December 3, 2014
Thanksgiving gluttony has made my slide into skinny jeans conjure up more sausage stuffing images than I care to admit. This is just the kick-off to the holiday merriment; at this rate I’ll be wearing yoga pants to Christmas Eve dinner….
So, while I would like to say all the amazing produce currently available was the inspiration for this gorgeous fall salad, the truth is a little closer to the zipper indention on my tummy. Either way, this is a salad that satisfies with radicchio, walnuts, persimmons and honey lime dressing. Pair this salad with simple grilled chicken or enjoy as a lighter stand alone meal.
A note about late fall produce; there are many unique offerings this time of year that often get overlooked. It’s worth seeking out these amazing ingredients because they taste so darn delicious. This simple chopped salad brings together showstoppers of the season in a beautiful way.
Chioggia radicchio grows nearly year-round in my garden, but at the farmers market this weekend it was all about Treviso radicchio. Both boast that same wonderfully bitter taste, but while Chioggia is more round, Treviso is shaped more like endive — grab whichever type you can find. Sometimes I split radicchio in half, brush it with olive oil and grill on my indoor grill, broil it with cheese or chop and serve it up raw like we do here.
Another treat available right now are Fuyu persimmons. My kids love these and will eat them like apples — that glorious orange crunch is a winner. Last weekend Fuyu persimmons were all over the farmers market and became a stand out in this salad.
Our Bearss lime tree is loaded right now thanks to our weekly suds treatment. That fresh lime juice makes for a wonderful honey mustard vinaigrette. It’s sweet and bright tasting, making it a perfect match for these bitter greens — can you still call them greens when they’re white and red?
One of the best parts of this salad is that all of these ingredients hold up almost like coleslaw so feel free to make it, dress it and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Enjoy!
Late Fall Chopped Salad
Serves four as a side dish
Note: When toasting the walnuts, do so on medium heat in a dry pan for about five minutes. Move around the pan on occasion to ensure even browning.
1 head Treviso or Chioggia radicchio, sliced in 1/2″ pieces
1 Fuyu persimmon, thinly sliced and quartered
½ cup whole walnuts, toasted (don’t skip this part!)
1 rib celery rib, sliced 1/2″ and leaves
Honey Lime Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 smashed garlic clove
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (grainy not smooth)
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
Chop ingredients for the salad and reserve in a bowl.
Mix the first four ingredients for the vinaigrette and then whisk in oil. Add the garlic clove and let rest for about 15 minutes. Fish out the garlic clove before tossing with the salad. Dress the salad with two tablespoons of dressing and then taste for seasoning. Before serving, taste again adding more dressing if needed. I keep leftover dressing in a small Weck jar in the fridge; it will last for a couple of days.