In the Kitchen With Ricky: Winter White Salad is a Perfect Christmas Dish



I was racking my brains for a recipe for this week’s In the Kitchen With Ricky. Am I going for dessert? Well, that would be the obvious choice. How about an aperitif? It’s scheduled for next week! How about a cheesy and sparkling side dish? Too typical. Well, I threw off all those ideas and went for a salad.

I know the salad might not scream holiday, or even winter, but with all the rich, heavy, and delicious foods flowing around this time of year, I felt this bright and fresh helped kick-start a meal and stimulate the taste buds.

It’s a great addition to a table and pairs well with rich roast meats or ham. In fact, I find it to be a perfect salad for Christmas. It’s also a great lunch, in which case I’d add sliced ​​chicken breast, some poached shrimp, chunky crabmeat or chickpeas, and a drizzle of olive oil.

The star of this salad is the winter products. It’s often forgotten that a crop in cool weather can shine as bright as a plate of tomatoes and peppers in mid-August. I try to train myself to eat what is in season.

However, that can be a bit subjective as eating what’s in season here in the Northwest Interior means cellars full of apples, onions, and potatoes, but in California it’s citrus and cruciferous vegetables. There is a happy medium – don’t go out and expect a perfectly ripe, flavorful tomato.

This winter white salad can include many different ingredients; However, it is important to make sure that they are white to light green in color. To change the recipe, try sliced ​​Brussels sprouts, sliced ​​celery, or small bunches of cauliflower.

Dried fruits can also be a good addition, and I recommend golden raisins. It is important to ensure that moisture is removed from all salad ingredients. So, after washing your products, let them drain well or use a salad spinner to remove excess water.

White Winter Salad

For the salad:

4 white endives, leaves separated

¼ white onion, thinly sliced

1 green or yellow apple, halved, cored and thinly sliced

1 fennel bulb, seeded and thinly sliced

1 can of hearts of palm, drained well and cut into thick pieces

3 ounces of sharp white cheddar cheese, diced or parmesan, grated

⅓ cup of chopped walnuts, blanched almonds or hazelnuts or macadamia nuts

Fennel leaves, for garnish

Chives, for garnish

For the dressing:

½ cup of Greek yogurt

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth. This can be done up to 24 hours before assembling the salad and stored in the refrigerator until just before assembling the salad.

Place the chopped onion in an ice-water bath for at least an hour before assembling your salad. This helps to crisp the onion, as well as remove some of the sharpness from the raw onion.

Lightly toast the nuts in a 300 degree oven for about 5 minutes. We’re not looking to add color here, but it does help release the oils and provide better crunch.

In a large bowl, combine the dressing and all salad ingredients (except the chives and leaves). I start with about half of the dressing and then go from there, making sure to taste the seasoning or more dressing as you combine.

Arrange salad in large bowl or individually on plates and garnish with chopped chives and fennel leaves.

Use immediately.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Award-winning local chef and owner of Rind and Wheat, Ricky Webster, can be reached at [email protected] Follow Webster on Instagram @rickycaker.

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