SPRING MIX SALAD WITH ROASTED YAMS AND FETA CHEESE

One of our favorite salads matched two unlikely entities together: roasted carrots and avocados. I cannot praise that combination enough. I’ve made it so many times now I can pull it together it in my sleep. Now I bring you another winner, a recipe I know it will be part of our regular rotation. It is hearty without being too heavy, it could be your full meal if you add a good amount of roasted yams, but we enjoyed it with flatiron steak. Prepared sous-vide. Medium-rare, juicy, delicious. Of course, any other protein of your choice would work great. Grilled shrimp? Oh, yeah…

SPRING MIX SALAD WITH ROASTED YAMS AND FETA  CHEESE
(adapted from The Dude Diet)

2 yams, peeled and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8  teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces baby spring mix
¼ cup pepitas, dry toasted on a skillet until fragrant
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
for the dressing:
4 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Heat the oven to 375 ° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the yams in a bowl large enough to toss them around, add the 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well, transfer them to the baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until starting to get brown at the edges, and is cooked through, when you test with a fork.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Make the dressing inside a serving bowl, by whisking together all ingredients. Add the spring mix, roasted yams, and toasted pepitas. Mix well, and add the crumbled feta on top, right before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I had never visited Serena’s blog , Domesticate Me, and fell in love with it upon my first contact. Must thank Mimi for the heads up about that site. I ended up ordering her book, The Dude Diet, and I absolutely love it. She is hilarious, but what’s even better, her recipes are great. I’ve tried a few already, and must say that her lightened up version of Chicken Parmigiana is a serious winner. It pleased my beloved, who is an expert on the subject. It is one of his favorite dishes, one he requests all the time. The whole gist of the book is making recipes that awe her guy – think cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, lasagna, enchiladas – but with a lot more restraint in terms of fat and calories. I gotta use a word I don’t care for: healthier versions. There, I said it. Without compromising flavor.  I highly recommend her book and her blog. Just keep in mind she uses very “colorful” language… If you don’t have a problem with that, get ready for a great time.

This salad is so delicious, and not at all hard to make on a weeknight. I would probably cut the yams in the morning and keep the pieces in the fridge, just to speed preparation up. Then, it’s all a matter of heating the small electric oven, roasting the yams and moving on to showtime.  I think that adding pieces of avocado will make it even better, and perhaps some hard-boiled eggs instead of cheese could work well too. The pepitas are fantastic, by the way. They kind of disappeared in the photo, but their popcorny taste and crunch is superb! Try this salad, with or without the steak. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it is a winner. Winner, winner, salad dinner!

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FARRO SALAD WITH ROASTED LEEKS

I suppose this could go to my “work in progress” folder.  But, Phil liked it exactly this way, so I decided to share the recipe adding possible tweaks in the comments.  One important thing to mention: although this is a salad, it’s equally good served warm. Those of you still in sub-zero temperatures and avoiding even to glance at a salad plate don’t need to shy away from it. In fact, we enjoyed it hot on the first day piled up next to a  juicy flank steak, grilled medium-rare. Comme il faut...  😉

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FARRO SALAD WITH LEEKS, CHICKPEAS AND CURRANTS
(adapted from The New York Times

2 large leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
1 Tablespoon olive oil + 1/8 cup, divided
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can of chickpeas, drained (15 oz)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 cup dry farro
1/3 cup dried currants
2 celery stalks, diced

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Using a large rimmed baking sheet, toss leeks with 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread leeks out in a single layer  and roast, tossing frequently, until golden brown and crisp at the edges, about 20 minutes.

Drain the chickpeas and add them to a pot with boiling water for a couple of seconds. Drain again, dry well.  In a large bowl, toss leeks with chickpeas, lemon juice and zest,  chile flakes and salt to taste. Stir in 1/8 cup olive oil.  Let marinate while you prepare the farro.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook farro until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Toss with chickpeas mixture. Stir in currants and diced celery. Taste and add more salt or lemon if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

marinating

Comments: The original recipe was written for 2 cups of farro, definitely too much for the two of us.  I halved the recipe, keeping all ingredients in the same proportion, but considerably reducing the olive oil. I was shocked to see the amount called for in the recipe. For two cups of dried farro, they used 2/3 cup of olive oil in the dressing.  Keep in mind that 1/4 cup had already been poured just to roast the leeks. It amounts to 1,700 calories (> 800 for half the recipe) just in the oil component!   Thanks, but no thanks.  I used a tiny amount of oil to roast the leeks, and only 1/8 cup for the whole dressing.   If you like your salad heavier on the oil, I suggest drizzling some more at the very end, before serving.

Now my possible modifications for a future version.  I think raisins would have been better than currants.  And, for my personal taste, the roasted leeks overpowered the dish.  When I make it again, I will use raisins, increase the amount of celery, and reduce the amount of leeks.  That will be a real winner for me.

served1

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