Shaved Winter Vegetable Salad ~ have you ever seen a prettier salad? Paper thin rounds of winter root veggies are stacked and then lightly dressed with olive oil and a balsamic glaze. This is the ultimate winter salad!
I’m pretty sure you’ve never had a salad quite like this before, this little stack of finely shaved winter veggies isn’t your run of the mill starter. But you’ll be happy to hear it’s a cinch to put together, provided you’ve got a selection of root vegetables, and a mandolin. You need the mandolin because these colorful vegetables are sliced paper thin.
TIP: There’s thin, and then there’s THIN. These slices should ideally be translucent and flexible. Take a few practice swings with your mandolin until you get it right.
When you slice something this thinly, even a vegetable as tough as beets can be enjoyed raw. I love them this way, they’re crunchy like carrots, and the beet flavor is all there. The thin slicing also blunts the sharp spicy bite of the radishes, and makes them more palatable. It’s a fun new way to get your daily veggie quotient in mid-winter when vegetables can get pretty drab
If you thought radishes were just a garnish, think again. Radishes have the ability to cleanse the digestive system and break down toxins in the body. they aid digestion, and, like their siblings in the cruciferous family, fight cancer!
I used several different types of root veggies in my shaved winter vegetable salad ~ it pays to really scour your produce section for unusual varieties. One day I found the beautiful watermelon radishes, and then I spotted some black radishes, and envisioned the salad from there. I chose smallish beets, both golden and red, and I wish I had gotten some beautiful pink and white chioggia beets (see them in my Pink Beet Chips recipe) but there were none to be found. I grabbed some carrots in a couple of different colors, and the bunch of pink, purple, and white baby radishes was a lucky last minute find.
TIP: Once you got your vegetables sliced, stack them on top of lettuce, or dill fronds, starting with the largest, graduating up to the smallest.
Once the salad is assembled, dribble on a bit of your best olive oil, a few drops of balsamic glaze, and get ready to impress! Note that this salad is best presented on individual plates, but you can also make shaved salads on a platter, too, like I did with my Shaved Apple and Radish Salad.
Other root vegetables to try in a shaved winter vegetable salad:
- sweet potato
- Jerusalem artichokes
- 1 small golden beet
- 1 small red beet
- 1 black radish
- 1 watermelon radish
- 1 orange carrot
- 1 purple rainbow carrot
- 4 small radishes
- 4 lettuce leaves, or one bunch of fresh dill
- olive oil
- balsamic glaze, or pomegranate molasses
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Scrub the beets and the large radishes but do not peel. Trim the leafy stem end off and slice on the 1/8 inch setting of your mandolin. This may take a bit of trial and error to get the slices just right. You want them to be thin and almost translucent. Put the slices on a wet plate and cover with a wet kitchen towel while you work.
- Peel the carrots and slice them the same way. Be very careful of your fingers when you are doing this. Use the safety guard provided with your mandolin whenever possible.
- To assemble your salads, put a layer of dill or a leaf or two of lettuce on each of 4 small plates.
- Start with the largest rounds and layer the vegetables in a loose stack. Top with the smaller carrots.
- Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve right away.
- Slice the vegetables ahead if you need to, but keep them crisp under a wet towel in the refrigerator and assemble your salads at the last minute.
- If you want more of a full classic salad, put several leaves of lettuce down first, then a thin round of red onion, and top with the shaved vegetables.
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