Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Southern Belle Salad with Tempeh

It's a bit ironic that this is my first home cooked meal in Boise, but this salad was all I wanted the past few days! The hardest thing to leave behind in Florida was probably The Floridian - ok, it was my friends, but The Floridian is a close second! I'm sure I've professed my love of the restaurant before, but I can't help it, Ive never had a bad meal there! The only downside is it's in downtown St. Augustine, which was a good 40 minute drive for us from our house in Jacksonville. However, any time we had company in town, this was the first place I took them!

(my sister Becky and tiny Violet with another outstanding dish, the Not-So-Mac-and-Cheese with Tempeh)

It's quintessentially Florida - from the fresh local produce to the fresh seafood, even the dairy is locally sourced. Plus, the menu changes seasonally, so you know you're eating fresh food. It combines beachy food with traditional southern dishes, and caters to vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters all at once!

My last meal there was a lunch in May, I ordered this salad and it was delicious! It combines some ingredients that I wouldn't have thought to put in a salad together, but they just worked so well! Their presentation is more of a chopped salad, but I left this whole so you could see the ingredients. They give the option to serve the salad with tempeh, fish, or other proteins, as they do with just about all dishes. If you're in the Jacksonville/St. Augustine area, I highly recommend you check out The Floridian!

Southern Belle Salad with Tempeh
adapted from The Floridian
Serves 2 as a main dish

1 large sweet potato, sliced
1 6-8 oz. package of plain tempeh, sliced
1 large lemon, juiced
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
salt and pepper
1 peach, pitted and sliced
1/2 c. candied pecans (I got these from the Whole Foods bulk bin)
2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
4-6 c. baby spinach leaves

Preheat oven to 400*
Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray, arrange potato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender and slightly browned on the bottom
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic, honey, basil, salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.
Place tempeh in a bowl, toss with half of the dressing mixture, gently toss.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, add tempeh and cook 3-4 minutes per side, until browned.
Arrange spinach in a bowl, top with potato, peach and tempeh (chop into small pieces, if desired)
Top with blue cheese and pecans, drizzle with remaining dressing, serve.
(Optional - chop spinach, tempeh, peaches and potatoes, add to a large bowl, toss with cheese, pecans and dressing, serve)