Tag Archives: salad without lettuce

Tossed Caprese Salad

It’s nice to have a salad once in a while that doesn’t involve lettuce.  When you eat salad often (which I try to do) sometimes you just can’t look at another lettuce leaf.  There is just something about this simple salad that reminds me of summer.  And truthfully, summer is my favorite time to make it, with vine-ripened tomatoes and basil from the garden.  But I make it year round, because I love these flavors together so much.  And even in winter the cherry or grape tomatoes taste sweet and juicy. Do yourself a favor and spring for the fresh mozzarella for this one.  The taste and texture are completely different from the rubbery stuff and well worth the extra buck or two.

So toss this one together, kick back, and think sweet thoughts of summer days.

Tossed Caprese Salad

Tossed Caprese Salad

Tossed Caprese Salad

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (I usually leave the tomatoes out at room temperature for maximum flavor)
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn or sliced in ribbons
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
1-2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra version olive oil
Salt & fresh ground pepper

Toss together all ingredients until the oil and vinegar coat the cheese and tomatoes somewhat evenly.  Serve at room temperature.

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Zippy String Bean Salad

I really love gardening.  It’s relaxing, it’s fun, I like seeing things grow…and eating them.  Unfortunately gardens don’t like me much.  Which is why I was thrilled when my daughter Claire showed a little more potential in this area.  This year she decided to grow string beans.  Perfect!  I love string beans!  But then, she left for vacation.

Our bumper string bean crop.

So off to farmer’s market I went, where I scored a big wad of beans grown by professionals.

With the kids on vacation I haven’t been cooking much.  Plus it’s been hot and with no air conditioning in my house, turning on the oven just isn’t a wise idea.  So I’ve taken to getting creative with salads, particularly those where I can make a big batch and eat on it for 2 or 3 days.  This is one of those recipes.  If you make it all up except for the goat cheese and nuts, it will keep in the fridge for days, and I actually liked it even better the second day than I did the first.  Add the cheese and nuts when you are ready to eat it so the nuts stay crunchy and the cheese holds its shape.

Zippy String Bean Salad

Zippy String Bean Salad

1 pound green beans
1/2 cup red onion, sliced or chopped
1/2 red chile pepper, minced or thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar (I used apple jalapeno vinegar for an extra little kick)
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup walnut halves
Crumbled goat cheese – 1-2 ounces per serving

Trim the ends off the beans.  Mix onion, chile pepper and vinegar in a serving bowl.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.   Toss in the beans and boil for 5 minutes. Do not boil these beautiful beans to death!  They should still have a little snap to them.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.  Add to the vinegar mixture.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper and toss well to coat.  At this point you can refrigerate for later or the next day.  Top with goat cheese and walnuts right before serving.

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