At this time of the year, when here in the Northeast we're shut in, defending ourselves against Ol' Man Winter, we need all the cheer and vibrancy we can find to boost body and soul.
So here's my antidote to these gloomy, frigid, Polar Vortex days -- a colorful, lively salad that awakens all your senses and bolsters your immune system - and your spirits! - with the beautiful bounty from these fresh, gorgeous fruits & veggies. From peppery arugula to the complex sweet-tart pomegranate, from the creamy nuttiness of delicata squash to the pleasingly crisp, slightly bitter radicchio, your palate will rejoice from this diverse combo of textures & flavors!
It scarcely requires a dressing, but if you use one, make it a light complement not one that obscures. In the recipe below, I use a simple reduction of white balsamic vinegar, which concentrates its complex sweet and oaky flavor notes, which you can further lighten with a little citrus.
Lastly, this salad is a snap to make, and turns any meal in to a celebration! Enjoy this at your next holiday party or on your table at a quiet simple family supper.
P.S. And here'a my favorite method to quickly de-seed a pomegranate:
~ With a sharp knife, cut along the equator of the fruit, just deeply enough to pierce the skin.
~ Twist to open the fruit in halves.
~ With your thumbs gently pull outward, stretching out the opening all around to loose the rind from the fruit within.
~ Turn each half upsidedown over a bowl, and with a large spatula or spoon, soundly "spank" all around the exterior surface. The seeds will rain down!
Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC
A Wonderful Winter Salad Serves 2-4 Prep Time: 45 minutes
A bright, colorful winter salad to brighten your mood on any grimly inclement day. Wake up ALL your senses with the multiple colors, textures, and lively mix of flavors in this fruit, veggie, nuts, & greens combination.
1 delicata squash, cut lengthwise, seeded
3 tbs date sugar or maple syrup
Seeds from ½ large pomegranate or 1 small whole pomegranate
2 shallots, peeled, small dice
½ cup fresh raw walnut halves, broken into small pieces (option: soak & dehydrate to
increase nutrient bioavailability)
4 cups young arugula leaves, washed
1 large tight Chioggia radicchio or 2 Treviso rosso radicchio, sliced thinly
Iodized sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
A nice drizzle of white balsamic vinegar reduction
Dressing: To dress, use a reduction of white balsamic vinegar straight up or diluted with a splash of orange or lemon juice. To reduce balsamic vinegar, pour a large bottle of white balsamic vinegar (avoid those with preservatives or coloring additives) into a pot. Over a low flame allow water to evaporate slowly & flavors to concentrate. Remove when it coats the back of a spoon or to desired viscosity. Reduce in a well-ventilated kitchen as the vapors are strong. Store in a squeeze bottle in fridge or, if you are a fan & use quite a bit, at room temp.
Preheat oven to 400 degree F (200 C). On parchment paper, place delicata halves face down & bake for 15 minutes. Turn over, sprinkle on date sugar or brush maple syrup on squash flesh & return to oven for 10-15 minutes or until fork penetrates easily. Remove. Cool. Cut in ½ inch slices.
Combine all components in a bowl or arrange them on a platter or individual plates. Season & dress immediately before serving.