I always find I am drawn to bright colours much more in winter, since I’m craving the bright, sunny attire of a warm summer’s day. I also find that salad is something I’m usually ready to pack away till the heat comes out and I find myself looking forward to soups and oven baked deliciousness in winter. I recently realised that my lack of love for salad in winter probably arises from my misconception that salads should be cold and crunchy. This really happened by accident when I was drawn to the incredible colour of these turnips at the market the other day. They shined happily out at me in the middle of their winter vege counterparts. A winter radicchio flecked with a vibrant fuchsia caught my eye next. I normally find radicchio too bitter for my tastebuds but learning that this one was only slightly bitter, I was game to give it a go. I brought these beautiful colourful treasures home to Signor Pot and asked him to create a dish with them. He made the most brilliant winter salad that has me completely converted to eating salad on a cold night. It’s crunchy, it’s warm, it’s bright and vibrant and it has a heartiness that is perfect for winter while maintaining a healthy salad status.
Radicchio de Castelfranco is also known as “Winter Rose”.
Winter Rose Salad
3 medium potatoes, (King Edward)
1 Tbsp olive oil (plus extra for frying turnips)
1 Tbsp clarified butter / butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1.5 Tbsp anchovies
Juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup verjuice
½ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 medium turnips (Scarlet Queens), shaved on a mandolin as thin as possible into discs
1 Radicchio de Castelfranco / Winter Rose Radicchio
½ cup pepita seeds, toasted
Place potatoes in a pot of salted water and cook until a knife passes through without resistance. Strain and allow to cool for handling. Cut into cubes. Roughly 10-12 pieces per potato.
Place olive oil and butter in a wide stainless steel pan on the stove, over medium heat. When frothing, add potatoes and fry until coloured and crispy on the edges. Add garlic and 1 Tbsp anchovies. Keep frying until anchovies have melted and garlic has cooked. Be careful not to burn it. Add a pinch of salt and lemon juice. When the lemon juice evaporates, remove the potatoes from the pan and place in a bowl. Allow to cool and then mix in the chopped parsley.
For the dressing, deglaze the pan by adding another 1 Tbsp olive oil, verjuice, and remaining ½ Tbsp anchovies. Reduce until thickened slightly and anchovies have melted. Set aside.
To prepare the turnips, remove stems from the turnip. Remove the leaves from the stems.
Cut the stems into 3-5mm slices. Set aside.
Place ½ tbsp olive oil in a wide based nonstick frying pan on low heat. Add sliced turnip discs and sprinkle a pinch of salt over. Fry until lightly coloured on each side and the ends turn up slightly to resemble dried rose petals. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Repeat process until all the turnips are cooked.
To prepare the Radicchio, cut in half lengthways, then cut horizontally into 2-3 cm strips. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add radicchio, turnip stems, potatoes, pepitas and the dressing, reserving some potatoes and pepitas for the top. Mix through and place on a plate. Top with turnip petals, reserved potato, pepitas and parsley.
I hope this brightens up your dining table this winter.