Outside the window the sun just broke through the clouds that only a few moments ago were scattering snow like powdered sugar on a doughnut. The late afternoon sun creates interesting light play in the living room.
While I try to scribble out this post, chicken and vegetables are simmering. My house smells of herbs, root vegetables and chicken; the beginning of soup, which is good for whatever ails you, including an unrequited love affair with more snow.
Now, you’re thinking, oh, she’s going to write about said pot of chicken soup and some secret tip for transforming the ubiquitous brew into something of legends. Au contraire my friends, this blog is about a lovely little winter salad that has captured my gastronomic heart.
Winter salads differ vastly from their summer cousins that are loaded with just-picked greens, tomatoes and tender cukes. While those noshes are available year round, they’re not quite the same as when they are in season. The salads we end up dining on when days are dark and dormant have sturdier, storable ingredients like carrots, broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
Often, at our house, these vegetables are roasted for that whole cold/hot salad tango.
Apples and celery have a long standing friendship (Waldorf Salad) that gained notoriety at the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Take those two ingredients as a starting point, remove the thick mayo dressing, add slivered fennel, lightly dress the mix with olive oil, salt and pepper. Top it all with goat cheese or shaved Parmesan.
Trust me, it’s fabulous!
Note: For two side salads, I used two medium apples, four stalks of celery and one fist-sized fennel bulb. Cut, chop and slice the fruit and vegetables into bite-manageable pieces. Arrange on salad plates, dress and season as mentioned above. A nice touch is to save some of the feathery fronds from the fennel as a pretty green garnish.
Happy Eating –