Thanksgiving salads: Tony Rosenfeld's seasonal salad offerings

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Light seasonal salads are the antidote to a beige, brown or otherwise boring Thanksgiving spread. They can be starters, palate cleansers or a punctuation before desserts roll out. They add color and crunch, and their dressings lend brightness and much-needed acidity to cut through the heaviness of the meal.

And -- need we say it? -- they provide fresh options for vegetarians at the table.

The trick is to give hearty autumn fruits and vegetables a turn on a mandoline or with a vegetable peeler, exposing their delicate charms. Pair them with greens that have distinct personalities: escarole, endive and mache, to name a few, as well as assertive cheeses.

The best part: These salads can fit into your busy holiday preparations. Assemble the components and tuck them into a large serving bowl (or a resealable plastic food storage bag if the fridge is full) at least four hours and up to one day ahead. Then just toss before serving. To help you serve a crowd, each of the four accompanying salad recipes will feed at least eight.

Recipes

Escarole and Celery Heart Salad With Warm Rosemary Dressing

Roasted Ginger Beet Salad With Ricotta Salata

Shaved Fennel, Pear and Tarragon Salad

Endive and Mache Salad With Apple Vinaigrette

-- Tony Rosenfeld, a freelance food writer

More for the Thanksgiving table

Dozens of our favorite holiday recipes

Classic dishes, updated

Appetizers

Mashed potatoes

Wine pairings


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