Saturday, April 17, 2010

Warm & chilly dinner salad....

Tonight's dinner:
"warm & chilly" salad
Grilled steak
roasted asparagus
fresh berries

I like salad that contains something a little surprising. I do salads so much with evening meals that changing it up here and there keeps it from being too boring.
Tonight, after rummaging around in the produce bin of my refrigerator, I pulled out some baby red onions, scallions, a fennel bulb, some bok choy, and lettuce.

Sorry I didn't photograph my entire process, but essentially I washed all the vegetables thoroughly, taking particular care with the bok choy as I could see there was quite a bit of dirt in between segments. I separated them and washed them individually. The fennel bulb was cross-cut from the base, and it resembled a cross between an onion and celery. The bulb has an entirely different taste than the greens, which have a fairly intense "anise" scent/flavor. Not so with the bulbs: they have a subtle but aromatic taste. I'm only sorry I avoided using them for as long as I did!
Some of the bok choy was washed and some of the leafy portion was trimmed, the remainder was washed and lightly coated with olive oil, then placed on a roasting pan next to the sliced fennel and the onions, all tossed with a bit of olive oil. The roasting pan went into the oven at 350 for 30 minutes. The remaining bok choy stalks were placed standing up in a deep bowl. The fresh bok choy was served with a small dish of cucumber, onion, and greek yogurt, and another small dish of fresh ricotta cheese mixed with a small amount of pesto. The stalks are great "scoopers" for these items, and have a nice crunchy texture. Yum!
Salad greens were prepped, then tossed with my old standard vinaigrette: a combination of grapeseed oil, a dash of balsamic vinegar, a dash of red wine vinegar, a dash of tumeric, dash of smoked paprika, and a dash of Toni's cajun seasoning. This is emulsified and tossed on the salad immediately prior to plating.
I cut a small wedge of herb-crusted goat cheese and placed on each salad, and topped the salads with some of the onions and fennel as soon as they came out of the oven. I thought the warm roasted veggies would melt the goat cheese a bit, but they didn' was still a wonderful salad!
before and after the addition of the roasted vegetables

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