10/21/10

Organic Herb Salad with Black Eyed Peas, Grapes, and Spanish Marcona Almonds

Organic Herb Salad with Black Eyed Peas, Grapes, and Spanish Marcona Almonds

Never underestimate the value of a good salad. There have been many times when I've gone out to eat at a restaurant and I didn't want to order a salad as my main course because I thought I'd be missing out on something - some really great fish, or pasta, or who knows what. But then when I actually do order it, I'm never disappointed.

Such was the case last weekend when we went to Gulfstream Restaurant. They make a really, really great salad. Actually, more than one. And they make really, really great other stuff, too. I really, really like Gulfstream's. I could do a whole post just about them but I'll let you check them out if you're ever near one. They're from the same family of awesome Hillstone Restaurants as Houston's, R+D, and Bandera's. One more thing - they make really, really great cocktails. They fresh squeeze their juices on site and what a difference that makes.

And, no, I'm not getting paid or compensated in any way to say that. These are some of our favorite haunts simply because they have great food, great drinks and a great atmosphere. And I'm kinda selective about my food and drinks. Okay, and atmosphere.

Back to the salad...
Organic Herb Salad with Black Eyed Peas, Grapes, and Spanish Marcona Almonds

This isn't the salad I got at Gulfstream's, rather it's one I made based on their inspiration. Salads are so great because you can make them any way you want, use any greens you want, include as many or as few simple or exotic ingredients as you want, and toss in whatever dressing you want. Love that about salads.

This is pretty much what I put in mine, minus the rotisserie chicken because I ate that while I was making the salad...

I bought the organic herb mix from Bristol Farms. They have the best selection of organic produce around, btw. The others mostly came from the farmer's market, including the purple bell pepper (which I couldn't believe I finally found around here!). The black eyed peas (also known as cowpeas) were fresh so I just boiled them for about 8 minutes in salted water to soften them a bit more, then let them cool.

The beautiful greens rinsed and ready...

A few cutting tips:

Chopped and ready:

In the bowl all together, and then with a very simple dressing:

Dressing:
How did I make the very simple dressing you ask? I just took a heaping spoonful of mayonnaise (about 2-3 Tablespoons), added about 1 Tablespoon of citrus champagne vinegar (I used my favorite O Olive Oil Co. vinegar, but any champagne or white wine vinegar will work) and some fresh cracked pepper, then whisked together. Adjust according to your taste.

This made enough dressing to coat the whole container of greens (enough for 4 people) even though I only used half the container this time. My bad - I ended up with too much dressing, but it was still good!


10 comments:

  1. OMG this looks AMAZING and the pictures are beautiful..wow...so beautiful. I will absolutely make this salad.

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  2. Great photos. You are right, never underestimate a salad. Your salad is thoughtful, beautiful and I bet, tasty.

    Plan B

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  3. Thank you Chef Bee - what a nice compliment!

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  4. I might get my Native Texan card revoked, but I don't eat blackeyed peas...not unless you count swallowing a few like pills for luck on New Year's Day :lol:! What other beans do you think would be a good sub? There are so many really interesting flavors going on here! I love nothing more than a good salad with a good mix of flavors and textures!

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  5. Oh Wendy you are surely in danger of having your card revoked! I make a huge pot of black eyed peas with jalapenos and salt pork for New Years Day, then eat it with cornbread...YUM!

    For this salad you could use butter beans or any kind of white beans. That's what they used at Gulfstreams. They also used shredded savoy/napa cabbage which I almost did, too, but the edible flowers and other interesting greens in this mix were just calling my name!

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  6. This is absolutely fabulous! And thanks for sharing some awesome techniques! This is why I love your blog. Down with boring salads!!! This is packed with luscious flavor and color. Fantastic display.

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  7. Aw, thank you so much CSE! You are so kind! I love your blog, too :-)

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  8. This sounds awesome! Such a great combo I would have never thought of! Great pics!

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  9. I tried this for a picnic this past summer and it was very good. Easy to make, packed with flavor and good for you too! It kicked our buffet up a notch!

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