Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two Summer Salads to Shop for at the Farmers Market

We had two of my favorite summer salads for dinner tonight, thanks to yesterday's sourdough loaf and lots of fresh parsley from the farmers market and basil from my daughter's herb garden. Round out a plate with a mound of lightly dressed baby greens and you have a lovely summer meal.

Here are those recipes...

Print recipe only here

Serves 4-6

1 English cucumber
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
½ red onion
2 ripe red tomatoes
1 clove garlic, pressed
¾ cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 T good olive oil
3 T balsamic vinegar
½ # good sourdough bread, day-old
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Prep and transfer to a large mixing bowl:

Cucumber - peel and halve it lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Slice about ¼-inch thick.
Peppers - slice into thin strips, about 1-inch long
Red onion - thinly sliced and chopped
Tomatoes - rinse and cut on a plate to save the juice. Remove core and seeds and chop into 1-inch pieces.

Add remaining ingredients except for bread and toss gently.

Slice the bread into 1-inch pieces and add, gently turning. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. If it seems dry, add more oil or vinegar. If too wet, add more bread.

Let sit, covered, at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving. It will be too soggy the next day, so plan on eating it all the day you make it.

Summer Chicken Salad
Print recipe only here

Serves 4-6

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
olive oil
white wine or champagne vinegar
fresh basil and fresh parsley
grape or good cherry tomatoes
pitted kalamata olives

Preheat oven to 400°

Rub 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until cooked through. Allow to cool completely.

In a bowl large enough to contain the chicken, combine:
3-4 T olive oil, best you've got
2-3 T white wine or champagne vinegar (I like the Colavita label)
1-2 shallots, minced
2-3 T fresh basil and parsley, finely chopped

When cooled, tear the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl with the dressing. Add:
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
½ cup grape tomatoes, rinsed

Toss together, add kosher salt and pepper to taste and serve. You can also make ahead and refrigerate, but it's best served at room temperature within several hours of being made.

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