The Winter Salad Bar,
Cranberry, Pine Nut
and Parmesan Salad
Sometimes life gets very complicated ~ things have to be done and time escapes through the open window leaving you late and behind with all of the everyday chores……….such was yesterday, a day fraught with time restrictions and deadlines ~ trips to government offices, shopping to be done and letters to write, as well as promised commitments to be carried out. I felt like running away from it all by the end of the day and then my husband uttered the immortal words “what’s for tea”! Tea, tea ~ how on earth do I know what’s for tea! Lunch was all sorted as we had some leftover cauliflower cheese with baguette, and then some bread pudding for dessert. But as I struggled with the Wi-Fi set up on the new printer/scanner, my thoughts were not on tea ~ they were firmly fixed on trying not to succumb to an overwhelming desire to throw the new and essential appliance out of the window as the Wi-Fi connection refused to “connect” to my laptop.
Although lunch was a meat-free meal, we often go “meatless”, it was a hearty meal with lots of crusty baguette to accompany the cauliflower cheese, as well as the naughty bread pudding AND custard for pudding; so, a light tea was acceptable. I remembered making a wonderful salad by my friend Cookgirl, a winter salad of epic taste and vibrant colours that would cheer us both up….a meal in itself and, I had all the ingredients to hand. I DID tweak this salad a little bit from the original recipe, but I am sure Cookgirl won’t mind, as her original recipe was the inspiration for this. I must stress that although I am usually found preparing huge vats of comfort food by the end of November, the temperatures were a giddy and balmy 15 degrees C yesterday, and therefore, a salad, albeit a winter style salad, fitted the culinary weather bill.
Back to planning; at this time of the year I am usually making lists and lots of them ~ but I’ve evaluated this compulsive disorder of frenzied list making, this year I am going to calm down a bit and take each day as it comes ~ I may just make the odd list now and then, old habits die hard, but my Christmas Cake and Puddings are made and I have a pantry full of home-made preserves, pickles, jams, jellies, mincemeat, liqueurs and chutneys, so I am going to chill out a wee bit and just go with the flow…….I hope! I am not going to be “spoon fed” into following “countdown to Christmas” articles, designed to send most sane people into a frenzy of time schedules and unnecessary panic, neither am I going to be lured into excessive buying of chocolates, sweets and “posh” biscuits and other sundry “temping” festive offers. No, I am going to stand firm and be calm and relaxed about it all. Broken Wi-Fi connections are but a small inconvenience and I am going to go to bed early more often and read……I will select the book of my choice and luxuriate in time out…….life is going to slow down a bit.
Please do call by later to see if I am following my own good advice ~ the jury, that is my husband, is out on that one! In the meantime, join me at my Winter Salad Bar and please try this salad combination, it would make a BRILLIANT accompaniment for the Christmas buffet table as well as a light supper or lunch dish and just the colours are enough to brighten up any long, fraught and busy day. See you later with some naughty baked treats…….bye for now, Karen.
Cranberry, Pine Nut
and Parmesan Salad
(Serves 2 people as main meal or 4 people as an accompaniment)
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 150g mixed mesclun salad leaves
- 75g radicchio leaves, torn into small pieces
- 50g dried cranberries
- 1/2 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
- DRESSING: Combine cranberry juice, vinegar, thyme, honey, Dijon mustard, and both oils together in a glass jug; whisk well and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- SALAD: Arrange the leaves on a plate and then scatter the cranberries, red onion and pine nuts over the leaves. Drizzle the salad dressing over the salad and garnish with shavings of Parmesan cheese.
- Serve with crusty bread as a main meal or as an accompaniment to pies, quiches, omelettes, cold cuts or grilled meats.