Usually around the first or second week of December, the lettuce farmers in Eastern Washington would stop bringing the greens we needed for the Dahlia’s mixed green salad. This change signaled the change of seasons, but also for us, the return of the white salad. Regulars at the Dahlia would come back just to order this tasty mix of readily available sturdy winter vegetables with a dressing of heavy truffle oil,salty parmesan and tangy lemon juice.
I personally love this salad because the vegetables are hardy enough to sit in a salad bowl at the table without going limp and droopy like a salad of leafy greens tends to do. The greatness of the salad rests largely on the white truffle oil and finding a great white truffle can sometimes be difficult.
Truffle oil generally doesn’t have any actual white truffles in it. Instead it is made using a synthetic compound which is then mixed with oil. The difference between brands can be as different as Chanel #5 and Aqua di Gio. While I have tried truffle oils at all price points, my personal favorites are the “Pietro Coricelli” which retails for around 7€ at Galleries Lafayette gourmet. My other favorite, which has a bit less pronounced aroma is the “La Tourangelle” which is readily available in France and the US for between 6 and 7 euros.
1 medium fennel bulb, peeled and thinly sliced
4 small celery stalks, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium bulb of belgium endive, cut in half and julienned
1 tablespoon white truffle oil
juice of 1 large lemon
2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt & white pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Toss with white truffle oil and lemon juice. Grate parmesan cheese over the top and season with salt and white pepper. Allow the salad to rest for 5 minutes and absorb some of the dressing. Toss salad again before serving. Be sure to serve with crusty bread for sopping up the leftover dressing that will drain into the bottom of the salad bowl.