Thursday, January 8, 2009

Salad Time!

As I've mentioned in a few of my posts I'm on the South Beach Diet right now. Phase 1 is a killer! This salad is not Phase 1 friendly (because of the Pomegranate) but it's something I made a few weeks ago that I just haven't had time to post until now. It's so ridiculously easy and so tasty, I can't wait until next weekend when I can make it again.

The key to this salad is the dressing. It's a Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette but made with ingredients I bought at Taste the 4th Sense on the Danforth in Toronto. The Blueberry Balsamic is actually one of their Zests. Click here on their site to get a full explanation of what a Zest is. My short version is: it's a vinegar that is mixed with herbs and seasonings so all you need to make a dressing is 2 parts oil to every 1 part zest. It couldn't be easier!

More on Taste, it's this fabulous store here in Toronto that specializes in mostly local-made products. My favorites are the oils, vinegars and zests, but they also have an amazing collection of hot sauces, mustards and fun condiments. Whenever we go in there is always something new and they encourage tasting of EVERYTHING, another high point for me! A really cool thing for those of you not in the Toronto area is that you can order online and they ship internationally. I highly recommend the products featured in this recipe and a recent purchase of ours, the Garlic Grapeseed Oil is amazing on a Caprese salad. A fave of the boy's and my father's is the Scorned Woman Mustard, you have to email them to order it but it's worth it. Enough gushing about this place that doesn't even know I exist or am writing about them! Onto the recipe:

Chicken & Pomegranate Salad with a Blueberry Vinaigrette
(note most measurements are approximate)
serves 1 as an entree or 2 as a side

2 handfuls of mixed field greens
1/2 cup of shredded chicken (I used a roasted chicken I bought at the grocery store you can also just oven roast 1 boneless skinless chicken breast on 375F for 20-30 minutes with salt, pepper & olive oil)
6 grape tomatoes - halved
1 Tbsps pomegranate seeds (for an easy way to procure those pesky pomegranate seeds check out this post over at Steamy Kitchen)
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts

1 Tbsp Blueberry Balsamic Zest (click here to order)
2 Tbsp Citrus Grapeseed oil (click here to order)

1. In a small bowl add the Balsamic Zest. Evenly pour in the oil as you constantly whisk the mixture to combine.
2. In a salad bowl toss the greens, tomatoes, chicken and walnuts with the dressing. Place salad on a serving plate or in a bowl and top with the pomegranate seed and walnuts.

Now if you don't want to wait to ship the specific oil and vinegar I used and aren't anywhere near Toronto, I do think this salad can be just as good with a straight Balsamic Vinegar and oil. I would just add some garlic, pepper and lemon juice, and anything else that strike your fancy. I've also seen different fruit flavored vinegars at my local grocery store but have never tried them. Or is you are feeling really ambitious you can try this recipe to make your own Blueberry Balsamic or this one to make your own Citrus Oil. I've never tried either recipe but hope to sometime soon. Enjoy!

No comments: