Winter salads often take on a different quality than those made in summer: they get warm, for one, for obvious reasons. Juicy, fragrant tomatoes become a thing of seasons past, while roasted winter squash and beets take over. Sharp, bitter greens make more appearances, like endive and arugula, cutting the richness and mimicking the snap of winter air.
This recipe, from Jamie Oliver's newest book Cook With Jamie, caught my eye, because I'd never eaten Jerusalem artichokes—but I always imagined it would be a funny scenario if someone was sent to the shop for the beautiful green globes, and came home with these gnarly tubers. They look like ginger, have the texture of potatoes, and taste faintly of mushroom and artichoke. In this recipe, they're boiled until just tender, then thrown into a hot skillet with bacon and red onion until the whole mixture has been browned and caramelized within an inch of its life. The sticky, crispy, porky mixture is tossed with radicchio and some butter lettuce, parsley, and balsamic vinegar. Less is more—the heat from the artichoke mixture can wilt the lettuce, and too much oil can ruin it—but with the right balance this is mighty good.
- 2 handfuls large Jerusalem artichokes, or new potatoes, scrubbed
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small head radicchio, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 large or 3 little butter lettuces
- 1 small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- Shaved Parmesan (optional)
Boil the artichokes or new potatoes in salty water until just soft, but nowhere near mushy.
Meanwhile, sauté the bacon in a large skillet until beginning to brown, then add the boiled artichokes or potatoes, cut into manageable chunks. Add the onion and cook without apology over high heat, stirring only occasionally, until everything is crispy.
Transfer the contents of the skillet into a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Add the balsamic vinegar, and, depending on the fat content of your bacon, a little olive oil to moisten. Add the radicchio and lettuce, and toss well. Transfer to serving plates and top with shaved Parmesan if desired.