Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘salad’


In Recipes on May 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Yield: 6 servings

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Panzanella salad is a very classic italian recipe developed as a way to use stale bread. This is a recipe I adapted from Ina Garten’s 2001 cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties!  It’s a great summer time salad that’s filling and fresh!

1 small stale French bread cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced

20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

1/2 cup good olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.


Great Finds: Collapsible Salad Spinner

In Great Finds on May 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Every once in a while a product comes along that makes you think, “why didn’t I think of that?”. This is one of those products.  A salad spinner is an essential cooking tool, but who has room to store it?  It’s bulky and difficult to squeeze in small cabinets. This 5-quart spinner collapses down to a mere 3-inches tall and will clean anything from lettuce to fruit to herbs. Easy to store, use and the price it right! It’s a must have for any kitchen!

Progressive International CSS-1 Collapsible 5-Quart Salad Spinner,, $23.20

Spring Produce Spotlight: Sorrel

In Product Spotlight on May 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Sorrel, also known as garden sorrel or spinach dock is a beautiful tender, arrow-shaped green with a delicate lemon flavor.  This spring time delight adds the perfect punch to salads, sauces, or soups.

Look for the Best

Choose smaller, bright green leaves as opposed to larger ones to fully capture the beautiful fruity and less acidic flavor. To make the most of sorrel use shortly after purchase.  The delicate leaves tend to wilt quickly.  If you do need to store for later use, wrap in a moist paper towel and tuck into a plastic bag.  They should keep fresh for up to three days.

Prepping Sorrel

Wash well and make sure to remove all traces of sand or dirt.  Dry in between paper towels.  If the center ribs seem tough, pull the tender leaves off in wide ribbons. Once clean, add fresh sorrel to salads or on sandwiches.  You can also purée and add to sauces or soups.

Add Sorrel to Your Next Meal

  • The lemony flavor pairs wonderfully with salmon, quickly sauté sorrel with a little garlic and serve as you would spinach.
  • Make a sorrel compound butter by adding equal parts chopped sorrel leaves and chives to softened butter.  Serve on top of grilled fish or chicken.
  • Take a classic pesto and elevate it by using replacing half of the basil with sorrel.  Toss with warm pasta or use on a grilled chicken sandwich.

Want Sorrel all Year Long?

Puree sorrel with a little water and pour the mixture into an ice-cube tray.  Add the frozen cubes to sauces, dressings or soups.  Even turn it into Sorrel pesto.  This works best if you use the frozen sorrel with in a few months.

Mixed Greens with French Vinaigrette

In Recipes on January 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

Yield: 4 Servings

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

This is a great basic recipe for French Vinaigrette.  Try substituting the Champagne Vinegar with White Wine Vinegar or Tarragon Vinegar.  Use a mild olive oil to avoid over powering the gorgeous mustard flavor.

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3/4 – 1 cup olive oil


Mix vinegar, mustard, shallots, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Slowly add in olive oil while whisking constantly until the mixture has emulsified.  Adjust seasoning by adding salt, pepper or a bit more olive oil.

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