Tuscan spring salad

Tuscan spring salad

Insalata Toscana primaverile

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

This is such a refreshing, pretty salad to make. I crave foods such as this in early spring as a contrast to heavier foods. I use an old cheese grater to shave the vegetables but you could use a vegetable peeler, mandoline or the slicing blade of a food processor. I saw this salad at Montisi olive oil festival where they dressed finely sliced cabbage with the new season’s olive oil. Celeriac is not used so much in Tuscany (it is more of a northern Italian vegetable), however it works brilliantly here, as would raw shaved swede. Pears can be used to substitute apples, green grapes give a jewelled effect and I like to add a few petals from the first primroses of the year.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g celeriac, cleaned
150g white cabbage
1 green apple
1 celery stalk, finely sliced on the diagonal
a handful celery leaves, torn
150g pecorino or manchego, shaved
75g flaked (slivered) almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

For the dressing

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons runny mild honey
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. First, make the dressing, as you will need it to dress the apple as soon as the apple is sliced, to stop the slices going brown. Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your liking.
  2. To make the salad, shave the celeriac, cabbage and apple (leave the skin on the apple) and immediately toss them in a bowl with the dressing. Add the torn celery leaves and cut stalks, and assemble the salad on a large board or serving plate.
  3. Scatter the cheese and almonds over the salad, and grind over a few twists of black pepper. Serve straight away or leave in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Most salads are ruined after a night in the fridge but this will actually keep well for a day or two, even if it loses its initial beauty.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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