This salad was one of a few dishes my grandmother Winifred transcribed the recipe for and slipped into a blank journal she gave to me when I was about eleven. She called it her ‘favourite salad,’ and I think this is rather apt. I mean, without wanting to sound strange, if I were to imagine my grandmother as a salad, it might well be just like this one: cool, refined, considered, a little eccentric with distinctive flavours that not everyone will like. Similar to the classic Waldorf salad, this dish works well in winter, although if you are strict about these things, it would most likely be at its best in October and November, when two of its key ingredients, chicory and fennel, meet in their seasons. I know it is September, still summer practically, but in my mind I’m already headed north, wrapped in a poncho with cold feet. Brrr, pass the salad.
- 1 chicory head
- 1/4 fennel head
- 1/2 crisp apple
- 1 medium cold cooked potato
- 2 sticks tender celery
- 1 tsp mayonnaise
- 1-2 tbsp vinaigrette
- For the vinaigrette
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp good olive oil
- 1 whole clove garlic, crushed slightly
- 1 tsp sugar or honey (optional)
- Generous salt and pepper
- Break the chicory leaves apart, wipe but do not wask as this will make them taste bitter.
- Slice the fennel and celery thinly. Cut the apple and cold potato into cubes.
- Line a serving bowl with chicory leaves.
- Put all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jam jar, seal and shake vigorously to mix dressing.
- In a separate bowl, combine the fennel, celery, apple and potato and stir in the mayonnaise and vinaigrette to coat thinly.
- Spoon the dressed salad into the centre of the chicory-lined serving bowl and decorate with tiny fronds of fennel.
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About Chloe King
I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.
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