Two delicious French winter salads

Somehow salads get short shrift in winter, yet this is probably the time when we need vitamins the most to get through the cold period. I enjoy eating and making salads all year round and like to add richer ingredients in autumn and winter because the cold also makes us crave additional calories. Those two could also be a neat little starter for a dinner party or part of a light Sunday lunch.

Chicory, Apple and Walnut Salad

A veggie salad, which is crammed full of goodness from the chicory and apple (the apple will also soften the bitterness of chicory) and the delicious and rich crunch from healthy walnuts. For 4 starter portions you will need:

  • 3 Chicories
  • 1 Apple
  • Good handful of walnuts
  • A Tablespoon of good quality mayo
  • Olive Oil
  • Chopped parsley

Chop the 3 Chicories horizontally to into small slices, wash and drain. Peel the apple and cut it into small pieces. Crush the walnuts in your hand and put aside. Take a large enough salad bowl, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of Mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Put the salad, apple and walnuts in the bowl and turn over until evenly coated. Adjust he seasoning and add some chopped parsley.

Lambs Lettuce with roasted Hazelnuts and Camembert dough balls

This is a little more naughty and substantial and has a delicious wintery feel.

To prepare enough for 4 you need:

  • 1 large bag of lamb’s lettuce
  • 1/2 small bag of whole hazelnuts
  • 1/2 Camembert cheese
  • 1 roll of all butter short crust pastry
  • 1 Tablespoon of good quality Mayo
  • Olive Oil

Put the oven on at 160 degrees Celsius. Wash the lambs lettuce and drain, put aside. Fill the small bag of hazelnuts into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin, then fry them with a bit of butter on a medium heat, until crunchy.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and leave for a few minutes to soften. In the meantime chop small squares of Camembert. Cut the pastry into roughly equal squares, put a piece of Camembert in the middle, knead and roll it into a ball. Try and get it as smooth as possible, as open bits will let the cheese spill out (which is not really a problem, as you end up with crispy cheese bits to put on your salad). Put the balls on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden.

When the cheese balls are ready take them out and let them cool down a little. Take a salad bowl and add some olive oil, the mayonnaise, the roasted nuts and salt and pepper. Add the lamb’s lettuce and coat it well. Take 4 plates and add an equal portion of salad, then cut the warm cheese balls in half and give everyone 4 halves. Crumble any leftover crispy Camembert from the baking tray over the salads for extra yumminess. If you have some cranberry sauce, serve some on the side.

Both dishes are very easy and quick to make and are sure to make your family guests happy, as well as giving a bit of green energy to the short winter days.

Wintery greetings from the Mirabeau kitchen and hope you enjoy these with a glass of something nice (Provence Rosé if you like, bien sûr).

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