2 cups sweet corn (fresh cut off the cob or frozen)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons ground New Mexico chile pepper (or other mild ground chile)
1 teaspoon sea salt
a few grinds freshly ground black pepper
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1 cucumber, sliced
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 large avocado, sliced or cubed
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ cup pepitas, toasted
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line sheet pan with parchment paper (if desired).
Toss together corn, olive oil, ground chile, salt, and pepper in mixing bowl. Spread evenly onto sheet pan. Roast corn for about 15 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking to prevent burning. Corn should be just starting to brown a little. Remove to a plate or bowl and allow to cool while prepping other salad ingredients.
On a large platter or salad bowl, layer lettuce, roasted corn, cucumber, bell pepper, avocado, tomatoes, and pepitas.
This special winter greens salad has been my go-to salad for holiday gatherings this year. It’s the perfect thing to make with winter greens that are plentiful this time of year. Bring this salad to a potluck, or serve it at your home with a nice soup and main dish on a cold winter’s evening. Below are a couple of meals I have served the salad with this holiday season.
Roasted salmon, asparagus, basmati rice, and winter greens salad (holiday meals with friends):
Beef tenderloin, roasted vegetables, and winter greens salad (Christmas Eve supper):
Give yourself time to prepare this salad. It is a labor of love! You’ll be preparing the greens, various toppings and garnishes, and a warm dressing that gets tossed with the greens. Better to enlist some help to make it fun and less time consuming!
When you get home from the market, you can refresh your greens by trimming about 1-2 inches off the ends and putting them into cold water for about an hour before you start the recipe. This will make them perk up and the stems will be extra crisp and crunchy.
Getting ready to put the beets in the oven…
The greens become slightly wilted, but should still be bright and fresh. Beets, greens stems, pecans, and pomegranates are layered on top of the dressed greens. So beautiful!
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Winter Greens Salad with Golden Beets, Pomegranate, Pecans, and Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line sheet pan with parchment paper (or grease pan with thin coating of oil).
Peel beets and slice into ⅛-inch rounds. Place into medium bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt.Place beet rounds onto lined sheet pan in a single layer. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Beets can be turned over once to cook more evenly. Remove beets from oven and allow to cool.
Turn oven down to 350°F. Toast pecans on small sheet pan for about 8 minutes. Toss halfway through to prevent burning. Place toasted pecans in a small bowl and drizzle with maple syrup and sea salt.
Destem swiss chard, reserving stems. Tear leaves into bite sized pieces and place into bowl.
Destem kale and slice leaves into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Gently massage kale leaves with a few pinches of salt for about one minute. Slice chard stems into ½-inch lengths and kale stems into ¼-inch lengths and set a aside.
Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and immediately add chard and kale stems with a pinch of salt. Sauté briefly, just until brightly colored. Remove to a small bowl.
Add ¼ cup olive oil to pan and heat on medium until shimmery (this will probably only take a few seconds). Add red onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté until onion is soft and slightly browning. Turn heat to low and add balsamic vinegar, orange juice, maple syrup, and tamari or shoyu.
Turn heat off and add kale and chard greens to the pan, tossing constantly to coat with the warm dressing. When all leaves are evenly coated, remove greens to a platter. Top with roasted beets, chard and kale stems, toasted pecans, orange zest, and pomegranate seeds.
This version was made with toasted pepitas and rainbow chard (no beets).
Mmmm… fresh figs! Late summer and early fall is the height of fig season. Right now in Austin, the grocery stores have been fully stocked with varieties of figs from California that range in color from dark purple to bright green on the outside, to various shades of pink on the inside. They are best when heavy, plump, unblemished, and slightly soft on the outside. Figs that are squishy are probably overripe. Check out this article to learn more about how to choose figs.
In this recipe, I have chosen to marinate the fennel in citrus, olive oil, and salt before adding it to the salad. This slightly softens the fennel and makes it more flavorful. Fennel bulbs are easy to slice if you first trim the stems and fronds from the bulb, cut into quarters, and then thinly slice each quarter. If the stems are juicy and flavorful, they can also be thinly sliced and added to the marinade.
Trim fennel root and stems. Cut in half.
Cut each half in half.
Slice off the hard core from each fennel quarter. Slice thinly.
I recommend using a good quality, aged balsamic vinegar that is less acidic and slightly sweet. I used the Central Market brand Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena from Italy for this recipe. It costs about $16 and can be bought online or in the Austin Central Market stores.
I used a tangerine-infused olive oil from Vom Faas specialty store. You can sub a good quality extra virgin olive oil if you can’t find this ingredient.
Be creative and try substituting ingredients that are seasonal in your area. For example, as winter approaches, pomegranates will be in season and can be used instead of figs. Mango can be used in place of oranges, celery for fennel, and toasted pecans for almonds.
Fresh Arugula and Fig Salad with Citrus Dressing and Marcona Almonds
1 small or ½ large fresh fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons orange juice (fresh squeezed)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
6 cups mixed field greens with baby arugula
up to 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
up to 2 tablespoons citrus-infused olive oil
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 fresh figs, sliced in quarters
1 small avocado, cut into chunks
slices of 1 orange or 2 clementines
¼ cup Marcona almonds (toasted and salted)
black pepper, freshly ground (optional)
In a small bowl, mix together fennel, orange juice, olive oil, and sea salt. Allow fennel to marinate for at least 20 minutes. This step can also be done up to one day ahead, storing the fennel mixture covered in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the salad.
Rinse and spin dry mixed greens. Spread evenly onto large platter or into large salad bowl.
Drizzle greens with balsamic vinegar and citrus-infused olive oil. Top greens with marinated fennel, figs, avocado, orange or clementine slices, and Marcona almonds.
Top with a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
Try this light and refreshing shaved salad as a side to almost any meal. Radishes are good at dissolving fat, while green apple and lemon have the sour taste that is cleansing for the liver and gall bladder. The mint garnish gives it a super fresh taste!
Shaved Carrot, Daikon, and Green Apple Salad with Lemon and Fresh Mint
This vibrant and delicious Salade niçoise was originally introduced to me by my mother Louise, who is an amazing cook and liked to teach me things from her French heritage. We first made this salad together for a holiday celebration at my school French class around 1987. I rediscovered this timeless salad several years ago, and enjoy making it a little differently each time. The dressing is a very basic vinaigrette that gets its distinctive taste from Dijon mustard. Check out the variations in the recipe and photos for more ideas.
Apparently, there are very strong feelings about what should or should not be included in a Salade niçoise. See the commentary on wikipedia for a run down of the “rules” if you want to be a “traditionalist” when it comes to making this salad! For instance, some defend that there should be no cooked vegetables in this salad. And it should have anchovies and eggs. I say, make it however you like it, and enjoy it! And maybe you can just call it “my favorite salad” if someone criticizes you for not making the authentic niçoise.
This beautiful composed salad is a meal in itself, especially if you add some large white beans, quinoa, or tuna. You can arrange the salad onto ndividual plates or one large platter.
Author: Chef Rachel Z
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6 servings
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 pound fingerling potatoes
4 cups mixed field greens or 1 head butter lettuce
1 cup artichoke hearts, sliced in half
1 cucumber, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced or 1 cup baby tomatoes
½ cup kalamata or niçoise olives, pitted and sliced in half
2 tablespoons capers
¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar or lemon juice with mustard. Add a few pinches of salt and a grind or two of black pepper. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil with a few pinches of sea salt. Add green beans and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain green beans and spread them out on a plate or platter to cool.
Scrub potatoes and peel away any blemishes. Place potatoes and a few pinches of sea salt in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and let simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain and place into a bowl. When cool, slice large potatoes in half or into several pieces, if desired.
Arrange lettuce on large platter or individual plates. Place green beans, potatoes, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes on top of lettuce in distinct rows or mounds. Sprinkle olives and capers over the top. Drizzle the entire salad with some of the dressing, then sprinkle chopped parsley over the top.
Serve with roasted salmon or canned tuna packed in olive oil, if desired.
If you are able to find colorful fingerling potatoes, such as red or purple varieties, these look very beautiful in the salad.
Add cooked white beans such as giant Peruvian limas or butter beans.
Add quinoa or quinoa with chickpeas.
Omit cucumbers if not in season.
Add 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half.
Here are some other variations of the salad I have tried in recent years.
With golden fingerling potatoes and baby San Marzano tomatoes:
With quinoa and chickpeas and roasted salmon:
Arranged in a radial pattern, with plenty of artichokes!
I hope you enjoy making this salad, and please let me know if you come up with some new and delicious versions!
Combined with crisp blanched vegetables, fresh herbs, and a lemony dressing, this dish really brings buckwheat (a gluten-free grain) to life! This dish was inspired by homemade sauerkraut made with red cabbage and sea salt! I have been making my own sauerkraut a lot in the past year, and it is surprisingly easy. I’ll do a post on how to make it later this summer. I also learned from my macrobiotic teacher and colleague David Briscoe that buckwheat is a great food to eat in salad form during hot, humid days of summer because of its drying qualities.
Summertime Buckwheat Salad with Lemon Dill Dressing
The inspiration for this salad came from the earth’s bounty in December in the South. The contrasting colors, flavors, and textures from the fruits, nuts, and greens make an irresistible combination. You will need to get the seeds out of a pomegranate for this recipe. My favorite, least technical, and least messy way to do this involves cutting the pomegranate in half, submerging the halves in a bowl of water, and gently opening each half and removing seeds under the water (see method 3 in wikiHow article: http://www.wikihow.com/Open-a-Pomegranate). It is well worth the effort. The extra seeds keep well for later, refrigerated in a glass container. The kumquats are optional in this recipe, but are a fun ingredient to use when they come into season in the wintertime. The entire fruit is edible, and in fact the peel is sweet and the inside is sour (the opposite of an orange). Look for kumquats that are firm, as they should be juicier.
Winter salad with dried figs, pomegranate, avocado, and pecans
This salad is perfect for holiday gatherings or any meal that needs a colorful side dish.
Author: Chef Rachel Z
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6 servings
4 cups mixed field greens or baby arugula
4 dried figs, soaked in warm water
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
1 small avocado, cut into chunks
¼ cup pecan halves, toasted
2 kumquats, thinly sliced (optional)
Maple Balsamic Dressing
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange or tangerine juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 small clove fresh garlic, minced (optional)
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Rinse and spin dry mixed greens. Place on large platter or into large salad bowl. Drain figs and slice thinly, removing any tough stems. Decorate greens with fig slices, pomegranate seeds, avocado chunks, and toasted pecan halves. Garnish with kumquat slices, if desired.
Whisk together all ingredients except olive oil. Gradually whisk in olive oil, one drop at a time, until well incorporated.
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