I’m usually a little skeptical about salad “recipes.” I love salad, please don’t get me wrong. But it’s usually something I eat for lunch or dinner (never breakfast, pffft plz) and create by chopping up a smattering of veggies that just happen to be in my fridge and then I cover in this dressing. I don’t need anyone to tell me how to do that, thankyouvurymuuch, and I won’t insult your intelligence by claiming that you do either.
And just to undermine this blog post even further, the immortal words of Julia Child regarding salad happen to be: “The only time to eat salad is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” I disagree with her hatred of leafy greens obviously, as I’ve attested to my love for veggies and salad before, but I do realize that if Julia Child doesn’t even acknowledge something as a food, it’s probably a stretch to claim you’ve created a recipe for it.
Here’s “the thing” though. Salads in the fall and winter can be a little uninspired when you don’t live in California. Sometimes, you need to share a salad with other humans. Like, for instance, you have a friend. (Bear with me here) And that friend makes a crockpot full of chili and there’s cornbread. And you have to bring something to the party and you’re sick of being that girl who shows up at everyone’s house with a bag of cookies. But it’s winter and the tomatoes are like a million dollars and they’re not even red so you’re typical house salad sounds kinda sad.
Ok, breathe. I’ve been there dude! And this is what I did. So if you ever find yourself in that exact situation, or one like it, here is an amazingly light salad that focuses on seasonal veggies for fall and winter like sweet potatoes and parsnips. And pears!
Winter Seasonal Salad with Pears, Parsnips and Sweet Potato
Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side
1 tbsp EV olive oil
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and julienned
1-1lb bag of parsnips, peeled and julienned
1 medium pear, peeled and julienned
1 c chopped walnuts
1 large head of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped to bite size pieces
salt & pepper
1/2 c EV olive oil
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
2 tsp worchester sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp EV olive oil over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes, parsnips and a pinch of salt. Saute, stirring frequently, until softened. Remove from pan to a plate and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, toss together pears, walnuts and romaine lettuce. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 c EV olive oil, cider vinegar, worchester sauce, maple syrup, a dash of salt and (preferably fresh ground) black pepper.
Add parsnips and sweet potatoes to the salad. This can be done up to 4-5 hours ahead. Hold off on dressing until serving.
Add half the dressing and toss until coated. Slowly add more dressing until salad is dressed to your satisfaction (because of the varying size of lettuce heads, you may have some left over; dress slowly so that the salad
doesn’t become soggy). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.