The Chef's Take: Michael Chernow at Seamore's in New York City

This vibrant winter salad is just as good to eat as it is to look at.
Related To:

Seafood-loving diners swarm Seamore’s, in New York’s Nolita neighborhood, for the likes of kimchi fishermen’s stew and apple- and kale-flecked spicy squid tacos. The restaurant’s health-conscious owner, Michael Chernow — who also co-founded beloved chainlet The Meatball Shop — has a penchant for vegetables to boot.

Consider the winter-perfect citrus-root vegetable salad a refreshing segue to, say, charred broccoli and tofu cream nestled inside corn tortillas. “It’s nice and light,” says Chernow of the creation mingling parsnips, blood orange and grapefruit-like pomelo with such ingredients as beets and curly frisee. “It’s perfectly balanced with the chilled, roasted vegetable’s subtle sweetness and bursts of acid from the citrus,” he says.

While the parsnips add a textural dimension, and the blood orange and pomelo lend a colorful one, the mustardy poppy seed dressing — in tandem with red wine vinegar and olive oil — melds it all together with a jolt of earthiness.

Cold-weather temperatures often elicit laments when one is poring over sparse produce selections at the farmers market, but seasonal root vegetables are actually Chernow’s favorite. “They are substantial and hearty enough for a meal when roasted in the oven with salt and olive oil,” he points out. Root vegetables are also great when starring in a nourishing, good-looking bowl of greens.

Citrus and Root Vegetable Salad
Yield: 4 servings
5 medium parsnips cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 each pomelo
2 whole blood oranges
2 tablespoons orange reduction
5 heads frisee
2 large red beets
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons Poppy Seed Dressing (below)
3 teaspoons puffed rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pinches salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel parsnips and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Season parsnips with a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Toss parsnips with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl; place in a single layer in a lightly greased 15-by-10-inch pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Peel beets toss with remaining olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 pinches of salt and 1 pinch of black pepper. Toss beets with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; arrange beets in a single layer on a separate aluminum foil-lined 15-by-10-inch pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or just until tender. Let cool completely (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk together dressing and next 3 ingredients. Place vegetables, pomelo and blood orange in a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and orange reduction; toss gently to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled over frisee and puffed rice with any remaining dressing.

Poppy Seed Dressing

In a mixing bowl with a whisk, combine sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and onion, and process for 20 seconds. With blender or food processor on high, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream. Stir in poppy seeds.

Per serving: Calories 372; Fat 18 (Saturated 3 g); Sodium 230 mg; Carbohydrate 51 g; Fiber 12 g; Sugars 20 g; Protein 6 g

Alia Akkam is a New York-based writer who covers the intersection of food, drink, travel and design. She launched her career by opening boxes of Jamie Oliver books as a Food Network intern.

Next Up

The Chef's Take: Winter Greens Salad, Caroline Fidanza

With her out-of-the-box approach to salads and sandwiches, all of which put seasonal vegetables to delicious use, Caroline Fidanza has earned a cult following in New York City.

The Chef’s Take: Gerard Craft’s Orange Salad at Pastaria

Chef Gerard Craft's orange salad is the perfect antidote to winter!

The Pioneer Woman's New York-Style Chopped Salad — Meatless Monday

Set up a family-friendly salad bar for Meatless Monday dinner with this five-star recipe for a New York-Style Chopped Salad from Food Network's Ree Drummod.

The Chef's Take: Cabbage, Speck and Grape Salad at Eataly

Take a break from kale salads with this budget-friendly recipe for cabbage, celery root and speck.

Quinoa: Super, Super Grain

Add more quinoa to your diet with these tips and a recipe for Chipotle-Quinoa Salad With Black Beans, Corn and Cilantro.

Perfecting the Healthy Pasta Salad

It seems like no cookout would be complete without a pasta salad. Everyone has their favorite recipe -- some lighter than others. Avoid the common pitfalls and keep your mix nutritious and delicious with our tips and recipes.

Spotlight Recipe: Carrot, Green Apple and Mint Salad

With less than 90 calories per serving and full of vitamin A (good for healthy eyes and hair), this easy carrot salad whips up in no time. Try it as a side for any sandwich or light dinner.

Top Picks: Healthy Apps and Web Sites

With so many nutrition websites and apps popping up, who has time to check them all out? We took a look at those most talked about. Here’s what we found.

Sunny's Spicy Spinach Panzanella — The Weekender

Sunny Anderson’s Spicy Spinach Panzanella is sturdy but light, and quite delicious. Perfect for The Weekender.