A beautiful, hearty winter salad to make in the cold months, with creamy lemon-anchovy dressing, radicchio, romaine, fresh fennel and celery root.
Here’s a winter salad to take you through the dog days of the season. The recipe makes the most of the produce you’re likely to find at the market during the cooler months, like radicchio, romaine lettuce, fennel bulb and celery root. It’s a colorful and uplifting recipe, just what you need to help round the corner until springtime.
The dressing for this winter salad is creamy and lemony, flavor-boosted with a little anchovy (a good use for the jar you might have sitting in the pantry!). It will remind you of a lighter, less pungent caesar salad dressing, and it’s a great match for the more assertive flavors of the radicchio and celery root.
When I first made this salad I was craving something fresh and crunchy, but it was snowing and I didn’t want to venture out for provisions. So when I dug into the produce drawer of the refrigerator and found the ingredients for a hearty salad, I felt a little like Captain Cook scrounging around in the galley for a wedge of lime to suck on.
At the very back of the drawer was the most stalwart survivor — a gnarly celery root. This vegetable had been keeping to itself in the darkness of the produce bin for at least a month, but it was none the worse for wear after peeling and prepping. Chalk a point for the value of a root cellar!
How to prepare celery root for a salad:
- Use a large sharp knife to slice off the top and root end.
- Stand the celery root with one cut side down and remove the outer skin with the knife by slicing all around perpendicular to the cutting board.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice over the celery root to keep it from going brown, then slice it very thinly. Stack the slices and slice to make matchsticks.
An easy way to remove pomegranate seeds or arils:
- Slice the pomegranate in half through the equator.
- Turn each half cut side-down over a bowl; smack it sharply with the back of wooden spoon – the seeds will fall out into the bowl.
winter salad with lemon anchovy cream
Yield 2 - 4 servings
Lemon anchovy cream:
- Grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon white wine or rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane or finely chopped
- 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
- ¼ cup crème fraiche
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch heart of romaine leaves, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks*
- 1 fennel bulb, stems trimmed
- 1 small head radicchio or treviso
- 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- To make the dressing, put the lemon zest, juice, vinegar, salt, garlic and anchovy in a blender or mini food processor, or mix together in a small bowl.
- Add crème fraiche and olive oil and blend/process until smooth and creamy or whisk by hand. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
- Put the romaine leaves in a large salad bowl with the celery root.
- Peel the base of the fennel bulb with a vegetable peeler to remove the tougher outer layer. Slice the fennel very thinly using a sharp knife or shave on a mandoline; add to the salad bowl.
- Thinly slice the radicchio into ribbons, reserving some leaves. Toss the ribbons in the bowl.
- Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss gently.
- Transfer the salad to a serving plate and arrange the reserved radicchio leaves around the salad. Drizzle with additional dressing and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
- To prep celery root, use a large sharp knife to slice off the top and root end; stand the celery root with one cut side down and remove the outer skin with the knife by slicing all around perpendicular to the cutting board. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the celery root to keep it from going brown, then slice it very thinly. Stack the slices and slice to make matchsticks.
- Try this method for seeding a pomegranate: slice in half through the equator, then turn each half cut side-down over a bowl; smack it sharply with the back of wooden spoon - the seeds will fall right out into the bowl.