Southern Summer Harvest Salad

 
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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m BIG on eating local, seasonal produce when feasible. On Instagram I’ve just posted a video talking about 3 reasons why I think this is SO important. Click here to check it out!

2 summers ago, I was interning up in the mountains in Boone, NC and made this amazing Summer Vegetable Saute with a bunch of local veggies and some very tasty goat cheese. I thought I’d re-vamp this recipe a little and make it something that can actually act as a meal by itself with adequate carbs, protein, fat, and fiber. Building on the same flavor profile, I swapped carrots for North Carolina sweet potatoes, and beefed it up with extra walnuts, chickpeas, and locally grown collards. It turned out SO well!

 
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Then to seriously dress it up, I made a quick lemon vinaigrette that brought this summer harvest salad’s brightness to a whole new level.

 
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Zucchini and summer squash might be more abundant during the summer months, but collards and sweet potatoes are usually available in the South East year-round. Try out this recipe and if you make any swaps in the colder months, let me know in the comments below!

Southern Summer Harvest Salad

Iron-rich and friggin' tasty.

Makes: ~5 cups

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large summer squash
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute
  • 4 large collard leaves
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 oz goat cheese crumbles
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Instructions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Wash and dice sweet potatoes, zucchini, and summer squash into small, bite-sized pieces. Toss together in a bowl with chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, a dash of salt, a dash of TJs 21 Seasoning Salute, and a dash of pepper until evenly coated with oil and spices. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, setting aside the bowl. Once oven is heated, roast for ~20 minutes, stirring halfway, until potatoes are soft and golden brown.
    2. While sheet pan veggies are roasting, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Wash collard leaves, then roll lengthwise and slice into thin slivers. Toss in the same bowl used for other veggies to coat in remaining oil and spices, then saute in the heated cast iron skillet until tender but not mushy, ~8 minutes.
    3. When sheet pan veggies and collards are done, combine in a large mixing bowl with chopped walnuts and set aside to cool slightly.
    4. In a mason jar, combine lemon juice, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and another dash each of salt, pepper, and 21 Seasoning Salute. Screw on lid to the mason jar and shake until well-emulsified.
    5. Toss veggies and walnuts with lemon vinaigrette. Portion the salad into serving bowls and top each portion with goat cheese crumbles, or serve in your favorite salad dish topped with goat cheese, leaving extra goat cheese for those who want more.
    6. Salad may be enjoyed hot or cold, but do not toss goat cheese into hot salad as it will melt and loose it's concentrated texture/flavor.