Okay, so I know I don’t post many savory recipes here. I don’t know why I don’t share more of them. Maybe because they don’t seem as fun as sweet treats? Baking and sharing a recipe just seems so much easier to me than cooking and sharing one. Why? Because I hardly ever measure when I cook. Even when I follow recipes I approximate. I go all Rachael Ray and use my hand as a 1/4 cup measure. And normally, when I’m cooking, it’s for dinner. I don’t always have the time to stop and measure and write while trying to get dinner on the table (to say nothing of trying to photograph quickly before serving to a hungry husband and a hungry but I’m-not-gonna-eat-that-it’s-gross kid).
BUT I have a few recipes I have to share with you. I made several “old standbys” for my husband’s party and managed to photograph them (sort of). I’m hoping, as time allows, to post one of these recipes each week for the next few. (The only reason I want school to start? So I can have time to write without feeling guilty.)
The first I have to share with you is this Summer Salad, or Summer “Explosion” Salad as I’ve alternatively titled it. I made this for dinner last Wednesday and it was so good I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In fact, I’m making it again on Monday. And my husband doesn’t care; that’s how good it is.
This recipe is a knockoff of one we had on our Las Vegas trip. We dined at Spiedini Ristorante on our anniversary. It’s an Italian restaurant that was in our hotel and I was pleasantly surprised by it; the food was great and the service was beyond awesome. This is my version of their Signature Chopped Salad. They molded theirs all pretty, see:
|(Mel and I split it.)|
I tried to mold mine, but my 6″ cake pans were too big. Oh well, it was great anyway and much less work unmolded! They also topped theirs with crunchy fried onions, which are still conveniently tucked in my cabinet since I forgot to add them to mine. Now I must make it again!
This salad has so many good things in it. And so many good summer veggies.
But the awesome thing about this salad is that you can really put whatever veggies you want inside. Have some tomatoes? Go ahead, add them. Don’t like raw zucchini? No worries, leave it out. Add carrots or cucumber or pickled radishes, whatever you want. (Well, maybe not the pickled radishes, but who am I to judge? After all, I like eating canned frosting with a spoon.)
BUT there are two items you cannot leave out: the avocado and the bacon (unless you’re a vegetarian that is, maybe find a soy alternative).
The avocado really is the star in this salad. And the bacon adds a salty crunch. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon?
|Is it “vinagrette” or “vinaigrette”? I saw both spellings. To be fair, I used them both.|
There is one thing I changed from the original. The restaurant version had a Russian Vinaigrette (which was very good) but when trying to find a recipe I just couldn’t do it. Mayonnaise and ketchup? Worcestershire? Sauerkraut? I have a thing about condiments. (I don’t like them. At. All.) So I used salsa and plain yogurt and made a creamy salsa vinaigrette instead. YUM.
The crispness of the vegetables along with the spicy creaminess of the dressing mixes with the salty bacon and creamy avocado and creates one heck of a party in your mouth. I’m so serious, you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted this salad. GO MAKE IT! (Sorry, that was really bossy. Let’s try this again: GO MAKE IT, please.) You won’t be sorry.
(Note: there is a print option embedded in this post. Please visit the post to print.)
Romaine lettuce, chopped (about 4 cups)
Corn, from one ear (already cooked; about 1 cup)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
4 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons salsa
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
French’s Fried Onions, if desired
- Mix the yogurt, salsa, vinegar, oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a measuring cup or small bowl container and whisk until combined. Place your chopped lettuce in a salad bowl and toss with dressing.
- Layer your corn, bell pepper, zucchini, and bacon on top of the lettuce.
- Dice the avocado and place on top the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with the fried onions, if desired (it tasted fine without them!)
- Repeat every day because the salad is so good you can’t get enough.