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Smoked Pheasant Salad


I have a secret indulgence.  It’s a little bit embarrassing.  Those who know me really well are used to it, but for people who might eat with me for the first time, it can be a little disconcerting.

I love romaine lettuce.

Field greens, eh.  Arugula, I simply will not eat.  Baby spinach, on a good day, maybe.   Name me another lettuce, and I will try it, and maybe even enjoy it.  But I always go back to romaine.

And I will admit that romaine is probably the one of the most bland lettuces out there, second only to iceberg (don’t worry, I won’t go *that* far).  But I love it.  And any time I think about making a salad, if lettuce is going to be the base, I want it to be romaine.

I can think of several possible reasons for this love of mine.  Maybe my mother fed me romaine lettuce after I fell and skinned my knees as a kid.  Maybe my first date with my fiance involved a romaine-based salad (ok, no, actually, I’m pretty sure that it didn’t).   Or maybe, just maybe, I like salads with such substantial ingredients that another type of more delicate lettuce just wouldn’t hold up. 

Like this one.  When I saw smoked pheasant at the farmer’s market, I pounced.  And when I buy meat that’s already cooked, it almost always goes into a salad.  I have no explanation for why I added the artichoke hearts, except that I thought they’d offset the crunchiness of the lettuce and the heaviness of the meat.  A simple lemon vinaigrette has the dual purpose of complimenting the flavors in the salad and preventing the artichoke hearts from starting to turn brown while I photographed them. 

If you can’t find smoked pheasant, another poultry would work as well.  Duck would be delicious and so decadent, but turkey or chicken would make easy, healthy substitutes too.  Just do not, whatever you do, substitute arugula.

On a totally unrelated note, Sugarlaws [1] now has its own little page on Facebook!  I figured my dogs already have their own Facebook pages, so my blog really should too.  So, if you’re at all inclined, you can click here to go to Facebook [1] and become a fan of Sugarlaws!   


Smoked Pheasant Salad

8 cups romaine lettuce
3/4 pound smoked pheasant
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (or use frozen — I hear they’re great!)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp mustard

1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
2. Divide the lettuce onto four plates. Add the artichoke hearts and smoked pheasant, and drizzle with the dressing. Serve.

Serves 4.