Salad Day

It’s winter, the season of warm soups and hot meals for many people. I wanted a salad, a warm salad. I remember a long ago trip to Club Med, where they served a warm salad. I enjoyed it enough that I never forgot it. I asked SpecialK if he knew how to make a warm salad, as my Google search brought up mostly potato salads. He suggested I needed to heat the dressing, so I began my search anew.

I found a recipe I thought might work, ignoring completely the fact that it was a spinach salad. I also ignored the fact that it called for smoked cheese, instead deciding to use some ricotta salata I had found at Sprouts Farmers Market.

IMG_0989

This will serve 4 as a first course, 2-3 for dinner.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this mouthwatering salad:

2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 7 oz. bag of butter lettuce, or head of lettuce
1 Persian cucumber sliced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup crumbled Low Fat Feta Cheese or Ricotta Salata

Start by toasting the pecans in a warm skillet, 2-3 minutes until you smell them. Please don’t burn the first batch as I did. Put the pecans aside, and in the same skillet, heat the olive oil. Heat the shallot in the oil until translucent.
Split the lettuce between the plates, or in a serving bowl. Top with sliced cucumber, the toasted pecans and your cheese.
Add the vinegar and maple syrup to the skillet with the shallot and heat to boiling.
Once the dressing begins to boil, pour it over your salad(s). Pick up your fork, and enjoy. We did!

This is the original version I found online. Thank Eating Well for this great discovery!

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Notes:

  • I choose butter lettuce after having the opportunity to sample a wide variety of lettuces. Please use your favorite salad greens.
  • I decided to use Persian cucumbers because SpecialK is not a fan of cucumbers. By the time I would peel, de-seed and dice a cucumber, I sliced up a Persian cucumber, and we both ate every bite.
  • One time that week (ok, last week), I wanted this salad but we were out of cider vinegar. I used rice wine vinegar, and it was still good. If you have both vinegars, use the cider vinegar.
  • Cheese, leftover chicken, turkey, fish, hard boiled eggs, any protein you like will be good on this salad.
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