Ben and I enjoyed ourselves immensely this past 4th of July weekend! Like, iiiimmensely which means I’m soooo ready to get back on track with the help of Earth Bowl Salads with Smokey Candied Walnuts and Basil Vinaigrette.
This salad is a masterpiece. Mixed greens are topped with Smokey Candied Walnuts, creamy white cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes, and spicy roasted broccoli and sweet corn. Then it’s drizzled with an easy homemade basil vinaigrette. Tastes ultra decadent but eating healthy has never been this big of a treat.
I’ve been wanting to share this summery salad recipe for months after spying it on the sweetgreen menu in DC when we visited earlier this spring. While sweetgreen’s version includes spicy broccoli and corn, white cheddar cheese, and tomatoes, I decided to add in crispy, Smokey Candied Walnuts for a boost of protein and burst of flavor using Fisher Nuts, whom I’ve been developing recipes for this year. It was a fabulous addition. So fabulous that Ben asked for more when he was done.
MORE. SALAD! Total win!
This salad was substantial enough for us for dinner, on account of the cheese and walnuts, but feel free to add grilled chicken or shrimp on top. Anything more would just enhance the yummy flavor. Dig in, people!
Start by making the Smokey Candied Walnuts, which is just a fancy name for 3/4 cup Fisher Walnut Halves and Pieces tossed with 1 Tablespoon honey, 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP) and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
The sweetness from the honey and smokiness from the smoked paprika is an absolutely killer combo!
Spread the walnuts out on a silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet then bake for 4-5 minutes at 350 degrees or until they’re golden brown. Give ’em a good stir then let ’em cool. Don’t worry, they’ll crisp as they cool.
Next turn the oven up to 400 degrees then toss fresh sweet corn kernels cut from 2 ears of corn (about 1-1/2 cups) and 4 cups broccoli florets with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and red chili pepper flakes. Pop into the oven to roast for 10-12 minute or until golden brown.
When I first saw the term “spicy roasted broccoli” on the sweetgreen menu I was turned off a bit, but the tiny bite of heat is actually awesome!
While the veggies are roasting, whip up a garden-fresh basil vinaigrette. In a food processor or blender add 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon honey, salt, and pepper then process while drizzling in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. Easy.
And like I said, totally garden fresh. Herb hill is outta control!
This vinaigrette was not only delectable when drizzled over this salad but it’d make a really good marinade for chicken or shrimp, too. The color is so vibrant.
Finally, divide mixed greens between bowls then top with the Smokey Candied Walnuts and roasted spicy broccoli and sweet corn. Add cubes of white cheddar cheese, fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, and you’re set!
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Earth Bowl Salads
Earth Bowl Salads with Smokey Candied Walnuts and Basil Vinaigrette combines spicy, sweet, and smokey in one sensational salad!
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- kernels from 2 ears sweet corn (or 1-1/2 cups frozen-than-thawed sweet corn kernels)
- extra virgin olive oil
- red chili pepper flakes
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 6oz white cheddar cheese, cubed
- 10oz mixed greens
- For the Smokey Candied Walnuts:
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup Fisher Walnut Halves and Pieces
- For the Basil Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- For the Smokey Candied Walnuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees then line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside. Add all ingredients except walnuts to a small bowl then stir to combine. Add walnuts then stir to coat. Spread walnuts out on prepared baking sheet then bake for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven then stir and let cool (walnuts will crisp as they cool.)
- Turn oven up to 400 degrees then spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray and set aside. Add broccoli to one baking sheet and corn to the other then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, red chili pepper flakes, and salt, then toss with hands to coat. Roast for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly.
- For the Basil Vinaigrette: add all ingredients except extra virgin olive oil to a food processor or blender then pulse to roughly chop the basil. Turn processor on then slowly stream in olive oil.
- Divide lettuce between bowls then top with roasted broccoli and sweet corn, smokey candied walnuts, white cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and basil dressing.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.