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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rainbow Chopped Salad

For some reason, I've never posted a salad recipe on this blog.  This is bizarre because I have a salad for lunch, or dinner, on 6 out of 7 days of the week.  I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.  And, I love combining them.  (My father would say "blegh" to this salad.  He hates when fruit is mixed with lettuce!)  I guess I've never posted an actual recipe because salads are pretty easy to mix up and easily customized to your preferences.  Plus, if you utilize your grocer's salad bar, you can easily mix up a cheap, individualized meal.  (Tip: Buy your lettuce and dressing separately to cut back significantly on weight. Load up your take-out container with fresh veggies and mix your salad when you get home or back to work.)
But, given the fact that I felt this blog needed some color in its life (esp. since my last post's snow-freak out), I've decided to post a recipe for this delicious rainbow chopped salad that I recently spotted in the latest bon appetit magazine.  I did make some slight changes to my own recipe - I used blueberries instead of pomegranate seeds, added sweet cherry tomatoes and opted for feta cheese instead of blue cheese - but the end result is delicious.  I always eat large salad portions, but you can easily use this as a side dish or add your choice of protein to make it a heartier meal.  I also love making my own salad dressings -- they are so easy to whip up and honestly take less time to make than it takes to grab a pre-made bottle of the grocery aisle.  (Ok, not really.  But, it's nice to know that my dressing only has 4 delicious ingredients in it.)  Honestly, I encourage you to try your hand at whisking up your own dressing.  It's amazing what flavor combinations you can come up with!
Rainbow Chopped Salad
adapted from Bon Appetit
Yield: 8 servings
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped romaine hearts
  • 4 cups sliced red cabbage (or spinach)
  • 1 large Fuji apple, halved, cored, diced
  • 1 Asian pear, halved, cored, diced
  • 1 mango, peeled, diced (or 2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded, diced)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or blue cheese), optional
  1. Dressing: Whisk vinegar, shallot, and honey in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Salad: Combine romaine and next 7 ingredients in a very large bowl; toss to blend. Add dressing and toss gently to coat. Divide salad among plates. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired, and serve.

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