Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hot & Cold Salad

Cooked salad additions can be really satisfying. Occasionally, toss your everyday salad greens with an assortment of steamed or lightly sautéed veggies. Green beans and fingerling potatoes, mixed with pearl onions and grape tomatoes make for a soul satisfying addition to a big bowl of chopped romaine lettuce.

The green beans (one pound) were blanched and waiting in the wings. . . translates to the refrigerator. A light coating of olive oil in a sauté pan placed over medium heat welcomes a generous handful of frozen pearl onions. Meanwhile, bring to a quick boil in salted water, 3 - 4 sliced fingerling or new red potatoes.
While the potatoes become tender and the pearl onions have taken on a little color, add the green beans to the sauté pan. Toss occasionally.
When the potatoes are tender (pierce easily with the tip of a paring knife), drain them and slice into half inch pieces (they will be hot) and add to the sauté pan. Keep turning everything to heat through adding a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.
Meanwhile, wash and halve a dozen or so grape tomatoes and add to the pan. The idea is to just let the tomatoes warm a bit, don't cook until they turn mushy.
I like to add a pinch or two of Italian seasoning. Fresh basil would be superb, but a dried mix of basil, oregano and marjoram is fine. Turn out the veggies into a large bowl, taste for seasoning and sprinkle to taste with balsamic vinegar (about one generous teaspoon full).
Meanwhile, wash, dry and tear half a head of romaine leaves. Dress with a teaspoon of olive oil and the juice from half a lemon. Use just enough to moisten the leaves and let them glisten.

You can mix the romaine into the veggie bowl before serving, or for a prettier presentation, place a large helping of the dressed greens on a dinner plate, then spoon a generous portion of the sautéed veggies in the middle.
A mix of romaine and spring mix is a good alternative. Use whatever greens you have on hand. But do use a big helping of raw greens to complement the cooked veggies.

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