Rustic and Elegant: My Passover Salad

When looking for a new Passover salad I quickly discovered a huge gap in cookbooks. Where are all the salads to compliment a dinner. There are tons of recipes for salads that are meant to be a meal but where are the ones meant to be a side salad or the salad corse of a meal? Cookbook after cookbook and nothing. If by some miracle there were small salads they just were often overloaded. 

A side salad should be something to wet the appetite. Much like appetizers it should have it’s own personality but one to work with the meal and not against it. Keeping this in mind I was looking through everything I could think of. Then I turned to The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen and in January/February section she had this recipe. I started with looking in her section on Passover but the two salads called for things that either would have been near impossible to find here like “green almonds” or things that just aren’t  even close to being in season yet like peas and avocados. This got me thinking that since I live in a cold climate maybe I should go back a season in her cookbook. Sure enough I found this rather simple salad. It is her Apple, Fennel, and Watermelon Radish Salad.

Initially I was a bit hesitant, as apples aren’t what I think of as “in season” in winter, but I had recently seen watermelon radishes. The colors and flavors had me curious. Turns out this was the perfect salad. With all the heavy rich flavors of the Seder Plate Amuse Bouche and the Lamb and Kugel main course this was a nice cool and refreshing palette cleanser and will definitely be featured on my Passover table for years to come.

FOR THE SALADS:

  • 10 1/2 ounces Arugula (You can use any winter green for this but they should be bitter greens not sweet)
  • 280 grams Pink Lady Apples, cut in half, cored, thinly sliced (Any sweet apple will work but the tart and sweetness of the this one works exceptionally well.)
  • 224 grams Fennel, stalks cut off, root trimmed off, thinly sliced
  • 252 grams Watermelon Radish, the smallest ones you can get, thinly sliced
  • 140 grams Walnuts, toasted

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 122 grams Walnut Oil
  • 136 grams Meyer Lemon Juice, about 4 lemons (Do NOT use regular lemons, the complexity of the Meyer will really make this salad come together.)
  • Season with Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper

Directions:

Being with tasting your walnuts. To do this, spread them out on a tray and put them in a 350º oven for just a few minutes. Keeping a close eye on them to keep them from burning. I like to do mine in a toaster oven.

Unless you have impeccable knife skills I would highly recommend using a benriner to slide the apple, fennel, and radish.

Make the dressing by putting the oil and lemon juice along with the salt and pepper in a mason jar. Tightly secure the lid and shake well to emulsify. Set aside.

Place the greens in a bowl and drizzle with dressing. You can do this in small batches or all together but add the dressing little by little and judge what you need.

Place on a plate in order:

  • ¾ ounces arugula
  • 20 grams apple slices, tucking them in to the greens as well as placing some on top
  • 16 grams fennel slices, sprinkled around the plate as well as on top
  • 18 grams Watermelon Radish slices, tucked in and around
  • 10 grams Walnuts, sprinkled about the plate

Apple Fennel Watermelon Radish Salad

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