Maybe cavemen refrained from eating salad during the winter, but modern Homo
sapiens should not give up their fresh greens during the year’s coldest months.
That said, there is such a thing as a “winter salad.” It’s heartier than the
warm-weather variety, perhaps containing some cooked elements such as roasted
parsnips, a robust cheese or a creamy dressing.
No matter the season,
making a salad requires some basic know-how. Before you embark upon our three
recipes, consider these tips: Buy a salad spinner if you don’t have one. A wet
salad is a bad salad, and there’s no better way to dry washed greens than to
spin them in a spinner. Try to get a spinner with a closed bottom (no holes) so
that you can soak your greens in it as well.
Make salads in advance. You
can soak greens for hours in cold water. If you don’t have room in the
refrigerator, add a few freezer packs to the soaking water. Once you’ve spun
them dry, place greens in a resealable plastic bag lined, on one side with a
paper towel. Greens stored this way will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a
You need a big bowl to toss a salad. The tossing bowl should be
able to accommodate at least twice the amount of salad you plan to use. If you
are cooking for company, you may want to transfer the salad from the tossing
bowl to a smaller serving bowl or serve it on individual plates.
ROOT SALAD Makes 4 to 6 servings We made this salad with parsnips, carrots and a
turnip, but you could use almost any combination of root vegetables. Consider
celery root or kohlrabi or beets – or just one or two. A mandoline or the
slicing blade of a food processor is handy for getting nice, even, thin
✔ 2 parsnips, peeled ✔ Extra virgin olive oil ✔ 2 carrots, peeled
✔ 1 small turnip, peeled ✔ 1⁄2 to 1 cup halved or chopped walnuts ✔ 2 heads
watercress ✔ 30 to 60 gr. blue cheese ✔ Sherry or balsamic vinaigrette (see
dressing recipes below) Preheat oven to 180º. Slice parsnips into very thin
discs and place on a non-stick (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. Drizzle a
little olive oil on top and toss with hands, coating with oil and arranging into
one layer. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until slices are lightly browned. Repeat
Quarter the turnip through the root end, then thinly slice
the quarters. Roast the vegetables individually, as they cook at different
rates. When they are all roasted, set aside to cool.
Place walnuts on a
baking sheet and bake at 180º until fragrant and lightly brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
Cut the top leaves off the watercress and immerse in cold
water. (Save the stems to sauté later with olive oil and garlic.) Spin
To assemble, place watercress in a large bowl and add roasted
vegetables and nuts.
Drizzle with a few spoonfuls of vinaigrette and
toss, adding more dressing if needed.
Crumble half of cheese on top and
toss gently again. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual dishes and top with
SUPER DUPER TRE-COLORI FATTOUSH
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Quantities here are flexible; just make sure there are roughly equal amounts of
endive, radicchio, arugula and fennel. It’s also important to use really good
olive oil. Fattoush is a Middle Eastern salad with pita chips.
✔ 1 small
fennel (shumar in Hebrew)
✔ 1 small endive
✔ 1 small *radicchio
✔ 1 to 2 cups
baby arugula or mature arugula, sliced into ribbons
✔ 1 small red onion
croutons (see note)
✔ Salt and pepper
✔ Extra virgin olive oil
✔ 1 lemon, halved
Radicchio is not always available in Israel. It can be replaced with other leafy
sharp-tasting greens or red cabbage.
Trim fronds from fennel and reserve
for another use. Trim any brown spots from base and sides of fennel, then slice
in half, through base. Slice bulb very thin, parallel to base – i.e., into half rings. (A
mandoline or food processor slicing blade is handy here.) Immerse sliced fennel
in a large bowl of cold water.
Slice endive and radicchio into 1⁄2-cm
strips. Place in cold water with fennel and add arugula. Spin dry.
onion very thin and immerse in cold water, separate from the other
To assemble salad, drain onion and pat dry. Place endive,
radicchio, fennel and arugula in a large bowl. Add onion and pita croutons.
Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and a good grinding of
Drizzle on olive oil and squeeze the lemon half. The proportion
you’re going for is 3 parts oil to 1 part lemon. Toss and taste, then adjust
NOTE: To make pita croutons, cut pita into bite-size pieces
with scissors. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 180º until they are crisp but
have not browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
CREAMY AVOCADO-ARTICHOKE SALAD
Makes 4 to 6 servings Look for oil-preserved artichokes with the stems attached
rather than in vinegar.
Or cook fresh ones: Remove hard parts and soak in
olive oil. It’s important that the artichokes and avocado be at room
✔ 1 small bunch parsley
✔ 1 head round lettuce
✔ 250 gr.
✔ 1 ripe Haas avocado
✔ Mustard-shallot vinaigrette (see
dressings recipes below)
Remove leaves from parsley. Immerse in cold water.
Discard any browned or cracked lettuce leaves and tear remaining leaves into
bite-size pieces. Soak lettuce with parsley leaves, then spin dry.
artichoke stems into 2-cm segments.
Slice the artichoke heads, through
the hearts, into quarters.
Cut avocado in half lengthwise. Remove pit and
skin. Cut halves in half again, lengthwise, and then slice into 1⁄2-cm
Place greens in a large bowl with most of the artichokes and
avocado. Drizzle with a little vinaigrette, toss, and then add more dressing if
necessary. Pour into a serving bowl or platter or onto individual serving plates
and garnish with remaining artichokes and avocado pieces.
The simplest dressing involves drizzling olive oil and either lemon juice or
wine vinegar directly on the salad, along with some salt and pepper, but you
also can make it in a separate container. I find a screw-top jar the perfect
tool for making salad dressing. Make sure it will hold double the amount you
plan to make: The headroom is necessary for proper shaking.
vinaigrette: In a screw-top jar, combine 1 part vinegar or lemon juice with 3 to
4 parts good extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper.
Mustard vinaigrette: Shake the vinegar with a spoonful of Dijon
mustard before adding the oil.
Shallot vinaigrette: Add a small amount of
minced shallot to the vinegar.
Garlic vinaigrette: Soak a cut clove of
garlic in the vinaigrette. Remove after a few hours or it will get too
Sherry vinaigrette: Use sherry vinegar for a mellow, full
Balsamic vinaigrette: Use balsamic vinegar or, for a less sweet
dressing, a mixture of balsamic and red wine vinegar.