumpkin seed salad with pumpkin seed oil

18 February 2012

I was craving something green.

***

Pumpkin seed oil is quite common in Germany and Austria. Here in New York I have found it in health food stores, in the refrigerated section.

I rarely prepare salad dressing on the side; I usually just sprinkle the oil and lemon juice or vinegar directly onto the greens. It’s faster. The traditional ratio for salad dressing is three parts oil for one part vinegar but I prefer a little more pep.

1 bunch dandelion leaves

1 fennel bulb

1 Tbsp pumpkin seed oil

2 Tbsps olive oil

1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

Flaky sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

A small handful of raw pumpkin seeds

*

Cut off the lower part of the dandelion stems, wash the leaves and spin or pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Tear or chop the larger leaves in half.

Cut off the stems and remove the coarse outer layer of the fennel bulb. Thinly slice it crosswise to obtain rings.

Place the dandelion leaves and fennel rings in a bowl. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seed and olive oils, the vinegar, the lemon juice, and toss well to dress the greens. Season with salt and pepper, and the pumpkin seeds, and toss one last time.

*

Related posts

Endive salad with apples, walnuts, and comté

Lentil and fennel salad with lemon and parsley

Parsnip and butternut squash soup with sage

Endive salad with apples, walnuts, and comté

27 January 2011

Salads are one of the reasons I look forward to winter. Endive salads in particular, because they are from my childhood, but all the other crisp, bitter, cold-weather greens, reds, and yellows: dandelion, escarole, frisée, radicchio…

In a month or so I may be looking forward to fresh peas and longing for tomatoes, but right now I am excited by the falling snow and this crunchy endive salad. It’s ready in 5 minutes and made a perfect lunch yesterday.

***

4 endives (should be tightly compact, white and pale yellow, without a hint of green)

1 red apple

1/2 lemon

About 8 walnuts

Comté (also Guyère or a hard sheep-milk cheese from the Pyrénées)

5 Tbsps good olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar

Maldon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

***

Cut off endive stub and remove one outer layer of leaves. Rinse quickly under running water, shake dry, and slice crosswise into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces. Wash apple, cut into quarters, core, and slice quarters thinly crosswise. Immediately toss the endive and apple with the juice from 1/2 a lemon, as they oxidize quickly.

Shell the walnuts and break them into pieces. Cut the cheese into strips about 1 in (2.5 cm) long and 1/3 inch (1 cm) wide. There should be about as much cheese as there are walnuts.

Mix the walnuts and cheese with the endive and apple. Season with the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss well.

Simply kale salad

8 November 2010

Now is the time to eat kale salad, when the first bites of frost have rendered the leaves mild and sweet. As winter settles in kale will become more flavorful but also tougher – perfect for soups. Since I first ate kale salad a few years ago, I’ve been looking out for perfect tender kale to recreate it at home but always seemed to miss the season. I’ve finally caught the right time and decided to make a salad that best respects the essence of raw kale.

Since this salad is all about the kale, it’s not worth making unless the leaves are perfect. I prefer to use a less curly but rather crinkly variety, such as lacinato or rainbow lacinato kale. The leaves should be visibly tender – the best test is to break off a tiny piece and taste it right then and there at the market.

***

Sweet and tender, first-frost-bitten lacinato or rainbow lacinato kale leaves

Best olive oil

Lemon

Maldon (or other flaky) sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Parmigiano reggiano cheese*

***

Wash kale in cold water and spin or pat dry. Remove tougher part of the stem (fold leaf in half and cut off its thick “spine”). Cut leaves into tagliatelle-thin strips and place them in a bowl. Dress the kale with a generous dash of olive oil, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, a pinch or two of salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss well to coat the kale and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Place dressed salad on plate and grate parmigiano on top just before serving.

* I made this salad with parmigiano because I always have some at home, however I think it would be just as good (perhaps better, even) with pecorino or coarsely grated ricotta salata.


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