My "Great Big Make-Ahead Holiday Salad" Is the One Thing I Make Every Year

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Make-Ahead Holiday Salad Recipe

Layer crunchy greens, saccharine date-pickled onions, and crisp fried shallots up to a afloat time successful beforehand for nan eventual vacation salad.

Serves12 to 14

Prep30 minutes

Cook15 minutes

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A large vessel of make-ahead vacation crockery topped pinch fried shallots and watermelon radishes.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

I ne'er thought I’d telephone salad nan item of my vacation meal, but this is the one to do it. I make this crockery for my family, by demand, each azygous Thanksgiving and Hanukkah dinner. The crunchy texture and agleam spirit perfectly equilibrium nan richer dishes connected nan table. Plus, it checks each azygous box. All of nan ingredients tin beryllium prepped (and moreover assembled!) up to a afloat time up truthful I’m retired of my mom’s measurement successful nan kitchen. My brother, who hates salads, eats it for nan fried shallots alone. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Best of all, it’s really bully arsenic leftovers — which is uncommon for a salad!

This crockery is 1 of my favourite things connected nan vacation table. It is, successful my opinion, nan cleanable crockery for ample autumn and wintertime meals. Do what my family does, and skip nan abstracted crockery course, because you’ll want to eat it correct alongside nan remainder of nan dishes astatine dinner, and past again pinch leftover luncheon nan adjacent day.

The Anatomy of a Great Big Make-Ahead Holiday Salad

  • Sturdy greens. A guidelines of lacinato (or Tuscan) kale and shredded Brussels sprouts will clasp up to nan dressing for days without losing nan crunch factor.
  • Pickled dates and onions. Add small pops of acidity and sweetness successful adjacent measurement by rubbing chopped dates, sliced onions and vinegar together until softened.
  • Radishes. Bright pinkish watermelon radishes aliases reddish radishes adhd unparalleled crunch.
  • Fried shallots. Crispy fried shallots make nan cleanable crunchy topping. Use nan infused lipid to boost nan vinaigrette’s flavor.
  • Maple Dijon vinaigrette. A well-balanced crockery dressing makes each of nan crockery ingredients shine.
  • Toasted almonds. Save yourself immoderate activity pinch store-bought roasted nuts.

Ways to Customize Holiday Salad to Make It Your Own

  • Substitute regular curly kale for nan lacinato.
  • Swap retired almonds for roasted pistachios, walnuts, aliases pecans. Or, for a nut-free salad, effort toasted pumpkin aliases sunflower seeds.
  • Add cheese; shaved Parmesan, Pecorino, crumbled goat cheese, aliases feta would each beryllium delicious.
  • Use dried cherries aliases craisins alternatively of dates.
  • Add caller consequence to nan salad, specified arsenic sliced seasonal Fuyu persimmon aliases pomegranate seeds (also known arsenic arils). Stir diced greenish pome into nan vinaigrette for a boost of spirit and truthful it doesn’t brown.

If You’re Making Holiday Salad, a Few Tips

  • Utilize shortcuts wherever you can. This crockery whitethorn require a spot much hands-on prep than you’d expect for a salad, truthful a mandoline or food processor pinch a slicing attachment will thief easiness nan process.
  • Dress nan crockery now aliases later. The earlier you dress nan greens, nan much tender they will be. For me, dressing nan crockery 2 hours up yields nan cleanable extra-crunchy texture, but nan greens will still person plentifulness of pleasant wound if dressed up to a time successful advance.
  • Don’t adhd nan nuts aliases shallots until conscionable earlier serving. Prep some and shop them successful sealed containers astatine room somesthesia until conscionable earlier serving to support maximum crunch factor.
  • Add nan leftovers to your Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and this crockery are a awesome match.

Credit: Photo: Ryan Liebe; Food Styling: Rachel Perlmutter

Layer crunchy greens, saccharine date-pickled onions, and crisp fried shallots up to a afloat time successful beforehand for nan eventual vacation salad.


For nan fried shallots and vinaigrette:

  • 4

    medium shallots

  • 2

    cloves garlic

  • 1 cup

    olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided, positive much arsenic needed

  • 1/3 cup

    Champagne aliases achromatic vino vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon

    maple syrup

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly crushed achromatic pepper, positive much arsenic needed

For nan pickled dates and onions:

  • 1

    medium reddish onion

  • 5 to 6 pitted dried Medjool dates

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons

    Champagne aliases achromatic vino vinegar

For assembly:

  • 1 pound

    Brussels sprouts

  • 2

    medium bunches flat-leaf aliases lacinato kale (about 20 ounces total)

  • 2 to 3 mean watermelon radishes, aliases 1 mini bunch reddish radishes (about 6)

  • 1/2 cup

    roasted, salted almonds

Make nan fried shallots and vinaigrette:

  1. Thinly portion 4 mean shallots (about 1 1/2 cups). Finely grate 2 ail cloves. Line a sheet pinch insubstantial towels.

  2. Place nan shallots and 1 cup oliva lipid successful a mean skillet. Cook complete mean heat, stirring frequently, until golden-brown and crisp, astir 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transportation nan shallots to nan sheet and play pinch 1/4 spoon of nan kosher salt. (Once cooled, nan shallots tin beryllium stored successful an airtight instrumentality astatine room somesthesia for up to 1 day.)

  3. Transfer 1/2 cup of nan shallot lipid to a jar pinch a lid; reserve nan remaining lipid for different use. Add nan garlic, remaining 1/2 spoon kosher salt, 1/3 cup Champagne aliases achromatic vino vinegar, 1 tablespoonful Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoonful maple syrup, and 1/4 spoon achromatic capsicum to nan jar. Seal nan jar and shingle until combined. Taste and play pinch much kosher brackish and achromatic capsicum arsenic needed. (Alternatively, nan vinaigrette tin beryllium made successful a mean vessel and whisked to combine.)

Make nan pickled dates and onions:

  1. Halve and thinly portion 1 mean reddish bulb (about 1 cup). Coarsely chop 5 to 6 pitted dried Medjool dates until you person astir 1/2 cup. Place nan onion, dates, 2 tablespoons Champagne aliases achromatic vino vinegar, and 1/4 spoon kosher brackish successful a mean bowl. Using your hands aliases a fork, activity nan dates into nan onions until they are evenly distributed and nan onions commencement to soften. Let beryllium to marinate for astatine slightest 20 minutes.

Assemble nan salad:

  1. Trim nan bottoms from 1 lb Brussels sprouts. Using a nutrient processor pinch a slicing attachment, a mandoline, aliases a knife, finely shred nan Brussels sprouts (about 6 cups). Place successful a ample bowl.

  2. Prepare nan following, adding each to nan vessel of Brussels sprouts arsenic you complete it: Pick nan leaves from 2 mean bunches flat-leaf kale and discard nan stalks. Tear aliases chop nan leaves into bite-sized pieces (6 to 7 packed cups). Peel 2 to 3 mean watermelon radishes (no request to peel if utilizing 1 mini bunch reddish radishes), if using. Thinly portion nan radishes (about 1 cup).

  3. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup roasted, salted almonds.

  4. Add half of nan bulb substance and each of nan vinaigrette to nan kale substance and flip to combine. Taste and play pinch kosher brackish and achromatic capsicum arsenic needed. Scatter nan remaining bulb substance complete top. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes aliases up to 1 time earlier serving. Just earlier serving, sprinkle nan almonds and fried shallots connected top.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers tin beryllium refrigerated successful an airtight instrumentality for up to 3 days.