Cold-tolerant tatsoi (a.k.a. spoon cabbage) is one of the last hardy salad greens you’re apt to find at the Greenmarket, either in its distinctive flat-head form at Yuno’s Farm, or loose-leafed at Windfall Farms. The sturdy leaf takes well to a quick stir-fry, but Chestnut chef Daniel Eardley likes its assertive flavor raw in a winter salad of rutabagas and pears.
Daniel Eardley’s Tatsoi Salad with Rutabaga, Bosc Pear, and Horseradish
3 Bosc pears, washed
1 rutabaga, peeled
1 horseradish root, peeled
1/2 cup milk
4 ounces butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 pound tatsoi, trimmed and washed
2 tablespoons walnut oil
Onion sprouts for garnish (available at Garden of Eden, 7 E. 14th St., nr. Fifth Ave.)
(1) Scoop out pears and rutabaga with a melon baller, keeping each separate for cooking. Using a Japanese mandoline, slice about 10 thin pieces of horseradish. (2) Combine slices with the milk and a few grains of sea salt in a small nonreactive saucepan over very low heat. Cook for about eight minutes, turn off flame, and let rest. Melt butter in a nonreactive skillet over medium-high heat. Add rutabaga and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and a little golden, and remove. Cook pears the same way (without sugar); they will brown only slightly. (3) Combine rutabaga, pears, and tatsoi in a mixing bowl. Strain the warm milk into a bowl and slowly add walnut oil, whisking vigorously to create as much froth as possible. Transfer salad to a plate and garnish with dressing and sprouts.