Hi there! I’m Peggy, guest blogging for Jenny. I blog over at Local Nourishment, where I’m learning the art of Slow and SOLE food. Jenny’s on a beach eating tropical fruit with a cool coconut water in her hand right about now, and has asked me to guest blog a post. We had two inches of snow in our Southeastern U.S. state this week, but Jenny’s trip to the warm sands has made me yearn for salad.
For many seasonal eaters, the word “salad” takes a rest from our vocabulary when the last leaf falls in autumn. It can be difficult to base a side dish on leafy greens in winter, and for some, cold weather makes digesting lettuce difficult. But in addition to heavier root vegetables, I can have trouble coming up with enough side dishes to balance a meal and take the main focus off meat. And no matter the season, I do enjoy a cool or slightly warmed side dish next to heavier, hotter foods on my plate.
I was determined not to buy organic lettuce shipped across the country this winter, but to find local, seasonal choices for that other side dish. So, here are my five favorite winter salads, and one recipe.
- Pear slices tossed with bleu cheese, dressed with olive oil and red wine vinegar and topped with crispy walnuts
- Thinly sliced cabbage, roasted in a hot pan for a few seconds, then cooled; tossed with a diced apple and dressed with sesame oil and apple cider vinegar into which a little crème fraiche has been whisked
- Lightly steamed then chilled kohlrabi slices, drizzled with a dressing of cream and dill and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds
- Tangerine slices, dressed with a very slightly warmed sauce of cream, honey, grated ginger, vanilla and an egg yolk; dusted very lightly with cocoa powder
- Sliced roasted golden beets, cooled and tossed with walnut oil, sprinkled with chopped flat leaf parsley and a grating of Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup cold pressed, organic olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 oranges
- 4 ounces ripe black olives
- arugula and red kale, (for base)
- Combine in a jar, shake well and set aside.
- Wash and trim arugula and kale leaves and put on serving plates. Remove green stems from fennel bulb and reserve. Wash and dry fennel bulb and chop, add to plates. Peel and chop oranges and add to plates. Roughly chop olives and add to plates. Shake dressing again and distribute over the top of each serving. Remove a few fronds from the fennel stems and sprinkle over the top of the salads.
- The reserved fennel stems are a wonderful addition to soups and stews (remove before serving) so don’t throw them out!