I know, I must admit it. I have been really lazy during these Christmas holidays. And once again I have failed in my grand plans of hand-made food presents as I had promised. 2011 resolution? Mhmmm...
To my disculpa I can blame R. for not having brought the right camera cable, my mother's oven for playing with the temperature, my sister for dragging me into endless shopping, and...and...I think I just have the excuse of hanging the pan up and using that suitcase I left under the bed for too long.
Siena was lovely. Especially in the snow. And after. R. seemed to be the lucky one and experienced it all on his way to Tuscany; a simple 3 hour trip turned into a real Odyssey lasting more than 10 hours...but I think we can really blame the wrong type of snow.
On Boxing Day before dashing back to the airport we had lunch at my sister's future mother-in-law who despite falling into a last minute panic prepared a light but festive lunch. This salad can be done in no time and will impress your guests. It has a real Winter flavour and is very straightforward. It is a bit on the white side but with a few drops of balsamic and if you really want to be festive even a few pomegranate seeds it will acquire some cheerful colour.
For 6 people
1 head of Belga salad
salt & pepper
1. Cut the fennel, celeriac and celery into thin strips.
2. Cut the salad leaves into halves or leave them whole if they are not too big.
3. Cut the rind of the lemon making sure you don't include the white part or it will be too bitter. Make the rind into thin strips.
4. Mix all the ingredients and dress well with oil and vinegar, season to taste.
5. Cut the pomegranate into half and whack the bottom of each half to help the seeds fall out of their little holes. Sprinkle the seeds over the salad before serving.
6. If you want to be extravagant (and found it in your Christmas stocking!), you can also either grate a few slices of white truffle on the salad or scatter a few drops of truffle oil. The truffle will give a real earthy and scented taste. Carluccio or Olio & Farina sell the truffle oil for what it seems a lot of money, as for the same price you can buy 2 litres rather than 50ml, but it does last long as it would be too strong to use as you use other oils.
The snow to my disappointment and to the joy of my family (as otherwise they couldn't move the car and leave the house) melted away quite quickly leaving us in a Tuscan bleak mid-winter.....