Friday, June 10, 2011

Tuscan Chopped Salad


I’m going to be completely honest with all of you, lately I just haven’t been in a good cooking space.  I know, it’s scary!  But don’t worry too much because I have figured it out.  For a couple of months I was trying to watch my spending be a little more tight with my money.  One of the first things that I stopped buying was cooking magazines.  I guess I get a lot of inspiration from looking at hundreds of recipes and reading the magazines word for word from front to back, sometimes several times through. 

I figured this out one evening this week when I took out a stack of old magazines that were kicking around.  All of these ideas started flowing and I felt like my old self again.  What does all of this mean?  Go to Chapters and buy all of the magazines I can!  Well 3 of them to be exact.  With the official start of summer just around the corner all of the magazines are BBQ/summer inspired.  So that’s what you’re going to get for the next little while.  I spent last night doing my first and second scans through each magazine and there are a ton of recipes I want make so you’re all in luck.

Here’s the first one, Tuscan Chopped Salad.  Served with a nice lite piece of grilled fish this would make a perfect summer meal.  I think it would work perfectly as a lunch all on its own.  The bread and cheese turn this into a great meal salad.  I thought it was great and I plan to bring it to my next family BBQ.  I hope you try it soon.

Tuscan Chopped Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 slices of multi-grain or focaccia bread
  • Olive oil
  • ½ red pepper
  • ½ English cucumber
  • 1 container mini bocconcini mozzarella
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halfed
  • ¼ cup sliced oil packed sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup snipped chives
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp hot red chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp sugar
Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.  Brush both sides of bread with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cut into 1 inch cubes.  Spread out on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5 minutes, stirring half way. 
  2. Slice peppers and cucumbers in to bit size pieces.  Place in a large bowl, add bread, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes and chives.
  3. Whisk remaining ingredients together in a  small bowl.  Season with fresh pepper. 
  4. Drizzle most of the dressing over the salad and toss to mix.
  5. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate up to 1 day. 
  6. Add remaining dressing before serving.
ENJOY!

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I would love to hear what you think about what you've read on my blog. Let me know if you plan on trying or have tried a recipe....ENJOY!