I call this salad White on White, but it is definitely more like the proverbial little black dress of the fashion world. Just like the little black dress can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, this salad is extremely versatile as well. It makes an elegant first course but can also be served along side a sandwich or bowl of soup. I paired it one evening not long ago with a simple pita pizza (recipe to come!) and it brought rave reviews from my husband.
I got the idea for this wonderful salad from another blog that I enjoy reading, Not Without Salt. I thought it was such an intriguing and beautiful presentation, however when I went to several grocery stores and couldn't find celeriac and/or fennel, I decided to change it up a bit and use easier to find ingredients. I kept the apple and leek from the original recipe but traded the fennel and celeriac for jicama and a bit of fresh pineapple which can be found at most local grocery stores.
I took a bit more liberty with the dressing. Since the jicama doesn't have as much flavor as the fennel/celeriac combination, I added a little honey and fresh ginger instead. Golden raisins and caramelized pine nuts combine nicely with the other ingredients to make a winning salad.
The dressing calls for créme fraiche which can be obnoxiously expensive and often difficult to find so I was thrilled with her quick, easy method of making homemade créme fraiche. I know it is not as authentic as the traditional method, which can take anywhere from 24-48 hours, but it is delicious and it works!
Give this salad a try, you won't be disappointed!!
ps I have always wanted a mandolin but thought that I would have to invest an arm and a leg for a decent one. About a year ago, after reading a number of reviews, I purchased this one from Amazon. It was relatively inexpensive, works like a charm and has a great Food Safety Holder which eliminates accidents from the sharp blades. I find myself using this tool frequently and makes quick work of this salad.