This is one of those salads that gets better with age.
Sunset is now at 4:16 p.m. Our days are short and getting shorter. While my grass may still be green, the only thing surviving in my garden is parsley and Swiss chard in the cold frame, and some scraggly thyme, sage, and peppermint in the herb bed. Our local farmers to the rescue!
A new season
Our winter CSA starts this weekend, a new season, and that means lots of root vegetables and hardy greens. We love the long-keeping radishes that beautifully decorate our arugula, kale, spinach, pea shoots, and mixed baby greens from the greenhouses. These will supply the fresh crunch we crave in a salad, along with lightly blanched carrots, turnips, and other roots.
Celeriac stands in for the celery in this dish –– we’ll have plenty of this throughout the winter –– but you could also substitute jicama if you can find it. We want crunchy all around in this salad, with a bit of chewy from the dried cherries, and tart/sweet from the apple.
The exact radio of the root veggies is up to you, but in order to be a winter salad, you want the roots to play a staring role. This is how I made it one day using watermelon and Daikon radishes, carrots, and celeriac, but you can also add blanched turnips, rutabagas, or beets. Use whatever you have, or love!
Try a little green
The green is important, but use something sturdy if you plan to recycle this dish –– kale or spinach will stand up nicely, arugula and tender lettuce sprouts will not.
Garnish with whatever seeds you like, or omit them. I used carraway seeds because I love the flavor and I don’t always remember to use them!
To make this a full meal, add a couple of cups of cooked beans (a can, rinsed). Delicious, and packed with protein, fiber, and nutrition!
- 3 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. finely minced shallots, or onion
- 1 tsp. French mustard
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley
- 2 scallions, white and light green, minced
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. prepared horseradish
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups radishes, match sticks or dice
- 1/2 to 1 cup celeriac, cubed
- 1 green apple, cubed
- 1 small carrot or parsnip, diced small, blanched
- ¼ cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- 2 cups cooked, rinsed beans, optional
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallots, mustard, parsley, scallions (save some of the dark green for garnish) maple syrup, horseradish, and olive oil. Set this dressing aside.
Prep the rest of the vegetables. You should have a little over a quart of prepped root vegetables of any proportion you like. Place them in a large bowl along with the cherries and spinach.
Add the dressing, salt and pepper to taste, and mix everything up. If you plan this as lunch rather than just a side dish, add the beans. Taste and correct the seasoning. Do you want more horseradish? Maple syrup? Does it simply need more salt?
Place in serving bowl and garnish with seeds and the reserved scallion greens.
This is delicious tucked in a tortilla, wrap, or even a little lettuce cup!
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