Winter Salad with Warm Chestnut Vinaigrette

Winter Salad with Warm Chestnut Vinaigrette

For the Vinaigrette:
1 lb. whole chestnuts, roasted and peeled
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup water
⅓ cup white wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil

For the Salad:
1 package mixed greens
3 oranges, sectioned
24 parmesan cheese shavings
6 caramelized shallots (see below)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Blend the chestnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients, except the oil, and mix until incorporated. With the food processor running, add the oil in a slow steady stream until emulsified.

Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the vinaigrette with spring greens and top with roasted shallots, orange sections and shaved parmesan.

To Store: Cover and refrigerate up to one week.

To Make Caramelized Shallots:
Slice each shallot into quarter-inch slices and sauté with 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt over low-medium heat until the shallots become soft and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Tips:

  • Once peeled, remove any nuts that are discolored or black inside.
  • Use white wine, champagne or cider vinegar, but NOT red wine vinegar as it is too strong.
  • If the vinaigrette is too thick, add water one tablespoon at a time to thin out.
  • Do not use olive oil for this recipe, as its strong flavor will dominate the vinaigrette.
    To make a breadcrumb coating for fish or chicken, coarsely grind the roasted and peeled chestnuts in the food processor, and mix with Panko breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.