Antipasto Salad

Antipasto Salad

https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/antipasto-salad/

This has to be the richest, most decadent salad I’ve ever had; I almost feel like it doesn’t count as salad. I mean, there are leaves in there, which is technically the only requirement; but with all the rich toppings, it is, as advertised, basically an antipasto plate in salad form.

I got a local parmesan salami from our little corner grocery store (which I’m completely obsessed with; it might be the best part of moving here to rural New Brunswick). It’s called Kredl’s Market in Hampton. The interior has a great, old-fashioned, hewn-wood general store vibe, and the bakery inside turns out these incredible picture-perfect croissants and breads that smell amazing. They have all kinds of hard-to-find staples in bulk (hazelnuts, saffron rice, four different colors of quinoa), and they have a little cafe outside that uses local produce from the store. It’s also a garden center, which seems to magically have every plant I want in stock at all times, and they even deliver soil & compost. We spent hours one day last week driving around to every nursery in town, trying to find soil for my new raised beds; a few places had bulk prices, but they weren’t particularly good deals, and none would deliver. I was feeling pretty unhappy at the prospect of hauling 900 liters of soil in our car in bag form, but we stopped at Kredl’s for lunch and of course they had exactly what we needed. Best store ever; definitely worth a visit!

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Anyway, I digress. The key to this recipe is really high-quality ingredients, because the presentation is so simple. The dressing is a tasty mustard vinaigrette, very similar to my favorite Jamie Oliver jam jar French dressing:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/recipe/jam-jar-dressings/

I only added a little bit of the salami, which is super rich. My other toppings were kalamata olives (which I love and will add to almost anything), artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. Pepperoncinis would have been great, but I couldn’t find them at my grocery store. I did throw on some roasted red peppers, which I made last week using this excellent tutorial by Tory Avey:

http://toriavey.com/how-to/2010/02/roasted-bell-peppers/

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I’m absolutely crazy about roasted vegetables; I was a vegetarian for many years, and I appreciated the way roasting concentrates and sweetens the flavor of even the most boring vegetables. (Zucchini, I’m looking at you.) I picked up some extra peppers last weekend (from Kredl’s!), and it was super easy to roast them using Tori’s oven method. It takes about an hour from start to finish, but most of that is what programmers call “wall time” (as in, the amount of time that passes according to the clock on the wall) – you only need to actively pay attention to them for five or ten minutes total. Definitely worth it; I’ve enjoyed having these on hand, and they’re great on burgers, salads, pizza, and lots of other stuff.

All in all, this was a tasty salad that I’ll definitely make again; very substantial and satisfying, in a way that salads usually aren’t.

Deliciousness score: 6
Easiness score: 7

Grilled Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Grilled Lemon Herb Mediterranean Chicken Salad

https://cafedelites.com/2016/07/05/grilled-lemon-herb-mediterranean-chicken-salad-recipe/

This recipe is one of my standbys when I need to round out a menu plan with something healthy. It’s super straightforward; just chop up a bunch of healthy things and throw them in a bowl. The dressing is a combination of staples I usually have on hand (olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, herbs), and I like that it doubles as a marinade. Although, this time I completely forgot about marinating the chicken until it was dinner time; I just cooked the chicken plain, and it still tasted fine.

This is a pretty versatile recipe; I like the selection of veggies as written, with kalamata olives and feta cheese for a Mediterranean-leaning flavor, but you could substitute any veggies you have on hand. Do note that this makes a *big* salad. Between the substantial chicken & avocado and the sheer volume of veggies, you will definitely feel full. Another recipe with a lot of ingredient overlap that is good to make in the same week is the Chopped Greek Salad from Dinner at the Zoo:

http://www.dinneratthezoo.com/chopped-greek-salad/

Basically a very similar preparation; just add bell peppers and chickpeas, and leave out the chicken and avocado. I’d venture to say that you could pick one dressing or the other and use it in both dishes, too. I have made both of these in the same week in the past, but since my fiancé isn’t crazy about salads, this leaves me with a ludicrous amount of salad to get through in a short time. Which is fine when I’m in the mood for it, but it generally has to be really hot outside and I have to be feeling really excited about vegetables. Later in the summer, when my garden gets going and I start having more tomatoes and cucumbers than I know what to do with, I’ll be revisiting both of these recipes for sure.

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Note: to avoid getting two types of lettuce (or lettuce-like leafy stuff) in one week and having half of it go bad, I made this salad with spinach, rather than romaine as written. The rest of the spinach will be used in mini ham and cheese pies, as well as the Irish spinach & artichoke grilled cheese sandwich later this week.

 

4.2-rating