Okay, you don’t really need me to give you a recipe for salad, people, but I do want to talk a bit about why it’s a good idea to treat yourself to a crisp and bright salad when it’s so c-c-c-cold out. It’s simple: sometimes when it’s dismal and snowing and a temperature of zero degrees Celsius is something to look forward to, we just need something summery on our plate.
Yes, I have lots of recipes and ideas for winter salads, with roasted vegetables and hardy greens like kale that cause you to work up some heat while you’re chewing (and chewing). Yes, they’re tasty and perfectly suitable for this time of year. But don’t you think that eating the salad pictured above will transport you, at least for a while, to your imaginary summer place? Think of it as a staycation on a plate. Just imagine your guests’ exclamations of delight if you placed this before them while the gales of winter howl outside the window!
I received a can of Chef Ned Bell’s sustainably harvested wild Pacific albacore tuna while attending the Food Bloggers of Canada conference in Vancouver last fall, and was saving it for the right occasion. Since I like to have tuna or salmon on my summer dinner salads, I thought it would be fitting for a summery winter salad. On the plate above, the tuna is nestled on a bed of romaine and baby spinach, surrounded by cherry tomatoes, shredded beets and yellow and orange carrots. A good drizzling of a simple vinaigrette, like this one without the basil and garlic, adds just the right touch.
The next day, I used the rest of the tuna on romaine with tomatoes and creamy, rich avocado pieces doused in fresh lime juice and seasoned with pepper and salt, plus the vinaigrette, of course.
So there you go, two salads to make you feel like you’ve escaped the dead cold of winter.