This salad is a recreation of one of my favorites from a local restaurant. It has a little bit of everything and it all works exceptionally well together.
It’s finny how things work out sometimes. Every apartment I have ever rented I never bothered with painting. I never thought I would be there long enough for it to be worth the effort and then of course ended up living there a few years, wishing I had painted after all. Fast forward to the current house which I am renting and I decided to go for it and paint the very first day. Guess what? I want to move already and it’s only been 6 months! Of course I have to wait until the year lease is up but I am already planning to look elsewhere. Not because I don’t like the house or the area around it, rather it’s the distance it is from where I work that is the issue. On a normal day the mere 15 miles takes about 20-25 minutes which isn’t terrible, but there are always accidents. Yesterday the commute really got to me after it took 40 minutes to get to the gym and then 30 for the last 5 miles home from the gym. Over it.
The disadvantage to living closer to where I work? Higher demand for living spaces and therefore higher in price. And of course there’s the tricky situation of being close to work but not have rowdy college students as neighbors because in case you forgot I work at my glorious alma mater of The Ohio State University. But I think the move will be worth it. There are just too many wonderful areas right around downtown/campus that are bursting with delicious food and things to do and I would love to be able to bike to work on days when the weather will not be inclement. And then I would save money because I wouldn’t get the super fancy parking pass I have, instead I’d get a cheaper one. And save gas! Look at all the money saving to make up for the extra cost in living.
One of these said establishments is a place called Northstar Cafe. While yes, there is a second location near where I live now (conveniently in the same area as the gym), let’s just focus on the fact that there is one in the Short North of downtown as well, ok? The first time I venture to this delicious establishment was with some of my fellow Cbus food bloggers for brunch. We waited in line for quiet a while to just place out orders and then had to fight to get a table for the 6 of us but it was worth it. The food was fresh and absolutely delicious. Since then I have been there many times and on my last venture I finally tried their village salad and I immediately fell in love. I don’t fall in love with salads easily but this one stole my heart. So much so that had to try my hand at recreating it at home to satisfy my addiction. The gist of it is a mixture of chopped greens, chicken, tomato, avocado, corn, candied almonds, goat cheese, dates (oh yes stay with me), and a champagne vinaigrette.
One year ago: Fresh Peach Pie
Four years ago: Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie
CHOPPED VILLAGE SALAD
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp agave nectar, honey, or sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup whole almonds
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
3 hearts of romaine, chopped
1/2 rotisserie chicken, meat removed from bones and chopped
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 ear of corn, kernels removed from husk
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, honey, lemon juice, and mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified (or shake in a jar with a lid). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- In a small skillet over medium heat combine the almonds, brown sugar, and honey. Cook until the sugar melts and forms a thick syrup, stirring constantly, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately pour onto a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet. Spread out into a single layer and allow to cool.
- While the almonds cool, chop up the salad ingredients and toss in a large bowl.
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