Young Lettuces and Shaved Winter Vegetables with Walnut Vinaigrette Recipe
This recipe, from chef Todd Ginsberg of Atlanta restaurant The General Muir, was created to be paired with his golden and crisp potato latkes, as part of a festive Hanukkah menu. Although this light, fresh salad does complement rich fried foods like potato pancakes, it is versatile enough to work just as well on a regular weeknight with the main dish of your choice. Our Test Kitchen loved the dish, saying, "This is a very nice, mild salad. It would be delicious with flank steak, flaky fish, or chicken." However you serve it, enjoy this recipe when root vegetables like carrots, radishes, turnips, and kohlrabi are at their peak. Beautiful soft baby lettuces are also important here—some varieties of lettuce are too bitter or peppery and will overwhelm the dish. This salad is very simple, so the produce really shines. Ginsberg uses a mandolin to cut the vegetables into very thin slices, but you can also use a vegetable peeler to get the job done. The dressing, which is made with walnut oil, grapeseed oil, and balsamic vinegar is tangy but mild and brings together the flavors of the tender baby lettuces and shaved vegetables without overpowering any of the ingredients. To make this salad a bit heartier, you can top it with chopped toasted walnuts and shaved Parmesan. This salad is light enough to be paired with any weeknight dinner, but flavorful enough that it doesn't get lost in the side-dish crowd. A salad like this is a great way to use earthy winter vegetables while you can, but you'll want to use this walnut vinaigrette dressing all year long. The best part about having a side-dish salad is the prep time. From start to finish, this salad is on your table in 10 minutes—that's faster than it takes us to even set the table!