not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Savory Salad

My family and I love to eat, and our passion for cooking is just as strong. It's tough having 3 chefs living under one roof...sharing one kitchen. Dad is kinda down for the count now - so the kitchen competition is down to two: Me and Mom. To keep it flowing {and to keep the peace} we divy up the dinner, who makes what. I'm usually put in charge of the salad - which is fine by me, salads are my specialty. For so many, salads are a half-assed afterthought. Some crappy romaine or iceberg, topped with some carrots and celery and then smothered in dressing. I like to model my salads after the season - as you should with every meal, cooking around ingredients that are in season {therefore full of flavor!}. It's easy in the summer and spring - I load up my greens with fresh fruits and herbs. As much as I love my grapefruit + avocado salad, it just doesn't seem right to eat during these colder months. So tonight's Autumn Savory Salad was the following:

  • Spinach + Arugula
  • sunflower seeds
  • pepitas
  • red onion {thinly sliced half moons}
  • sundried tomatoes
  • marinated artichoke hearts
  • avocado
  • hardboiled eggs
  • proscuitto
  • shaved parmesan reggiano
    *(optional additions: diced string beans + green olives)
The dressing was a homemade creamy balsamic vinaigrette. If you don't have the time to put one together yourself then just use a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette, touched up with a teaspoon of mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of agave and the egg yolks from the hardboiled eggs - shake vigorously. If you want to take a few extra seconds to put together a homemade dressing....

  • 1/3 balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a large lemon, or a full small lemon
  • tablespoon of mustard
  • teaspoon of agave nectar
  • fresh ground pepper
  • salt
  • dash of dried tarragon
  • dash of dried oregano
  • dash of dried basil
  • egg yolks from the hardboiled eggs {to make it creamier!}
Voila...enjoy! I'm going to start experimenting with squash and pumpkin salads - as well as mixing in some warm cooked greens {kale, collards, etc.}

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