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TIP OF THE DAY: Citrus Salads

Beet & Citrus Salad

Citrus Onion Salad

Pear Gorgonzola Salad

[1] Citrus with beets and greens have eye appeal and taste great (here’s the recipe from Southern Living). [2] Pretty as a picture (here’s the recipe from Today). [3] An elegant take on ambrosia (recipe at right, from Fosters Market).

 

When cold weather limits the choices of both fruits and vegetables, a sprightly citrus salad can be a treat for the eyes and the palate.

It can be served for lunch or dinner:

  • As the salad course
  • As the main course with a protein—poached salmon, scallops, shrimp or other shellfish a salad course, as a main with seafood
  • As dessert, with burrata, goat or other soft cheese
  •  
    When you mix colors, the results are truly glorious. They’re pretty, taste and good for you!

    You can have a base of greens:

  • Baby arugula and/or spinach
  • Endive and/or radicchio
  • Mesclun
  •  
    The dressings can be:

  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Blue cheese (add a pinch of brown sugar)
  • Fruit yogurt
  • Vinaigrette with a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup
  •  
    Garnishes can add:

  • Crunch (grated carrots, sliced or julienned celery or radish, nuts)
  • Color (carrots, dried cranberries or cherries, green sprouts or cress, pomegranate arils, red bell pepper, red chili flakes or jalapeño)
  •  
    You can also add another colorful winter favorite, beets, to the salad.

    There are endless variations of citrus salads. Here are two classic combinations; elaborate on them as you wish.

    RECIPE #1: AMBROSIA WITH CITRUS & FLAKY COCONUT

    In Greek mythology, the gods ate ambrosia and drank nectar, fragrant foods that were typically reserved for divine beings.

    While no descriptions of either these foods survive (the word ambrosia means delicious or fragrant and nectar indicates a delicious or invigorating drink), scholars have long believed that both ambrosia and nectar were based on honey.

    The elegant recipe that follows (photo #3) is from Fosters Market Cookbook, recipes from a fine market and café in Durham, North Carolina.

    Here’s a recipe for another style of ambrosia from Alton Brown, with a sour cream dressing, pecans, grapes, mini marshmallows and more.

    Ingredients For 8 To 10 Servings

  • 2 navel oranges
  • 2 cara cara oranges
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 red grapefruits
  • 2 clementines
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 Meyer lemon (substitute other lemon or lime)
  • Preparation

    1. PEEL the citrus. First cut off the tops and bottoms with so the fruit sits flat. Then place on a cutting board and cut away the skin and pith, working around the circle between the fruit and the pith.

    2. SLICE each fruit into rounds or half rounds, depending on the size. Remove any seeds.

    3. PLACE on a large platter or individual plates, and sprinkle with any juice that has collected on the board. Sprinkle the dried cranberries/cherries and coconut over the top.

    4. ZEST the lemon over the salad; then cut in half and squeeze the juice over the citrus.

    5. SERVE, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

     

    RECIPE #2: AVOCADO GRAPEFRUIT SALAD WITH MACADAMIA NUT DRESSING

    Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog developed this recipe by browsing the produce aisle and picking up what was available.

    “Something about the acidic, subtly sweet citrus, creamy avocado, and crunchy macadamia nuts make this salad utterly unforgettable,” Hannah says. “Don’t just take my word for it, because I’m afraid I can’t do it full justice in a few short sentences. It’s just too good to fully explain in words. This simple, invigorating combination will brighten short winter days.”

    If you don’t like avocado, or can’t find a ripe one, she recommends:

    “Mix citrus segments with any other fruits that are available; or make an all-citrus salad, combining segments from grapefruits, oranges, blood oranges, cara cara oranges, and so forth. The mix of colors is absolutely gorgeous.”

    Ingredients For 2-3 Servings

    For The Macadamia Nut Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •  
    For The Salad

  • 8 cups arugula
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fennel
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 large pink or red grapefruit, sliced into segments
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  •  
    Preparation

     

    Grapefruit Avocado Salad

    Grapefruit Avocado Salad

    [4] Grapefruit and avocado with macadamia nut dressing (photo courtesy Bittersweet Blog). [5] A pretty preparation: dressed TexaSweet red grapefruit segments in an avocado half (photo courtesy Texasweet).

     
    1. MAKE the dressing. Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée on high, until creamy and completely smooth.

    2. PLACE the arugula and fennel in a bowl and toss with the dressing; or if you prefer, serve the dressing on the side. Divide the greens between 2 or 3 bowls.

    3. TOP with equal amounts of grapefruit, avocado, and macadamia nuts. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper as needed, or simply place the shakers on the table for self-service.
     
    MORE WAYS TO USE CITRUS

  • As a garnish on everything from vegetables to mains.
  • Recipes from chiles rellenos to sushi.
  •  
    THE HISTORY OF GRAPEFRUIT

    But the grapefruit’s ancestor, the pummelo (also pomelo or shaddock), comes from far away—it’s native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Pummelo seeds were brought from the East Indies to the West Indies in 1693 by an English ship commander. The grapefruit may have been a horticultural accident or a deliberate hybridization between the pummelo and the orange

    Here’s more.
     
    HOW TO SEGMENT CITRUS

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Oysters Rockefeller

    Oysters Rockefeller

    Oysters Rockefeller With Bacon

    Oysters Rockefeller With Cheese

    Oysters Rockefeller

    [1] Many Oysters Rockefeller recipes look something like this (here’s the recipe from Tide & Thyme). [2] Some add bacon (photo courtesy Arch Rock Fish). [3] Some have more sauce (here Mornay, a cheese sauce) than veggies (photo courtesy My Honeys Place. [4] An approximation of Antoine’s original recipe (photo courtesy Saveur Magazine).

     

    January 10th was the first-ever Oysters Rockefeller Day.

    It was celebrated big-time in New Orleans, where it was first created at Antoine’s Restaurant.

    Today, consider your own twist on the world-famous dish.

    OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER HISTORY

    Oysters Rockefeller was invented in 1899 by Jules Antoine Alciatore at the end of Gilded Age. (Jules was the son of restaurant founder Antoine Alciatore, who passed in 1874 and was succeeded by his wife, then his son. The restaurant is still going strong in the hands of the fifth generation, and is America’s oldest family-run restaurant).

    Served as an appetizer or first course created , the dish was named after John D. Rockefeller Sr. (1839 – 1937), who is considered to be the wealthiest American of all time and—by a majority of sources—the richest person in modern history.

    As necessity is the mother of invention, the dish was created because of a shortage of imported French escargots needed for his father’s signature recipe, Escargots Bourguignon: snails in a butter sauce of garlic, parsley and shallots, the first Antoine substituted brandy for the traditional white wine.

    With the shortage of snails and the waning interest in escargots, Jules Antoine created a replacement with local oysters, always available.

    The original sauce recipe is a secret, but is a purée of a several green vegetables: flat-leaf parsley, celery leaves, tarragon leaves, chervil and green onions, seasoned with salt, a dash of hot sauce and anise liqueur.

    There was no spinach, the green most often used in copycat versions.

    Oysters on the half-shell are topped with the sauce and bread crumbs, and then baked (now often broiled). They are served as an appetizer, first course or starter—different terms for the first dish of a multi-course sit-down meal.

    Why Oysters “Rockefeller?”

    The dish was named for the intense richness of its flavored roux (a paste, not a cream sauce, deemed “rich enough for Rockefeller”—John D. Rockefeller Sr., the richest man in history). The greens contributed the color of money. As with the escargots, there was anise liqueur.

    From what can be deduced, in Antoine’s original Oysters Rockefeller recipe, oysters on the half shell are topped with herbed breadcrumbs, butter and cream, then baked.

    The herbs and proportions are secret, but sleuths have determined that they include flat-leaf Italian parsley, celery leaves, tarragon leaves, chervil and green onions. Seasonings included salt, pepper and hot sauce.

    This became a “wow” dish in New Orleans, where oysters were popularly served on the half shell, but not incorporated into complex recipes.

    There is no record that Rockefeller (who died of arteriosclerosis) ever ate the dish.
     
    Chefs Make Oysters Rockefeller Variations

    A later variation of the recipe substituted spinach for most of the herbs, which is mainstream today.

    Some leave off the breadcrumbs and purée the green herbs/vegetables, creating a smooth green cloak over the entire oyster. Some mince the greens and mix them into the breadcrumbs.

    Over the years, other chefs garnished the recipe with shredded Gruyere or Parmesan, some with a thick layer of melted cheese covering both the oysters and the sauce.

    Bacon inevitably worked its way in.

     

    You can make your own signature recipe (more about that below), working off of this template—which of course isn’t the secret recipe, but a re-imagining of Antoine’s recipe by Saveur magazine.

    RECIPE: OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER

    We adapted this recipe from Saveur, which attempted to recreate the original. You can see it in Photo #4, the last photo above.

    The oysters are topped with a roux full of herbs and vegetables. Saveur’s variations from the original include:

  • Celery ribs instead of celery leaves.
  • Scallions instead of shallots (scallions are more flavorful; shallots are sweet and mild with a hint of garlic).
  • Cayenne instead of hot sauce.
  • Broiled instead of baked.
  •  
    As an appetizer, we prefer three large oysters. If you’re serving a big meal, two will suffice. And, if you’re having a NIBBLE-style eight-course meal, one will do.

    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 12 fresh oysters, chilled (the larger the better, not kumamotos)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 6 scallions, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, minced
  • 2 sprigs tarragon, stemmed and minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, stemmed and minced, plus sprigs to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon anisette, Pernod or other anise liqueur
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white* pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
  • Rock salt
  • Optional garnish: parsley or tarragon sprigs or whatever appeals to you
  •  
    We decorated the dishes with slender, red cayenne chiles for color—not meant to be eaten. But two guests ate them nevertheless!

    Variations For Your Signature Oysters Rockefeller

    Create your own signature version. Call it Oysters Rockefeller à la [Your Name].

  • Anchovy paste (1 teaspoon)
  • Anise flair: fennel instead of celery, anise liqueur, optional basil
  • Anise be gone: substitute watercress for the tarragon and brandy, sherry or wine for the liqueur
  • Brandy or white wine instead of the liqueur
  • Bread crumbs: panko, crunchy Japanese bread crumbs, instead of fresh crumbs
  • Gruyère, Jarlsberg or Parmesan (1/4 cup or less)
  • Heatless: nutmeg or Worcestershire sauce instead of cayenne
  • Homage to the original inspiration: escargots instead of oysters
  • Pipe the topping, like Duchess Potatoes
  • Spinach lovers: substitute spinach for 3/4 or more of the parsley
  • Surf and turf: add bacon, pork belly, crisped prosciutto
  • Wild card: add whatever you like!
  •  

    Oyster On The Half Shell

    Fresh Tarragon

    Rock Salt

    [5] Be sure to save the oyster liquor (photo courtesy Pangea Shellfish). [6] Tarragon, a popular herb in French cuisine, has an anise-like flavor and aroma (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [7] Rock salt is a good cushion so the oyster fillings don’t spill out when cooking and serving. This fine rock salt is great for serving. You can use a coarser version for baking, if it’s cheaper (photo courtesy The Bite Sized Blog).

     
    Preparation

    1. FILL 2 baking dishes halfway with rock salt. Shuck the oysters over a large measuring cup (e.g. Pyrex with a lip) or bowl to catch their liquor and reserve it (you should have about 1/2 cup). Discard the top shells. Loosen the oysters from the bottoms of their shells with a knife. Nestle 6 shucked oysters in their shells into each bed of rock salt; chill.

    2. MAKE the roux. Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook until smooth, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the oyster liquor; cook until the mixture thickens into a paste, about 2 minutes.

    3. STIR in the cayenne, scallions, celery, tarragon, parsley, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until soft, about 1 hour. Transfer to a food processor, add bread crumbs, and process into a smooth paste, about 2 minutes.

    4. HEAT the broiler to high. Place the paste in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ fluted tip. Pipe the paste completely over the oysters. Broil until the paste begins to brown and the oysters are just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Garnish each plate with parsley sprigs.
     
     
    CHECK OUT OUR OYSTER GLOSSARY FOR THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF OYSTERS
    ________________
    *White pepper has been traditionally used by French-trained chefs, to avoid black specks in white or light-colored dishes. White pepper is the conventional peppercorn, Piper nigrum, with the black husk removed. In addition, much of the piperine—the compound that gives pungency to the peppercorn—is in the black husk. Frankly, we like the specks and the extra flavor from the husk, and use black peppercorns universally. If you don’t have white pepper, simply use black pepper. Here are the different types of pepper, including pink peppercorns, green peppercorns and dozens of others, none of which is Piper nigrum.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Brighten Up Winter Meals

    Grape Salsa Bruschetta

    Goat Cheese Cheesecake

    Salmon With Grape Salsa

    Cod With Grape Salsa

    [1] Start with grape salsa and bruschetta, with wine and beer, as a snack or a first course (photos #1 and #3 courtesy California Table Grape Commission). [2] Another savory appetizer/first course: goat cheese cheesecake. What’s missing? The grape salsa! Here’s the recipe from Love And Olive Oil. [3] Move on to the mains; here, grilled salmon with grape salsa. [4] White cod with grape salsa. Here’s the recipe from Food And Wine.

     

    To add color to a plate of white, beige or brown food with an easy sauce or colorful garnish.

    But if it’s a simply grilled chicken breast or fish fillet, look to salsa.

    Even in the winter months, with no good tomatoes, stone fruits, etc., a colorful, delicious and nutritious sauce can be made from…grapes.

    Salsa is not just for taco chips. The original translation, “sauce,” it was used for millennia before tortilla chips were invented (in the late 1940s, in L.A.).

    RECIPE: GRAPE SALSA

    We adapted this recipe from a suggestion by the California Table Grape Commission.

  • 2 cups seedless grapes, assorted colors
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions) or red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sriracha, jalapeño or other heat to taste
  •  
    Variations

  • Black olives
  • Chopped basil or mint
  • Lemon or orange zest
  • Substitute orange and red peppadews for the grapes
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE or chop the grapes. For a sauce with protein, slice the grapes in half. For salsa with chips or crostini, chop coarsely.

    2. COMBINE all ingredients in medium bowl; mix well.

    3. LET stand at least 1 hour before serving for flavors to meld. Drain excess liquid before serving.

     
    WAYS TO USE GRAPE SALSA

  • Baked Brie
  • Cheese plate condiment
  • Chips
  • Cottage cheese
  • Crostini/bruschetta
  • Greek yogurt
  • Grilled cheese, ham, turkey and other sandwiches
  • Main course sauce (roasted/grilled chicken, fish, pork)
  • Omelet or scrambled eggs
  • Salad: spoon over greens with optional blue/goat cheese crumble
  • Savory cheesecake topping
  • Taco topping
  • Turkey or veggie burger
  •  
    GRAPE NUTRITION

    Grapes are good for you. For those avoiding fruit because of the sugar, grapes have a relatively low glycemic index, with GI values ranging between 43 and 53.

  • 1.5 cups have just 90 calories, no fat, and virtually no sodium.
  • No cholesterol.
  • Lots of antioxidants.
  • An excellent source of vitamins C & K, wit a good supply of other minerals and nutrients.
  • Healthy carbs: A serving contains 24 grams of good carbs and 1 gram of fiber.
  •  
    THE HISTORY OF GRAPES

    Different wild grape varieties were first cultivated around 6000 B.C.E. near northern Iran, between the Black and Caspian seas.

    By 3000 B.C.E. grapes were being cultivated inEgypt and Phoenicia, and by 2000 B.C.E. in Greece.

     
    Viticulture reached Italy, Sicily and North Africa by 1000 B.C.E., and by 500 B.C.E. had spread with the Roman legions to Spain, Portugal and France, and finally across Europe to the British Isles.

    America also had wild grape varieties, which were cultivated in of themselves, and joined by cultivars brought from Europe. In the mid-1800s, a Hungarian expatriate, Colonel Agoston Haraszthy, brought 100,000 cuttings of Vitis vinifera varieties from Europe to California.

    In 1860, English settler William Thompson planted a Mediterranean grape called the Oval Kishmish near Yuba City, north of Sacramento. This popular green grape variety became known as the Thompson Seedless.

    In 1970, per capita consumption of grapes in the U.S. was 2.5 pounds. Today, it’s around 8 pounds.
     
      

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    ELVIS RECIPE: Graceland Cupcakes

    Elvis would be 82 today; “The King” was born January 8, 1935.

    While Elvis Presley is not exactly known for being a foodie, we, along with millions of fans worldwide, like to celebrate his birthday with a few hours of Elvis tunes and his favorite snack food: a fried sandwich filled with peanut butter, sliced banana and bacon (photo #1: here’s the recipe).

    This recipe was developed in honor of Elvis, whose favorite sandwich was PB, bacon and banana.

    Past celebrations at THE NIBBLE have included an:

  • Elvis Burger
  • Elvis Sandwich
  • Elvis Sundae
  •  
    Inspired by the king of rock and roll, these cupcakes are packed to the core with peanut butter. Top them off with candied bacon for a royally delectable dessert.

    RECIPE: GRACELAND MINI CUPCAKES
    (BANANA CUPCAKES WITH PEANUT BUTTER & BACON)

    You can use lowfat versions of the sour cream and cream cheese; but why bother? These are mini cupcakes, after all (photo #3).

    Instead, have one with the diet version of one of his favorite soft drinks: Pepsi Cola, Nesbitt’s Orange and Shasta Black Cherry.

    For The Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe bananas, the browner the better
  • 1/2 cup lite sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  
    Peanut Butter Filling

  • Approximately 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  •  
    Bacon Topping

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  •  
    Frosting

  • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  •  

    PB Banana Sandwich

    Elvis Burger

    Elvis Cupcakes

    [1] Don’t want an Elvis sandwich (recipe and photo from Hipsubwg | Blogspot). Have some [2] If Elvis had only thought of it, he’d have liked this The Elvis Burger, with bacon and peanut butter sauce (photo courtesy Helen Graves | Food Stories. [3] Graceland Cupcakes (photo and recipe courtesy Peanut Butter Lovers).

     

    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with foil.

    2. MAKE the batter. In a medium size bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until blended.

    3. MASH the bananas and add sour cream in small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

    4. BEAT until incorporated, with an electric hand mixer, the butter, oil and sugar (3-5 minutes). Add the eggs, egg white and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowly add half of the dry ingredients and mix until almost incorporated. Add the sour cream and banana mixture and gently fold into the batter. Add the rest of the dry ingredients until combined. Spoon the batter into lined cupcake pans.

    5. BAKE for 18 to 20 minutes and let cool (do not turn off the oven). Once cool (about 30-45 minutes), use a paring knife to cut a small circle in the middle of the top of the cupcakes and remove the plug, creating a well about halfway down the cupcake. Using a piping bag, pipe the peanut butter to fill each hole. Set aside.

    6. PLACE brown sugar in medium size bowl and dredge the bacon slices on both sides. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip bacon and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Remove bacon from oven and place on plate to cool. Do not put bacon on paper towels: It will stick. Once cool, chop the bacon and set aside.

    7. MAKE the frosting. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, butter, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until well combined. Add to a piping bag. Pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle with the candied bacon pieces.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Winter Panzanella Salad (Bread Salad)

    Bread Salad Recipe

    Winter Panzanella Salad With Squash

    Bread Salad With Rye & Ham

    Winter Panzanella Salad

    Panzanella Crostini

    [1] Bright colors in a winter panzanella. Here’s the recipe from Food 53. [2] With squash and sage from Good Eggs. [3] “Ham on rye” bread salad recipe from Betty Crocker. [4] Winter Panzanella Salad With Squash & Brussels Sprouts from Hot Bread Kitchen. [5] Winter “panzanella crostini” at The Tuck Room | NYC.

     

    Bread salad, like French toast and croutons, is one of those delicious foods invented by necessity: Poor people needed to get another meal from bread that had gone stale.

    THE HISTORY OF PANZANELLA SALAD

    While some type of bread salad likely cropped up wherever people ate bread, panzanella is a Tuscan-style bread salad made with a loaf of day-old (or older) Italian bread, cubed into large croutons and soaked in vinaigrette to soften it. Chopped salad vegetables are added.

    The translation we have found for “panzanella” is “bread in a swamp,” the swamp being the vinaigrette in which it the bread was soaked. When there wasn’t enough oil to spare, the bread was moistened in water.

    While today’s recipes are rich in ingredients, the original preparers foraged to pull together vegetables from the garden: cucumber, onion, tomato—and possibly purslane, a salad green that grows wild. Early recipes were heavy on the onions, the cheapest ingredient to pair with the bread.

    This peasant dish has become a popular first course in Italy. It doesn’t appear often on menus of U.S.-based Italian restaurants. That’s too bad, because it’s a dish worth knowing; but it’s also a salad that’s easy to make…

    Especially when you have a leftover baguette or other loaf, as we often do. (If you stick the leftovers in the freezer for some TBD use, put it to use!)

    While crusty Italian loaves were used in the original, you can use any bread from challah to semolina raisin to sourdough.

    Bread salad is not a lettuce salad. You should toss in some small greens with a bite—arugula, mustard greens and watercress, along with radishes and red onions. But keep the mesclun mix and romaine for lettuce salads.

    RECIPE: DIY WINTER PANZANELLA SALAD

    Winter is no time to repurpose summer vegetables like tomatoes, yellow squash and zucchini. Instead, look for year-round options and root vegetables. (Here’s a list of winter fruits and vegetables.)

    You can add the root vegetables raw or roasted. Carrots are a dual-usage veg, as are beets, celery roots and turnips—the latter ideally halved or cut into very thin slices.

    Pick Your Ingredients

  • Bell peppers
  • Capers
  • Celery
  • Cheese: cubed, shredded
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Citrus: orange or red grapefruit segments
  • Cucumbers
  • Crucifers: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini (broccoli rabe), rutabaga, tatsoi, turnips, watercress*
  • Herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, sage
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Protein: anchovies, chicken/turkey, ham, hard-boiled eggs, prosciutto, sardines, tuna
  • Non-crucifer root vegetables, raw or roasted: beets, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, parsnips, radishes turnips
  • Spices: crushed coriander seeds, fennel seeds, red flakes
  • Winter greens: chard, collards, kale, rapini
  • Winter squash, roasted (acorn, butternut, etc.)
  •  
    Garnishes

  • Cheese: crumbled
  • Nuts and seeds, including pomegranate arils
  • Roasted garlic cloves
  • Herbs
  •  
    Plan a variety of colors; not just green but red (e.g. beets, bell pepper, grapefruit), orange (e.g. mandarins, oranges, winter squash) and yellow (beets, bell peppers, cherry/grape tomatoes).

    Don’t forget to season with salt and freshly-ground pepper.

    Vinaigrette

    Lastly, you need a good vinaigrette. Pick your favorite or use a the conventional red wine vinegar and EVOO, with or without an added half teaspoon of mushrooms.

    The emphasis is on “good”: Red wine vinegar can be stringent. Seek out the good stuff. Good doesn’t mean expensive:

  • Pompeian, about $2.60 for 16 ounces.
  • Holland House Red Wine Vinegar, about $3.29 for 12 ounces
  • Laurent du Clos, $5.49 for 16.9 ounces (worth it!)
  •  
    The traditional vinaigrette ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar; the recipes above are written as such. But the important thing to keep in mind is that you are the only one who knows exactly how acidic and how viscous you want your dressing to be.

  • More oil will mute flavors but add body and mouthfeel.
  • More acidity can be helpful if the salad ingredients have stronger flavor (think heartier greens).
  • To add pungency (e.g., with mustard) or sweetness (e.g., with honey), start with a half teaspoon per half cup of vinaigrette. Taste and adjust to your preference.
  •  

     
    MORE PANZANELLA RECIPES

    Keep these on tap for warmer weather:

  • Summer Panzanella Salad
  • Basic Panzanella Salad (basil, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes)
  • Chicken Panzanella Salad
  • Panzanella & Fruit Salad
  • Zucchini & Bell Pepper Panzanella
  •  
    ________________
    *Horseradish and wasabi are also cruciferous.

     
      

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