I’m still in the summer time mood as the weather is still lovely here; high 70’s, warm breezes, and blue blue skies. It makes me crave a salad using produce from my local Farmers’ Market. Stone fruits are on their way out, to my deep regret, but we still get Heirloom tomatoes and fresh corn, plus excellent avocados, a staple in our household. I also had leftover carrots that Rick had sautéed, with some herbs and a bit of cayenne pepper mix. Putting the cool tastes of the tomatoes, lettuce and avocado and the spice of the carrots tossed with a lemon, olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette resulted in a satisfying combo of sweet, tang with a bit of heat.
What is good about this recipe is it’s flexibility–you can use many kinds of produce in the salad, including leftover veggies, such as sautéed carrots, corn, or if you have grilled eggplant, squash, zucchini, or other grilled or cooked veggies, refrigerate; or marinate them in a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then refrigerate, and mix with your favorite greens such as butter lettuce, arugula, romaine or spinach. Add chopped avocado, red onion, fresh herbs and your favorite dressing (mine is a simple blend of olive oil, balsamic vinegar with a squeeze or more of lemon), and your salad is ready.
If you want a heartier dish for lunch, add leftover cooked chicken or salmon, or canned tuna, and you’ve got a great meal. Serve with whole grain crackers or toast and you, your family and guests will be well satisfied!
INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)
- Lettuce– (I used butter and red leaf)
- 1-2 Heirloom tomatoes, quartered
- 1 small or 1/2 large avocado–chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels (I used 1/2 of a leftover corn on the cob)
- leftover cooked or grilled veggies–sliced carrots, in this case
- 1/3-1/2 C. olive oil
- 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
- juice of 1/2 fresh lemon (if this is too lemony for you, reduce the amount. I love lemon!)
- Wisk dressing ingredients together.
- Let greens sit in refrigerator for at least 15 min before serving–without dressing. *
- Garnish with fresh chopped herbs, chopped red onion, nuts etc. (your choice!)
* Tip: you can put oil on salad and then refrigerate, but not vinegar or lemon juice as these will cause the greens to wilt. After taking greens out of the fridge, add the dressing. Toss greens with dressing, then add veggies and garnishes–so the they don’t all sink to the bottom as they are heavier than the greens. Also retain some of the dressing and pour over the top to serve.