Salad and Prosciutto Pizza

Salad and Prosciutto Pizza is a sauceless pizza that is a refreshing complete meal.

Salad and Prosciutto Pizza
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Bonappetit.com, February 2018)

Serves 4

1 lb. pizza dough (The Best Pizza Dough or store bought, at room temperature)
3 Tbsp plus 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic gloves, finely grated
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large head of Bibb lettuce, leaves separated and torn
6 oz. Gorgonzola crumbles (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup pickled red onions
3 Tbsp sliced chives
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
4 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto

Preheat oven and baking stone or baking steel to 475F on a convection setting, if possible.

Mix garlic and 2 tablespoons of oil in a small bowl.

Divide dough in half. Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface. Transfer to a cornmeal dusted peel or cutting board. Brush the dough with half of the garlic-oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with a quarter of the gorgonzola crumbles. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the golden, puffed, and crisp all over. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Allow to cool before topping with salad so the lettuce doesn’t wilt.

Toss lettuce, remaining cup of Gorgonzola, pickled onion, and chives in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Whisk vinegar and sugar in another small bowl, then, whisking constantly, gradually stream in the remaining 2/3 cup of oil. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Arrange salad on top of pizza crusts and drape with prosciutto. Slice into squares and serve.

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Refreshing Greek-Style Chicken Salad

Refreshing Greek-Style Chicken Salad was chosen and mostly prepared by my lovely wife. The garden fresh cucumber and tomatoes in the salad are a nice accompaniment to the lightly marinated, grilled chicken which is all topped off with a fresh homemade tzatziki sauce.

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Refreshing Greek-Style Chicken Salad
(Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking, August-September 2016)

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
3 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for grilling
1 lemon, cut into wedges for garnish

For the salad
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded, and sliced crosswise
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the tzatziki sauce
1/2 English cucumber, coarsely grated
2 cups plain greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 small bunch dill, leaves finely chopped
2 sprigs mint, leaves cut into chiffonade
Pinch of kosher salt

4 whole-wheat pitas, toasted

To prepare the tzatziki sauce: Place the ingredients in a medium bowl and fold together until thoroughly combined. Season with salt. Refrigerate until serving.

To prepare the salad: In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and olives. Toss with olive oil and oregano and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix together marinade by combining the lemon zest, garlic, oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

Pound the chicken breasts out to 1/4-inch thickness. Rub with the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to a hour. Prepare the gas grill for medium-high direct grilling. Drizzle the chicken with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 minutes without moving the cutlets. Flip and grill for another 2 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove to a plate, squirt with lemon and top with parsley and set aside to rest. Grill the pita on both sides, about 1 minute per side.

Slice the chicken into 1-inch-wide strips. Serve the chicken on the pita with the salad alongside and a generous dollop of tzatziki sauce.

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Marinated Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Salad with Mozzeralla

Marinated Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Salad with Mozzeralla is a refreshing salad that goes especially well with grilled meats and fish.

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Marinated Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Salad with Mozzeralla
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of FoodandWine.com, August 2016)

Serves 4 to 6

1 1 lb. medium eggplant, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick, score on both sides at 1/4-inch intervals
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 basil sprigs, plus basil leaves for garnish
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 lbs. halved red, orange, and/or yellow cherry tomatoes
8 oz. mozzarella, coarsely torn

In colander over a large bowl, toss the eggplant slices with a generous amount of salt. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, tossing occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, basil sprigs, oregano, and crushed red pepper; season with salt and pepper.

Squeeze all of the water from the eggplant slices and pat dry. Chop into bite-size pieces. Add to the marinade and let stand for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes to the eggplant salad and toss to coat; discard the basil leaves and garlic. Transfer to a serving plate and top with mozzarella and sliced or torn basil leaves.

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Watermelon Salad with Yogurt and Fried Rosemary

Watermelon Salad with Yogurt and Fried Rosemary combines ingredients you just might not think of mixing into a delicious summer salad.

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Watermelon Salad with Yogurt and Fried Rosemary
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of BonAppetit.com, August 2016)

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 3-lb. seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, refrigerated
2 5.3 ounce containers non-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 6-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt

In a medium skillet over medium heat the oil to a shimmer. Fry the rosemary sprigs for about 20 seconds until crispy. Remove to paper towel-lined plate to cool and drain. Remove leaves from stems and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix yogurt and honey until thoroughly combined.

To serve: Divide yogurt mixture between serving plates. Top with pieces of watermelon. Season with rosemary leaves, sea salt and red pepper flakes.

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Citrus and Herb Marinated Shrimp

Citrus and Herb Marinated Shrimp are a great topping for a salad. They can be served as an appetizer. Or, they can be chopped up, dressed and mixed into salad to stuff tomatoes.

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Citrus and Herb Marinated Shrimp
(Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Food & Wine, August 2016)

Serves 2

1 lb. medium shrimp (21-30), shelled and deveined, rinsed, patted dry and brought to room temperature
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
One 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F.

Toss the shrimp in 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove and flip the shrimp over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil and remaining ingredients except for salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly. Add shrimp to the dressing and toss to coat thoroughly. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

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Charred Caprese Sandwich

Charred Caprese Sandwich can be served as an appetizer, sandwich entree or a unique side salad.

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Charred Caprese Sandwich
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit, June 2016)

Serves 2 – 4

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, finely grated
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 baguette, split in half lengthwise then cut in half crosswise
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup basil leaves, torn
1 cup parsley, torn
Freshly ground black pepper
Torn fresh mozzarella (about 4 oz.)

To make spread for the sandwich: whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

To make the dressing: combine the shallot, garlic and vinegar in a medium bowl (charred tomatoes will be added later).

Brush the cut baguette with oil and grill until beginning to char and grill marks have formed. In a medium bowl toss the cherry tomatoes with oil. Put a cast on skillet on the grill over high heat. Add the tomatoes. Grill the tomatoes shaking the skillet frequently, until blistered, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the dressing.

To serve: dress the cut side of each grilled baguette with spread. Place tomatoes on top, add pieces of the mozzarella and herbs. Spoon a bit of dressing over each piece and serve immediately.

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Watermelon, Feta and Jalapeno Salad

Watermelon, Feta and Jalapeno Salad is spicy, sweet dish that goes perfect with smoky barbecued ribs or brisket.

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Watermelon, Feta and Jalapeno Salad
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Saveur.com, 2015)

Serves 8 to 10

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
4 tsp honey
4 large shallots, (2 roughly chopped, 2 thinly sliced)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 Tbsp canola oil
1 large watermelon, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup crumbled feta
3 tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
3 green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced

Puree the fish sauce, lime juice, honey, chopped shallot, and garlic in a food processor until smooth Add the oil and pulse until emulsified.

Toss the dressing with the watermelon, feta, tomatoes, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Transfer to a large serving platter and top with the sliced shallots, herbs and green onion slices.

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Green Beans and Avocado with Sesame-Soy-Ginger Drizzle

Green Beans and Avocado with Sesame-Soy-Ginger Drizzle is a terrific side salad with an Asian flair.

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Green Beans and Avocado with Sesame-Soy-Ginger Drizzle
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and steamed
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced and sauteed
1/2 large avocado, sliced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
Juice of a medium lime
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 green onions, chopped, including greens

Arrange the vegetables in a serving bowl.

Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, sugar and garlic in a small bowl. Drizzle in the oils, whisking constantly to help the dressing emulsify. Add the green onions and cilantro. Allow to sit for an hour at room temperature.

Drizzle over the vegetables and serve immediately.

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Shrimp Remoulade Salad

Shrimp Remoulade Salad is simple and healthy way to prepare shrimp. Using the freshest and largest shrimp you can find makes the dish extra special.

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Shrimp Remoulade Salad
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Serves 4

2 lbs. jumbo shrimp (10-15/lb), preferably Royal Reds, shelled and deveined
1/2 head romaine lettuce, rinsed and patted dry, coarse shred
1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces
4 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 large tomato, large dice
2 slices thick bacon, fried into lardons
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For Remoulade
1/2 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup light mayonnaise
2 Tbsp catsup
2 Tbsp grainy mustard, preferably Zatarain’s Creole mustard
Dashes of hot sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 375F.

Rinse and pat shrimp dry. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip the shrimp and bake for another 5 minutes or until done. Set aside.

To prepare the remoulade; pulse the garlic in a food processor, add celery and red pepper and pulse. Add the mayonnaise, catsup, mustard, and hot sauce to taste. Pulse until smooth.

To assemble salad; arrange equal portions of lettuce on each plate. Divide the shrimp, pepper slices, tomato, lardons and eggs between the plates. Season with salt and pepper and top with remoulade.

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Grilled Chicken Dinner Salad

Grilled Chicken Dinner Salad is a way to use leftover grilled chicken to make a healthy and filling meal. Just incorporate the sliced chicken along with a handful of fresh vegetables on top of leafy greens and add a little salad dressing and dinner is ready.

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Grilled Chicken Dinner Salad
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Serves 4

4 – 6 chicken thighs (or 2 – 3 breasts)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Cajun Seasoning
1 head red romaine lettuce
8 oz. arugula
1 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
4-6 asparagus sprigs, cooked and cut into 1 1/2-in long pieces
1/2 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 hardboiled eggs, halved
Blue Cheese Salad Dressing (or dressing of choice)

Heat grill to medium-high, direct heat.

Pat chicken pieces dry. Brush all sides with oil. Season all sides with salt, pepper and Cajun Seasoning. Place chicken on grill and cook for 1 minute, turn pieces over and cook for 1 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, indirect heat and cook until chicken registers 180F internal temperature.

Set chicken aside to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse greens and add them to a large salad bowl. Add the onion, asparagus, red pepper and tomatoes. Toss to combine. Slice the chicken into 1/4-inch thick pieces.

To serve, divide the salad between serving plates or bowls. Top each salad with chicken pieces, egg halves, and avocado slices. Drizzle with dressing and season with freshly ground pepper.

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