Winter Herb Salad with Fruit
This is a recipe I adapted from Saveur magazine, and it’s a great winter dish with bright cheerful flavours. Feel free to be creative with your own herb additions to the greens!
2 tbsp / 10 mL vegetable oil
2 slices of red onion, minced
1- 4 inch/10 cm piece of ginger root, peeled & minced
1 tbsp / 15 mL Dijon mustard
1 tbsp / 15 mL grapefruit juice
2 tsp / 10 mL lime juice
1 large egg
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup / 60 mL red wine vinegar
1 tbsp / 15 mL rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup / 125 mL olive oil
2 tsp / 10 mL chile oil (or 1 tsp / 5 mL chilies in oil will work, too)
salt & pepper
10-12 grated slices Parmigiano-Reggiano (this is an occasion to splurge and get the good stuff – absolutely no powdered cheese here, please!)
1 Fuji apple (or other crisp red variety)
1/2 bottle ginger beer
1/2 cup / 125 g pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 pomegranate)
2 heads chicory, frisee or other bitter lettuce (or a mixed container of wild lettuces)
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 bunch mint
1/2 bunch parsley (the original recipe called for shiso, which I only grow in the summer)
First, prepare the apple in slices and put it in a bowl covered in ginger beer. (I highly recommend you use the other half of the bottle to make yourself a rum punch – “Can’t be wasting!”, as my Gramps used to say! Besides, it helps you forget about the cold grey sky outside. Worked for me.)
Next, cook off the ginger and onion in the vegetable oil, just until it starts to crisp. Spoon out the pieces on a paper towel and discard the oil.
In a blender or small mixer (or even in a bowl with a good whisk), prepare the dressing: combine Dijon with the grapefruit & lime juices, and the egg and blend on low. Pour in the vinegars and the garlic, blend again and then season with salt and pepper. Turn the blender on low to medium and drizzle in the olive oil so it emulsifies. Drop in the chile oil, blend quickly one last time and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.
Grate your Parmigiano and chop your herbs not too fine (you want to taste them in the salad recognizably, not like an essence.) Seed your pomegranate if needed. Prepare to mix the salad in a large bowl – toss the greens with the herbs first, then add the fruit and about half the dressing. Toss well. Add as much more dressing as you like, and at the last minute, toss in the cheese. Serve immediately, on its own or with an entrée if you wish. Another rum punch, or some sparkling wine will also help you feel like brighter, longer days are not so far off!