Warm Local Winter Salad
Let's just start by saying that this salad ultimately rocked my world!!! I was given a fabulous little trio of local jams by a dear friend, and I simply thought that it would be shameful if they were used just for toast. So I concocted this little recipe based on Amour Spread's Savory Heirloom Tomato Jam.
Let me tell you just a bit about this company. It was started by accident, as most great things are. The woman who owns it is here in Utah, and she makes marvelous jams. I admit...I did do a little homemade bread toasting to see where I stood on her jams, and THEY ARE AWESOME! This woman is a jam goddess, to put it simply. Her fruit has great texture and firmness, it is not mushy and the sugar does not overpower the fruit as is the case with so many other jams. The jam is made from all local fruit, so it supports local farmers and local business, which I love, and she has some very interesting flavors and combinations. Her products are sold throughout the valley, I know that it is at Traces (one of my favorite gardening holes) in SLC. You could just google Amour Spreads, and see what your options are for tasting and buying. It's really worth trying!
***UPDATE - apparently, I made a faux pas - there is not just a jam goddess...there is also a JAM GOD!!! Many apologies to him for having overlooked the manly half of the jam making team. I am told that he is a very active participant in the jam making and that he is a champion fiddle player as well. How could I have possibly overlooked him??? My apologies...again!***
I used the Savory Heirloom Tomato jam as the basis for the glaze that tops this lovely little winter salad. In a small pan, I mixed the jam with some Slide Ridge Honey Vinegar (another little local product that I love), and behold, a glaze was born!!! The glaze is a sweet and sour kind of flavor, with the tomatoes adding a very distinct summery taste. I poached local (ha...our own) organic eggs to put under the glaze, and sautéed mushrooms and thinly sliced local garlic in olive oil spiked with red pepper flakes to put under the eggs. If you don't know how to poach an egg, you could fry one (over easy, of course) or you can check out Smitten Kitchen's Tutorial. The thing about the poached egg is that it is so delicate. When you cut into it, the egg oozes out and creates this creamy sauce over your whole salad. I know some of you aren't on board with the whole runny egg thing - so you could poach it until it is firm and still have a great salad.
The whole top of the salad has these sweet, sour, salty and hot elements. It is heaven for taste buds! Topped with a few kalamata olive slices and some capers, and my taste buds are thanking me before I have already had a bite. The rest of the salad is just a bit of fluff and structure, but there really is nothing bad about fluff and structure if you ask me...
1/2 head green leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into salad sized pieces
1/4 orange bell pepper, sliced very thin, longwise
2 green onions, thinly sliced *reserve a small amount for the top of the salad*
8 kalamata olives, thinly sliced *reserve 6 slices for the top of the salad*
8 grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp capers
About 10 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
dash of red pepper flakes **more or less depending on how much heat you like**
2 local eggs, poached (Smitten Kitchen's Link Here)
salt and pepper
2 tbsp Amour Spread's Savory Heirloom Tomato Jam
1 tbsp Slide Ridge Honey Vinegar
Construct the salad: On two plates, arrange the lettuce, slices of pepper, green onion (reserve a small amount for the top of the salad), kalamata olives (reserve 6 slices for the top of the salad), and grape tomatoes.
Sauté the mushrooms: In a small pan, heat the oil, add the hot pepper flakes. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and let it cook for about 30 seconds, add the mushrooms and stir to coat with oil, then allow to cook without stirring until mushrooms are browned. Stir and cook for a few more minutes until mushrooms are browned on both sides. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat and place half of the mixture on each salad.
Poach eggs, place on top of mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining onions, olives and capers.
Make the glaze: In a small pan, combine the jam and the vinegar. Turn to medium heat and stir until mixture is warm and edges start to bubble. Remove from heat, top each egg with half of the glaze.
And there you have it! A fantastic winter salad made from local ingredients that will make your taste buds go wild!!!
Hope you enjoy it!