I discovered a scrumptious jewel at a local farmers market while visiting the cozy little city of Calistoga over the weekend. One of the vendors offered unique tastings of aged balsamic vinaigrette infused with flavors likes blackberry, blueberry, zesty lemon, and even Harbanero chilis. Based out of a 30 acre-ranch in Clearlake Oaks in Northern California, Hue De Laroque Farm is a family owned business exhibiting to approximately 15 local farmers markets weekly in Northern California. Products are also available at some of the local wineries and online. According to the owner’s son Christopher Maris, they infuse the balsamic vinaigrette with several vegetable and fruits they grown on their ranch and have a variety of flavors.
The aged 18 and 25 year old white and dark balsamic bases used in their products are imported from Italy. They have a kitchen at the ranch where Christopher, his family and a few friends create the delicious bottled goodness that is a perfect complement to salads and with bread. After trying various flavors, the BF and I selected the 18 year old aged Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette with a bit of tangy and some sweetness.
I came up with a simple recipe below for a fresh chicken starter salad using the pomegranate vinaigrette as a marinade. I found all other ingredients from Trader Joes including the Power of the Greens (chard, kale, and spinach), pomegranate seeds, candied walnuts-not too sweet (it literally reads that on the bag), and organic avocado. To order the Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette or learn more about Hue De Laroque Farm log on to www.hdlfarm.com.
- 2 chicken breasts cubed or sliced
- 1.5 Tbsp of Aged Pomegranate Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 sliced avocado with skin and seed removed
- Half the bag of greens (about three ounces)
- 3 Tbsp pomegranate seeds (or more based on your preference)
- 1 cup candied walnuts
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Marinate chicken with vinaigrette in a plastic bag for a minimum of two hours in the refrigerator.
- When ready to cook, heat a saute pan with olive oil on medium high heat
- Add marinated chicken and stir spatula while cooking.
- Prepare two plates with equal amounts of greens, avocado, nuts, and half the pomegranate seeds
- When chicken is fully cooked, remove chicken without excess liquid from pan and directly plate on salads.
- Sprinkle the remainder of the pomegranate seeds
- Serve immediately and enjoy!