Not a boring salad, but a fun, wholesome and delicious salad. We aren’t huge dinner salad people. Yes, we do have our bowl of greens with dinner every night, but we don’t often just eat only that. I have this recipe for a pine nut crusted goat cheese that was adapted from this cookbook I have from Wyoming. It’s a great cookbook, full of delicious, western-style foods. I’ve made this goat cheese recipe before. Perhaps you remember it? Perhaps you don’t. It was a long time ago =). I thought that this goat cheese would be great on a bed of greens, yet adapted slightly from my original recipe. So we went with it: tossing it with some marinated flank steak, cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and a delicious salad dressing to top it off.
I hate them.
You can eat healthy, and not have to diet.
Did I mention that I hate them?
Well I do. So, I’m going to pretend this is a healthy meal and not a “diet” meal.
I do however find it important to eat a balanced and nutritious “diet.” Ugh! I just can not escape that word can I? Well you get the point right? It’s very easy to make sure you get all of your essential vitamins, your proteins and your fiber…I’m sure I’m missing a ton more. I also find it important to eat fresh, local and all-natural whenever you can. I understand this to be hard, but when it comes to your fruits and veggies, you can’t go wrong with this idea…unless of course it’s the dead of winter in southern NJ and you really are just craving a big juicy tomato. Then you may have to rely on a different part of the country. This is understandable. Hey, don’t beat yourself up about it! Sometimes we just crave tomatoes.
Zach and I will never be the type of people that could completely give up the things that we love. Carbohydrates are one of those things. I understand people not wanting to eat anything with gluten, and I also understand that some people have an allergy to the stuff…SOME, but breads and pastas are just one of those things that you would need a 100,000 men army to pull me away from. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Everything is great in moderation. Right? At least that’s what we tell ourselves so that we will never have to give up breads and pastas. This recipe was very difficult to make gluten free. It was like taking a dagger to my poor little heart, but it was done and quite delicious I might add!
When we were in Austin, Zach and I stopped at a shop that infused their own olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Of course we had to stop, since olive oil and balsamic vinegar are in my list of top ten obsessions. Together, not separate. Have to save the other 9 spots for greater obsessions. Like cheese…The lady working that day, whipped up a “cocktail” for us with a mixture of their basil-infused olive oil and their peach-infused balsamic vinegar. Oh my, I think I had died and went to heaven. The combination didn’t make any sense, but worked so well! We were sold and bought a bottle of each. I truly think that in a former life I had a vineyard and olive trees. I swear. This can only begin to explain my obsession. We used this combination on our salad last night, so if you can find something similar to this, I would for sure try it. Whole foods has a variety of different balsamic(s) and olive oils. There’s a very good chance they have something similar. I’m sure any specialty kitchen store would have them too. If not, stick with some EVOO and a couple of drops of your traditional balsamic vinegar (aged 25 years at least of course…am I right, or am I right?).
* Please Note * There is also some inactive time in this recipe. You have to let the steak marinate. DUH! I’d say at least an hour for marinating. We marinated for for about 5 hours, but we tend to overdo things. This probably isn’t necessary. You be the judge =) Just make sure it’s at least an hour.
We decided to go with a nut brown ale for the pairing for this dish. Santa Fe Brewing has a great nut brown ale. What makes this such a great pairing is how well the beer goes with the addition of pine nuts to the dish. It adds a whole new element of flavor. Even though an ale, this brew is robust and nutty: the perfect pairing for this wholesome, hearty salad.
Don’t be annoyed with having to eat a salad. You can add some amazing flavors. Just remember to keep it local, fresh and delicious =)…when you can…
Hardware: * Cutting Board * Sharp Knife * Bowls * Whisk * Tongs * Food Processor * Blender * Zip-loc Bag * Plates * Baking Sheet * Plastic Wrap * Saute Pan * Grill or Grill Pan *