Christmas Salad (Insalata di Natale) - | WBTV Charlotte

Christmas Salad (Insalata di Natale)

Presented by Chef Cynthia Ferich

 

1 bunch each of green and red leaf lettuces, washed, dried and torn into pieces

1 small head radicchio, sliced

1 small red onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings, reserving a few for serving

1 roasted red pepper, chopped (OR), 1 fresh red pepper, chopped

1 large orange, peeled and thinly sliced into rings, reserving a few for serving

1 cup pitted black olives, chopped

1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

*1 cup caramelized pecans, reserved

1/2 cup dried cranberries, reserved

Dressing:

1/2 teaspoon salt and a grinding of freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Wash the lettuces and radicchio well and spin or pat dry.  Add the remaining ingredients (except the cranberries and pecans), and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

When ready to serve, prepare the vinaigrette and pour over salad.  Garnish with a few reserved slices of oranges and onions, topped with nuts and cranberries.

*To caramelize pecans, melt 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup sugar in a small skillet.  Stir while melting, and continue to stir until the syrup turns a light brown in color.  Quickly stir in the pecans and pour onto a parchment paper, lined cookie sheet.  Cool completely, and break up the nuts.

I serve this salad on Christmas Eve, and the bowl is usually empty after dinner.  The combination is unique in flavor, while the colors are festive.

Compliments:  Cynthia Ferich

Author, Culinary Educator, Private Chef

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