Most of the time I crave comfort foods during this frozen insanity but I also feel the need for something healthy, something sunny tasting to remind me of warmer times ahead. I definitely hate picking over winter produce to try and pretend the veggies are something they're not, but this salad makes good use of all that is available, and tasty, right now.
The roasted cherry tomatoes are a key component of this salad so don't just toss them in there unroasted. I like to assemble the salad ahead and then when the tomatoes are ready, add them straight from the oven so that they are warm and soft. Save the remaining tomatoes for a baguette sandwich with some mozzarella and balsamic or throw them into some pasta. Delicious.
For 2 Main Course Salads:
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cups Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 4 quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1/2 cup garbanzo beans
- 1/3 cup chopped cucumber
- 8 pitted Kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat pita chips
- Red Wine Vinaigrette*
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. On a baking sheet, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, a grinding of black pepper, and a sprinkling of sugar. Shake the pan to coat them and place in the oven for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce, artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, cucumber, olives, and feta, tossing to combine. When the tomatoes are done, take them out of the oven and add them to taste to the salad. Add a tablespoon or so of the vinaigrette, lightly toss the salad again and then crumble the pita chips over the top. Serve at once.
*To make the red wine vinaigrette, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and a pinch of dried oregano. Store the remaining vinaigrette in the refrigerator.