Warm Winter Salad

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Photos © 2011 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

Hello! In honor of it being Friday, I thought I would give you a little feast. Feast is such a fun word isn't it? Feast feast feast feast!

I love vegetables. With the exception of cauliflower, I will eat just about anything you put in front of me that sprouted from your garden (sorry cauliflower lovers…it's a texture thing). In fact, oddly and in stark contrast to my undying love for baked goods, I would prefer to eat a salad for lunch or dinner any day. However, the winter months make this more challenging by not only making the selection of seasonal fresh veg a little slim, but frankly I crave warm foods and well, carbs.

I am confident that there is some very reasonable and scientific reason that we want to nourish ourselves with insulating foods when it is cold outside…but tell that to my skinny jeans. So to compromise, I have been turning to 'warm salads'. (I may have made up the term 'warm salads' just fyi) These are salads that have a solid base of raw greens and vegetables mixed with a cooked element like roasted vegetables or starches or topped with a cooked grain like quinoa or brown rice. The combination of hot and cold, crunchy and soft is quite nice and it satisfies both of my cravings.

My friend L.C. found this recipe and brought it over one evening. We played around with it and doctored it up with her very delicious (and super easy!) parchment paper chicken and a few other alterations and came up with the best winter salad we have had yet!

Warm Winter Salad

Ingredients:

4 med. leeks, (white and tender green parts only) halved lengthwise

1lb. fingerling potatoes (Trader Joe's “Teeny Tiny 'Tatoes” are perfect for this) cut in halves.

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 breasts)

1/4 C. Olive oil, plus more to coat vegetables

2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tbs or dijon mustard

Mixed greens for 4 (we used butter lettuce mix and maché, but you can use your favorite)

2 ripe avocados

4 oz of pecorino romano cheese

Salt and pepper

Parchment Paper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375˚. Season your chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and wrap each separately in parchment paper . Bake for 20-25 min. Until chicken is cooked through. Then chop for salad.

Toss leeks and potatoes with a little bit of olive oil (I use a zip lock bag and shake them up) lay them out on a baking tray, cut side down, season with salt and pepper. Cook in the same oven for about 25 minutes, until leeks are lightly brown and tender. Remove leeks, return potatoes for about 10 more minutes until they are also brown and tender.

Cut the roasted leeks cross-wise into 2 inch lengths. Set aside.

 

In a small bowl wisk together olive oil, mustard and vinegar. Toss your greens with about half of the vinaigrette. Separate greens onto plates.

Halve avocados and slice lengthwise, removing slices with a spoon. Set aside.

Arrange leeks, potatoes, chopped chicken and avocado on top of your plated greens, drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and grate or crumble pecorino/romano cheese on top.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Do you have any favorite ways to get good veg in the cold winter months? Please share!

 

 

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