You’ve heard me rant about leafy winter greens, especially those consumed raw in salads. Even when you do manage to get them in pretty good condition, they don’t quite taste the same, understandably so. They’re not in season.
Does that mean I stop eating salads in the wintertime? Absolutely not! It just means I need to think about salads a little differently.
I made this recipe for my mom during her visit and she loved it, so much so, that upon returning home, she went out and bought yellow beets, kohlrabi, and carrots to replicate the salad. It was nice to hear my mom say that as much as she loves salads, she gets tired of eating the same thing all the time. I love the classic Italian salad (olive oil and red vinegar with dried oregano and a touch of salt), but I too need variety. There hasn’t been a salad that I have experimented with that my mom hasn’t liked. I take the opportunity to try new ideas out each time she visits.
So what makes this salad special? The crunch and the robust distinctness of each of these hardy vegetables. Having removed the leafy greens entirely, it’s literally a play of crunch, greatly enhanced by the different cuts (mandolin slicing, strings, and sticks), and the interplay between the unique flavours of the select hard vegetables.
Over the week, I presented this salad in many ways, but my favourite was on a long plate in bunches by vegetable. It really allows you to appreciate the specialty of each vegetable; the salad gets lost in a melange. So, you can eat by bunch of vegetable or by bite by vegetable. Either way, savour the distinctness of each vegetable.
Each of these vegetables has a unique personality, so the only vinegar that could stand up to the collective robustness of the vegetables was the crispness of champagne vinegar (white wine vinegar works well too) and the only other thing the veggies needed were the sweetness of the chives and the little hit of heat from the chill pepper.
This is one of my favourite salads. Consisting mostly of root vegetables, it is not only satisfying, but yummy crunchy!
|Fennel, bulb, sliced (preferably with a mandolin)||1/2|
|Beets, orange, medium, sliced (preferably with a mandolin)||2|
|Carrots, small, cut into swirls||2 (or 1 large one)|
|Kohlrabi, medium, cut into sticks||1|
|Olive oil||4 tbsp|
|Vinegar, champagne||2 tbsp|
|Mustard, Dijon||1/2 tsp|
|Chives, chopped, sprigs||10 + more for garnishing|
|Pepper, chile, small, hot, chopped (seeds removed)||1|
|Black pepper||1/4 tsp|
1. Using a hand blender, combine all vinaigrette ingredients until the chives and chili pepper are pureed.
2. Slice and chop all the veggies. Divide ingredients in half and display vegetables in a pile separately on a plate. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with chives.