Pizza-inspired salad is the lunch dreamscape that always seemed too beautiful to live.
The James Beard Award-winning chef has partnered with local fast-casual spot Happy + Hale on a new collaboration salad. The Poole’side Salad will include arugula and shredded kale, with roasted squash and tomatoes, marinated peas, smoked mozzarella cheese and crisped slices of sopressata. The dressing is oregano and roasted tomato vinaigrette, and it’s topped with basil yogurt and toasted seeds.
This is the second time Happy + Hale has created a mashup salad with a local chef. In 2018, the Bida Bowl was on the menu, created with Raleigh Laotian restaurant Bida Manda. A portion of of every Bida Bowl (a red coconut curry chicken, jasmine rice and kale bowl) sold went to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, collecting nearly $6,000.
The Poole’side Salad will benefit NextStep, a physical rehabilitation center with a local facility started by the family of Whiskey Kitchen co-owner Michael Thor.
In 2015, as Whiskey Kitchen was readying to open, Thor was on his motorcycle when a car merged into his lane and hit him. The crash left him with a fractured vertebrae, shattered elbow, collapsed lung and broken ribs.
His family opened the rehab facility late last year as a place for people recovering from spinal cord injuries, strokes and diseases like multiple sclerosis.
The new salad will land on the menu of all three Happy + Hale locations — two in Raleigh and one in Durham — May 16. It will stick around for at least three months, according to a news release.
As for Poole’side Pies, construction is underway on Christensen’s pizza restaurant next to her original restaurant, Poole’s Diner, on South McDowell Street. The restaurant was announced in 2015, and anticipation hit a fevered pitch in 2017 when Christensen embarked on pizza research in Italy, documenting her finds on social media.
She explained the delay after the initial announcement, saying she wanted to slow down her company’s growth to “catch up on the other restaurants we’d opened.”
She told The News & Observer in 2017 that she has plans to make Neapolitan pizza, which cooks quickly in a very hot oven.
“It’s based on personal preference and celebrates the things that I love about pizza and cooking,” she told The N&O in a previous story. “That style is what is known as Neapolitan here in the States, but I felt like it was important to go to Naples to see what true Neapolitan pizza is, and how much that concept has been altered or translated as it’s spread throughout restaurants here.”
Christensen is nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef for the second consecutive year. The awards show is May 6.
Poole’side Pies will be at 428 S. McDowell St.