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A go-for-broke cold-weather salad to roast now

By: Joe Yonan The Washington Post
December 5, 2017 Updated: December 5, 2017 at 7:59 am
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Roasted Winter Vegetable and Burrata Salad. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.

In spring and summer, salads can be easily thrown together with fresh, seasonal raw ingredients. In fall and winter, they take a little more thought, because usually at least some of those elements need to be cooked.

But the same principles of salad-making apply, especially the primary one: Think about texture. When you do - combining, say, some roasted vegetables with some raw ones, and making sure to include something creamy and something crunchy - magic can happen.

The latest cold-weather salad to seek entry into my repertoire comes from "Cooking, Blokes & Artichokes: A Modern Man's Kitchen Handbook" by Brendan Collins (Kyle, 2016). Collins, a Los Angeles chef who hails from England, brings a dude-food sensibility to his book, and he approaches salad making with the same go-for-broke approach as, say, a grilled skirt steak and horseradish sandwich.

This salad combines roasted root vegetables and shallots with raw endive (or, because I couldn't find those, radicchio) leaves, in a classic sherry vinaigrette. Straightforward enough. But the killer touch is burrata cheese, which you tear and scatter on the salad along with a raft of crushed hazelnuts. If burrata is not available nearby, fresh ricotta (a nondairy one if you're vegan) would be a fine substitute.

Either way, you'll end up with a salad you don't want to stop eating. If the idea of a crave-worthy salad is news to you, that's all the more reason to make this one.

Roasted Winter Vegetable and Burrata Salad

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Yield: 4 to 6 servings

4 ounces hazelnuts (skinned or skin-on) 2 small parsnips (5 ounces total) 2 small carrots (5 ounces total) 2 small turnips (8 ounces total) 4 small shallots Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup honey 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/4 cup aged sherry vinegar 1/2 medium head radicchio (about 4 ounces; may substitute red and/or white endive) Two 4-ounce balls burrata cheese (may substitute 8 ounces ricotta cheese)

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts evenly on a baking sheet and toast them (middle rack) until golden brown and extremely fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool, then crush them up a bit. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Scrub and trim the parsnips, carrot and turnips. (Remove the tough cores from the parsnips, as needed.) Cut them and the shallots into bite-size, mostly uniform pieces. Toss them on a rimmed baking sheet with salt, pepper (a two-fingered pinch of each) and the 2 tablespoons of the oil, then spread in a single layer. Roast (middle rack) until just tender and lightly caramelized, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.

While the vegetables are in the oven, whisk together the honey, mustard and vinegar in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of oil to form an emulsified vinaigrette. The yield is 1 cup.

Separate the radicchio leaves, tear them into bite-size pieces and place in a mixing bowl, discarding the cores. Add the roasted vegetables and half the hazelnuts. Drizzle on as much vinaigrette as you like (we used 1/4 cup) and toss to coat evenly.

Divide the salad among individual plates or arrange it on a large platter. Break up the balls of burrata and distribute the cheese across the top of the salad. Scatter the remaining hazelnuts on top and serve.

Nutrition information per serving (based on 6, using 1/4 cup vinaigrette): 360 calories, 11 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 29 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar.

Source: Adapted from "Cooking, Blokes & Artichokes: A Modern Man's Kitchen Handbook" by Brendan Collins

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