Look, we're all coming back from Christmas. The last bits of candy have been left in the common areas of the workplace to live on someone else's hips and now it's time for something fresh. It's still winter time, so how does one capture winter flavours in a simple salad? The Winter elements are supported by a few main staples: pomegranate, nuts and cedar.
I am a lover of baby romaine. It looks fancy and doesn't have a very strong favour, so it supports all your other flavours. It's sort of like a really great black sweater that showcases your accessories.
Pomegranate is that special winter treat for times when you want your hands stained and it all over the counter. It was only a few years ago that I learned the trick of cracking a pomegranate into water to cut down on the mess. Slice the pomegranate and submerge it, seeds down, into a large bowl of water. Crack and tear the fruit. The seeds will release and sink to the bottom, most of the membrane will float. Drain and revel in your brilliance.
I added a generous handful of pine nuts and goat cheese to salad for a bit of crunch and cream. The colours are gorgeous and who wouldn't want to see this in their lunch box?
The original plan for this salad was a honey dijon dressing, but I was lucky enough to have some Jellied Cedar on hand. I am in love with Forbes as a company. This Toronto based company uses foragers to source wild ingredients. They are processed as little as possible to remain true to their form. We met them at the One of a Kind this year and got to chatting. This is a company that's truly building something beautiful, to a point that my brain nearly melted. Wild mushrooms foraged from all over Canada. Bakeapple from Newfoundland for spreads. Wild rice that is harvested by canoe. It was like listening to a beautiful Canadiana culinary fairy tale. I just saw someone at St Lawrence Market selling this past weekend, so it is available year round.
This is all completely made to taste, but here is the rough idea. I took a large scoop of the Jellied cedar - about 1/4 cup. To that I added a splash of white balsamic, a wee bit of olive oil and about a 1/2 tsp of ginger. Adjust as necessary. If you do get your hands on Jellied Cedar, it is very delicate, so the balsamic and ginger could over power it.