8.03.2007

Potluck, anyone?


Given the fact that Evan and I began a salad company I probably shouldn't admit that we've become bottled salad dressing junkies. Yes, the proprietors of Green & Green Salad Co., the company that prides itself on sourcing locally, organically, and homemaking EVERYTHING, are completely addicted to Spectrum's pomegranate chipotle salad dressing. I know, it's terrible. But what can I say? It just so happens that this little bottled gem makes this one particular salad in our repertoire. I know what you're thinking: perhaps the salad isn't strong enough on its own; after all, what good salad relies on a dressing? But that just ain't it. This dressing and this salad were made for each other. I'm not sure how it happened. But I've learned that when fireworks go off in your mouth it's usually best not to question the why or the how. Usually the case is you don't want to know. I remember when I first learned what sweetbreads were and let me just say, it ruined the fun. How was it possible that something with such a delicate and cute name equate to such a foul reality? I'm not saying they don't taste delicious. I'm just saying that sometimes it's best not to ask.

That being said, this salad flat out knocks my socks off every time and I would love to share the recipe with all of you. This recipe came into my hands by way of my lovely foodie sister Tara, and I have never stopped thanking her since. I truly believe that this salad is summer's perfect compliment. Nothing screams, "I'm the perfect light but hearty meal during a hot summer's day," like the sweet smokiness of grilled corn, pearls of fluffy quinoa, and savory black beans, on a bed of beautiful spinach. An adaptation from an original Whole Foods' recipe, this one is sure to be a crowd pleaser so go ahead and try it for your next potluck or summer bbq. And BUY the dressing. Trust me- I'm not a spokesperson for Spectrum and I'm not getting paid for this, but I've tried duplicating and it just ain't the same.

Summer's Perfect Potluck Salad

* 2 ears corn, grilled in husk, then cut free from cob (shshhh...dont' tell anyone but I have been lazy before and just popped open a can of corn)
* 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained
* 1/2 cup roasted sweet hot red peppers, sliced (I like using the ones from the antipasti bar)
* pomegranate chipotle dressing
* 3 cups washed and dried spinach

Gently toss corn, cooked quinoa, black beans, and roasted peppers together with about 2/3 cup dressing in a large bowl. Arrange spinach on a large platter and top with quinoa mixture. Drizzle with more dressing, as desired.

Variations include: crumbled feta, sliced avocado, toasted walnuts, and/or sliced jicama

Test it out, let me know what you think...

8 comments:

Evan said...

Babe,
I'm at the cafe right now taking measurements, but that entry is calling me back home...I'll see you in 5. Love,
E

Lexi said...

Oh, is it summer? I had forgotten given this crazy weather! Your salad looks delicious nonetheless.

Tim said...

This is a perfect salad, and to prove it, I am going to make it right now1

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

This was delicious, thanks for the recipe! We couldn't find the Spectrum dressing with the amount of time we had, so instead we blended a couple Brianna's dressings—the Chipotle Cheddar and Blush Wine Vinaigrette. it turned out pretty excellently. Copy this URL for photographic evidence:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1194/1020890092_099dcbc7c4_b.jpg

Tim said...

Okay, that link isn't working, but you can always just go to my main flickr page.

www.flickr.com/photos/intrepidation

whimsy2 said...

So where can I find this wonderful salad dressing? Is it available locally in Portland anywhere? New Seasons? Whole Foods?

Ali & Evan said...

As this is an *organic* dressing your best bet is to visit your local natural foodstore. Beware though, our New Seasons (Arbor Lodge) carries the product while our friends' New Seasons (7 Corners) does not. To save yourself a trip it's always best to call ahead.