Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Salad Feast

I subscribe to a magazine called Eating Well, and this month they had a section on Power Salads, and my mouth just started watering looking at all those glossy pictures. I had to have them. I thought this giant, substantial salad would make a lovely Sunday feast on a hot afternoon. The original recipe called for grilled halibut, but I didn't have any, so I substituted chicken. It also called for Boston lettuce, but I think that's the only variety I don't have growing in my garden, so I substituted Simpson and Bibb. The beans and the grape tomatoes didn't come from my garden yet, but they will soon! And the red potatoes make a surprising and filling addition to this salad.

I recently had to do a nutrition analysis project for my Nutrition class, and I was surprised to learn that I do not eat enough grains! I like the idea of including whole wheat bread with dinner, so Lyndsay baked a few loaves this afternoon to go with our meal. The recipe came from My Kitchen Cafe. We used the first one.

And for dessert? More grains! Oatmeal Scotchies. Again, baked by sweet Lyndsay, who made the executive decision to use the bag of butterscotch chips without asking because I had fallen asleep and she didn't want to wake me. Could she be any better?

Grilled Halibut/Tuna/Chicken Salad Nicoise

(This classic French salad is typically made with tuna, but halibut can be used, or the fish can be omitted for a vegetarian main course salad.)

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes (5-6 med.), scrubbed and halved
All-Purpose Vinaigrette, divided (recipe follows)
1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pound Pacific halibut or striped bass (I used 4 chicken breasts)
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 large head Boston lettuce
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup sliced pitted Nicoise or Kalamata olives
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

All-Purpose Vinaigrette

Peel 1 medium clove garlic and smash with the side of a chef's knife. Using a fork, mash the garlic with 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Whisk in 5 TBS. EVOO. Add
6 TBS fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar, and 1 TBS Dijon mustard. Whisk until well blended. Taste and whisk in up to 4 TBS more juice to mellow the flavor. Season with more salt if desired.

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a double boiler. Add potatoes and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, slice thinly and place in a shallow bowl. Drizzle with 1/3 cup vinaigrette. Set aside.

Add beans to the steamer basket; cook until bright green and just tender, 4-6 minutes. Rinse with cold water to cool. place in a medium bowl and toss with 2 TBS. vinaigrette.

Combine lemon juice, oil, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a sturdy sealable plastic bag; shake until the salt dissolves. Add fish and marinate for up to 20 minutes while you ready the grill. (I did not do this for the chicken, just salt and peppered it.)

Preheat grill to medium-high for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. Drain the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Season with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Oil the grill rack. Grill the fish, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side for halibut, 3-4 minutes per side for bass.

Arrange lettuce leaves on a large serving platter. Arrange the fish/chicken, potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette. Garnish with eggs, olives, parsley, and pepper to taste.


Hannah said...

Oh man I wanna live at your house. That all looked so yummy.

Jennifer said...

I would love to have the oatmeal scotchies recipe! (do I need to plead my case to Lyndsay for that one?!)

Luisa Perkins said...

I think Oatmeal Scotchies are the PERFECT way to eat more grains.