It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, and this one is perfect for the coming summer months (now that the weather has finally warmed up). You don’t have to heat up the kitchen. We frequently enjoy salad for dinner, and I have a good assortment of recipes to choose from. This is a roast beef and lettuce dish that is hearty enough to satisfy even those who think main dish salads are only for wimps. I simply buy thinly sliced roast beef at the deli. It’s pricey, but you don’t need much. This recipe serves two hungry people or three women watching their weight.
You think politics and religion get people fired up? I’ve discovered something even more apt to generate extreme views and robust “discussion,” and it has nothing to do with the economy or same-sex marriage. Yup, I’m talking about food.
It seems that everyone has decided they’re an expert. They do or do not eat [fill in soy, bacon, sugar, etc., etc.], and they’re convinced that you should, or should not, eat it as well.
I was chatting with a group of women a few days ago, and someone asked if anyone had a good cold veggie salad recipe. I offered that I make a broccoli salad that is pretty popular at pot-lucks, and started to list off the ingredients. Since we’re all on diets of one form or another, I mentioned that I often substitute turkey bacon for higher-fat “real” bacon—and a lady I did not know, sitting across the table, started screaming at me!
The weather is hot, so we’ve been eating a lot of salads lately. We’ve also been using the grill a lot, keeping the heat outside and the kitchen cool. Today’s recipe combines both of these features, creating a main dish that’s perfect for summer.
Next time you make some BBQ’d chicken (perhaps for an upcoming 4th of July party), throw a few extra pieces on the grill. Anything with a Mexican, Mediterranean, or Asian flavor is fine. Chill the extra meat, remove any skin or bones, and use it the next day in this main dish salad. I love a dinner that can be thrown together in less than 30 minutes, especially when I don’t have to cook a thing.
If the salad alone doesn’t fill you up, try serving it with fresh or grilled fruit, quesadillas, or splurge and serve Dulce de Leche ice cream for dessert.
Vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh eggplant (that haven’t hiked all the way here from Mexico) are two of my favorite things about late summer. Here’s an unusual recipe that uses both. Don’t be put off by the eggplant. My husband, an avowed eggplant-avoider, loves it this way. (Be sure to read down for tips on picking out an eggplant.)
The traditional way to eat this stuff is with your fingers. Please do this. Somehow, it just doesn’t taste the same with a fork or spoon. Provide warm water and towels to guests for cleaning up afterward.
Salad dressing is a relatively expensive item in the market, but it’s amazingly easy to make your own. This is my basic vinaigrette recipe. You can vary it by substituting different vinegars (balsamic, raspberry, etc.) or lemon or lime juice, or adding blue cheese crumbles and/or fresh herbs. If I’m using the dressing right away, I use all olive oil. However, if it will be stored in the fridge, the olive oil will solidify. Using part Canola helps solve this problem. This recipe makes about 1½ cups, but if you keep the approximate proportions, you can make as much or as little as you want.