Summer is on its way out the door but my farmers market is still providing me with gorgeous produce for making a killer salad. Everywhere I look people are pumping out apple and pumpkin recipes. I am just not feeling it yet. I am still buying up all the tomatoes and summer squash I see - though the green beans and varieties of potatoes have also been looking awesome.
This salad has been in my pinterest forever. The dressing sounded super weird so I avoided it during my short-lived salad phase of June of and July. But eventually decided it is now or never as I want to make my way through some of my 1,000 or so pinterest saved recipes. The original recipe - in Saveur - is incredibly adaptable. Basically you can throw in here whatever veggies you find at the farmers market that particular week.
It is definitely a main course salad or a serious side dish at a party. I love the combining of raw, cooked and pickled vegetables in this...it is really interesting and gives so much texture. And the multi grain croutons...I mean, it is bread covered in olive oil, garlic and salt and then toasted. Its like a no brainer that they are awesome. Me and Jim fought over them the first time we had this.
That super weird dressing?? Super awesome. What an idiot I was! It is tangy and sweet and incredibly vibrant and holds up nicely to the heavier elements (like the potatoes) in this salad. I made a tray of this salad for a party last month and didn't tell anyone what was in the dressing (even though everyone asked because of the bright color), I just said it is a vinaigrette and you should absolutely try it...not one person didn't like it. When I told them it is a beet vinaigrette and I can't tell you how many were shocked because they hate beets. So the message here is - even if you hate beets try this, don't turn away because of the beets...I promise you it is that good.
And ultimately, this is a salad for all seasons, use what's available at the time and you won't be disappointed.
Farmers Market Salad - adapted from Saveur
For the salad
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1 ⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup plus two tablespoons of olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1 ⁄2 lb. fingerling or small waxy potatoes
- 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 8 slices whole grain bread cut into 1" pieces
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup pickled red cabbage from a jar drained
- ½ cup raw red pepper chopeed
- 1 cup yellow summer squash cut into pieces
- 2 cooked chicken breast - cut into chunks
- 4 hard-boiled peeled, and quartered
- 8 oz. mixed greens
For the vinaigrette
- 1 1 ⁄2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup avocado or neutral oil like vegetate or canola
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 small shallot roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons of fresh herbs - you choose I did basil, parsley and marjoram
- 1 cup pickled beets from a jar drained
- 1 cup raw green beans halved lengthwise
- Heat oven to 400.
- Toss tomatoes, 1⁄4 cup vinegar, the 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, 6-8 minutes. Drain and thinly slice.
- Next heat 1⁄4 cup oil and garlic in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add bread, salt, and pepper and toss together with the bread. Place the coated bread and garlic on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 mins until browned and crisp.
- Heat the remaining 1⁄4 cup oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook until slightly caramelized, 5-7 minutes. Add sliced potatoes, salt, and pepper; cook until potatoes are golden, 10-12 minutes.
For the vinaigrette
- Puree red wine vinegar with beets, mustard, honey, shallot, salt, pepper, and 3 tbsp. water in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in remaining oil; puree until emulsified.
To assemble the salad
- Spread mixed greens on a large platter. Arrange tomatoes, potatoes, croutons, cabbage, summer squash, red pepper, green beans, chicken and eggs in alternating rows over greens. Drizzle about 1⁄4 cup dressing over the top and sprinkle with your herb selection. Serve additional dressing on the side.