This colorful, seasonal salad is a new spin on a classic. The addition of smoked trout adds protein and healthy fat to make a complete meal. You can add a little purple with a few rings of red onion, and feel free to mix and match greens depending on what is in the garden and local tailgate markets. This salad would be delicious with grated local hard cheese or crumbled blue or goat cheese.
Makes 4 servings.
For the salad:
4 cups of baby spinach or other greens, washed well
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
½ of a large bunch asparagus (cut off woody ends then cut spears in half)
1 cup strawberries, stemmed and sliced
5 ounces hot-smoked Sunburst Trout, flaked in large chunks
¼ cup pecans, lightly toasted
Olive oil for roasting
For the balsamic dressing:
½ cup olive oil (you can also substitute a little hickory nut oil from Acornucopia for some of the olive oil to give the dressing a smoked flavor)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar (try a local one like Highland Gourmet)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°. On a baking sheet, add sweet potatoes and asparagus spears then lightly drizzle with olive oil. When oven is at temperature, add the vegetables and roast for about 15 minutes until they get soft and start to brown.
While the vegetables are roasting, add washed and dried greens to a medium-size serving bowl with the strawberry slices. While the vegetables are cooling, make the balsamic dressing: Pour the oil into a cruet along with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.
After removing the roasted vegetables from the oven, allow the oven to cool to a lower temperature, then add the nuts to a small roasting pan and lightly toast. After the vegetables have cooled to room temperature, add them to the salad along with large flakes of smoked trout. Give the dressing a good shake, then pour a moderate amount over the salad and top with pecans. Add grated cheese if desired.