The Summer is upon us and I’m hoping for sunshine-y days with friends and family sharing food. Choosing a potluck or picnic dish can be tricky, you want something that won’t fade in flavor or possibly go bad in transit or while sitting around. And a salad can be the trickiest dish of all. This salad not only travels well, it actually gets better with time. I learned the basics from our chef at work who really knows the limitations of a salad bar.
The basics are:
Red bell pepper
white mushrooms, sliced
zucchini (the small young ones are best)
canned or bottled ( I use canned) artichoke hearts, quartered
good quality basic italian dressing (you can make your own if you have a favorite recipe, or buy the one you like – I have been using Newman’s and always get raves)
Just slice up the veggies into bite-sized pieces, toss with the dressing and you’re done.
For this particular batch I used two small zucchini, one red pepper, about 1/2 lb of mushrooms and one can of artichoke hearts. I tossed it with about 1/3 cup dressing. The result was one quart of salad.
Want to add a little protein? – garbanzo beans work especially well.
It goes just as well beside burgers as it does a roast chicken or homemade ravioli. When I know a heat wave is coming, I’ll make a batch so there’s something healthy and refreshing in the fridge.
These came together so quick that it is barely a 3-step process.
One of the CSA “keepers” is kale. I would have never purchased it on my own but it came bursting out of my farm box and just kept coming. After using it in soups and frittatas, I decided to try my hand at the “chips” that I would often come upon on the interwebs.
I washed a head of kale and cut out the main stem/rib with scissors, spread them on a baking sheet and brushed the leaves with olive oil.
After sprinkling with sea salt, I thought they would be too plain. I happened to have some asiago and I happen to love asiago so I threw that on top of the lot. After about 20 minutes in a low oven (about 250 deg. F.), the cheese had adhered to the leaves and they became crispy crunchy.
We ate them right off of the pan.
We’re still getting our CSA and tomorrow is our delivery so I quickly wanted to use up what we had left from the last box, especially the baby bok choi since that is a veggie I have never used in my cooking.
I thought a quick veggie stir fry would be perfect but I didn’t feel like doing a whole sauce recipe search. I cut up the bok choi and the carrots and a yellow bell pepper to start.
I saved the broccoli and red pepper for last so they’d stay crisper.
Then I added Paul Newman’s Sesame Ginger salad dressing! I love the soy, ginger, sesame combo on raw veggies – why not cooked? I added a little less than half a cup to a 12 inch skillet full of veggies that had already partially steamed.
I let it bubble and reduce a bit before adding the final veggies and that was it. DH gave it a big thumbs up.