In 1904, New Castle Pennsylvania resident, Mrs. John E. Cook took third place in a recipe contest for her “Perfection Salad.” The Jello- encased salad contained a suspension of almost anything that was vaguely identifiable as produce, including cabbage, carrots, and olives to name a few and was characterized by its vinegary flavor. The original recipe suggested serving the molded salad sliced and with mayonnaise in cases made of green or red peppers alongside grilled fish or salmon. The dish earned Mrs. Cook a sewing machine and became a favorite of homemaking magazines for decades. Although the “Perfection Salad” would probably make a great centerpiece for your holiday table, it might be best off left just there, in the center of the table. If you are looking for some winter salads that might actually end up on someone’ s plate, here are a few ideas.
Orange Pomegranate Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
If you want a salad pleasing to the eye as well as the taste buds, this is it. Brimming with the colors of citrus, pomegranate, and spinach, the salad is perfectly complemented by a light dressing with hints of orange zest, rosemary, mustards and shallots.
Shaved Cauliflower Salad with Clementines and Pomegranates
What do you call scared broccoli? Cauliflower! Shaving the cauliflower can be a bit challenging, if you want them sliced as thinly as the recipe suggests, but the results will be with it. Let the cauliflower soak in lemon juice and sea salt beforehand, allowing the tangy taste to work its way in. Add celery, clementines, pomegranate, with tahini and honey for the dressing. Bonus points for this one: it can be made a day ahead of time, just leave off the dressing until you are ready to serve.
Warm Buckwheat Salad with Roasted Kabocha and Caper Berries
Buckwheat is a complete vegetable protein and a great source of amino acids. Also, because, despite its name , it is not a wheat, it is also gluten-free, making it perfect for those with sensitivities to wheat and gluten. Mix up some toasted buckwheat groats or kasha with hearty beans and kabocha squash. Top with pea shoots, raisins, almonds sunflower seeds and caper berries in oil and vinegar. Heat and serve. Yum!
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hazelnuts and Cranberries
The name almost says it all, but the three slices of thick cut bacon and the Pecorino Romano cheese may be the real selling points for this lovely warm salad. It gets its flavor from maple syrup and its crunch from chopped hazelnuts.
Cranberry, Glazed Walnut, Orange, Avocado and Blue Cheese Salad
Get a mouthful of this mouthful! Hard to say, but easy to prepare, all you need are some dried cranberries, glazed walnuts, mandarin oranges, blue cheese, and avocado. Drizzle with cranberry vinaigrette and prepare for a healthy feast.
Note that all of these recipes can be encased in gelatin. Let us know if any of these made it to your holiday table! We’d love to hear what you thought!