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Posts Tagged ‘salad for dinner’

Dinner Rush! Roasted Fall Salad with Warm Bacon-Pumpkin Vinaigrette

If the idea of a warm vinaigrette blows your mind a little bit, welcome to my life about five years ago. While I was working at The Rachael Ray Show, my producer, Emily — as she would often do — took advantage of some downtime between segments to make lunch from whatever odds and ends were in our walk-in refrigerator. Business as usual.

With a head of escarole, pound of bacon, jar of mustard and shallot in hand, she turned an otherwise standard-issue lunch salad on its head right before my very eyes.

Call me sheltered, but I had honestly never had a warm vinaigrette before! While the principle of a vinaigrette is the same warm or cold — whisk together an acid and an emulsifier and get to tossing — doing the whole thing warm (with the added help of a pound of bacon) was transformative. Not only did it show that hearty escarole who was boss, but it was an easy and impressive lesson — one of many, I might add, that came out of working in the prep kitchen of that show — that sticks with me to this very day.

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I’ll Have the Salad Sandwich

Antipasto Salad Sandwich

“I’ll have the salad,” feels so good to say. But whenever I do, I quietly wonder if the growling of my stomach will outpace my crunching. When meeting a friend for lunch, or going out to dinner with my amazingly svelte mother-in-law, salad seems inevitable. When sitting around a table in the summer dusk, a dinner salad is the world’s most perfect thing; an ode to what’s fresh where you are, an invitation to use a single plate, a reason to eat more raw vegetables than one otherwise might. To linger over such a salad feels like the good life.

Not so if I am in a rush, or urgently hungry, or both which happens many a weekday lunch.

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