In winter, when the ground is frozen hard and the lettuce has been shipped in from far away (with the jet lag to prove it), most salad eaters despair of finding marvelous fresh ingredients. They needn't: nuts, for instance, are at their peak in the cold months, and they are a great foil to strong-flavored winter greens like watercress or chicory. Beets, too, are at their most delicious, and they can be surprisingly versatile. The golden-beet-and-endive salad here can be a first course or even an elegant hors d'oeuvre. Now that's a fresh idea.
Deborah Madison is the author of the award-winning Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and the forthcoming This Can't Be Tofu! (both from Broadway Books).