Who said salads are for the summer? This one sure’s not. This isn’t your ordinary salad in terms of textures and flavors so you know it’s not going to be plain in temperature either, but dang it is so good. You have warm romaine leaves, baked pear, dried cranberries, and pecan pieces drizzled with a kick *$$ dressing made of tahini, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. You know what they say- “it’s so crazy that it just might work” and boy, does it.
First of all, thank you for all of the kind words that you left on my TOL yesterday, the support is overwhelming and you are amazing. I also had a Y&R reader’s survey at the bottom that I would appreciate you taking a minute to fill out so I can to provide you with the content that you are most interested in, but back to the food.
I’ve never been too keen on the words “warm” and “salad” in the same sentence, but my eyes have officially been opened. My friends/family and I have a favorite restaurant here in Memphis that in some ways is still a hidden gem. We eat at The Farmer at least once a month if not a million times more and now we’ve started an even more dangerous tradition. Two Mondays of every month they have a spot-on food and wine pairing for $35. Yes, they give you 4 glasses of wine with a 3 course meal that pair to perfection… for $35. I’ve paid more for a round of Margaritas and cheese dip.
And then they give you this to take to the wine store across the street for discounted wines. It’s amazing.
Right when we walked into the restaurant, they poured us a generous glass of Pinot Grigio, which I’m usually not a huge fan of, but it was Monday so it was delicious. And when everyone with reservations was accounted for, the owner entertained us with politically incorrect jokes and a wealth of knowledge of the pairing of food and wine.
I would love to tell you each detail of the rest of the dinner, but I’m obviously still caught up on how good the appetizer was- the warm caesar salad. See where I’m going with this? During that magical 30 seconds of me devouring the best salad I’ve ever had, I thought to myself “I can make this and I can make this healthy.”
So I did.
I started by massaging my romaine with a little olive oil and then I baked them in the oven with my pear for a few minutes. While they were cooking, I mixed my dressing, and complied it. Yep, it’s that easy. I wanted to keep it paleo and vegan so it can accommodate everyone, but you could easily throw a protein and some cheese and make a meal out of it.
- 1 bag Romaine Lettuce
- 1 pear, cubed
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat your oven to 350
- Wash and dry your romaine leaves
- Massage olive oil into romaine leaves and lay them down on a cookie sheet with the pear
- Bake for 7 minutes
- While it is baking, mix tahini, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and water into a sealable container and shake until a creamy dressing forms
- Plate two romaine leaves for each salad with ½-1 tablespoon of each topping and a drizzle of the salad dressing
Have you every had a warm salad?- what are your favorite salad toppings?
Do you have a go-to restaurant?
Any week night traditions?