Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cooking Light's Market Salad

Thank you, Cooking Light, for providing the recipe for the most delicious salad I've ever had. And yes, this even beats out the bacon salads that are plentiful on my blog - well, most of them :)

Why oh why do I love thee, Market Salad? Here are the reasons:
1. Perfectly roasted beets
2. Juicy tomatoes
3. Delightfully tangy, satisfying and light vinaigrette dressing
4. Crisp green beans and chickpeas adding substance and texture
5. Did I mention the beets?
6. Fresh herbs (I used basil and mint instead of tarragon and mint, because that's what I had!)

Ok, if you're not convinced, read through the recipe below. Here's a link to the original, and below is my slightly tweaked version. Thanks again Cooking Light!

Market Salad with Goat Cheese and Shallot Vinaigrette
2 medium beets (about 3/4 pound)
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (CL's version calls for Heirloom tomatoes, but alas, I forgot to pick them up. The cherry tomatoes were fantastic, but try with heirloom if you have them!)
2 cups spinach
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Scrub beets with a brush and wrap in heavy-duty foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool. Put on plastic gloves if you have them to avoid staining your hands. Trim off beet roots and stems; rub off skins. Cut each beet into 8 wedges. I did this the night before to make the salad assembly quick!

Cook beans in boiling water 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge beans into ice water; drain well. Combine beans and chickpeas in a large bowl and add in beets and sliced tomatoes.

Combine shallots and the next 8 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour half of dressing over beans, chickpeas, beets and tomatoes and toss to combine. Add in greens and goat cheese, then pour remaining dressing and toss.

Photo courtesy of John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Monday, June 20, 2011

Prosciutto, Watermelon and Feta Salad

There are some classic watermelon pairings that get used every summer, whether it's watermelon and feta, or maybe watermelon and fresh herbs. I have a hard time committing to just one pairing, so I threw together some of my favorite watermelon combos into one salad - and the result was delicious! The juicy watermelon, the salty prosciutto and feta, the crisp cucumber and the bright herbs all worked together for a refreshing summer meal. Give it a try!

Prosciutto, Watermelon and Feta Salad

3-4 cups seedless watermelon, diced (about 1/2 personal dized watermelon)
2 ounces proscuitto, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
4 leaves fresh basil, sliced
4 leaves fresh mint, sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta
2 cups arugula
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the watermelon and dice into bite-sized pieces. Toss with prosciutto, cucumber, herbs and feta. Add arugula and squeeze lemon juice, then finish with olive oil and salt and pepper to toss to combine. Enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Updated Chicken Salad

I have a love/hate relationship with chicken salad. When done right, it can be decadent, flavorful and satisfying. When done wrong, it can be both dry and too mushy at the same time with little flavor and too much mayonnaise. I made this one to have on hand for quick and easy lunches at work - a great midday meal!

Updated Chicken Salad

3 cups chicken breast, shredded (I purchased a rotisserie chicken from the store- so easy!)
1 cup low fat, plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons diced shallots
3 ribs celery, sliced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine chicken, yogurt, shallots, celery, raisins and almonds in a large bowl. Add lemon zest and juice and parsley, then season to taste. Serve over spring greens or with some tasty bread.