People tend to really like my salads, probably because I am so liberal with the amount of ingredients I put in them. It is easy in the warmer season when there is all sorts of fresh produce to include. Winter salads can be a bit trickier. You can see a few favorite ones here, and here, and here.
This most recent rendition of a winter salad loosely merges ideas from a French salad nicoise (but without potatoes, tuna, or anchovies) and a Greek salad (with no oregano or grape leaves). Cooking is like art to me, I mix and match ingredients like they were color; it is a very similar outlet for me.
I like roasted beets in my winter salads; they give it depth, color and a hint of sweetness. You can easily roast your own, by cooking them for a couple hours with a little olive oil wrapped in aluminum foil while other things are in the oven. They keep in the refrigerator for about a week. You can also now get them pre-roasted, but I like making my own; I roast them longer, until they just melt in my mouth. I never particularly liked beets until I did this, and even beet haters like mine! Anyway, this recipe assumes you have roasted beets on hand, which is a lifestyle I heartily recommend.
I make my own hard boiled eggs too, although you can get those now pre-cooked as well. To make your own, simply put your organic eggs in a pan, cover them with water, and boil for between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on how done you like them. Then plunge them immediately into a container of ice water, and put it in the fridge. When they are good and cold they will be easier to peel.
I am experimenting here with some interesting raw ingredients I got at Trader Joe’s: shaved Brussels sprouts, and riced cauliflower. See them in the photos below. This is super convenient for just adding into salads, but you can make your own too.
The dressing recipe here makes much more than you need for this salad. Make it in a spare bottle so you can shake it up with each use. Refrigerate it between uses, bringing it to room temperature when you want to use it again.
This recipe is for one salad. My husband and I can each separately eat this whole thing at one sitting as a complete meal, so I make two of these simultaneously (see photo above and below). If you are serving this with something else, you’ll want to share this!
for the salad:
2 cups greens, chopped (arugula, spinach, romaine, spring mix, etc)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 roasted beet, chopped
1 handful of shaved Brussels sprouts
1 handful of riced cauliflower
1 handful of green beens, trimmed and halved (fresh or frozen/steamed)
1 handful of feta, chopped (we like Trader Joe’s sheep feta as shown below)
2-6 black olives, chopped or whole, (as you prefer)
2 hard (or soft) boiled organic eggs , peeled and sliced
slices of ripe Comice pear
for the dressing:
1/2 cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
3 medium cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
Put together the salad, and make the dressing in a separate jar.
Shake the dressing well, and add some to the salad, Enjoy!