Winter Greens Salad
I just love presents with a culinary theme. Whether it’s a newly released cookbook, cheese platter or Himalayan salt cooking block – you know the present will be enjoyed for years to come. This year one of the most unique presents I received was a “salad board” from my mom. Designed by celebrity chef, Tyler Florence, the salad board is made of walnut and has a cutting board on one side and a shallow concave surface on the other side. Chef Florence believes that salads shouldn’t necessarily be served in deep bowls, as the dressing tends to pool at the bottom often resulting in a soggy salad.
With a salad board, the greens rest on a shallow platter and the dressing is distributed evenly throughout. I have to admit this theory makes a lot of sense! Not only is the salad board concept practical, the presentation is also beautiful as the varying colors of the vegetables stand out dramatically against the walnut wood.
At this season’s New Year’s Eve dinner, I served a salad of winter greens drizzled with a warm balsamic dressing based on a Tyler Florence recipe. To make it even more festive, I topped it with some pomegranate seeds and pistachios. The warm slightly sweet dressing is a perfect counterpoint to the assertive greens.
For the dressing, heat ½ cup balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup honey in a small saucepan. Stir in 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard. Whisk in 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (or transfer the warmed vinegar, honey and mustard to a large covered jar, add the oil and shake vigorously until emulsified).
On a platter or salad board, spread out a mix of assorted spicy greens such as arugula, baby kale, Swiss chard, radicchio and red cabbage.
Top with about ½ cup each of pomegranate arils and shelled pistachio nuts.
Drizzle on the warm dressing just before serving. If you’d like, you can also top it with some fresh goat cheese or shreds of parmesan cheese.