Jamie Oliver’s winter salad

Learning to enjoy a range of bitter leaves is a really important part of educating your palate and exploring a whole new dimension of flavours. Instead of thinking about bitter as a negative, we riff off it here by teaming it with the sweetness of roasted onions, the sourness of vinegar and the satisfying crunch of nuts.

winter salad
David Loftus

SERVES 6-12

1 HOUR 20 MINUTES, PLUS COOLING

red onions
1 bulb of garlic
½ a bunch of fresh thyme (15g)
100g blanched hazelnuts
olive oil
600g mixed bitter leaves, such as chicory, radicchio, Castelfranco, Treviso, dandelions

DRESSING

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
extra virgin olive oil
50ml Barolo red wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1. Turn the oven on to full whack (240C/475F/gas 9). Place the unpeeled onions in a snug-fitting dish and roast for 1 hour, or until soft and slightly burnt. After 30 minutes, halve the garlic bulb across the middle and add to the dish. Toss the thyme sprigs and hazelnuts in a little olive oil and sprinkle over the onions for the last 5 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

2. Trim and separate the bitter leaves (I like to take a bit of pride in this and prep each leaf depending on its size – tear up the big ones, leave the little delicate ones whole, you get the idea). For the dressing, squeeze the roasted garlic into a bowl (discarding the skins) and mash well, then mix in the mustard and a pinch of sea salt. Whisking constantly, drizzle in 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then, still whisking, let the dressing down with the Barolo and vinegar.

3. Squeeze the sweet onions out of their crispy skins into a serving bowl, breaking them up a bit as you go. Season with salt and black pepper, then drizzle over the dressing. Top with the bitter leaves, tossing with your fingertips until beautifully dressed. Crush the hazelnuts in a pestle and mortar until fairly fine, then scatter over the salad.

NUTRITION PER SERVING

306 kcal; 24g fat (2.8g saturated); 5.3g protein; 18.4g carbs; 11.5g sugars; 0.8g salt; 5.3g fibre

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