Monday, January 7, 2013

Mustard Greens Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Almonds, Grapes and Chicken

For New Year’s, I declared that mustard greens are the new kale. This was a bit of a leap of faith—I hadn’t actually cooked with them yet, but I have been seeing them more and more in recipes. This salad was my introduction to the hearty green with a slightly bitter mustard flavor.

The green comes from a variety of mustard plant. It has ribs that should be removed first if eating the green raw and a curly leaf like a more cooperative version of kale. Some recipes call for “massaging” the leaves to make them easier to eat. Like I’ve done for kale salads, I sliced them into thin strips.

The rest of this dish is inspired by the roasted cauliflower starter we had at The Nomad, which included marcona almonds, grapes, cheddar cheese and shavings of raw cauliflower. I used all those elements but the cheese, along with some sautéed chicken.

I couldn’t find marcona almonds at Giant or Whole Foods, so I used blanched almonds instead, which have their husks removed and thus resemble marcona almonds. To slice the raw cauliflower very thin, I tried doing so with a knife but found a mandolin set to 1/8-inch thickness to be an easier way to be slices of uniform thickness.

Mustard Greens Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Almonds, Grapes and Chicken 
Inspired by Cauliflower Roasted with Grapes, Cheddar & Marcona Almonds, The NoMad, New York

Makes 2 dinner portions

½ head cauliflower
5 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup blanched or marcona almonds
¾ lb. chicken breast cutlets
Fresh-ground black pepper
8-10 mustard green leaves, washed, ribs removed, leaves sliced into ½-inch wide strips
1 cup green grapes, cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Using a mandolin (or, if you’re really good, a knife), make a few 1/8-inch thick slices of cauliflower, slicing through the head at a point where the florets are connected to the corn. Set aside the slices. Cut the remainder of the head into florets.

3. In an oven-safe medium frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add cauliflower florets and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with sea salt while cooking. Place pan with florets in the oven and roast until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tsp. red wine vinegar. Set aside to cool.
4. In a small frying pan, heat 2 tsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add almonds and cook until lightly browned, occasionally tossing the nuts and watching carefully to prevent browning, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside on paper towel to cool.

5. In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Pat chicken breast cutlets dry with a paper towel, add to pan, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until browned and cooked through, about 10-12 minutes, turning once.

6. To make the dressing, whisk together 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Add to large bowl with the chopped mustard greens and roasted cauliflower florets and toss to coat with dressing. Serve greens and cauliflower in large bowls topped with almonds, grapes, chicken and sliced raw cauliflower.

1 comment:

  1. This is an ideal way to begin your winter salads week. The cauliflower shavings look like little snowflakes. Love those almonds too.