By Jennifer Farley
Good salads are all about creating a balance of flavors, textures, colors and a bit of fat to enhance the lighter ingredients. My favorite salads take advantage of all four tastes: sweet, bitter, sour and salty. I love using fruits, candied nuts or balsamic vinegar for sweetness. Arugula or radishes are a great source of bitterness. Lemon juice or vinegar are examples of ways to add that sour note. Use a good salty cheese such as Roquefort or feta (or a crunchy, coarse salt). Toss everything with a properly balanced vinaigrette. For texture, add some nuts or crunchy vegetables. Fat comes in many wonderful forms such as cheese, a good-quality olive oil, or avocados. This recipe creates a perfect balance. Roasting grapes enhances their sweetness and brings the juices front and center. Baby kale softens the bitterness of the arugula, but feel free to substitute your favorite green (baby spinach would work well).
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the salad:
- 8 ounces (approximately 1½ cups) red seedless grapes, rinsed and dried
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 2 cups baby kale
- ½ cup toasted slivered almonds
- ½ cup Roquefort cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
To prepare the vinaigrette, place the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to emulsify. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, toss the grapes with the olive oil and then spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and roast for approximately 15 minutes, or until tender and juicy. Allow to cool.
Place the arugula and kale in a large bowl. Shake the vinaigrette to re-emulsify in case separation has occurred, then drizzle approximately ⅓–½ over the greens. Use tongs to combine and add more vinaigrette if desired. Divide the greens onto 4 plates and top with the slivered almonds, Roquefort cheese and roasted grapes.
The Gourmet Kitchen will be released by Simon & Schuster on October 25, 2016. The book is a compilation of over 100 recipes covering breakfast through dessert, showcasing Jennifer Farley’s favorites. Some have been in her family for generations, like her grandmother’s crab cakes. Farley finds inspiration everywhere, from culinary school to her travels around the world. Most of the recipes evolved through experimenting with the techniques she learned while training at L’Academie de Cuisine. The recipes are geared toward casual dinner parties, a leisurely weekend meal or a romantic dinner for two. They are everyday gourmet recipes for the home cook.