Sick of your sad desk salad?
As the weather gets cooler, all that beautiful summer produce disappears from the shelves.
Enter (drum roll please): Warm Salads… so hot right now.
So in case you’re sitting there nibbling on a head of fresh cold cauliflower and cursing your life, you can cook your salad and still reap powerful nutritional benefits. No joke.
As we so swiftly roll up on the “holiday season,” I’m realizing that Santa should have been roasting walnuts over an open fire instead of chestnuts…he really effed up. What’s so special about Deez Nuts *laughs internally* versus all them other nuts? Omega 3’s, if you please.
Just one serving of these little nuggets gives us 95% of the Omega-3 fatty acids we should be taking in each day. Walnuts, out of all zee nuts, contain the highest levels of the anti-inflammatory alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which supremely bolsters heart health. Additionally, it’s high monounsaturated fat content (which is the good kind of fat) and fiber levels are fantastic for making you feel fuller longer…so you drool a little less over all the holiday fare that’s lurking around the corner this season.
I’m not promising one salad will change your whole life, but I am suggesting that this warm salad is indeed a game changer and will likely destroy your preconceived notions about a big plate o’ greens for dinner.
Warm, tender romaine is sprinkled with salty, crunchy baked croutons and creamy goat cheese, and then drizzled in a tangy balsamic glaze.
PS, you get to learn how to poach an egg. Cheers for cheffing it up; you wear those fancy pants so well.
Warm Winter Salad
Makes 2 salads
For the croutons:
- 3 cups cubed pieces of baguette
- Olive oil to coat
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad:
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon white, red, or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 head romaine lettuce, cut in half
- 2 oz goat cheese
- Balsamic glaze (or vinegar, but glaze is thicker and me likes it more)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- First, make them croutons. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a small baking sheet with foil. Place bread in a mixing bowl, add enough oil to coat the bread, then sprinkle with salt and peppa’. Place on baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, then flip croutons, and bake another 5 minutes, until suuuuper crunchy. Like, crunchier than the bass at your next live show. Set the crouts’ aside.
- In a small skillet over medium-low, toast walnuts for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and just beginning to let off a roasty, toasty aroma. Be careful and stir them often by shaking the pan; these babies are like white people at the beach: they burn easily.
- Next, we gonna poach that egg! Crack one egg into a small dish, being careful not to break the yolk. Bring a medium sized saucepan full of water and 1 teaspoon of the vinegar to an almost-boil…just enough so little bubbles are rising from the bottom, but not bubbling over. Using a slotted spoon, stir to create a whirlpool. Gently pour in the egg, and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes. You can tell it’s done when the yolk is still jiggly inside but the white looks set. Carefully remove from water with the slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with egg #2. This sounds a lot more difficult than it really is, be brave. When done, give ’em both a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat up the 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high. Using tongs, place the romaine halves in the skillet and brown each side gently for about 1-2 minutes, until lettuce is wilted. Remove lettuce halves from the heat, place an egg on top of each, and sprinkle each with toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze (you can also use balsamic vinegar). Give it all another sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve warm.