The care and feeding (of us, that is) of the CSA box continues, on a slightly more ambitious level.
White salads seem to have become all the rage at restaurants in Anchorage. The problem is that most of them have heavy, gloppy dressings that obliterate the delicate flavors of the root vegetables in them. It's a perfect salad for winter, but the balance of ingredients is generally off.
I happen to love root veg, although I almost never eat them raw except for fennel. This salad has the chic white salad look with a light vinaigrette. If you have a mandoline, I highly recommend using that for the shaved vegetables. I used a great little Kuhn Rikon peeler, which worked except that I kept nicking my fingers. Perhaps I was suffering for my food.
Shaved White Salad
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, November 2011
4 tbsp. hazelnuts, chopped
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (about one orange)
1 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 fennel bulb, shaved
3 radishes, thinly shaved
1 turnip, thinly shaved
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
2 tbsp. blue cheese crumbles
Roughly chop two tablespoons of the hazelnuts; combine with the juices, salt, pepper and olive oil and set aside.
Toss the fennel with the vinaigrette using your hands, then add the radishes and toss again. Add the shaved turnip, cheese and remaining two tablespoons whole hazelnuts and toss one last time.
Variation: This dressing is a bit sweet. With the leftover root vegetable salad, I tossed it with a bit of baby red leaf lettuce leaves and some of the lemon-shallot vinaigrette from this post. It lacks the elegant uniform white color, but it is zestier and in my opinion tastier.