Fruits and vegetables for winter salads Essay

Fruits and vegetables for winter salads Fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, paired and arranged inuntypical ways, bring a touch of drama to first-course salads for winterparty meals.

Each salad has make-ahead steps that can save you time as you planyour holiday entertainment schedule. Jicama with Green Apple Salad 1/2 pound jicama, peeled and rinsed 1 large tart green apple (such as Newtown Pippin or Granny Smith) 6 tablespoons lime juice 1 teaspoon sugar 6 tablespoons pomegranate seeds Salt Fresh cilantro (coriander) sprigs Slice jicama into 18 thin slices, making them half-circles ifpossible. Cut apple in half, core, and cut vertically into 36 wedges.Coat jicama and apple slices with lime juice; lift fruit from juice.Add sugar to lime juice and reserve. Make 18 stacks of 1 slice jicama with 2 slices apple on top.

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Put 3stacks on each salad plate and fan them out. If made ahead, cover andchill up to 5 hours. Just before serving, pour 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds intocenter of each salad.

Sprinkle equally with reserved lime juice, thensprinkle generously with salt and garnish with cilantro. Serves 6. Red Lettuce Spears with Beans and Tangerine Mayonnaise 1 head (1/2 to 3/4 lb.

) red leaf lettuce 3/4 pound green beans, stem ends trimmed and strings pulled off Water 1/2 teaspoon olive or salad oil 1 to 2 tablespoons tangerine juice Tangerine mayonnaise (recipe follows) 1 small red or yellow bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, cutvertically into 16 pieces 2 tangerines, each cut into 8 wedges Cut lettuce vertically into eighths through core and leaves. Trimaway most of the core, but keep leaves attached. Rinse lettuce gently;drain. Wrap in paper towels and put in a plastic bag; chill at least 30minutes or as long as overnight. In a 4- to 5-quart pan with about 3 inches boiling water, cookbeans on high heat, uncovered, until they are barely tender whenpierced, 2 to 3 minutes; drain beans.

At once immerse beans in coldwater until cool; drain. If made ahead, cover and chill as long asovernight. Mix beans with oil. On each of 8 salad plates, lay a section of the lettuce and acluster of beans.

Sprinkle lettuce evenly with tangerine juice. Spoon1/8 of the tangerine mayonnaise at the base of each cluster of beans;garnish mayonnaise with bell pepper strips. Serve tangerine wedges tosqueeze individually onto salads.

Serves 8. Tangerine mayonnaise. Mix together 1/2 cup homemade or purchasedmayonnaise, 1 teaspoon thawed frozen tangerine juice concentrate, 1small clove garlic (minced or pressed), 1/4 teaspoon grated tangerinepeel or orange peel, and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper.

Cover and chill atleast 1 hour to blend flavors, or up to 2 days. Zucchini Noodles with Two Dressings About 1 pound medium-size (2 or 3) zucchini, ends trimmed Raspberry dressing (recipe follows) Green or gold pepper dressing (recipe follows) 1 lemon and 1 lime, each cut into 6 wedges Watercress sprigs With a knife, Oriental shredder with fine or coarse blade, orcoarse shredder, cut zucchini into long, very thin slivers; drawzucchini full length across shredder blade or holes. Divide zucchini equally, mounding onto the center of 6 saladplates. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 5 hours. On each plate, spoon about 2 tablespoons raspberry dressing abouthalfway around one side of the zucchini; fill the space on the oppositeof the plate with the pepper dressing. Garnish plate with a lemon and alime wedge and with watercress sprigs.

Makes 6 servings. Raspberry dressing. In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan on high heat, melt1 tablespoon raspberry jam or jelly, stirring constantly; remove fromheat and stir in 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Whisk jam and vinegar with 1/2 cup salad oil and 1 tablespoonminced shallot or red onion; add salt and pepper to taste. Use, orcover and chill up to 2 days. Green or gold pepper dressing. To food processor or blender, add1/3 cup each olive oil or salad oil and diced green or yellow bellpepper, and 1 tablespoon minced shallot.

Whirl until pepper is pureed.Season to taste with cayenne. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 1day.

Before serving, blend in 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar and saltand pepper to taste. Photo: A fan of lightly cooked green beans and a spear of red leaflettuce are united by tangerine mayonnaise and a squeeze of tangerinejuice Photo: Pomegranate seeds brighten jicama and apple slices (above);zucchini cut like spaghetti has raspberry, pepper dressings

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