Nov 29, 2010

Seasonal Salads

Fennel, Pomegranate, & Orange Salad
I love this salad – it’s delicious and refreshing, especially coming out of a week of pure gluttony. It’s incredibly easy to put together; the only challenging part is extracting the seeds from the pomegranate, however if that part seems daunting, buy seeds that are already extracted. Aside from being just plain tasty, this salad is quite versatile – there are a number of different combinations you can make. I’ve thrown prosciutto on top for some added salty goodness and I’ve also had a fennel, orange and black olive salad that’s delicious. I kept this dressing simple – olive oil, salt and pepper; however if you want a little extra twang, throw in a splash of white balsamic. 

Ingredient List
1 fennel
1 orange
1 pomegranate – deseeded
splash of olive oil
s&p, to taste 

Cut the fronds off the fennel then cut the bulb in half. Slice the bulb into 1 ½ inch pieces. Peel the orange and cut the pieces in thirds. Deseed your pomegranate.

Throw all of the ingredients into a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, s&p and balsamic, if using.


Prosciutto is great with this salad.

If pomegranate seeds turn you off, use black olives instead.

Balsamic is optional – it’s a matter of preference.
Caitlin: Since this is pretty quick and easy to put together, an entire album would be too long so here are a couple songs that reflect the easy and simple salad.
Belly "Feed the Tree"
Pixies "Hey"

Drink of Choice 
Caitlin: A Hansen's mandarin lime soda.

Fig & Prosciutto Salad with Goat Cheese Medallions
This salad is a meal in itself. The salty and sweet combination make it a satisfying, tasty dish. The goat cheese medallions and white balsamic vinaigrette add a nice bit of tang. I chose and recommend to crisp the prosciutto, however, if you prefer, you do not have to do this. I feel crisping it brings out the saltiness even more, which I like. I enjoyed my salad with some crusty French baguette. I also recommend serving a cup or bowl of minestrone soup for a heartier meal.  With all the wonderful fruit and veggies available during the Fall you can get creative with this salad.   

Ingredient List
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbs pecorino romano cheese *optional
7 – 8 goat cheese rounds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, put in a ramekin
½ cup bread crumbs, put in a ramekin
6 figs, quartered
¼ lb prosciutto, sliced thin
1 bunch of romaine, washed and rougly chopped
1 bunch of radicchio, washed and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (for goat cheese medallions).

1)    To make the vinaigrette:  In a small bowl whisk vinegar, olive, salt, pepper, minced garlic and pecorino-romano cheese.  Set aside.

2)    To make the Goat Cheese Medallions: Slice goat cheese with dental floss (in order to make a cleaner cut).  Roll the goat cheese into small ball shapes, dip in olive oil and breadcrumbs. Place goat cheese on baking sheet and bake until breadcrumbs are golden. Make sure to turn medallions over halfway through baking in order for them to brown on both sides.

3)    Tear prosciutto into pieces and crisp in a sauté pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.

4)   Combine lettuces (romaine & radicchio) with prosciutto and figs.  Arrange 2 medallions on each plate per serving.  Drizzle with vinaigrette and enjoy!

You can roast acorn squash instead of using the figs.

You can also omit the prosciutto and make this salad completely veggie.

Monica: As the holiday weekend came to an end, I felt great and enjoyed making this fresh meal.  These are the songs that complemented my salad making process perfectly:
1)    Try a Little Tenderness – Otis Redding
2)    Where It’s At – Beck
3)    Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones
4)    The Fool on the Hill – The Beatles
5)    Mal Bicho – Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

Drink of Choice
Monica: I craved a tart bubbly drink, so I opted for some Sparkling Apple Cider.

A Recipe to Remember?
I will definitely make this again, and try using the roasted acorn squash.

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