A Rosy Salad for Darker Days
This recipe comes from Melina Hammer's upcoming cookbook A Year at Catbird Cottage.
"When monochrome winter won’t let go, this is the salad to cure the blues. The punchy vinaigrette is a combination of miso and tahini, fresh ginger, garlic, and turmeric. It is a health booster all on its own. Use it with abandon! Dressing the prettiest pink radicchio, Rosa del Veneto cultivar—less bitter than its crimson cousin—the ingredients blend in a terrifically round way. If you cannot find the wild ground elder, use a half-and-half mixture of very thinly sliced celery and torn fresh mint leaves. Don’t leave the persimmon out if you can help it—its lushness is a unique treat folded into the layers."
For the ginger-turmeric-miso dressing
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp Seed + Mill Organic Tahini
2¼ tsp chickpea miso
1¼ tsp sherry vinegar
1 small clove garlic, finely grated on a Microplane
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated on a Microplane
1 tsp fresh turmeric, finely grated on a Microplane
Zest from half an orange
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp date syrup
Kosher salt to taste
For the salad
1 head Rosa del Veneto radicchio (see note*)
1 or 2 Fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced parallel to stem end
1 c tender ground elder shoots
Very thinly sliced curls from 2 strips lemon peel
5 ounces Bûcheron-style cheese, sliced into generous chunks
Freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
1. Combine the orange juice, tahini, miso, and vinegar in a small bowl and smear or whisk all together until a loose paste forms. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, and orange zest and fold in. Add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Add the date syrup, whisk again, taste, and season with salt as needed.
2.Thin with a small amount of water, to your preference (I add 1 tablespoon water to make it slightly looser). This step can be done up to 3 days in advance, sealed, and chilled in the refrigerator, then brought to room temperature before using.
1. Cut any particularly large radicchio leaves in half.
2. In a large serving bowl, combine the radicchio, persimmon slices, and ground elder and spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the dressing, tossing thoroughly to coat.
3. Top with the lemon curls and Bûcheron, sprinkle with flake salt and freshly ground pepper, and divide onto plates to eat.
*Rosa del Veneto radicchio is milder than its cousin, the radicchio we’re most familiar with. If you cannot find this variety, use half escarole leaves and half radicchio to offset any extra bitterness.
Reprinted from A Year at Catbird Cottage. Copyright © 2022 by Melina Hammer. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Melina Hammer. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House.