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Archive for March, 2012

Several weeks ago Nick and I were sitting at the table having a casual conversation between forkfuls of a Spinach, Roasted Beet, and Avocado Salad when he said the words no woman ever expects her husband to say….

“I AM REALLY LOVING SALADS THESE DAYS!”

I nearly choked on my leafy goodness. “Really?!” I prodded… hoping to get to the bottom of this unexpected proclamation. “Yea… I mean I never thought that I would be satisfied by a salad, but I really can be.”

Hmmmm… this revelation must have occurred a few days earlier when he “accidentally” ate the Spinach and Edamame Salad that I had made in advance and left in the fridge for my dinner  (the one I had been thinking longingly of all day long while at work….yup that one… major disappointment for Martha).

“You have officially turned me over to the dark side!” he concluded. In my herbivorous mind I prefer to think of it as the better “green” side. I have had a revery for salad for as long as I can remember. My favorites range from a simple Cucumber and Tomato Salad fresh from Grandma’s garden with a splash of oil and vinegar to a more sophisticated Baby Greens, Berries, and Pistachio Encrusted Goat Cheese Salad with a Rose-Nectar Vinaigrette. Whether featuring fruit or vegetables… beans or greens… side dishes or mains… I can honestly say that salads are my all-time favorite food (for further proof just consult my answer to the handy “Favorite Food” password reminder).

pomegranates... as appealing to the eye as to the body!

Now, I would be lying if I said I never met a salad I didn’t like. My parameters include keeping meats, creamy dressings, eggs, and mandarin oranges (random I know, but those juicy little segments have a way of just ruining a well-meaning salad for me) as far away as possible from my precious greens. Even with those items aside, the list of embellishments is endless and so are the irresistible combinations.

pears and apples round out the antioxidant powerhouse team

Nick’s appetite had both him and I under the same presumption that it would scoff at the suggestion of a salad being a satisfying main dish. So, I had reserved salads as my personal weekend indulgence while he was gratifying his hankering for high doses of fat and calories with takeout. But with the discovery of the satiability of a well-balanced salad, I jumped on the opportunity to include a main dish salad into our weekly recipe rotation.

walnuts for a healthy dose of omega 3's

Being that salads are a palette of creativity I have gotten into the habit of asking Nick for a one ingredient inspiration for that week’s meal. This particular week his request was pomegranates. I swirled around the possibilities for achieving the ideal balance of color, texture, and flavor while ensuring it would also be a nutrient rich dish and the final decision was a Harvest Fruit Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette.

a drizzle of versatile vinaigrette

There was something curiously delicious about the juxtaposition of the crunchy green spinach, sweet-tart fruit, rich walnuts, and tangy vinaigrette. Adoration and appetite were equally appeased!

Be careful or you too may be tempted over to “my side” after a forkful of this dish. I promise you it’s greener over here!

yes... it tastes as good as it looks (comes with the nick seal of approval)

Harvest Fruit Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

 Dressing

  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

To make the dressing combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl. Mix well and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Salad

  • 8 cups of loosely packed spinach
  • arils from 1 pomegranate
  • 1 large apple (I used Honeycrisp), cored and cut into bite sizes (do not peel)
  • 1 ripe, but firm Bosc pear, quartered, cored, and cut into thin slices (do not peel)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

To assemble the salad place the spinach, pomegranate arils, apples, pears, and walnuts in a large bowl. Give the dressing a last-minute stir and then pour over the salad. Toss to coat evenly.

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