There aren’t many healthy options for lunch near where I work. There is a Publix grocery and fast food. The only fast food I eat is Chick-fil-a and fortunately, we got one nearby a few years back. As fast food goes, it’s not terrible for you and they have decent salad options. One day I decided to get a cup of chicken noddle soup and the newer “Superfood” side. The soup was a little salty but the salad was fantastic. I decided to recreate it at home.
It just so happened that our CSA provided arugula, dyno kale and broccoli the last several weeks, so this was a no brainer. I would start with less vinaigrette and add more if need be. The salad is well balanced and will last as leftovers for a few days. The super crunchy broccoli and hearty kale give nice bite. The arugula adds a little bitter and peppery kick. The earthy walnuts and sweet and sour cherries along with the acid and sweet from the vinaigrette all work very well together.
I’ve now made this salad many times. For my wife and I, for guests and for large community functions. Quantities of all ingredients depend on how much you would like to make. The vinaigrette measurements is a complete guess, I just don’t measure these, sorry. You can adjust to your tastes.
Measurements are approximate.
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup dried sour cherries
- Red onion, thinly sliced (just add what you like or leave it out)
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- Dyno kale, destemmed and cut in strips
- First make the vinaigrette. In a mixing bowl, add the mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar and maple syrup and whisk together. Continue whisking and drizzle in the olive oil. Add the cherries and onion and toss. This will allow the cherries to reconstitute and lessen the punch of the onion.
- Right before serving, add the sliced broccoli (and all the little bits), kale and arugula in a large bowl. Add in the vinaigrette with the cherries and onions. Toss to coat the greens. Add walnuts and toss again.
Crispy seared salmon with a light, tangy farro orzo salad is perfect for any season.
Our CSA is bountiful this year. We are getting lots and lots of squash, zucchini and kale. Good thing we like them, a lot. Sometimes you have to be creative in how you prepare them lest the large quantities of the same vegetables become monotonous. This salad was one of those creative attempts, and if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty good.
- 2 wild caught salmon filets (fresh as you can get)
- 1 package Farro Orzo pasta
- 2 medium squash, cubed in ¼ pieces
- 1 large zucchini, cubed in ¼ pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cubed in ¼ pieces
- 1 small punch of dinosaur kale, julienne
- ½ small red onion, sliced in very thin strips
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Salt and pepper
- Oil blend, (I like canola and olive 50/50)
- Start by preparing the orzo per the instruction on the package. Allow to cool and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the thinly sliced onion and the red wine vinegar. I find letting the onion soak in the vinegar takes the edge off the raw onion. You can skip this if you like.
- Turn your oven’s broiler on. Toss the squash, zucchini, bell pepper and kale with olive oil, salt and pepper together on a sheet pan. Place under the broiler. Cook until you get a little color on the veg. You do not want these to be mushy or burned.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Add just enough of the blended oil to coat the pan. When the pan is good and hot, place the salmon in the pan, skin side down. Cook about 2-3 minutes and flip cook until skin is crispy and the fish is cooked to your liking.
- In a large bowl, combine the orzo, vegetables, dill, thyme, vinegar, feta, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Simple, easy and delicious. This was inspired by one of my favorite chefs. The salad came from Food & Wine magazine by Chef Sean Brock. I added the flank steak and simplified the salad. You can find the original salad recipe here.
I grew up eating southern foods like black eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread. Sometimes I would mix them all together and I’d throw in some hot sauce and vinegar and mix them up. After seeing and tasting this salad, I think Chef Brock did the same. Like I’ve marveled before, I love how chefs like Sean Brock and Mike Lata (FIG) take traditional southern recipes and elevate the ingredients and the techniques. With that said, their recipes still taste like I ate growing up.
You could simplify this even further if you wanted by using Jiffy cornbread mix (ahh the horror). Just add the bacon and fat, use buttermilk and an extra egg white.
This meal was REAL good. The salad was awesome. The blacked eyed peas added the starch. The vinaigrette mellowed and balanced the spicy watercress. The tiny back end heat was noticeable though very delicate. There is a bite of acidity from the vinegar and lemon juice and don’t forget the cornbread which added the savory crunch. Just awesome. This salad could be eaten as a complete meal (leave out the bacon and fat for a veggie version), but…steak. Enjoy.
- 1 flank steak
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cans black eyed peas
- 1 bunch watercress (or other spicey green)
- 4 strips of bacon, chopped
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups medium grind yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/3 cp olive oil
- 1/4 apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (replace with paprika and cayenne)
- Chopped parsley
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (whatever is your favorite)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 450°, add a 9 inch cast iron skillet and heat for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the bacon in a non stick pan. Once the bacon is crispy, remove and reserve the renderings.
- In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a seperate bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs and bacon renderings. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and add the 1/2 the bacon.
- Add conola oil to coat the cast iron skillet and add the corn batter spreading evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack. Once cool, cube into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk olive oil, apple cider vinegar, chopped parsley, Aleppo pepper, sugar and season to taste.
- Add the black eyed peas to a mix bowl with the rest of the bacon, hot sauce and lemon juice and season. Add in some of the vinaigrette and set aside.
- Heat a grill pan (or non-stick pan will work) over medium-high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, sear the steak on both sides until desired downess. I prefer rare. Allow the steak to rest then slice the steak against the grain.
- Add watercress to the black eyed pea mixture and toss. Garnish with cornbread.