Chopped Salad of Fall Vegetables, Goat Milk Labneh, Crouton, Sesame, Pecan and Pomegranate

Adapted by StarChefs.com
November 2011
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

Pita Croutons
2 6-inch pitas
olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fall Vegetables
1 cup ½ -inch cubed beets
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ½ -inch cubed sweet potato
½ pound Lacinato kale, chopped into 1-inch strips
1 cup ½ -inch cubed hakurai turnips
1 cup ½ - inch cubed radishes
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
To Assemble and Serve
½ cup goat's milk labneh (cow's milk labneh or Greek yogurt is a good substitute)
1 teaspoon ground sumac
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

For the Pita Croutons:
Heat the oven to 350°F. Tear pita into bite sized pieces and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toast pitas in the oven until golden brown and crunchy. Cool.

For the Fall Vegetables:
Heat the oven to 350°F. Toss beets with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool.

Toss sweet potatoes with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread out on a sheet tray and roast in the oven 30 minutes or until tender. Cool.

Heat a large sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add the kale and sauté until just slightly wilted, working in batches. Cool.

Combine the remaining ½ cup olive oil with the Sherry vinegar and reserve. Roughly chop or tear mint leaves; reserve. In a large bowl, combine beets, sweet potato, kale, turnips, radishes, mint, pomegranate seeds, and olive oil-Sherry vinegar mixture. Season to taste.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place vegetables on individual salad plates or in a serving bowl. Place a dollop of labneh in the center of the vegetables. Spread croutons, sumac, and sesame over the salad.