We headed out this past weekend for a RV trip and were in charge of Friday night’s dinner. My husband is an expert on the whole “Man vs Wild” camp cooking where he digs a hole in the dirt, starts a fire, and sets up this 3 pronged contraption with something that looks like a cookie cooling rack on which we grill our steaks. Move over Ruth Chris, your butter-soaked filet ain’t got nothing on Hubs dirt and charcoal infused rib-eye.
I however, am far more of an RV-luxury camper. Outside of a 4-star spa mud wrap, dirt holds no appeal for me. Skip the sleeping bags and pass me the 800-thread count sheets, thank you. So when I do camp and have to “camp-cook”, I prefer to have things washed, chopped, roasted (at home) carefully tucked away in ziplocs for last minute and easy prep. I wanted to make a salad but wanted something unique. I also didn’t want it filled with bugs and dirt.
I lucked out when I received Ruby Red Chard. Lucky because I also got beets and believe it or not these two items are from the same family. Chard is kind of a two-fer veggie. This increases it’s versatility but also adds to most people’s confusion. Rarely do you find recipes using both the leaf and stem of chard together. For leafy chard recipes refer back to my series on Winter Greens in January. This month I’m going to do my best to use the Chard stems that are left over. I already like roasted beets and am certain the red chard stems would work this way as well.
I decide on feta as a cheese accompanyment and all I need is a dressing. In my CSA basket are two pomelos and perfect to use in a dressing. My husband reminds me that our bottle of Patron tequila was getting a “little low” and maybe I should “discover” a new use for Pomelos besides my Pomelo Margarita (see January for addictive recipe).
So this is the salad I came up with. It feeds 10 and was well-received around our hole-in-the-dirt campfire.
Winter Salad with Roasted Ruby Chard Stems and Pomelo Vinaigrette
1 bag mixed greens (about 6 oz)
1 head butter lettuce
1 head red leaf lettuce
8 oz crumbled feta
6 oz ruby red chard stems
8 oz beets
the juice from 2 pomelos
the juice from 2 lemons
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Dijon
salt and pepper to taste
Measure the juices from the pomelo and lemons if they do not equal 1/2 cup continue to add more juice, if you are out of either item add a little white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar to equal 1/2 c. Combine all ingredients for vinaigrette, and set aside. Will easily keep 1 week in fridge.
Peel and chop beets. Chop chard stems into 1-in pieces. Place on a rimmed cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. In the meantime, wash and dry all lettuce and tear into similar sized pieces. Combine all items in a large salad bowl and toss with dressing.