Friday, December 2, 2011

Winter Greenery

I have mentioned before that I used to be a vegetarian and for a brief period a vegan. Here is the funny thing about that; I did not like to eat salad. The reason is, that when you take a restaurant salad and make it vegan, it often becomes a poor excuse for a meal. I mean really, iceberg lettuce, five carrot shreds and a tomato is not a meal. I do in fact like salads, especially when I can make them myself. This is one of my go to salads for winter, it can easily be switched up for summer by substituting more fresh fruits (such as strawberries) and veggies. This salad is also deliciously easy.
Start out by cooking up 2 to 3 pieces of peppered bacon per person. I am usually just making this for myself, so repeat the steps for each plate if you are serving more people.
While the bacon is cooking shred a good amount of greens onto a plate. About 2 cups worth. I don't often buy into salad mixes and I don't believe in iceberg lettuce. I usually use a combination of spinach and red leaf lettuce. I just use my hands to tear the leaves into bite size pieces.
Next add about 2T of dried cranberries (I never actually measure anything in this recipe)
2T sliced almonds. You really could use any type of nut. I just happen to usually have almonds on hand. I like to break up the nuts before I toss them on the salad.
About 1/4 of a small log of chevre (goat cheese). That will be roughly an inch off the log. We have a great local goat dairy, I try to use their cheese when it's available. The flavor is worth the extra cost. Make sure to break up the goat cheese into small crumbles.
Sometime soon the bacon should be done. Drain the bacon and crumble onto the salad.
I like to make my own dressing because it is easy, cheap and I don't have to worry about discovering a two year old expired bottle of suspect dressing in the back of the fridge. Squirt about a teaspoon of honey into a small bowl. Microwave the honey for 10 seconds so it is easier to work with. Add about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a 1/2 teaspoon of mustard. Don't use yellow mustard. Use something that has identifiable mustard seeds in it. Wisk the dressing together with a fork, pour over the salad and mix everything together.
Enjoy. If you want this meal to feel even more like your own private gourmet feast make sure to have a delectable dessert waiting in the wings. I like a nice flourless chocolate cake. I believe the recipe I use came from

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