Salad lovers, take heart. While summer salads are all crunchy and refreshing, winter salads can be warm and luxurious. Salads in winter take on a different persona than their summer cousins. Winter salads have a responsibility to deliver the refreshing experience of a salad but with richer and deeper flavors and textures. Preparation is simple and so is clean up - charming attributes in any season.
Warm salads can provide a base for a variety of roasted root vegetables, winter squash, mushrooms, seasonal fruit, nuts and seeds, grains and legumes, crispy bacon or pancetta, grilled salmon, poached eggs and cheese. This list will hopefully inspire you, but don’t be limited by it. Escarole has a sturdy texture and slightly bitter flavor lends itself to a warm salad. Radicchio and arugula are also strong flavored hearty greens that work well tossed with a warm vinaigrette. I have put together a recipe for a warm salad that can be enjoyed any time but I especially love it for breakfast or brunch. It’s eggs and bacon - but still a salad.
Something to remember when you are making a vinaigrette for a salad with this much personality is to use quality oil and vinegar that enhance the salad components and don’t get lost. The rich and peppery McEvoy Extra Virgin Olive Oil balances and complements the salad with a little touch of Wildflower Honey to round it out and pull everything together.
Place all ingredients but the olive oil in a jar and shake. When everything is well mixed, add olive oil and shake again until emulsified.
Preheat oven to 350 F
Cut fingerling potatoes in half, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Place in roasting pan or a saute pan with an oven-proof handle and roast until tender and browned.
Remove from oven and keep warm. Place greens and potatoes in a stainless bowl.
Place bowl over a low flame or over a simmering pot of water.
Drizzle half of the vinaigrette onto the salad greens. (The vinaigrette recipe is sufficient for double the salad recipe.)
Using tongs, toss greens with vinaigrette until they are slightly wilted.
Place on a warmed plate, top with crumbled bacon, poached egg and bread crumbs.