Hey Hugh, I've got a serious salad habit, but I'm concerned that winter is going to cramp my style. Can you help?
Ah, winter, the season for what I like to call cooked salads: dishes that combine grilled, roasted or sautéed vegetables (for a blend of sweet and savoury) with more of the same that's diced, shaved or sliced raw (for a fresh lift and crisp texture).
Think beetroot or Brussels sprouts, rainbow chard or chicory, fennel or kohlrabi, radicchio or rapa, snow peas or sugar snaps. Season these beauties in a sprightly fashion with anchovies, feta, Parmigiano, herbs, lemon juice, nuts, olives or vinegar (choose one or two seasonings to keep it simple and elegant).
Right now I'm thinking about chef Jared Ingersoll's dish of balsamic roasted beetroot tossed with wafer-thin slivers of raw beet, seasoned with black olives sautéed in honey and topped with sheep's milk feta - a wonderful entrée for a regional dinner he cooked some years ago.
Tonight for dinner? I'm about to pick rainbow chard and green garlic from the patch. I'll melt a couple of anchovy fillets in olio, sauté two-thirds of the chard with the chopped garlic and a splash of wine, then fold in the rest of the chard, raw and finely shredded. A fine foil to serve with a golden-roasted Holmbrae "Bessie" chook.
Here are some cold weather salad recipes to try.
Illustration Lauren Haire