Leaf salads don't have to be boring!

06/22/2012 2:27 PM

06/22/2012 2:44 PM

Spinach Salad with Charred Corn & Avocado Vinaigrette

News flashleaf salads are only boring if they are made that way.

The poor, poor, pitiful salad - it never gets any respect or any of the culinary spotlight.

Mostly recognized as a side item, filler or something to eat so we feel healthy. It is time to stand up for leaf salads and make them more than an afterthought.

Prepare a salad that is exciting and vibrate, full of flavor and color, loaded with good things that taste great.

Accent with a dressing (something other than ranch or blue cheese) to elevate it into something it deserves to bea stand alone “star!”

Salad:

Serves 4 as an Entrée or 6 as a Side Item

1 pound baby spinach
3 each, roma tomatoes, deseed & small diced
1/2 each, red onions, thin slices into half moons
8 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 pound bacon, sliced into strips, cooked and drained
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 pound asparagus, oiled, seasoned, grilled and left at room temperature

Dressing:

1 each, avocado, half, remove seed, scoop out flesh
1 clove fresh garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons cilantro, leaves only
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of lemon
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup, canola oil
2 cobs corn, parboiled, oiled, seasoned, grilled, slightly charring, removed from cob
Place all of the ingredients except the corn in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add half of the charred corn and pulse just to combine. Corn should still be visible.

Assemble:

Assemble salad in this order, either on separate plates or family style on one platter: spinach, tomato, onion, gorgonzola cheese, bacon, sunflower seeds and grilled asparagus, and top with remaining corn.

Serve the charred corn avocado vinaigrette on the side.

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