A Bright February Salad

February is almost over, isn’t that nuts? The year is well underway and it still seems to me like New Year’s Eve wasn’t that long ago. This month has been weird for me in terms of blogging. February has been a month of falling back on standards, making things that I make often, things that I’ve made and posted about here before. I don’t know what it is, settling into the house or it being so freezing cold without relenting for so long, but the comforting favorites are the foods that have been coming up on the menu lately. Now that there is no more renovating, not so much unpacking and lots of time to cook and blog, most of the things I’m cooking are things that have already made their appearance here, or I don’t plan on posting them up.

I’m working on it. New and exciting things are going on in my funky kitchen (including a new amazing stove, who will make an appearance soon) and they’ll make their way on to here soon.

This is an awesome salad that made its way onto the table when we had some people over for dinner. It was so simple and super tasty, but my favorite part was the vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette, you say? Haven’t you talked about vinaigrette before, Dana?

I have. But seriously, this one was good. And they’re so easy to make on your own. Here’s the handy dandy guide: Three parts oil, two parts vinegar, 1/2 a part of mustard (to help emulsify), and the add ins that fit your fancy. Put it in your jar and shake it up. Easy, right?  For my salad, which was made to serve 6 with a meal, my proportion measure was 1 1/2 Tbsp. Therefore 1 part = 1 1/2 Tbsp, 2 parts = 3 Tbsp, 1/2 a part = 3/4 Tbsp and so on.

Tangy Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3 parts olive oil

2 parts red wine vinegar

2 parts pomegranate molasses

1/2 part honey

1/2 part dijon mustard

salt and fresh cracked pepper

Directions

  • Take all of your ingredients and add them to a clean jar.
  • Pop the lid onto the jar and give it a shake. (Vinaigrette dance party V2.0!)
  • Dress your salad just before serving.

If you have any leftover vinaigrette, store it in the fridge, in the jar with the lid on, for up to a week. The acidic brightness from the red wine vinegar and the pomegranate molasses played against the creaminess of chevre in this salad:

Salad with Cranberry and Chevre

Ingredients

2 heads of romaine lettuce

4 oz chevre

3/4 Cup dried cranberries

tangy pomegranate vinaigrette (recipe above)

Directions

  • Wash the lettuce leaves, spin dry, and tear (don’t cut) into bite sized pieces.
  • Add the lettuce leaves and dried cranberries into the intended salad bowl.
  • Pinch off little bits of the chevre with clean fingers onto the salad. Once you’re about 2/3 of the way through the chevre, toss the salad so that it distributes through, and then add the rest of the cheese the same way on top. Refrain from tossing it too much more, or the little clumps of chevre will stick together.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette before serving.

I think the salad could have really done with some additional crunch, potentially from some walnuts or pecans. I used a crunchy romaine to lend that texture, because we’re a mostly nut-free house due to allergies, but if you’re going to give this salad a spin, you may want to contemplate the idea of adding nuts. Mister is a sucker for anything creamy, and so he rated the salad (vinaigrette included): 10/10!

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