Last week my body was craving ample amounts of salad. Armed with some ideas from Mark Bittman’s 2009 “101 Simple Summer Salads”, I bought up the produce section of the Waterbury Market.
I tried out three of his salads and the “red salad” was hands down a favorite. In fact, I plan on making it again this week due to its utter preperation ease and great taste.
“13. A red salad: Combine tomato wedges with halved strawberries, basil leaves, shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar.”
Of course I’m one to tinker so I added mushrooms which I sautéed in butter. Paula Deen might have been (or still be) a racist old lady, but she was right when it came to butter; it makes everything better.
I baked some chicken thighs for a side at dinner. It’s not entirely necessary, but since I eat a lot of fruit throughout the day, I noticed by the end of the week I was nibbling here and there on things I normally wouldn’t—like quesadillas made in the toaster oven…—, so the added calories were helpful.
What I love about non-traditional salads is how easy they are to prepare. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad with spinach, and peppers, and mushrooms, and olive, and onion, and garlic for good measure, and artichoke hearts, and, as you can see, it all gets a little excessive very soon—and quite bulky.
To give it that extra touch I used some specialty items as well. My roomie just got this great white balsamic vinegar. It’s not as strong as the regular kind (and doesn’t leave a black, oily sheen), making it not only an aesthetic compliment, but a taste enhancer without all the over powering. Since it is lighter, I sprinkled on some Black Lava sea salt. It’s dark, crunchy, and tastes amazing on top of avocado, I might add.
A light dinner like this deserved a good drink. This one is really simple: no shaker, cheese cloth, or herbs needed!
1 shot of rum (gin is also nice)
2 shots of white grapefruit juice
1 ice cube
A few berries for garnish and soaking