Loving Winter Salads

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do you tend to cook different things in the winter than you do in the summer? I sure do. It's pretty rare that we eat red meat in our house, but with a snap of cold weather in New York City, we had lamb loin chops on Sunday and a nice steak last night. To accompany the lamb chops I made some couscous and two winter salads inspired by Melissa Clark's Cook This Now.

The first was a simple salad of sliced oranges, and you really don't even need a recipe. Simply cut off the peels and slice several citrus fruits (I used 1 navel orange, 1 blood orange and 1 clementine for the two of us). Lay them on a plate and drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle on coarse salt, ground pepper and just a bit of chilli powder, then top with chopped black olives and herbs of your choice (I used cilantro).

The second was a great winter salad with a simple, but delicious cheese-and-walnut-spiked dressing. I altered the quantities a bit, but basically followed Clark's recipe.

Winter Salad with Fennel Radicchio, Walnuts, and Parmesean
Adapted from Cook This Now
Serves 2-3

1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 fat garlic clove, finely shopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
about 1 oz. Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 large head radicchio, quartered lengthwise and cored
1 endive head
1 small-ish fennel bulb, fronds removed

1. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Whisk in the oil.  Use a Microplane or other grater to finely grate the cheese into the dressing  Whisk walnuts into the vinaigrette (it should be fairly thick).
2. Thinly slice each radicchio wedge crosswise and transfer to a large salad bowl. Thinly slice each endive crosswise and add to bowl. Trim the stems from the fennel and remove the outer layers.  Cut the fennel bulb in half from top to bottom.  Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, shave the fennel into paper thin slices.  Add to the salad bowl.
3. Pour half the the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well.  If it seems dry, add more dressing.



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