Winter Spinach Salad with Turnips, Beets, and Radishes

One of the fun aspects of my CSA Vegetable Box is identifying the various things in it. Included in this week’s box were two bags of greens. One bag I was able to identify as mixed braising greens. I was stumped by the contents of the second bag:

Turns out it’s a variety of winter spinach – the leaves are a lot more firm than the spinach I’m used to seeing. There was another item in my box that I thought I recognized as white radishes, but I found out they were a kind of baby turnip – crisp and flavorful, ready to eat raw. The radishes were a variety I hadn’t seen before:

Using these as my starting point I decided to try my hand at another winter salad. I added wheat berries to the salad to add a little protein (and because I love their flavor and texture), but that’s optional.  Since this is a salad, I didn’t measure any ingredients, except for the dressing – proportions don’t really matter, except according to your taste.

In a large bowl, I combined:

  • winter spinach (large pieces torn)
  • 2 radishes, sliced thin
  • 1 baby turnip (raw), peeled and cut into a small dice
  • 1 large handful of cooked wheat berries (I keep cooked wheat berries in my freezer, then defrost as many as I need when I’m ready to use them; I describe how to cook them here.)
  • 1 steamed beet, chopped (I used one of the extra beets that I steamed when I made arugula salad earlier this week)
  • dried cranberries (I used a small handful)

For the dressing, I wanted something a little sweet that would complement the cranberries and off-set the spicy radishes.  I always have a wide variety of vinegar on-hand (red wine, white wine, balsamic, aged balsamic, white balsamic, cider, sherry, rice, … I’m sure you get the idea). One of my favorite sweet vinegars is fig-infused white balsamic (my local Publix sells Alessi brand, which is not at all expensive). For the dressing, I combined:

  • 4 Tbsp. fig-infused vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Of course, you can adjust the volume depending on the size of your salad.  Also, a note about the proportion of vinegar to olive oil: I typically use more vinegar in my vinaigrettes than most recipes call for. But in this case, the fig-vinegar is sweet and not terribly acidic, so it doesn’t require as much oil as other types. In fact, I wound up sprinkling a little extra vinegar onto my own salad.

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