When we think of comfort food we dont usually think of salad. But when a salad is warm, filling and topped with a few slices of freshly shaved Parmesan it can be very comforting indeed! Notice the zucchini, the asparagus, the caramelized shallots, red peppers, artichoke hearts and corn…so many vegetables! And we place those vegetables on top of even more vegetables, leafy greens and spinach. This salad is so good for you and filling enough to be a meal all by itself!
This recipe is from my “Seasonal Favorites from The Organic Kitchen: Autumn Winter Menus”. Did you just say you still don’t have my cookbook? Well I can hook you up. Click here to buy the 80 page hardcover or the beautiful eBook for iPhone and iPad.
The Key to making this salad is getting the veggies just right. Cook the vegetables that take a little longer first, and then add the others only cooking till the edges are brown but the vegetables are still crispy…nothing worse than wimpy vegetables.
We dress all these vegetables with a traditional balsamic vinaigrette with just a hint of Dijon. Always use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for healthy fats and an aged balsamic vinegar when making a traditional vinaigrette. When a dressing has so few ingredients, it’s important that these ingredients be top notch. Then finish with best sea salt in the world.
Once our salad is assembled and dressed we top it with freshly shaved Parmesan. I use a ‘y’ peeler for this job. It’s the same tool I use to peel butternut squash. Of course you can skip the Parmesan to make this recipe dairy free. Simply gorgeous and so good for you!
Salad: Serves 6-8
5 oz bag baby greens
1 zucchini, diced
1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cob of corn, kernels removed
½ of one orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
6 artichoke hearts packed in water, cut in half
10 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large tomato, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, shaved (desired amount)
Press artichoke hearts between papers towels to remove excess water, cut in half and set aside. Add 2 T butter or coconut oil to large frying pan on med heat. Add shallot and bell pepper to pan. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally then turn heat to med/high and add asparagus and artichoke hearts. Sauté for 3 more minutes, then add corn and zucchini. Stir and continue cooking till edges of vegetables turn brown, lightly salt and pepper. Turn off heat. Allow to cool till slightly warm and place on top of bed of baby greens. Add diced tomatoes. Lightly dress, toss. Place on individual salad plates, top with shaved Parmesan cheese.
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup good balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch sea salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
Place all ingredients in lidded container, shake or whisk till emulsified. Save for up to three weeks in fridge.
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