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The Wall Street Journal
Dan Kluger’s Recipe for Autumn Salad With Lemon-Chili Vinaigrette
Crunchy raw kohlrabi, fennel and Granny Smith apple are only the beginning. Add a vinaigrette with chili kick and handfuls of herbs, plus farro and almonds, and you have a salad recipe that will brighten the chilly months
Oct. 19, 2016 2:39 p.m. ET
The Chef: Dan Kluger
His Restaurant: Loring Place, opening in November in New York
What He Is Known For: Taking produce-driven cooking from hippie to haute. Raising city dwellers’ expectations of wholesome eating.
FRESH, CRUNCHY and packed with antioxidants and fiber, this autumn salad from New York chef Dan Kluger could be the most wholesome thing you eat this week. His second Slow Food Fast contribution is composed almost entirely of raw fruits and vegetables—kohlrabi, apples, celery root, herbs and arugula—as well as almonds, dried currants and a kicky lemon-chili vinaigrette.
For Mr. Kluger, healthy eating is inseparable from a healthy food system. “For me, when something is ‘wholesome,’ I think of the farmers,” he said. “I’ve watched them care for their land and their kids over the years, and I trust their produce. It’s really about land husbandry and relationships.”
Still, this chef never forgets it’s his job to compose a satisfying plate, however excellent the raw ingredients. “I try and make food exciting with punches of flavor and texture,” he said. Here he tosses in some cooked farro, a nutty grain, for texture and a little heft. So we have those toothsome grains, toasted nuts, sweet-tart currants, fragrant herbs, the sharp citrus dressing, peppery arugula and all the vegetables playing off one another.
Once you master the balance of flavors and textures, you can play with the individual elements, swapping in the best of what’s available at the market that week. “Use cherries instead of currants, or pistachios instead of almonds,” he said. “It always goes back to good ingredients and using them well.”
Autumn Salad With Lemon-Chili Vinaigrette
total Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded and minced
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked farro
1 cup thinly shaved fennel
¾ cup julienned Granny Smith apple
¾ cup julienned kohlrabi
¾ cup julienned celery root
½ cup dried currants
½ cup roughly chopped toasted almonds, plus more for garnish
1 cup tightly packed baby arugula
¾ cup roughly torn mint leaves, plus more to garnish
¾ cup roughly chopped dill, plus more to garnish
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
1. Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, Dijon, a pinch of salt and chilies. While whisking, drizzle in oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, toss together farro, fennel, apples, kohlrabi and celery root. Toss in currants, almonds, arugula and herbs. Give vinaigrette a quick whisking then use it to lightly dress salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. To serve, transfer salad to a serving platter. Garnish with extra herbs, almonds and lemon zest.