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Posts Tagged ‘Summer Salad’

Meatless Monday: Smoky Panzanella with Market Vegetables

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Strolling through the farmers market or the produce aisle these days, you’ll see lots of beautifully colored summer vegetables. The bell peppers are as red as they should be and the sugar snap peas are at their crispy best. Perhaps you pause to admire but instead pick up some salad mix and head home. I love vegetables, but I don’t always know how to use them.

Traditionally composed of bread and tomatoes tossed together in a vinaigrette, panzanella is rustic salad that’s perfect for showcasing seasonal veggies. A recipe is hardly necessary, but I like to use Kelsey Nixon’s Smoky Panzanella as a base. The french bread toasts to golden perfection in the oven while the bell peppers roast to bring out their natural sweetness. Smoked mozzarella adds a new dimension of flavor that’s so good, you’ll be making this salad time and time again. Kelsey uses sugar snap peas and heirloom tomatoes, but feel free to use whatever looks best at the market.

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Dinner Rush! Grilled Romaine With Charred Grapefruit Dressing

Grilled romaine is one of those things that I order every time I see it on a menu. It’s just such a fascinating hybrid to me of two things that I wouldn’t at all think belong together: the grill, with its rough, hot brutishness juxtaposed with the tender, crispy leaves of “spa food” infamy. What sounds like failure in the making may in fact change the way you feel about romaine forever.

Grilling romaine at home is not a complicated or lengthy process. A quick spritz with some nonstick spray, 30 seconds of high-heat contact and BAM! Otherwise boring greens take on new life with a smoky aroma and toasted flavor with enough depth to let them stand on their own as a dinner centerpiece.

I stole a page from my friend Charissa’s recipe book and charred a grapefruit to serve as the base of this salad’s dressing. Its subtle tartness plus the charred leaves and a few toasted almonds make beautiful culinary harmony.

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