I travel for a living, which means finding consistencies in meals I want to eat can be a royal pain in the arse. When I’m home, I get to cook and eat exactly what my body wants—I pick every ingredient and know exactly what I’m putting into my precious vehicle. I do my best when I’m on the road, but honestly, it’s a total crap shoot at times.
I returned to teach in Southern Pines, NC, a few months ago. It’s one of my favorite stops because of the amazing woman who runs Hot Asana—Virginia Gallagher. She generously offered up her beautiful home to me and my husband, and we were treated with a gorgeous spread of food from her favorite local restaurant, Chef Warren’s.
Chef Warren is a true artist and lover of clean, organic yet decadent food. I chowed down on a salad sprinkled with pineapple and fried chickpeas on a bed of satisfying dark, leafy greens. Each bite made my smile wider (which makes for difficult chewing), but I was delighted to know we would be eating so well on a weekend where I normally struggle to find good food.
Today’s salad is dedicated to Virginia, her family, and inspired by the wonderful Chef Warren. Thank you all for being so hospitable, inspiring, and just damn fun! Love you.
Due West Salad
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup sunflower oil (or enough to cover the chickpeas)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 cup pineapple, diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar (or enough to cover onions)
1 cup walnuts
2 teaspoons bourbon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons ghee
3 cups baby kale
1/4 cup romano or Manchego cheese, shaved or cubed
1.5 tablespoons lemon olive oil (regular will also do)
1 lemon, juiced
Preheat your oven to 350F. Mix bourbon, maple syrup, and melted ghee together. Add walnuts until each nut is evenly coated with the delicious mixture. Spread on a cooking sheet layered with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Place your slivered red onions into a small bowl and cover with apple cider vinegar. Drizzle with a bit of sea salt and let sit for 10-20 minutes. Drain vinegar and gently shake them off before adding to your salad.
Warm sunflower oil on high heat in a tiny pot until glistening. Add chickpeas string occasionally for 8-12 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from heat and transfer the chickpeas with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate. Dab off excess oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika and a good sprinkle of sea salt.
Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, pinch cayenne and sea salt. Set aside.
Combine kale, pineapple, red onions, cheese, walnuts and fried chickpeas in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and serve.
photos and styling: Cynthia Groseclose
Enjoy my recipes? Look for way more like this in my new book Aim True (March 2016)available for pre-order HERE.