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Heart-Healthy Seasonal Dishes from Local Chefs

Eating in a healthier, more mindful way includes adding more non-processed foods into your diet, as well as more in-season fruits and vegetables. Late fall and early winter bring with them a variety of hearty, cold-weather vegetables, packed with nutritional value. Below are recipes recently contributed to the Fall 2014 issue of WakeMed’s Heart to Heart magazine by local chefs who are dedicated to serving fresh, local, in-season ingredients whenever possible.

Faro, Apple and Pecan Salad with a Cranberry Vinaigrette
Chef Vivian Howard, Chef and the Farmer restaurant

(serves 4)
1 1/2 cups cooked faro
1 cup diced apple
1/2 cup roughly chopped, toasted pecans
1/4 cup picked and torn mint
1/4 cup picked flat leaf parsely
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cranberry vinaigrette

For the Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup apple cider
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons picked thyme
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Make the Vinaigrette: Bring the apple cider to a boil and pour it over the cranberries and the thyme. Allow the cranberries to sit, away from the heat, and plump up for about 15 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly stream in the olive oil, all the while whisking. Let the vinaigrette sit for 30 minutes before pouring it over the faro salad.

Assemble the Salad: Follow the packaging instructions for cooking the faro and toast the pecans in a dry skillet so you can keep your eye on them. Cool both these items down before putting the salad together. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, combine them with the remaining ingredients and the vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature.

Collard Slaw
Chef Jason Smith, 18 Restaurant Group

(Yields 2-4 servings)
1 pound collards, cleaned and de-ribbed
1 carrot, peeled
½ cup sour cream (can use the light varietal if you prefer)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon freshly chopped basil
1 teaspoon freshly chopped oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Take cleaned, de-ribbed collards and chiffonade the leafy greens into ¼ inch strips.
  • Julienne the carrot into long thin strips.  Toss vegetables together in a bowl.
  • In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the sour cream, red wine vinegar and honey to make the dressing.
  • Toss the dressing in with the collards and carrots to cover evenly.
  • Toss in the herbs and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately or keep refrigerated.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Fried Egg, Melted Ham, Pickled Onion & Toasted Almonds
Little Hen restaurant

(Serves 1)
1/4 romaine lettuce
Tablespoon of Olive Oil (for Pimenton “dressing”)
Pinch of Pimenton (or Spanish paprika)
Aged ham (prosciutto, mangalitsa, parma)
White wine vinegar and olive oil basic vinaigrette
1/8 white onion
1 egg
1/2 oz almonds (sticks or slivered), toasted

Slice rings or half rings of white onion. Prepare a basic vinaigrette using white wine vinegar and olive oil. Toss onions in vinaigrette and let marinade for a few hours. Toast almonds and reserve.

Romaine – Clean, dry, grill on cut sides (about 30 seconds). Remove from grill to a plate and immediately place sliced, aged ham (prosciutto, mangalitsa, parma) on lettuce.

Cook egg sunny-side up and place on top of the ham slice. Heat olive oil in pan, sprinkle in pimenton, and stir. Drizzle oil over the salad. Top with marinated onions and almonds.