Why should sum­mer have all the leafy fun? Try a win­ter salad

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Melissa D’Ara­bian

Sum­mer may of­fi­cially be the sea­son of green sal­ads, but win­ter­time ver­sions have ad­van­tages that make them worth ex­plor­ing.

The cooler weather sea­son­able greens are hearty and darker green, which makes them nu­tri­ent-rich. And these thick­er­leaved greens, such as kale or spinach, can hold up to the ad­di­tion of warm in­gre­di­ents, open­ing up the pos­si­bil­i­ties for top­ping your salad with roasted good­ies in a way that del­i­cate but­ter lettuce never could.

Have some hearty root veg­gies in the fridge? Toss them (and some whole gar­lic cloves — yum!) in some olive oil and roast them up, and add warm to raw kale leaves with lemon juice, Parme­san and black pep­per and you have a win­ter salad ri­val­ing any­thing you’d make in July.

To­day’s recipe takes in­spi­ra­tion from this sea­son’s hol­i­day cook­ing pantry in­gre­di­ents that I al­ways seem to have on hand. Ap­ples, left­over from ap­ple pie, are the salad’s real star, while the pump­kin vinai­grette — also of pie fame — plays an im­por­tant sup­port­ing role.

I cut the ap­ples into small cubes and quickly roast them in a lit­tle salt and rose­mary at high heat, and the lit­tle cubes turn into sweet, herba­ceous nuggets of fla­vor — like raisins, but bet­ter — and make other in­gre­di­ents al­most un­nec­es­sary. I add left­over turkey for pro­tein, al­monds for crunch and toma­toes for a tiny bit of acid.

You could even add blue cheese or feta if you hap­pened to have some float­ing around the house, left­over from a cheese party plat­ter. Feel free to swap

out in­gre­di­ents to match your pantry: As long as you are top­ping win­ter greens with some­thing warm, whether roasted Brus­sels sprouts or panseared sal­mon, you’ll be on your way to a tasty win­ter green salad. Green Salad with Pump­kin Vinai­grette and Roasted Ap­ples Serv­ings: 4

Start to fin­ish: 30 min­utes In­gre­di­ents

2 large tart ap­ples (such as Granny Smith), cut into 1-inch cubes (un­peeled), about 3 cups

2 tea­spoons fresh minced rose­mary

5 cups baby spinach or kale, or other hearty greens

½ cup baby toma­toes, halved or quar­tered

1½ cups shred­ded cooked white meat chicken or turkey ¼ cup mar­cona al­monds ½ tea­spoon kosher salt Olive oil in a mis­ter ¼ cup pump­kin puree 1 ta­ble­spoon wa­ter 1 ta­ble­spoon ap­ple cider vine­gar

1 ta­ble­spoon maple syrup 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil ½ tea­spoon minced rose­mary

1 tea­spoon minced shal­lot a few turns of freshly ground black pep­per Di­rec­tions

Pre­heat the oven to 425 de­grees. Place the cubed ap­ple on a parch­ment-line bak­ing tray and spray with an olive oil mis­ter to coat the cubes. Sprin­kle on the minced rose­mary and salt, and gen­tly toss the cubes to coat. Bake just un­til ten­der and edges are start­ing to turn golden, about 12 min­utes.

Re­move from oven and set aside to cool just a few min­utes. While the ap­ples are roast­ing, make the vinai­grette. Place the pump­kin puree, wa­ter, vine­gar and maple syrup in a small bowl. Whisk the olive oil into the mix­ture un­til well­blended. Add the rose­mary, shal­lot and black pep­per and stir.

To as­sem­ble the salad: place the spinach in a bowl or plat­ter and top with the toma­toes, chicken, al­monds and warm, roasted ap­ples. Driz­zle with pump­kin vinai­grette, toss, and serve.

Nu­tri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 239 calo­ries; 75 calo­ries from fat; 8 g fat (1 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg choles­terol; 336 mg sodium; 21 g car­bo­hy­drate; 6 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 20 g pro­tein.

The As­so­ci­ated Press

A green salad with roasted ap­ple and pump­kin vinai­grette. Melissa D’Ara­bian,

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