Cold Weather Salads

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Hearty winter salads are the antidote to staving off the mid-winter doldrums.

Combining warm protein and vegetables with crunchy salad greens adds contrasting textures and flavors to create a scrumptious salad that’s substantial and nourishing. Try one for your next luncheon or casual evening supper with friends. Complete the meal with crusty multi-grain bread and a glass of sauvignon blanc or pinot noir.

Bon appétit!

Lump Crab Meat, Avocado, Corn, Cilantro, And Greens, With Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette(Serves 4)6 cups assorted mixed salad greens, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 ears of corn on the cob, roasted and kernels cut off

2 firm ripe Haas avocado, sliced

1 to 1¼ pound jumbo lump crab meat

1½ cups multicolored corn tortilla strips

1/2 cup fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar, or more to taste

1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tasteTo prepare:Divide salad greens among 4 salad bowls or large plates.

Scatter onion, corn and avocado attractively over the greens.

Arrange crab meat on top and scatter tortilla strips, cilantro and parsley leaves over the entire salad.

In a blender, add lime juice, vinegar, sour cream and herb leaves and blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper and more lime juice if needed.

Transfer the dressing to a small pitcher and pass at the table. Grilled Filet Of Beef, Warm Kale, Cremini Mushrooms And Cherry Tomatoes On A Bed Of Romaine(Serves 4)2 6-ounce filet mignon steaks

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

6 cup chopped kale, washed

2 pinches red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons red wine or chicken stock

8 Cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced

8 to 10 romaine leaves, cut into chiffonade

20 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

For the dressing:

2 shallots, peeled and halved

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, aged in oak

2 tablespoons grainy mustard

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley leaves, choppedTo prepare:Working in a food processor or mini chop, add shallots, vinegar, mustard and pepper and pulse to mix.

With the machine running, slowly add oil through the feeding tube until the mixture forms an emulsion.

Add parsley, then taste and adjust the seasonings and set aside.

Season steak with pepper and grill or sear in very hot skillet until medium-rare or done to your personal preference.

Let rest while making the remainder of the salad.

Cut into thin slices.

Coat the bottom of a non-stick skillet with oil and cook over moderate heat.

Add garlic and sauté until it is aromatic and light brown, then remove with slotted spoon and set aside.

Add kale and sauté.

Add seasonings and cook until the kale is wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Add wine or stock and continue to cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning and set aside.

To assemble the salad, scatter romaine on a large platter, then mound warm kale in the center of the lettuce.

Arrange mushrooms on and around the kale, then top with sliced steak.

Garnish the platter with tomatoes and drizzle dressing around the edge of platter.Updated Potato And Canadian Bacon Salad(Serves 4)2 tablespoons olive oil

8 slices Canadian bacon

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 large red potatoes, cooked per preference

1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 carrots, shredded

8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, slivered

2 cups torn frisee, washed and spun dry

4 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and spun dry

For the dressing:

6 scallions, trimmed and chopped

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to tasteTo prepare:Whisk shallot, mustard, vinegar and olive oil together in a small bowl until blended.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil.

Add bacon and saute over moderate heat until brown and crisp on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Drain on paper towels and transfer bacon to cutting board and cut into thin strips, then set aside.

Add onion to the skillet and cook over moderate high heat, sautéing for 1 minute.

Add cooked potatoes and more olive oil if necessary.

Sauté only until potatoes are heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Toss with parsley and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the bacon to the pan.

In a large bowl, toss shredded carrots, tomatoes, frisee and spinach together with just enough dressing to coat.

Add warm potato and bacon mixture.

Toss lightly and serve at once.

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