A colorful Christmas salad with shaved market vegetables
By Danielle Rehfeld
One of the prettiest salads I like to make ahead of time is a shaved vegetable and market green salad.
At your local farmers’ market, you may find special varieties of lettuce, yellow, orange, and purple carrots. You might also come across gorgeous pink and green watermelon radishes and fuchsia candy striped (Chioggia) beets. These incredible, crunchy specimens, when shaved, are some of the brightest, striking looking vegetables around. This holiday season, round out your traditional dishes with this bright, beautiful and healthy, market-inspired salad.
Best of all, you can prep all the ingredients a day ahead and toss together at the last minute before party time.
2-3 heads lettuce, (various types like red oak, butter, romaine)
1 bunch various colored carrots
1 bulb fennel, cut in half lengthwise
3 small red and/or golden beets or assorted varieties
3 red radishes or assorted varieties
3 Persian cucumbers
1 kohlrabi, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 lemon, juiced (about 2 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
¼-1/3 cup canola oil, as needed
Kosher salt, to taste
Wash the lettuce leaves and dry well in a salad spinner. Store in Ziploc bags with a lightly dampened paper towel.
Wash the vegetables of any grit and scrub off any little hairs or patches of dirt with a clean, new sponge. Using a mandolin or u-shaped peeler, shave the vegetables and refrigerate, stored individually in ice cold water with a few cubes of ice. Make sure to store separately because stronger colors and flavors may affect other vegetables. The cucumbers may be cut into thicker slices to maintain crunch. Store in a container under damp paper towel.
Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, pepper and salt. Start with one half teaspoon of salt. Whisk in the canola oil, drop by drop, then, when emulsified, in a faster stream. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Store in refrigerator.
Just before serving, strain the shaved veggies and transfer them to a large sheet tray lined with paper towels. Separate by color and type. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and season with salt. Dress the greens in a large bowl and transfer to dinner plates. Each salad gets garnished with the various shaved vegetables. Use a large wooden salad bowl or platter to serve family or buffet style.
Cook’s Notes: Make sure the vegetables are well-drained with little to no excess water on them and dress the salad just before serving time. This will prevent it from getting soggy.