Warm Winter Salad

Winter Salad 7

With a New Year often comes resolutions, or rather goals… some of them are lofty and some mere lifestyle changes.  Regardless of how wild or realistic your resolutions, we are confident we can help keep you on track.  Healthy eating doesn’t need to be all drab diets and crazy cleanses full of listless salads, murky smoothies, and lack luster mains.  No, it can be invigorating, delicious, and easy!  This warm winter salad is perfectly seasonal with sweet potato, beets, carrots… and local too, even better.  AND, it’s warm so you can still feel cozy on those chilly January eves without breaking the calorie bank.  Eat as a main or as a side to lean protein and you’re set!

Market Sourced Ingredients

1 small sweet potato (about 8 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces

3 multi-colored carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

3 small red beets & 1 golden beet, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (candy cane beets are a gorgeous variety when in season)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup pistachios

2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (you can add an extra splash if you’d like a bigger kick)

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a cookie sheet,  roast the sweet potato and beets for about 45 minutes, turning once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.  Peel when cooled; slice beets  thinly and cube the sweet potato.

Winter Salad Collage

Meanwhile, slice the carrots thinly using a mandoline or hand held slicer. And prepare the pomegranate seeds.  Set aside.

Mix the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, parsley, and salt & pepper in a mason jar and give it a good shake.

Winter Salad Collage 2

Drizzle the dressing on the vegetables to coat. Add pistachios. Season with flaked salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately or at room temperature.

Cobb Salad with Roasted Sweet Onion Dressing

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Have you ever met someone who just doesn’t like a cobb salad?  Sure, there are vegetarians or vegans and ingredient-restricted individuals who steer clear of this delicious, often-reinterpreted salad, but there’s something for everyone in the well-rounded salad that eats like a meal.  This version, with a southern sweet onion twist, is sure to please even the pickiest of palates.  While it has many individual elements, it all comes together quickly and taking the time to make your own dressing is entirely worth it.  So let’s get started.

Ingredients

Market-Sourced Ingredients

Dressing:

6 unpeeled garlic cloves from Souto Farms

1-2 large sweet onions, peeled and quartered through the core from Souto Farms

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing from La Cucina

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

juice and zest of 1 lemon from Cherry Pit

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Salad:

1 clamshell of fresh Alberta romaine lettuce from Cherry Pit

1 clamshell of fresh spicy microgreens from Cherry Pit

1 avocado from Cherry Pit

1 bag of sweet tomatoes (your preference) from Gull Valley Greenhouses

2 cups shredded cooked Bowden Farms chicken from Spragg’s Meat Shop

1 package of bacon from Spragg’s Meat Shop

4 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola cheese, (1/2 cup) from Fresh DELIcious

1/2 cup toasted pecans, choppped from Going Nuts

2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced lengthwise from Sylvan Star Cheese (or Blush Lane Organics)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Cobb Salad Collage

MAKE THE DRESSING: As we are likely enjoying the last week of warm sun and beautiful blue skies, we opted to grill the chicken and onions.  We even wrapped the garlic in foil and threw it on the grill too.  If you choose to do this step of the process in the oven, roast at 425°. Wrap the bulb of garlic (or individual cloves) in foil and set on a baking sheet. Brush the onions with oil and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour, until the onions and garlic are lightly charred and soft. Let cool.

Peel the garlic and transfer the cloves to a processor. Add the onions, cider vinegar and lemon juice and puree until smooth. With the blender on, gradually add the 1/2 cup of olive oil until incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.  At this point, we’d like to be perfectly transparent and admit that while our recipe calls for absolute measurements, we prefer to free-pour the vinegar and oil and trust our instincts.  Food is all about what tastes good right?  So if you want to add a little more vinegar, knock yourself out!  This dressing should have a good kick to it as it will cut through the rich chicken, bacon, and avocado and balance the salad.  Remember: Taste. Taste. Taste.  Taste as you go.

Set Up

MAKE THE SALAD: In an effort to not overdress the salad (who wants wilty, wet salad?), we placed the romaine and micorgreens in the bowl and arranged the remaining ingredients on top.  Just before serving, add your fresh-made sweet onion dressing and allow your guests to toss it all together to really see the magic happen.

This salad is a full meal that is sure to leave your family satisfied, hitting every mark: crisp lettuce leaves, succulent chicken, salty bacon, creamy avocado, bright tomatoes, nut-crunch…. and that’s just a few!  If you don’t like blue cheese, a milder cheese will absolutely work in this salad.  Choose what you like…. because let’s face it, food is meant to be enjoyed so use what you love and leave with a full and happy tummy.

*The onion dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Summer Vegetable “Ceviche”

Another long weekend is upon us and it’s sure to be a great time to BBQ and entertain in the great outdoors.  But by this time in the summer in Calgary, you’ve probably eaten your fair share of beef on a bun, burgers, corn dogs, and all sorts of other not-quite-so-healthy-or-appetizing meals.  Some of you may be looking for ways to break the Stampede-induced fried food cycle, get back on the farm-fresh wagon, or just try a new side to go with your perfectly grilled steak.  Well, we have a vibrant and zippy ceviche-esque salad marinated in lime juice dressing that is a beautiful accompaniment to whatever your little grilling hearts desires; a surprisingly tasty potluck side, or even a no-meat Monday dish.  Any way you slice it, it’s going to be yummy.

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Market-Sourced Ingredients

1 cup freshly shucked garden peas from Innisfail Growers Co-op

1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced from Souto Farms

1 small red onion, thinly sliced from Souto Farms

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears) from Souto Farms

2 B.C. nectarines, cut into thin wedges from Souto Farms

1 Hass avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes from Cherry Pit

1 scallion, thinly sliced from Cherry Pit

2 fresh limes from Cherry Pit

1 large purple bell pepper, finely julienned from Gull Valley Greenhouses

1 pint cherry and sun kissed yellow tomatoes, halved from Gull Valley Greenhouses

1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley from Terra Farms

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

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The real beauty of this recipe is that if you can slice and dice and squeeze a lime, you can nail this great salad.

In a large bowl, whisk the zest  of one lime and the juice of two limes with the olive oil, jalapeño and diced red onion; season the dressing with salt to taste. *If you’re not a huge fan of spice, just add 5 or 6 jalapeño slices.  If, however, you like it hot, use the whole jalapeño.

Now comes for the veggie prep…. shuck your peas, slice the corn off the cob, cut the nectarines into thin wedges, and slice up the avocado, pepper, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Gently fold all the vegetables together with the spicy lime dressing.

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Refrigerate the “ceviche” for at least 2 hours.

Fold in the parsley and scallion just before serving and serve the salad chilled.  We chose to enjoy a lovely Silver Sage Beef grilled flat iron steak.  This salad, though, is a perfect pairing to sautéed fish, seared scallops, or grilled chicken.  Heck, you could even swing by Blu Seafood for some of their incredibly sweet prawns and toss them right into the salad for a real ceviche. This can really be paired with just about anything or be enjoyed on its own and is sure to impress.

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The salad can be refrigerated for up to 8 hours.