Sunday, September 17, 2017

BLT Salad with Basil Mayo Dressing

We still have quite a few gorgeous heirloom tomatoes ripening in our garden this week, and I can't think of a better way to feature ripe, juicy, sweet, garden-fresh tomatoes than a BLT salad!  Although simple in its ingredients, this salad (with smoked almonds instead of the bacon for me) is one of my favorites, and received envious glances from both Rob's and my coworkers.  Maybe next time we'll make enough to share!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4-6 oz baguette or other crusty bread, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed or grated
  • 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 heads of romaine, shredded
  • 8 thick-cut strips of bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the croutons: preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Toss the bread cubes with the 2 tbsp oil, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and garlic.  Bake the croutons for 10 - 15 minutes, or until evenly dried and golden brown.  Cool.
  2. Make the basil mayo dressing: whisk together the mayo, yogurt, buttermilk, vinegar, 1/4 tsp pepper, and basil until well blended.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the dressing evenly between each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the red onion, tomato, and romaine in the jars.  Divide the bacon and croutons evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top baggies, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with bacon and croutons.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute precooked bacon for the cooked, crumbled bacon and store-bought croutons for the homemade croutons.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is nut-free as-is.  For a vegetarian salad, substitute smoked almonds, roughly chopped, for the bacon.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan mayo and plain vegan yogurt for the mayo, yogurt, and buttermilk in the dressing.  For a gluten-free salad, omit the croutons or use your favorite gluten-free bread.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Chicken Gyro Salad

We can thank Smitten Kitchen for this beauty - crunchy romaine, fresh veggies, and flavorful chicken, all smothered in what is quite possibly the best tzatziki I've ever had.  (I make this tzatziki alllllll the time, as a general/all purpose veggie/cracker/bread/falafel/everything dip, as neither Rob nor I are huge hummus fans.)  Grab some garden-fresh, in-season cucumbers and tomatoes this week and whip up this fantastic salad!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber, grated and squeezed dry in a dish towel
  • zest and juice of one lemon, divided
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane, divided
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 3/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 a medium red onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced or diced (or 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded
  • 1 cup lightly-crushed pita chips

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the tzatziki: whisk together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, 2 tbsp lemon juice, vinegar, dill, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper until well blended.  Refrigerate.
  2. Make the gyro-style chicken: combine the remaining lemon juice, all of the zest, remaining garlic, remaining salt, remaining pepper, paprikas, and oregano in a quart-sized zip-top baggie.  Add the chicken and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible.  Through the bag, massage the seasonings into the chicken.  Allow to marinade for at least 20 minutes (the longer the better!)  Grill, broil, or roast the chicken.  Cool, and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Pack the salads: add 1/4 c tzatziki to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Reserve the remaining tzatziki for another use.  Layer the chicken, onion, tomato, sliced cucumber, and romaine in the jars.  Divide the pita chips evenly among 4 snack-sized zip-top baggies, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with pita chips.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Substitute store-bought tzatziki and rotisserie chicken for the homemade tzatziki and gyro-style chicken.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is nut-free as-is.  For a vegetarian salad, substitute seitan, lightly pan-fried and cooled, for the chicken.  For a vegan salad, also substitute your favorite plain vegan yogurt, drained in a cheesecloth-lined colander overnight, for the Greek yogurt.  For a gluten-free salad, omit the pita chips.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Early September is an exciting, exhausting, time to have a garden - the tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and eggplant are all going crazy, and it seems like you can't eat them fast enough! If you find yourself with a few spare zucchini, eggplant, and peppers this week, I highly recommend roughly chopping the lot up, tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper, grilling up the lot, and making this salad! It's a hearty, nutritious way to use up some of that late-summer produce.  Enjoy!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 c pearl barley
  • 1/4 c + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 c freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red chile, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 2 small zucchini, halved and sliced into half-moons
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz feta, crumbled
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 c parsley leaves
  • 1 c cilantro leaves
  • 4-8 oz arugula
  • 1/2 c shelled, roasted, salted pistachios

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded barley: bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the barley and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain, and toss with the 1/4 c olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, garlic, chile, salt, and pepper.  Cool.
  2. Make the grilled vegetables: toss the eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste.  Grill or broil until the veggies are tender and lightly charred; cool.
  3. Pack the salads: divide the barley evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer in the roasted veggies, feta, green onion, parsley, cilantro, and arugula.  Divide the pistachios evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with pistachios.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use frozen, pre-cooked brown rice in place of the barley.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan feta for the dairy feta.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute cooked, cooled quinoa or brown rice for the barley.  For a nut-free salad, substitute toasted, salted sunflower seeds for the pistachios.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.