Below is the recipe presented by Jason LaFrance of Laughing Seed Cafe at the 2014 Spring Conference in a class called Wonderful Winter Salads. Enjoy!
Harvest Salad
Roasted root vegetables (beets and butternut squash) with arugula, fresh julienned apples, pistachios, dried cranberries, goat cheese and cranberry chipotle vinaigrette

  • ½ Butternut squash, medium diced and roasted
  • 2 large beets, peeled medium diced and roasted
  • 6oz Arugula
  • 1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored and julienned
  • 4 tblsp pistachio nuts
  • 2 tblsps dried cranberries
  • 1 tblsp goat cheese
    1. Roast the root veggies then cool and refrigerate. When cool toss the veggies together then sprinkle around the edges of arugula in a bowl. Place the apple in the center of the salad then sprinkle the cranberries and goat cheese over salad. Drizzle cranberry chipotle vinaigrette over salad.

Serves 2


Cranberry Chipotle Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • 3 cups olive oil
  • 4 chipotle peppers


Pear Salad with Winter Greens
Orange port poached pear with turnip and beet greens, blue cheese, spiced pistachios and a sour cherry gastrique

  • 2 bosc pears, peeled and cored
  • 3oz winter greens (turnip and beet)
  • 2oz blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup spice roasted pistachios
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ turnip
    1. Peel core and quarter pears. Combine port and orange juice and bring to a slow boil. Turn heat to simmer and add pears. Poach pears until fork tender, turning often. Set pear quarters aside. Peel and julienne carrot and turnip. Blanch in salted boiling water until crispy tender (about 3 to 4 minutes). Place winter greens in a shallow serving dish. Place pear quarters around the bowl and place a small pile of carrots and turnips between each quarter. Sprinkle pistachios and blue cheese over salad then drizzle with gastrique.


Sour Cherry Gastrique

  • 2 cups pitted tart cherries plus juices
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups red wine
  • 1½ cups red wine vinegar
    1. Rough chop the pitted cherries. Combine all ingredients then simmer until the liquid is reduced by 2/3 and liquid can coat the back of a spoon. This takes about 20 minutes. Sauce can be served warm or cold


Pickled Green Bean Anti-pasta with Cauliflower, Sweet Pepper and Croutons
Spicy pickled green bean anti-pasta with cauliflower, carrots, roasted bell peppers, cream cheese and focaccia croutons

  • 2 cups spicy pickled green beans
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and medium diced
  • 1 each red, green and yellow bell pepper
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • 1 to 2 sandwich sized portions of foccacia bread
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped rosemary
  • ¼ cup finely chopped oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    1. Roast the bell peppers either in the oven or on the stove top until tender and pepper is collapsing. Place in container and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes then run peppers under cool water, peeling and rinsing off skin. Cut out the core and seeds of peppers and trim the ribs. Julienne the bell peppers. Blanche the cauliflower until it is fork tender. When cream cheese is room temperature combine all ingredients except croutons, in a bowl and toss with herbs, oil, salt and pepper until lightly coated and mixture has a creamy texture. Place croutons on top of salad when served.

Author: Jenn Cloke

Jenn Cloke, originally from Atlanta, has lived in Western North Carolina for since 2006 and wears her Appalachian mantle proudly. Jenn was the Communications Coordinator for Organic Growers School from 2012 to 2014. She and her family run a small farm at the foot of Cold Mountain.

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