Salads have always been one of my favorite parts of a meal because I love vinegar. Yup, you read correctly, I love the taste of vinegar. I love the puckery feeling it gives your mouth, how it makes your taste buds all stand and salute when that first forkful of vinaigrette coated salad enters my mouth. But as I’m eating seasonally (and locally because I’m in California) I’ve had to be more creative with producing salads that allow me to indulge my vinegar tooth. Turns out that making a salad with winter produce isn’t as hard as I thought (and not simply because I live in California!) I have to confess that the fennel and celery salad is cribbed from a recipe from Mark Bittman of the New York Times, but they say mimicry is the surest form of flattery!
Celery, Fennel and Parmesan Salad
(Bittman uses a mandolin; without it, I just used a knife and cut carefully)
3 stalks celery, sliced very thinly
1 blub fennel, sliced very thinly
½ apple, cored, sliced very thinly
¼ cup of parmesan cheese, grated on large holes or peeled using peeler
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pepper to taste
Oil cured black olives (optional)
Combine vegetables, apples and cheese. Mix vinegar with salt until dissolved. Add olive oil and blend well. Pour over salad and add pepper.
This has been my standard winter salad for eons, and I still love it. I usually toss a homemade vinaigrette made with garlic, balsamic vinegar, coarse mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and it never fails to leave me satisfied.
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
½ bunch parsley, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1 stalk celery, chopped
(optional, meaning if I have it)
Slices of pink turnips (not purple topped turnips, these are sweeter, almost like an overgrown radish)
Cheese (feta, goat, mozzarella)
Toss all salad ingredients; add vinaigrette and serve.
Cold Beets with Rosemary
Beets are the hidden treasures of winter; gorgeous color, earthy taste, nutritional superstars. I’m sure if that is all you had in the way of vegetables, you would soon tire of them, but so far I haven’t! Using fresh herbs is such a treat, and even more satisfying when you grow them yourself since it’s hard to eat up the large bunch you buy at grocery store without creating fresh rosemary fatique.
4-5 beets, tops removed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest, minced (optional)
Place beets in pot with water covering them by at least 1 inch. Bring to boil and cook for 30-45 minutes, until beets are tender and easily slip off a fork. Drain and cool for 10 minutes. Rub off skins and discard. Chop beets in cubes or slices and add olive oil, rosemary, salt and zest if using. Toss to coat. Enjoy at room temperature or chilled.
Love and hugs!