Many strive for ways to stuff and hide more vegetables in their meat. Me? I’m the other way around.

Sausage + Salad? I don’t believe it. How do I make that work?

The very nature of living with a hunter for some reason just screams the words, “hick” “meaty” and, typically, “unrefined” when really, we kind of aren’t any of those things. We both grew up in the city, eat copious amounts of veg, and… well, maybe we’re working on the refinement part. As meaty as you’d think our table would be, we probably eat more veggies than the average household. Most people (especially with young children, but also those with persnickety husbands) try to sneak vegetables into meals via pasta sauce and even, sometimes, cookies. (The horror, I know. Just eat your broccoli already and I’ll give you a real cookie, mmmmkay?)

I actually made a little lemon vinaigrette when I made this, but honestly you can save the extra work with a drizzle and a twist.

I actually made a little lemon vinaigrette when I made this, but honestly you can save the extra work with a drizzle and a twist.

In the search for interesting, creative and delicious ways to use up a whole deep freezer full of meat, not to mention provide something inventive for the ‘ol blog here, I often find myself figuring out how to put more meat in my vegetables. Mixing sausage and salad has always been in the back of my mind, but with  more of a, “No way, sausage is too greasy for salad, that would never work.”

Google, however, said otherwise, which is how I landed on this recipe from Whole Foods, of all freaking places. This really is kind of like something you would toss with pasta, only you wait until it’s all room temp and toss it with lettuce instead. I added artichoke hearts because they are awesome, and a little drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon to really round this out.

Italian sausage salad

Cook time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 Italian style venison sausage (About 3-4 pounds)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 4-5oz feta (crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 400. On a foil lined baking sheet, lay out the sausages. Bake for about 15 minutes. Then add the sliced onions and bake another 10-15 minutes, until the sausage is cooked through and then onions are wilted. All of these things can also be grilled or done on the stovetop. When finished, let everything cool to room temperature.
Step 2
Meanwhile, chop your lettuce and add it to a large bowl (large enough for tossing). Chop the artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers and add to the lettuce. Top with crumbled feta, drizzle with olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice and toss. When the sausages are cooled, slice thickly at an angle. Top the salad with sausage and onions.
Non-game substitution: Umm… just regular Italian sausage. (Hi, nice to meet you. They call me Captain Obvious)
Vegetarian substitution: Captain Obvious here again; just leave out the meat. The artichoke hearts and feta would make this a lovely and hearty vegetarian dinner salad!

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