In the aftermath of the big Christmast feast, I usually crave for lighter food. Here is a suggestion for a rather elaborate salad made from seasonal ingredients.
Winter purslane is a wonderfully soft-leaved lettuce with a rather unobstrusive taste so I think it requires a bit of a side-kick, although it should not be too dominant. The job is done by the browned pear and roasted quinoa and almond slivers here.
For the salad:
- 100 grams of winter purslane (miner’s lettuce or Postelein, Tellerkraut or Winterportulak in German)
- 4 Grape tomatoes
- 1/2 of a pear (Abate Fetel)
- 1/2 tablespoon of butter
- 20 grams of almond slivers
- 1 tablespoon of red quinoa
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of pomegranate beads
- pinch of ground nutmeg
For the dressing:
- juice of 1/2 orange, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon of Cassis
- 2 tablespoons of high-quality olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
- freshly ground pepper, salt
Preparing the salad:
- Wash the purslane in cold water, then dry in a salad spinner.
- Wash the grape tomatoes and cut in halves.
- Lengthwise, cut the pear half into thin (but not too thin) slices.
- Melt the butter in a large flat-bottomed non-stick frying pan on medium to high temperature. The butter should be gently sizzling but not pick up color. Make sure the butter spreads evenly over the entire bottom of the frying pan.
- Place the pear slices in the sizzling butter and sprinkle the side facing up with the nutmeg. Fry for approximately 1 minute on each side until soft and just slightly golden. Remove from the pan and let cool down on a plate.
- In the same pan used for frying the pear, roast the almond slivers in the remaining butter for approximately 1 to 2 minutes over medium to high heat until golden-brown. Let cool down.
- In a fine mesh strainer, wash the quinoa under cold water for approximately 1 minute.
- Bring approximately 250 ml of water to the boil & add the quinoa. Boil on high temperature for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The quinoa should be al dente.
- In a non-stick frying pan, roast the quinoa on medium to high temperature for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool down.
Preparing the dressing:
- Mix the ingredients in a shaker. Taste and add seasoning, if required.
- Place the purslane in the center of a large serving bowl.
- Arrange the tomato halves between the purslane leaves.
- Place the fried pears in a ring around the purslane.
- Spoon the dressing over the salad.
- Sprinkle the pomegranate beads, roasted almond slivers and quinoa over the salad.
Serve immediately and enjoy!!!