If you can name the ingredients in a typical salad, then it’s time to change what’s in the bowl.
I was craving a new salad this week, and after concocting this one it is now one of my all-time favorites! It’s not a light, sweet summer salad. Although a chilled salad, the eclectic collection of tangy, tart and savory ingredients makes this winter salad perfect for cold weather or any time of year.
The smoky bacon pairs perfectly with sweet green peas. The crunch of walnuts plays off the soft quinoa. Tangy pickled onions and zesty blue cheese spice up the light tomatoes. The dressing has warm, layered flavors of balsamic vinegar, red wine and spicy brown mustard – and a little will go a long way. It adds just the right amount of zip without dominating the salad’s flavor. Add chicken for an entree salad, or omit it for a lighter side side.
If you’re looking for a salad to IMPRESS, this is it. Pull up a seat at the adult table and enjoy this awesome, healthy, hearty meal!
2, 5oz bags of mixed greens for 4 entree salads
3c of Brussel sprouts; raw chopped thin with stalk ends cut off
2 handfuls of petite peas; frozen
Quinoa; plain, cooked per bag directions with salt & pepper to taste; COOLED (about 1/2c cooked for each salad)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes; halved
Half-handful of green onions; chopped
2 handfuls of pickled onions – for recipe click HERE (I’ve tried several recipes and this one is by far my fav – and one batch will last a month!)
2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds; roasted, shelled
2 handfuls of walnuts (or pecans); chopped or pieces
2.5 oz blue cheese; crumbled
2 handfuls of bacon (I use the Kirklands precooked & crumbled and keep it in the freezer so I can use any amount and throw the bag back in the freezer for later.)
Chicken; Rotisserie cooked, pulled and chopped
1c Olive oil
5T Balsamic vinegar
4T Spicy brown mustard
3 Cloves fresh garlic; mined
1T Agave syrup
1T Red wine
1T Red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
Salad: Divide ingredients into 4 bowls. Wrap each bowl with plastic wrap and store in fridge. Just before serving, take 1 bowl at a time and dump that bowl’s ingredients into a large mixing bowl and toss thoroughly. Add the tossed salads back into their respective serving bowls.
*The quinoa can be cooked the day or two before. Add the peas & bacon frozen, they will be thawed by the time you’re ready to serve the salad.
Dressing: Add all dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until thoroughly combined. Let dressing warm to at room temperature to avoid the olive oil from thickening once refrigerated. Blend dressing into the bowls when tossing. You will have dressing left over. Yay!!