Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Salad Season

I don't know about you, but this warmer weather has me itching to make healthy dinner-sized salads. But here's the thing. I generally look at recipe books and use them as inspiration for what I really wind up making. It isn't too often that I actually follow the instructions. So here's some general guidance on making one of my favorite summer salads (which serves two).

Heat oven to 400˚F

Into a plastic zipper bag, combine the following:
Half a loaf of ciabatta bread sliced into small pieces for croutons
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1T dried Italian spices
2 heaping teaspoons of finely diced garlic
About 2-3T olive oil

Shake and spread onto a cookie sheet, bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the following:
1 drained can of white canellini beans
1-2 avocados (depending on size and your preference)
1 bell pepper, yellow or orange
1/2 a large cucumber
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 heaping teaspoon of petite capers, drained (I use 2 because my daughter loves them)
1 heaping teaspoon of finely diced garlic

To this, add 2T chopped basil. I had an "AHA!" moment chopping my basil this week. Why not chop fresh spices using a pizza cutter? It worked like a charm.

And to top it all off, mix with the world's easiest tomato vinaigrette:
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Add in those homemade croutons (I'll never use store bought again) and mix all the ingredients together.


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