A Winter "Salade Composee" - A Big Bowl Of Sunshine.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Winter Salad

I hope you all had a wonderful times during the holidays. Like most of you I always feel blessed, loved, grateful, refreshed, relaxed but I also caught myself wishing for a little spring in my step the other morning. Beside the rich(er) foods, we also did indulge a bit more in lounging on the sofa late a night. And you know how that goes: the cozier you get, the cozier you want to stay, Unfortunately it's not conducive to getting things done. But dang, aren't holidays nice?

I like when holidays are short and sweet like this. I like working a lot more than I like lounging around (for now) so when I need to raise my mental and physical ressources I tend to pile tons of colors and clean, fresh foods on one plate. Dinners revolve around a big pot of soup and lunches are most often a big "Salade Composee" (composed salad) of some of my favorite vegetables. Roasted golden beets, fennel, radish, savoy salad, mixed greens. I admit that I have never met a vegetable I did not like and I love to build salads and meals by color.

Fresh!

I don't live with a picky eater, on the contrary, B. is alright with trying just about anything. Unless it's beets. Just say the word beets and I get the face, the swinging head, the tapping feet, the clenched fists...Ok, maybe not this bad but beets are definitely ground for heated discussions. So what is a stubborn Taurean like me to do when faced with a stubborn Leo? Yes, get golden beets instead of red and roast them instead of pickling them. And cross all fingers hoping he'll like them while not revealing my secret vegetable.

I tried to sit as normal as I could, and eat at my normal (fast) pace but really I was carefully looking at his fork aiming for the beets, missing them, diving in, missing them. Come on man! Finally it happened. He ate a beet. A roasted golden beet. And he liked it. But I had to promise to never do this again. Ahahah!

I tend to stay with simple vinaigrettes but I do like to add toasted nuts or crumbled cheese. This time I went with dried cranberries and a little bit of feta for a complete "salad as a meal" idea. There are no strict rules for the vegetables or greens to use, add-ins and extras like nuts or fruits. Add a couple of bread slices or some gluten free polenta croutons one day and you have everything covered. Use what you enjoy and what makes you feel happy to eat and share.

Simple Vinaigrette

Besides, getting refreshed after the holidays, this type of meal is ideal to prepare for a two day marathon of sweet samplings like the one I am about to undertake. All in the name of research of course. I am completely psyched to be a keynote speaker in an event called Sugar Coma. Shameeka from The Broke Socialite is the mastermind behind this event dedicated to sampling the best of Atlanta's sweet spots and you can bet that I jumped "yes" when she asked me to contribute to the event!

If that wasn't good enough already, my pal Tami asked if I'd be interested in teaching a macaron workshop at some point during my stay as she knew quite a few people, bloggers and non bloggers who wanted to learn how to make them. As the super efficient girl that she is, she had a dozen people signed up in less than 24 hours. Add another sweet surprise to the mix: Bakerella herself is taking the class/workshop! I am currently coming up with little surprises of my own and swag bags to give out to all the attendees.

Winter Salad

B. thinks I am having way too much fun planning this whole trip. Yep! The macaron workshop is full but registration for Sugar Coma is now live!. If you are in Atlanta or surroundings, I hope you will come join us for one fun day of bakery touring in the city! Sweet surprises guaranteed!

Salade Composee:

Serves 2 hungry people

For the salad:
4 golden beets
1 large handful mixed greens
1 large handful savoy salad
1 bunch radishes, washed, stems cut off and quartered
1/2 fennel bulb, washed and sliced thin
1 small handful of Italian parsley
dried cranberries
feta

Preheat oven to 350F. Wash the beets and cut the stems off. Place them in a piece of foil and close it tight. Roast the beets for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, and carefully open the foil packet. Peel the beets and set aside.
With your hands, tear the salads and parsley in small pieces and divide all the vegetables evenly among 2 large plates. Top with the some dried cranberries and some feta. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

For the vinaigrette:
Check David's post on how the French like and make their vinaigrette. I nod in complete approval.
This time I used some pink salt (the bits of broken rocks are salt crystals), freshly ground mixed peppercorns and garlic instead of shallots.

Le p'tit coin en francais:

Pour la salade:
4 moyennes betterave orange
1 belle poignee de salade melangee
1 belle poignee de salade chou rouge (ou equivalent colore)
1 petit bouquet de radis, lave et coupes en quatre
1/2 fenouil, lave et coupe en tranches fines
1 petite poignee de persil plat
cranberries seches (ou autres fruits secs)
feta, en morceaux (ou chevre, feta salata, etc...)

Prechauffez le four a 350F/175C. Mettez les betteraves dans un morceau de papier d'alu et les faire cuire 20-30 minutes. Laissez le paquet refroidir avant de l'ouvrir. Epluchez les betteraves et coupez les en quatres.
Partagez les salades et legumes dans deux grandes assiettes et ajoutez les cranberries seches et le fromage. Ajoutez quelques cuillieres de vinaigrette suivant votre gout.

Vinaigrette moutarde - echalotte. Traduit de David Lebovitz:
une pincee de sel
une cuilliere a soupe de vinaigre
1/2 echalotte, pelee et emincee
1/2 cuilliere a cafe de moutarde
3 a 4 cuillieres a soupe d'huile d'olive

Dans un petit bol, melangez le sel, vinaigre et echalotte et laissez reposer 10 minutes. Ajoutez la moutarde et ensuite 3 cuilleres a soupe d'huile et melangez bien. Si la vinaigrette est trop forte, ajouter de l'huile.
Si vous desirez ajouter des herbes, faites le au dernier moment pour qu'elles restent aussi fraiches que possible.

67 comments:

rosanna said...

such an exciting salad with these colors! Lovely pictures. The salad must be an explosion of flavours in mouth. I have to try it.
Rosanna, from cosasconencanto.blogspot.com

Peter G said...

I hear you about over indulging during the holidays. Time for a detox! Love the colours in your salad Helen...very uplifting and healthy too!

Julia @Mélanger said...

Helen, I so wish I was in the area to take your workshop. Would be so much fun.

I will just have to satisfy myself with your lovely recipes and photographs. And boy are the colours in these beauties just amazing. They pop. Fantastic, as always!

Steve said...

Helene,
Absolutely beautiful. Perfect salad, outstanding photography. Thank you for the inspiration with this salad.
Steve
http://www.myfavoriteflavours.com

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

Gorgeous colors in this salad!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

These photos are brightening up a very grey Rhode Island morning. Winter salads, in most parts of the country, are such a challenge. Thank goodness for root vegetables and their natural sweetness.

Reni said...

Beautiful salad ! Just like u, I love colors in my salad. I usually mix in some fruit for color (apple, mango, citrus, kiwi, grape, papaya, dragon fruit, whatever is available), some greens, crumbled or bits of cheese and crouton drizzled with italian dressings. Perfect meal !

MmmCheese said...

I also had a big salad with French mustard vinaigrette to start out the new year. I brought back all these amazing flavored Maille jars, adding oil & vinegar to the jars themselves when they're almost done with a bunch of aromatics makes for a tasty week of salad dressing!

brightandblithe said...

Your post has me wanting to race to the market. Perhaps the cliche "eye candy" should be replaced with "eye veggies". :)

gaelle@whatareyoufeedingyourkidsthesedays.com said...

Helen, this is a great post. The pictures are beautiful and fresh; for a few seconds, I thought you had moved to a warmer place (like California!). The story of B. eating his beets made me smile. I have been raised on home-grown beets and I serve them to my children at least once a week... so I can never understand how some people don't like beets. Color-tricking, that's the way to go!
Good luck on your sweets events. I wish I could attend too. Macarons are one of my favorite desserts and I have yet to make some good ones!

Tina said...

Bring on the detox for sure! The salad looks amazing. I am ready for more fruits and veggies.. after a ham one day and a prime rib the next, I am on protein overload. This is a lovely fix.

colorchic said...

Love everything you put into this salad... So colorful and beautiful! Who needs chocolate when you can have Color and Texture... Sweet! Thanks for inspiration!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Gorgeous salad! It's a masterpiece of a meal. I so wish I was in Atlanta to attend your class!! Have a grand time!

Katie @ goodLife {eats} said...

I love all the lounging of the holidays. It's been a while since I could sink into the couch and get lost in a book, and I so needed that. I've never tried golden beets, so I'm bookmarking this to try out. It looks beautiful!

Kalyn said...

Your salad is beautiful, just like all your food! Love the recipes in French too (although what French I remember from high school is very little, I'm always hoping to re-learn some!)

Sandy Smith said...

So beautiful ~ and satisfying on many levels, too! Thanks for sharing this!

Engineer Baker said...

I love pickled beets (or beets in any preparation), so B gets no sympathy from me! :P The colors of this salad make me happy, especially on dull, grey, wintry days like this one. Oh, and all this Sugar Coma hubbub is making me wish November was coming just a little bit sooner :)

Michele Jorsling, said...

I have always loved your bright light pics but I am loving the diversity of your new dark rich shots. Thank you for such beautiful inspirational recipes and images, i always look forward to your posts...... from the sunny caribbean....mj

pigpigscorner said...

Another beautiful creation! It's so colourful!

Vanillaorchid said...

I love your salad...it's very beautiful.

Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home said...

I too am a stubborn Leo, but you would have no problem getting me to eat this beautiful salad! Happy new year :)

Beth said...

What beautifully bright and fresh pictures. Looks scrumptious!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Our kids love beets, but that's probably because we roast or steam the fresh ones rather than try to give them anything out of a can.

Lovely post!

hannah | honey & jam said...

Mmmm, this looks so good!

Tartelette said...

Michele: from looking at the archives, i'd say it's pretty much 50/50.

Nate: he had fresh beets too as a kid which is what started his aversion. That was re-inforced later with canned beets.

Thanks everyone!

Georgia Pellegrini said...

It's true! Color on a plate always makes people a little more stimulated when they eat. The food tastes better to them.

lil miss dissertation said...

is the sugar coma link live? i can't seem to click through! it just brings me back to the same page. :(

Mimi said...

It funny I don't equate salad with summer any longer, but with winter when I get overdosed on heavy comfort food, I make a refreshing salad to bring me back to sanity.
This looks like just the ticket.
Mimi

Dawn (KitchenTravels) said...

Oh, dear. I so wish I lived closer to Atlanta, just so I could attend the macaron workshop! They are on my list of most-feared and also most-desired things to bake. :) Have fun!

Tartelette said...

lil miss dissertation: links are all fixed and updated now.

Thanks everyone!

Andrea said...

Wow! You do savories just as perfectly as you do sweets. I am amazed. Both the salad and still life pictures are absolutely wonderful!
Is there a way to purchase the second picture, the one with the beets? I'd love to have this in the kitchen!

kellypea said...

You only have to wave a bowl of salad under my nose to get me to bite. I love the brilliant colors and the promise of all that flavor. Nice!

cedar chest said...

The salad is so colorful! It makes me want to eat lot even of I am not really a fan. Looks good.

Marina said...

des couleurs fabuleuses et des photos magnifiques ! Ton blog est splendide ! Bravo.
Marina

Tartelette said...

Andrea: Thank you! The picture can be purchased as an 8x12 in my etsy shop (link in navigation bar).

Rachelino said...

Gorgeous color, light and balance. wonderfully composed!
I am fgrateful for this post to remind me to mince shallot for my vinaigrette! And to roast something for the top of my winter salad.
Have fun in Atlanta, and hope it is not humid!

Aran said...

Love everything about this. So colorful.

megyy said...

I just discover your blog and I love it! Everything looks so delicious. And photos are beautiful. Your desserts looks like little works of art. This salad looks yummy too :)

Cherie said...

You're not planning on going healthy on us this year, are you? I kid, I kid:) Great salad!

Rambling Tart said...

Ohhh, this is unbelievably pretty! Love it! :-)

Lori said...

My husband is very easy going as well, except when it comes to beets. He does, however, now like my "beet pasta" and my beet bread. I puree it and incorporate it into the doughs. My kids eat it too because it is pink. They all hate beets in their purest form. I love 'em!

Chessa! said...

aaahh..a salad post is perfect to follow a pear and milk chocolate mousee cake post. it is very dangerous for me to read your blog bc I'm pregnant:)

you're so inspiring. I love this place.

malizea said...

Merci beaucoup pour la version française c géniale!!!

Junglefrog said...

Aha so that is how you manage to feed your guy something he doesn't like... lol... I wonder if I can somehow do that trick with cheese... not so easy I guess. Love the salad!

James B said...

That salad is full of colour - amazing! I always like making salads with roasted veg in - carrots, parsnips, beetroot and squashes.

Beth said...

Looks beautiful, bright and fresh!

Megan Gordon said...

Oh boy...this looks so lovely and light, especially after the heavy holiday food so many of us have been eating. I've recently taken quite a liking to radishes and have been adding them to salads or just eating them with a bit of butter on bread. Can't wait to try this. Stunning photos!

my little expat kitchen said...

These are such wonderful photographs. I love salads and this one looks terrific! So fresh and healthy.
Magda

farmerpam said...

Sunshine in a bowl! That's just what I thought when I spied the display of meyer lemons. Had never heard of them until I came across your blog....a lemon's a lemon, right? Thank's for enlightening me, who would have thought i'd ever find them in these snow buried northeast mountains. Such a treat. Love your blog, love your recipes.....drifted this way via jen/URB. You ladies do it up right! farmerpam

Jenious said...

Congrats on Sugar Coma and the workshop---seems a fine start to the New Year. Gorgeous photographs!

Table Talk said...

To say this salad is colorful is an understatement; it's bursting with all kinds of color, texture, and flavors.
So pretty!

Kate @ Savour Fare said...

That's just BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, I just want to gaze and gaze at those photographs. And post more recipes in French! I love testing my high school French (still pretty good, but unsurprising, since the subject of food was always my strength.)

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

omg! this salad looks so delish and cheery! I will have to do it today! hope you have a wonderful weekend, darling! xo

A cupcake or two said...

What a beautiful looking salad. Almost to beautiful to eat. Its hard to believe that something so visually appealing is also good for you.

Aparna said...

If I had been anywhere near there, I would be at that workshop.

Best wishes for the New Year, Helen.

Alex said...

Wonderful colors! Beautiful!

Alex

Lisa said...

AMAZING colors! Bright, beautiful and bold. A must try.

Jasmine said...

Your photos are so inspirational and make me want to improve in both cooking and photography. This salad looks fantastic!

Thank you for sharing all of your fabulous recipes! I too wish I could be attending your workshop, our trip to Paris left me with a craving for authentic macarons!

Anonymous said...

Your food looks fabulous, and your photography matches! I adore your blog already and I just found it!

-Rachel-
Rachel's Cottage House
http://rachelscottagehouse.wordpress.com

Jen Yu said...

I'm in love with those colors. The salad, like everything else you make, is too beautiful to eat. But of course, if presented with anything YOU made, I'd be a fool not to eat it (and enjoy it!) :) Very psyched for your new adventures. I suggest after the Sugar Coma tour, you also lead the participants on an Ass Reduction Plan run around the city ;) hee hee! Then they'll discover why you're such a skinny rail! xoxo

Margaret said...

Have you ever thought of creating a calender with your photos? I am always looking for a fabulous kitchen/food calender and have become more and more disappointed as each year passes by. Your photos are gorgeous and would make FABULOUS monthly calender photos!

molly said...

This is just EXACTLY what we're eating right now, lots of sweet citrus and veg, tossed with strong greens, sprinkled throughout with personality cheese and well toasted nuts. Nothing tastes better in January. Beautiful spread. Molly

Moody Food Reviews said...

I love your site and your photos are beautiful! wish I could take your class too!

pastry studio said...

I am an absolute freak for salads and this one is especially beautiful. LOVE your composition here in all these photos. So excited to hear you're teaching!

Dana said...

I am married to a beet hater too! I have tried to woo him with golden beets but he doesn't like those either. Recently I made a pasta salad that had a few of the golden ones in it and he LOVED the salad. Afterward I told him the reason he liked it so much was because of the beets. He wasn't amused. Anyway, this salad is a vision of loveliness. I could eat that every day.

ro said...

Oh, my gosh!!! your pictures, so delicate, lovely! the colours, the composition... i reallly really love them!! how do u do it? i know u must have a really good camera, and lights... u use filters too? but i can see that u have nice skills too :)
love it!

Stephanie Quilao said...

YUMMY! I had a similar salad like this recently with golden beets over arugula. I love golden beets! Gotta try fennel now :-)

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