Monday, July 18, 2011

Grilled salads from the Today Show

Last week,  I included a post on the dangers of eating lots of grilled foods. If you are looking for ways to decrease your grilled meat dishes at your next bbq, consider these great salads featured on the Today Show this morning.

My favourite of the two - Panzanella Salad. I have loved every one I have ever made. And this one by chef David Creamer is full of great colourful vegetables and vibrant flavours. I'll try this one later in the summer when my heirloom tomatoes are at their peak. Right now, I'm tempted to roast and dice some beets from the garden to add after the salad has been dressed and tossed. Watercress also works well mixed with the romaine.


Panzanella salad

from chef

  • 1 cup chopped romaine (add red oak or other speciality greens if desired)
  • 2 anchovies, filet
  • 1/8 cup roasted red tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup roasted yellow peppers
  • 1/2 pieces of fresh lemon, half a lemon juice and zest
  • 1/4 pound ciabatta bread
  • 4 fresh basil, leaves
  • 1/8 cup Italian olives
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup parmesan reggiano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
To make the oregano vinaigrette: Combine the garlic, vinegar, oregano, parsley, honey and salt in a blender.
Blend until smooth, while motor is running slowly add the oil and process until emulsified.
Put the mixture into a 10 to 12 inch salad bowl and add it to the fridge to chill.
To make the salad: Brush ciabatta bread with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper and place on grill, be sure to let some carbon build up on bread to add flavor to salad.
Once bread has been grilled, cut into 1 inch pieces.
In a medium bowl add chopped romaine and red oak, anchovies, roasted red tomatoes, roasted yellow peppers, fresh lemon(Squeeze juice from half of a lemon and zest), fresh basil, olives, ciabatta grilled crotons and salt and pepper to taste with 3 ounces of your freshly prepared oregano vinaigrette.
Toss making sure to coat greens and vegetables evenly. Place into bowl and top with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Up next in the garden, strawberries....

...cause, heck, they're ripe! And I really have to act quickly 'cause I am losing the war against the slugs...and the racoons...and the dog. Aaaaaagh!

If you took a look at EWG's dirty dozen, revised and re-released for 2011, strawberries are number 3 on the list. Non-organic strawberries, that is. And the ones I have growing in my garden haven't been touched by anything other than homemade compost and water. And, um, slugs, racoons and a dog...but say it with me - "NO MAN MADE TOXINS!" Organic baby.

I will be honest, I am also buying the dirty, dirty non-organic ones. I wash them well, but I know that only removes a fraction of the pesticide. But until my ship comes in, I can't afford to manage my strawberry habit on only organic ones. So, non-organic in moderation and backyard berries until they're gone.

In addition to being yummy dipped in chocolate or piled with whipped cream onto biscuits, strawberries are also good for you (though not necessarily prepared these ways). They are high in antioxidants (way up there with blueberries) and vitamin C, and are good sources of magnesium and potassium. They also are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. So win-win-win.
  1. A Christmas Green Smoothie Dessert - Strawberries, Baby Spinach, Aloe Vera, Bananas and Dates from the Green Smoothie Queen. This one you can make all year - keep some berries in the freezer.
  2. Fresh Strawberry Salsa from Jeanette's Healthy Living.
  3. Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares with Homemade Jam from Oh She Glows.
  4. Avocados with Strawberry Salsa and Crispy Tortilla Strips from Epicurious.
  5. Strawberry Pecan Salad from Canadian Living. Try subbing in roasted pumpkin seeds for the nuts if, like me, you are allergic to tree nuts, or if you don't have any pecans around. They are fantastic in salads.
  6. Strawberry and Ricotta Pancakes from Delicious Magazine.
  7. Strawberry and Leek Quesadillas from Sprouted Kitchen.
  8. Roasted Strawberry Tomato Salsa from
  9. Strawberry Soup I from All Recipes. Chilled, it has just a touch of cardamom and smells amazing.
  10. Finally, the one I am most excited about, Strawberry Salad with Speck and Halloumi from Jamie Oliver. Speck is a juniper-flavoured ham from the Tyrol area that bridges Austria and Italy. I'm substituting proscuitto 'cause I don't have a shmick where I'd find speck around here.