This past week I had the pleasure of dining at the Martini House in St. Helena, CA. I had a bowl of cream of mushroom soup, and a nice glass of Soave to chase it down. My dining partner ordered the Winter Salad(Mixed Chicories, Fuyu Persimmons, Point Reyes Blue and Candied Pecans, Creamy White Balsamic Vinaigrette). The presentation was inviting, so,I boldly pushed my bread plate towards her salad, and Viola! I was a lucky recipient! The next day, I re-created this salad for a holiday pot luck party. And today, I decided to surprise the Tea Drinker with chestnut dumpling soup, and, you guessed it, the Winter Salad again. Well, I already mentioned that I really liked it…Here's my version of the Martini House salad. It’s very easy to make, and the reward is in the flavors and appearance.
1.Mixed Greens (include radicchio). I bought pre-packaged greens at the grocery store.
3. Pomegranate seeds- Do not be intimidated! Cut the pomegranate in half and pluck out the seeds. The seeds give amazing texture to the salad, and a burst of flavor with each bite.
4.Crumbled Gorgonzola- my favorite
5. Candied Pecans- I mixed pecan halves with orange juice, and brown sugar, and baked at 350 for 15 minutes.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar, a dab of Honey, and mix in Olive Oil. At the restaurant they used White Balsamic Vinegar, which I did not have in my pantry! My version was delicious.
7.Toss together, and put on a white platter. The colors really pop, and now you've just created a very festive winter salad.
The verdict is still out on the Chestnut Soup. We are about to have dinner. Stay tuned...