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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winter Grain Salad


The word salad usually evokes thoughts of summer with tender leaves of lettuce, vine ripened tomatoes, and if you are lucky, fresh fruit like berries or nectarines.  It's almost December, however and the veggies in my bin are more along the squash and root line.  The berries in my house are either frozen (too mushy for a salad) or dried.  Is it possible to put together a salad with things like this?  You bet, especially if you throw in a couple of grains, too, like barley and wheat.

When I was challenged to create a recipe using an O Olive Oil and Vinegar combination, I wasn't sure where my imagination would lead me.  I also did not know which flavor combination I would be receiving.  O has nine natural box combinations like lime and ginger, lemon and pinot,  and blood orange and port.  I was thrilled to see that I was sent Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and White Balsamic Vinegar.  What a wonderful combination with so many possibilities!

I immediately opened both bottles and tried some.  I could imagine roasted butternut, dried cherries, feta cheese with the gentle tartness of the balsamic and the lovely overtones of the garlic oil.  Then I started determining the main part of the salad.  Lettuce?  No. Potatoes? No. Pasta?  Maybe, maybe not. Grains.  Oh yeah, definitely grains.

This was an amazing salad.  Not only did it taste wonderful, but it was pretty, too, with all of the colors.  The O Roasted Garlic Oil and White Balsamic Vinegar were the perfect combination for the dressing. 

Winter Grain Salad
1 1/2 cups cooked barley (1/2 cup uncooked)
1 1/2 cups cooked wheat berries (1/2 cup uncooked)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
1 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup cashews, divided
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 Tbsp O White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp O Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
Place butternut squash in a shallow pan and drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Test for doneness with a fork.  If done, remove from oven and let cool.  Meanwhile, saute onion and celery with thyme in small skillet until soft.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Crush 1/3 cup of the cashews. Toss the cooked barley, wheat, onion, celery, crushed nuts, squash, cherries and white pepper with the vinegar and olive oil.  Sprinkle with feta cheese and remaining cashews.  Serve warm or cold.

Remember I told you that this was an interactive contest?  That means that I need your help.  A whole entire one-third of the votes are determined by how many people put the contending recipes into their erecipecards.com recipe boxes.  Have you joined that site?  Remember you don't have to have a blog to sign up.  Do you have a recipe box that needs filling?  I am totally volunteering to help you out there.  Just go over to my page of recipes and click on the photo of this salad.  It will jump right into your recipe box.

31 comments:

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Absolutely love it! Looks amazing...adding the grains was brilliant. And I love dried cherries...I am soooooo making this next week!!!

Rhonda said...

Sounds really great...those oils and vinegar look great, might need to get me some of those.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Is it really almost December? Goodness, it is!! What a lovely salad!

Christine's Pantry said...

Lovely salad.

Anne@frommysweetheart said...

Kristen...I love winter salads. They are usually so much more hearty and substantial than summer salads. I have often used things like beans or pasta. But grains are a great choice, especially paired with squash and cherries. (Always LOVE the sweet and savory!) And I love balsamic vinegar...but have never tried white. You've got me curious! Your salad is such a great creation! : )

Drick said...

something about cooking with grains in the winter I like a lot so it makes good sense to use them in a perfect salad like this, great Kristen... and sounds really great with the O

Cathy W said...

What a great looking salad...this is something my husband would really like! I'm bookmarking this one. :)

Tiffanee said...

Yum! This sounds different and so delicious! I need to try it out on my family!

Prathima Rao said...

Comforting & healthy salad ;)
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Bam's Kitchen said...

This salad has lots of textures and flavors going on and I love it. Very hearty and healthy. I am so happy to have found your website and I am following you now. If you happen to get a chance feel free stop by mine at http://bamskitchen.com/ Take Care

Katerina said...

I eat salads throughout the year and each season has beautiful things to offer to fill a salad bowl. This one looks very healthy and delicious Kristen!

mywanderingspoon said...

Fantastic, love the barley and everything that is in this salad, great healthy lunch:)
https://mywanderingspoon.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/postcard-from-san-francisco/

Maggie said...

This looks absolutely delicious! I love warm grain salads in the winter, they are so hearty and delicious! Thank you for sharing.

Magic of Spice said...

This looks fantastic and I think I have everything here :) I adore fall and winter salads and since I do not eat meat...the more hearty the
better :)

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

I love how light this salad is, yet its packed with fall/winter ingredients! It looks delicious!

Kimby said...

It was fun watching how you followed the flavors to the final result. Good ingredients in the hands of a good cook = good food!

Joanne said...

I love grain salads year round...I just change up the ingredients depending on the season. This looks delicious!

Monet said...

What a fabulous whole grain salad. Full of health and flavor. This salad looks too good not to try, my friend. I hope you have a wonderful day and a restful weekend. Love from Austin.

Sandi said...

Oh, all the healthiness you created w/this & great flavor too!

Katherine Martinelli said...

I love winter salads and this sounds delicious! Gotta get some of that garlic oil!

danasfoodforthought said...

This definitely sounds like a winner to me! I love what you came up with for this contest :)

vianney said...

i love winter salad with grains, we are at the peak of citrus season here in south texas so I would love to add grapefruit sections with the roasted oil. yummy!!

Rae said...

I used to eat Rice Krispies for dinner in College, now I use them as an ingredient. ricekrispiesholiday.ca/
http://ricekrispiesholiday.ca/whoami

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

this is really lovely - right up my alley - can't wait to eat a bowl:)
Mary x

Sue said...

This sounds like my kind of salad~ one you can really sink your teeth into:) Sounds unique, and I'll have to try it.

wok with ray said...

This salad is pack with goodies, Kristen. My favorite is the roasted garlic olive oil and feta cheese, yumm!

Kim Bee said...

Okay I have to make this. I have to omit the feta but the rest is coming to visit Lunatic Land. Yum yum!

Penny said...

This is a great recipe. Glad to be in this contest with you.

Amy said...

This is such a unique recipe. I love the flavor and texture combination of your dish. So glad to get to know your blog through the O Olive Oil contest.

Christine knapkins_com said...

Hey Foodies, this Winter Salad is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win?
www.knapkins.com/guess_games/996?source=blog

Show your foodie love and vote here
www.knapkins.com/duel?dish=15023

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Just pinned this on Pinterest!

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