Athlete Food: I'm Ready for Summer Late-Winter Salad


The stiff wind that's chilled even the sunniest San Francisco days this winter is fading, making winter's bitter greens--broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale--seem dark and heavy. But the contents of my produce drawer is still decidedly March: radishes, carrots, and lots of celery.

I spent a few days considering how to lighten these late winter vegetables. First I sliced them into thin discs, tossed them with chopped Romaine hearts, walnuts, and a walnut oil dressing. It was tasty, but not airy enough to satisfy my sunny craving.

Next I subjected each vegetable to my hand-held mandolin, shaving translucent slices into a bowl of butter lettuce. I tossed in some blood orange segments, toasted sesame and pumpkin seeds, and lightly dressed the mix with Meyer lemon vinaigrette. 

Did it give me the summery buzz of a tomato and mozzarella sandwich? Of course, no. But it has brightened up turkey sandwiches, scrambled eggs, and quesadillas more than broccoli ever could.


Late-Winter Salad with Radishes, Celery and Blood Oranges

Serves 2 

1 head butter lettuce, ripped to bite-size pieces

4 radishes, shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced

2 carrots, shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced

6-7 celery leaves

Segments from 1 blood orange

1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds


Toss all ingredients in a big bowl with Meyer lemon vinaigrette.