Culinary Anthropologist

Christmas salad

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I’m afraid that what with all the Christmas duties that come with being
a culinary student (even more cooking, eating and drinking than usual) I
have been slack and not typed up this week’s recipe properly, so there is no pdf version this time.  Feeling
guilty about a) all the butter and cream in past recipes, and b) the lack of
Christmas recipes, this week’s offering is a Christmassy salad that
might work well as your starter on Monday.  It looks really pretty and
has a fresh, zingy taste.  We made it at school last week and everyone
liked it.

xmassalad0001.JPGWe’re off to Tahoe now for a snowy Christmas.  (Everyone’s waiting for
me in the car so I’d better go…) Hope you have a good one.

Recipe:  Christmas salad

Serves: 6-8 as a starter

about 20 fresh chestnuts
about 3 handfuls fresh cranberries
3 tbsps sugar
3 medium ripe pears
lemon juice
3 tbsps lime juice

1 1/2 tsps smooth Dijon mustard

5-6 fl oz extra virgin olive oil

2 spring onions, white and pale green parts thinly sliced
nice dark green salad leaves, such as watercress,
spinach, lamb’s lettuce and/or rocket, washed and dried
salt and pepper
lime zest

  1. Cut a cross in the chestnuts and simmer for 30+ mins until they can be peeled. 
    Peel off hard outer shell and also inner soft one.  Crumble or cut up
  2. Chop cranberries very coarsely and toss with the sugar.  Leave for 1 hour.
  3. Core and cut pears into extremely thin slices.  Sprinkle with lemon juice
    to stop them discolouring and set aside.
  4. Make dressing by whisking together lime juice, mustard, olive oil and salt to taste.
  5. Use around half the dressing to toss with chestnuts and pears and a
    small handful thinly sliced spring onions.  Set aside for one hour.
  6. To assemble:  Toss leaves with remaining dressing and arrange on
    individual plates.  Taste pear/chestnut mix  and add salt and pepper if
    needed.  Put a mound of this on top of each bed of leaves.  Decorate
    with a spoonful of cranberries on the top and a sprinkling of lime zest.

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