Komatsuna, Apple, and Grape Salad with Almonds and Dill

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

A refreshing, pretty first-course salad that’s unusual but not far-out. What pleases particularly is the textural range: soft leaves, juicy stems, crisp apples, slippery grapes, crunchy nuts. Surprisingly, the delicate greens do not get watery after being dressed, but hold up bright and tidy.

Ingredients

  • ½ pound komatsuna
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • ½ cup thick-sliced or coarse-chopped whole (unblanched) almonds
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 large Golden Delicious apple
  • 1 cup seedless grapes (about 5 ounces)
  • ¼ cup sliced (½-inch pieces) chives
  • ¼ cup thin-sliced dill

    Method

    1. Trim base of komatsuna to separate leaves. Dunk into several changes of water as needed. Spin-dry.
    2. Heat peanut and corn oils in very small skillet or small pot (so that oil is as deep as possible) over moderately low heat. When surface wavers, add almonds. Fry gently until golden—1 to 2 minutes. Pour at once into a small sieve set over a cup. Toss almonds with pinch of salt.
    3. Add salt, sugar, and ginger to drained warm oil; mix, then gradually whisk in lemon juice.
    4. Stack 4 to 5 komatsuna leaves with their stems aligned. Cut off leaves and reserve (cut smaller, if desired). Slice stems into ½-inch pieces; place in a bowl.
    5. Quarter and core (unpeeled) apple. Cut one half into ½- to ¼-inch dice. Add to komatsuna stems. Halve grapes; add half of them to stems and apple. Add half the chives and half the dill. Add half the dressing and toss. Chill ½ hour, or as convenient.
    6. Halve remaining apple crosswise, then cut into paper-thin slices. Toss with remaining dressing. Arrange komatsuna leaves on four plates. Spoon chilled salad into center. Surround with apple slices and reserved grapes. Top with the remaining chives and dill, then almonds.