I don’t know about you but once the weather changes I crave richer food like stews, braised meats, pastas and warming cozy dishes. Let’s face it, winter fare can often be on the heavier side. One saving grace for me is a crisp and clean winter salad. There is something about a super crunchy and bright lemony raw veggie concoction that cuts through these indulgent flavors. Cabbage, kale, celery, fennel, brussel sprouts sunchokes, cauliflower, apples, pears, walnuts, hazelnuts, lemon, and pecorino cheese are a few staples I stock in my fridge during the winter months so I can easily throw together a variety of salads.
This year for the holidays I will counter-balance the decadence of my wine braised short ribs with a crisp and composed Sunchoke (Jerusalem artichokes) and pear salad. What I appreciate most about this salad is how fresh & simple it is prepared, how you can taste the clean purity of each ingredient in every bite, and how in its simplicity the flavor combination can be so dynamic. This dish plays upon your senses contrasting the cleanliness of raw crisp sunchoke with the sweetness of the pear coupled with the crunch of toasted hazelnuts and tied together with a lemony acidic brightness, and finished off with the sharp brininess of a good pecorino.
This salad was inspired by a dish I had at my favorite Brooklyn jaunt Franny’s a few years ago. In the spirit of the season of gratitude I have to thank the chefs and team at Franny’s. They have single handedly inspired my culinary journey and are responsible for educating my palette – resulting in the eye-swoon experience that now happens within my kitchen!