Christmas in November

  • Recipe(s): Fifteen Christmas Salad (page 44)
  • Prep: Easy
  • Taste: Very Good

The other night, November 29, 2014, we completed the final, ‘Cold Salad’ recipe from, ‘Cook with Jamie’ While it wasn’t quite December we felt the holiday season had started so we completed the Christmas salad, which we were saving for this time of the year. After this recipe our goal of finishing all of the recipes in the book is 95% complete!

The prep on this salad, as with the majority of the salads in this book, was easy. It is also an extremely quick salad to put together, which is a bit surprising because there are quite a few ingredients. You would think that it would take more time to prep but hardly any of the ingredients need to be chopped, which cuts down on time. All you have to do is rip up some buffalo mozzarella, mint leaves and radicchio, as well as put together a quick lemon oil dressing. You also have to peel the mandarin orange, but I mean, there is really nothing technical involved in the prep.

The final product was very good and surprisingly filling! It’s not often that a salad is enough for a full meal but this one definitely is. It’s probably because each portion contains 125 grams of buffalo mozzarella. This alone was enough to fill me up. Anyways, back to the taste. I really enjoyed the creaminess of the mozzarella, sweetness of the mandarin oranges (we could not find clementines or tangerines), bitterness of the arugula and radicchio and smokiness of the Speck, which we purchased at Whole Foods and was from Whistler. The lemon oil dressing added some nice acidity. Really the salad had all of the major flavours but no one really stood out. They all worked very well together.

We would definitely make this salad again, either as a main (same size) or as a starter. We would probably make a few changes though. For one we would cut down on the amount of mint used. While I really enjoy fresh mint in salad there was a touch too much used in this one. Also we may substitute a different type of lettuce for the radicchio. Again, while I did enjoy the bitterness it was a bit much by the end of the dish. Perhaps using an iceberg or butter lettuce would be ok. Finally, I quite enjoyed the speck but my partner would prefer bacon, which would change the salad quite a bit because you wouldn’t serve the bacon raw, like you do the speck but like I always say, bacon makes everything better.

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