Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bobby Flay's Heartland Chopped Salad

I'm renaming this salad.  I initially saw this on the Thanksgiving special that Ina and Bobby did together this year.  Loved it.  I love all things Ina and Bobby!  It seemed like a perfect addition to all of the heaviness that was to be our traditional Thanksgiving dinner....turkey, mashed potatoes, my Grandmother's homemade noodles, sausage get the idea.  So I made it.  And then I made it again for Christmas dinner and twice since then!  Yeah.  It's fucking delicious.  

So, I'm renaming it "the salad that made me want to blog about food again".    Which recently has not been the case.  But this was so good, I need to to tell y'all about it.

It started with the dressing.  I LOVE what pomegranate molasses brings to a salad dressing.  That all-up-in-your-business tartness when balanced with a little sweet honey and pungent mustard is perfection.  It's my go-to dressing and it's especially delicious here.

This baby hits on all of your culinary senses.....crunchiness of the sturdy lettuces, pears and walnuts, the soft rice that generously soaks up that dressing, bitter kale, sweet plumped up cranberries.  YUM!

And it's so versatile.  Bobby calls for cooking wild rice for and hour and a half, but if you don't have that kind of time, it's fine.  I've made this with quicker cooking varieties of rice and quinoa also works.  Like I said, I served this as a side for the Holidays, but since I've made it as the main dish either on its own for a meatless Monday or it goes great with a nice Tuna steak or even a ribeye!

Just make it!

Here's the recipe:
Heartland Chopped Salad
Bobby Flay

1/3 cup dried cranberries 
1 bunch dinosaur kale (lacinato kale), ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped 
4 ounces baby spinach, chopped 
1 ripe Asian pear, cored, halved and chopped 
1 1/2 cups Overcooked Wild Rice, recipe follows 
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped 
Pomegranate Molasses Dressing, recipe follows 

Overcooked Wild Rice: 
1 1/2 cups wild rice 
Kosher salt 

Pomegranate Molasses Dressing: 
1/4 cup white wine vinegar 
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses 
1 tablespoon clover honey 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1/4 cup olive oil 

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan, add the dried cranberries and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain off excess water. Combine the kale, spinach, pear, Overcooked Wild Rice, walnuts and rehydrated cranberries in large bowl. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the Pomegranate Molasses Dressing over and gently toss until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with more dressing when ready to serve. 

Overcooked Wild Rice: Combine the rice, 6 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the grains open all the way, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. The rice should be very cooked (not even the slightest chewy). Drain well, spread on a baking sheet in an even layer and set aside. Allow to cool to room temperature. Yield: 3 cups 

Pomegranate Molasses Dressing: Whisk together the vinegar, pomegranate molasses, honey, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until combined. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 2 days. Yield: 1/2 cup

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