August 31, 2010

Winter Salad

Today is officially the last day of Winter, and although for someone who grew up in the Arctic the Sydney Winter has hardly been very wintery at all, there is still a reason for celebration. I am celebrating the last day of Winter with this colourful Winter salad that certainly creates a sensation of celebration just by looking at it.

There are just so many flavours and textures going on, but somehow they all still manage to come together and complement each other. This winter salad is undeniably a seasonal salad, but it is so light and delicious I urge you to try it whenever you have a chance.

Winter Salad

(Recipe adapted from the Masterchef Recipes)

6 baby beetroots

3 thyme sprigs

2 garlic cloves

1 tbs olive oil

1/2 cup blanched almonds

1 white witlof, small leaves picked, bigger leaves cut into half

4 small red radishes, washed and cut into halves or quarters

1/2 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 Murcott mandarin, peeled and broken into segments

1/2 Murcott mandarin, zested & juiced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C. Cut most of the stems of the beetroots and place them on a piece of foil covered with a smaller piece of baking paper. Add the thyme sprigs, garlic and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the foil into a loose parcel, place in an oven dish and bake for 40 minutes or until the beets are just tender. Set aside to cool and peel off the skins. Cut the cooled down beets into halves or quarters.

Put the almonds in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to boil. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, drain and let cool. Cut into slices (alternatively you could use slivered almonds). Heat a small frying pan and lightly toast the almonds until golden.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk the mandarin zest and juice, mustard and honey and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the olive oil whisking continuously until slightly thickened.

Assemble all the salad ingredients on a plate and drizzle generously with the vinaigrette. Serve with fish or chicken.

Happy Last Day of Winter!