Before I went grocery shopping, I made up a salad designed to use up some stuff and free up some room in fridge. Generally you can make a salad using a pretty crazy assortment of foods if you use a classic oil and vinegar (or balsamic vinegar) dressing For this one, I use the last of the romaine, 1 Jazz apple, 5 pickled pimentos. some black olives from a can I has opened earlier in the month and thin slices of parmesan. I also had a couple chicken breasts in the freezer that were at the point where ice was beginning to form inside the freezer bag – meaning that the moisture was about to be sucked out of them rendering them dry, tasteless and not worth cooking.
I thawed the breasts in the microwave and sauteed them lightly in olive oil. I made a real effort not to overcook them because being frozen, they risk being dried out already. I cored the apple and cut the slices in half. I sliced up the pickled pimentos. I tossed everything together in a pie plate, added some salt and pepper, some balsamic and olive oil and enjoyed a tasty salad. The pickled peppers add such a sweet and tart bite, that any salad featuring them feels special. I ended up with a huge salad, but I was super hungry, so it ended up being a single serving, though most times, it would be two.
The salad in a mixing bowl before serving.
My best friend dropped over this morning and stayed for lunch, so I wanted to make something that did not take a lot of effort. I had trimmed broccoli florets off the heads last night when I made the Charred Tomato Broccoli Salad and had a little less than 2 cups left. I brought water to a boil and cooked the florets for 3 minutes until just tender and then cooled them in cold, running water for a couple minutes.
Meanwhile I cut up a grapefruit. I happened to have a white grapefruit so the flesh is lighter than you usually see, but I think any grapefruit will do. I trimmed away all the pith and skin and cut the segments in half and tossed it all in a bowl with the grapefruit. I diced up two fresh shallots and added them as well. Then I chopped up one sweet & sour pickled pimento and mixed it in.
After stirring everything together, I added a dash of cayenne, a splash of balsamic vinegar, about 1 tsbp of walnut oil and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. It was delicious. This made 3 servings.
The flavors were bright and fresh with a lovely blend of sweet, sour, sharp and hearty with a bit of heat. We had a couple pieces of breaded chicken tenderloin on the side and loved the taste of the dressing on the chicken. Even better, there was some left over and after marinating together for a few hours, the flavor was even richer and more multi-dimensional.