Posts Tagged 'red wine vinegar'

Strawberry Fields Salad

strawberry fields salad5558

Strawberry Fields Salad

Whereas most people think of strawberries as desserts, these juicy berries can add a delicious sweetness to a savory dish. This fresh and bright salad has the perfect combination of tastes and textures. Each element of the combination … the sweetness from the fruit, tartness from the baby lettuces, saltiness from the cheese, and crunch from the nuts … compliments the others.

The blush wine vinaigrette is a homemade version of a popular store-bought dressing. Making homemade dressings is very simple since most dressings, like this one, use ingredients most people already have in their pantry. Don’t be surprised if you prefer homemade versions of dressings better than their grocery store counterparts. This one for example has a brighter flavor (thanks to the freshly squeezed lemon juice), has no preservatives or MSG, and costs so much less than the bottled original.

Add sliced chicken or a salmon filet and you have a complete meal.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Fields Salad

For the blush wine vinaigrette:
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
5 tbsp. canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
6 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
2/3 cup green or red grapes, halved
3 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the blush wine vinaigrette:
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly add the oil in a stream, whisking to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:
In a large salad bowl toss together the salad blend, strawberries, grapes, chives, almond slices, and crumbled goat cheese. Add the dressing to taste and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 appetizer or side salads.

Cooking Tip: Mix and match this colorful salad using your favorite ingredients. Try substituting spinach or dried cranberries. Goat cheese is also a nice substitute for the blue cheese.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler.

 

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad_0921

 

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad 

This easy summer side dish is a great addition to any backyard barbecue. I like to make this colorful and chilled side dish ahead of time so I am free to enjoy time with my guests.

Enjoy!

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad

Vegetable oil, for the grates
4 large ears corn, shucked
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound green beans, trimmed, boiled until crisp-tender, and cooled
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (1/2 small onion)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Brush the corn with the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the corn on the grill. Close the lid and cook the corn, turning occasionally, until just tender and slightly charred on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the corn to a cutting board to cool.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to carefully slice the kernels off the cob; discard the cob. Place the kernels in a large bowl. Add the beans, tomatoes, and onion.

In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and oil until well combined. Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss to coat. Add the goat cheese and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: Blanching is a culinary term for cooking a vegetable until it is just crisp-tender. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the vegetable and cook until vibrant green and crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Do-Ahead: The vegetables and dressing can be prepped the night before. Toss all the ingredients together before serving.

Variation: Feta cheese would be a delicious substitute for the goat cheese in this salad.

From Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by Justin Fox Burks

 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

 

Have a surplus of summer squash?

Zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant have thrived in my veggie garden this summer. I keep looking for new ways to enjoy my garden’s bounty! This salad is one of my favorite.

This is a quick and  easy vegetarian salad you can make with grilled summer squashes.

The base of the salad is quinoa. It you are not familiar with it, quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free grain that cooks much like rice and has a texture similar to couscous. It makes a delicious and healthy base for a salad.

Enjoy!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Vegetable oil, for the grill basket or screen
1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups quinoa, cooked per package directions
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup finely shopped fresh cilantro

Preheat a clean grill with a grill basket or screen to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Light brush the grill basket or screen with oil.

In a large bowl toss together the red onion, eggplant, red bell pepper, zucchini, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the vegetables to the grill basket. Close the lid and cook, turning once or twice, until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Place the prepared quinoa in a large bowl.  Add the grilled vegetables and toss to combine.

In a small bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm or chilled.

Serves 4.

Do-Ahead: The quinoa can be made a day ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Grill Pan Friendly: The veggies can be grilled indoors on a grill pan.

Source: Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Grilled Herb Chicken with Greek Tomato-Olive Relish

A good relish can make an everyday chicken breast into a show-stopper. This Greek-inspired tomato relish from my new cookbook Simply Grilling is just such an example.

Enjoy!

Grilled Herb Chicken with Kalamata Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese

For the Greek Tomato-Olive Relish:
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4  cup finely diced red onion (1/2 small onion)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint 

For the Herb Chicken:
Vegetable oil, for the grates
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the Greek Tomato-Olive Relish: Place the tomatoes, olives, red onion, oil, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Add the feta cheese and mint and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the chicken: Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Season both sides of the chicken with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side.

To serve, place the chicken on the plate and top with a generous spoonful of the tomato-olive relish.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tips: To evenly cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I suggest pounding them to a uniform thickness before grilling.

Dried Italian seasoning is a mixture of several dry herbs. To make your own, combine 1 tablespoon each of dried basil, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried marjoram, dried thyme leaves, dried rosemary, and dried sage. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

Do-Ahead: The tomato-olive relish can be made 4 hours ahead. Store covered in your refrigerator until ready to serve.

Variation: Fresh basil would be a delicious substitute for the fresh mint.

Grill Pan Friendly: Don’t have a grill or the weather is not so great, this dish can be made inside in a grill pan.

Photo credit: Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

I have always loved a light and refreshing Tomato and Cucumber Salad.  It is so easy to make and truly lets the flavors of summer produce shine through.

Two years ago we planted our first garden.  No one told me that 8 cucumber plants is way too much for a family of four!  So needless to say I was whipping up this salad every week with tomatoes I bought at the farmers market.

Last year we added tomatoes to our garden but they didn’t fare so well with the extreme heat we had in Tennessee last summer. (I have to admit it may have also had something to do with the fact that we didn’t add any compost or lime to the dirt!)

This summer is our third year of gardening and it looks like we are finally getting the hang of it! We are already on to a bumper crop of tomatoes of all varieties … and I only planted 3 cucumber plants (which will still be more than enough to feed our family!).

To make my version of this “fresh from the garden” salad, I love using all types of tomatoes … heirlooms of all shades and sizes. I also throw in sweet Vidalia onions in lieu of the white onions the classic recipe calls for.  Fresh basil from the garden also adds a delicious touch to this dish.

Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

4 small Kirby cucumbers, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
4 heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
1/4 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onions
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions in a large bowl. Add the vinegar, olive oil, and basil and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: If you can’t find heirloom tomatoes near you, this salad would also be delicious with any ripe tomato from garden or market.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Nothing is more Southern than the combination of black-eyed peas and greens.  For a lighter version, I substituted tender baby spinach leaves for the traditional collard greens.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

For the Red Wine Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
2 cans (15-ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bag (6 ounces) Baby Spinach salad blend, coarsely chopped

To make the Red Wine Vinaigrette: Place the vinegar in a small bowl.  Slowly add the oil in a stream, whisking to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the salad: In a large salad bowl toss together the black-eyed peas, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, jalapeño, and garlic. Add the vinaigrette to taste and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the spinach among the plates.  Top with a generous spoonful of the black-eyed peas.  Serve immediately.

Makes 6 side salads

Tips: For an authentic Southern touch, add a dash of hot sauce to your black-eyed peas for a little extra zing.

This Black-Eyed Pea Salad also makes delish dip served with Fritos!

Watermelon and Arugula Salad

I don’t think any fruit says summer and back-yard barbecues like watermelon. I love, my kids love it … a juicy, refreshing slice of watermelon is just hands-down a quintessential favorite.

Most people only think of serving watermelons sliced  … but one of my favorite ways to enjoy this juicy treat is in a salad.  I just love the whole “savory versus sweet” thing that goes on when you match ripe, sweet fruits with savory ingredients.

For this salad, I toss watermelon with spicy arugula. I find that a flavorful green like arugula provides a great contrast to the sweet fruit.  (Spinach would be a good substitute if you can’t find arugula.)

In the South, we like to salt our watermelon slices. (Don’t make a face if you haven’t tried it!) The piquancy of the salt actually enhances the melon’s sweetness.  To get that same experience in this salad, I add crumbled Feta cheese.  This salty cheese works the same way Kosher salt would on a cold slice of watermelon. Yum!

So for the next time you buy a watermelon … think salad rather than slices.

Enjoy!

Watermelon and Arugula Salad
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
1 small watermelon, seeded, rind removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 package (5 ounces) Baby Arugula salad blend
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

For the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and red wine vinegar.  Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:

In a large salad bowl toss the salad blend, watermelon, feta cheese, and pine nuts. Add the vinaigrette to taste and gently toss.

Makes 6 appetizer or side salads.

Tip:  Add fresh mint leaves for an interesting zing to this refreshing salad.


Jennifer Chandler

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