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This recipe goes out to my good friend Tobes and anyone who has to pack a lunch.  Not all of us can be like Mr. F and eat a peanut butter sandwich for lunch ever single day of his life since grade 7.  Every. Single. Day.  This is incredible.  He amazes me in several ways and this one is right up there.  He even told me once that he still looks forward to eating it every morning. Wha?!

Well, for those of us who need some variety in our brown bags, here’s a packable salad. I call it greek inspired because I don’t really know what is considered Greek, but I do know the flavours.  It’s got eggplant, red pepper, tomatoes and zuchini  with a vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon, garlic and oregano, all topped with salty feta cheese.  It can be eaten warm or cold and still taste great.  Chicken can be added to make it a heavier meal.  There is a handful of arugula (or rocket?) that may wilt after a day or two in the fridge so omit it if you want.  Overall, this is a good sturdy salad that is delicious to boot.  Let me know how it goes…..

Oh, and it’s been a while since I posted a photo of Little Pea – so here’s a gooder:

if you like to pack this type of salad for lunch try these out too:

Feta and Lime Slaw

Hail to the Kale Salad

Warm Salmon and Bean Salad

Amazing Thai Salad

Greek Inspired Bulgar Salad

1.5 cups dry bulgar (I use large size kernels) boiled according to package directions

1 eggplant, diced

1 zuchini, diced

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely diced

a pinch of dried oregano

1 chicken breast, diced (optional)

1 red pepper, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 big handful arugula

4  tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

Start by putting on your bulgar to boil.  Next, grab a large skillet and with an little oil, saute the chicken breast (optional), eggplant, onion and zuchini.  Add one garlic clove, a sprinkling of dried oregan and salt and pepper.

While sauteing, chop up the red pepper and tomatoes.  These stay fresh, so just throw them in a big salad bowl.

Once the bulgar is done boiling and the veggies are done sauteing, toss them all into the same salad bowl as the red pepper and tomatoes.  Over this, throw in the handful of arugula.

For the vinaigrette, mix together the oil, lemon juice, honey, oregano and garlic.  Pour over top of the salad and toss.

 

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Yay, it was my birthday yesterday!  I am one of those gals that loves a birthday.  I am one of those gals that announces it to people weeks in advance so they don’t feel stupid when I say, “Oh, its my birthday today” or say “It was my birthday yesterday.”  Nope, I give people all the chance they can get to wish me a good b-day.  Why?  Because I like it and because I know that I like making people feel special on their birthday too, so why not give others that chance.  Anyways, birthdays are a chance to celebrate and why would I pass up a chance like that?!

I got pancakes in bed, a sweet cookbook from loving Mr. F and in the evening we went out for Thai with some great friends we made here.  I was weary about the Thai place, though.  It took a while to pick a restaurant.  Mr. F and I spent an evening biking around the cobble-stoned streets in the center to check out where the hot spots were.  Turns out that the Dutch also like to eat out on Fridays and Saturdays because the centrum was hopping.  I had my eye on something asian and thought Thai would be just right.  The problem was that one of the Thai restaurants in Calgary is a personal fave, so going for Thai here could be a major disappointment.  Well, I am happy to report that it was a major delight!  I just love the way Thai food has such a variety of the most flavourful food I have ever tasted.  Seafood soup, spicy peanut sauces, coconut curries, the list goes on.  How about a sweet and sour sauce, oh man, my mouth is watering again with the thoughts of last night’s meal…

On the recipe front, aside from my birthday, I did try something, FINALLY.  I say finally because I have had a can of harissa paste in my cupboard for probably 3 months now.  Maybe even longer.  When I read the ravings of a certain carrot and harissa salad plastered across the food-blogesphere I frantically searched all the tiny grocers in my city until I found a coveted can of this harissa paste*.  What was it?  How did it taste?  And then, this dilemma arose.  Mr. F. eats carrots every day, every single day, for lunch.  Could I possibly serve him a carrot salad for supper without him turning orange?  So, the colourful can of harissa got lost in the back of the cupboard.

Then, I read about another salad that used harissa paste.  Thanks to The Wednesday Chef, we got to taste this mysterious red paste, finally.  It is hot, kind of sweet, garlicky and a bit tomato-y.  I don’t know if the tomato taste is a ghost taste since it is so red, but anyways, you gotta try this stuff out for yourself.  It made me feel all worldly, trying an ingredient that is not found anywhere in my culture.  I’ll give you the option, try the carrot salad or the zucchini one.  Try one of them and let me know what you think of harissa. 

*I ended up finding the paste at a Turkish grocery store.  It’s common in North Africa or that is what Wiki says.  Oh, and it is crushed pimentos.

Everytime I navigate to a food blog I always wonder where their top picture came from.  You know, the one at the top of the blog that features some sort of food.  The Wednesday Chef has some herbs, POC has some lemon rind and mine has some cherry tomatoes looking like juicy red jewels (look up).  Were these pictures taken especially for the top banner or were they part of a photo taken while cooking.  I bet you are just dying to know?!!

Well, ok, you might not be that interested, but I will tell you anyways.  The cherry tomatoes are from a picture I took while making this here recipe.  Now you know!  Mystery solved.  See you next time.

Oh, you want to know the recipe?  (I am so lame.)  Well, it is a snap.  It is quick to whip up and is a really nice meal or side.  Who doesn’t like caprese anyways?  Those short towers of fresh mozzarella, a slice of ripe tomato topped with a leaf of basil and showered in olive oil.  All this recipe does is warm everything up and add some pasta.  You’re gonna love it.

Warm Caprese Pasta Salad

This is one of those recipes that I saw somewhere or watched on tv and made it so many times without a recipe that I totally forget where it comes from.  So…it’s mine now?

1 small clamshell of cherry tomatoes cut in half  (you can substitute in grape tomatoes or diced large tomatoes)

3 tbsp olive or veg oil

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 large buffalo mozzarella ball or several minis

1 handful of fresh basil

2-3 cups dry pasta (your fave)

Start with heating the oil in a pan.  Add the garlic and cook for about 1 min, until the garlic is fragrant.  Add in the tomatoes.  If you are using cherry or grape tomatoes, cut them in half and place them cut side down in the pan (like in the photo above).  Simmer the tomatoes on medium heat and do not stir.

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil for the pasta.  In a large serving bowl, tear up the mozzarella and the basil into bite sized pieces.  I usually go heavy on the basil since I want that heavenly taste with every bite!

Check in on the tomatoes.  When they are soft, you can press them down with a fork.  This kind of mushes them up and turns them into a sauce.  You can now stir and get everything moving. If you want your sauce on the liquidy side, then cover with a lid and simmer on low.  If you less liquidy sauce then let the tomatoes simmer without a lid.

Once the pasta is ready, drain and toss it into the large serving bowl already containing the mozza and basil.  Pour over the sauce and stir.  The mozza will melt and become stringy and the basil will be oh-so-frangrant.  Serve as the entire meal, vegetarian style, or add to a meal as a side.

Hail Caesar, I mean “Hail Kale!”  The vegetable of course.  Sorry about that.  I have been watching a lot of tv series on DVD lately, since we are sans an actual TV, and Rome season 1 and 2 have been the most recent.  We would normally be watching episodes of Lost or How I Met Your Mother, but alas, the video rental shops feature slim pickings when it comes to tv series.  It has broadened our horizons, though.  Now I know more about Henry VIII from The Tudors (we checked out the story line on wiki and it was pretty bang on) and I know more about how people in California live (Californication season 1).  Turns out that basically people were just doing a lot of hanky-panky.  Back in the day in Britain and recently in California.  Who knew?

Back from the gutter people, let’s get down to business.  Salad.  Kale.  Who even knows what kale is?  It is a leafy green veg similar to swiss chard.  It’s quite firm and on the bitter side.  It is nice as a side, steamed and slathered with butter and seasoned with salt and pepper.  A very nice change from spinach.  Sorry to all you spinach lovers, but I just don’t like how it gets so soggy when steamed.  Kale retains its bite and it a stunning green.

I guess I first encountered kale during my second year of university.  The first 2 years I lived in a house that rotated people through five rooms.  I was a regular and so was the owner’s daughter.  It was good times, good time I say!  In those days I relied on a stirfry mix that came in a red box and included the sauce.  How many times did I make that?  Now I know how to make a stirfry out of fresh vegetables, but how fun to look back on my so-called “home-cooking.”  At least I wasn’t spending my dinners at MicDics!

Anyways, in the second year I had a roommate that was Dutch.  One day he mixed kale with mashed potatoes and called it delicious.  It was a Dutch delicacy.  Little did I know that it would be the favorite dish of my future husband or that I would be living the Boerenkool life on a daily basis in the actual country, but I digress.  I soon found myself checking out this mystery vegetable.  It was touted as a superfood.  Extremely healthy for the body.  How could an athlete pass that up?

Years later, an organic store in Calgary popped up and offered a cookbook – Planet Organic Market.  This is a cookbook basically every Canadian speed skater owns because we are all about the nutritious and delicious.   Gotta fuel the body, you know?  It just so happens that this salad is a fave of these skater cookbook owners.  This is a virtual superfood feast!  Not only that, it has wonderful colour, crunch and an unexpected taste.  This salad is dinner party worthy.  Think slaw with a kale base.  It especially looks great on a plate in the fall with its deep saturated hues.  Try it this autumn, you will “fall” for it just like the rest of us!  Oh that was bad…

Hail to the Kale Salad – adapted from Planet Organic Market Cookbook

1 bunch (about 5-6 leaves) chopped

3 cups grated carrots

Half a head of purple cabbage, thinly sliced

0.5 cup each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Vinaigrette:

0.5 cup oil (I use veg oil, but hemp or flax oil bumps up the nutrition)

0.33 cup soya sauce (the recipe calls for Braggs Liquid Aminos which I also use, but soya sauce is just more readily available)

5 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tp dried oregano

Start but washing the kale.  You need to de-stem these babies and here is the easiest way.  Grab the end of the stem with one hand.  With the other hand make a claw and run your fingers on either side of the stem.  This will pull all of the leaf off of the stem.  Discard the stems and chop the leaves.  Shred the carrots on a box grater and thinly slice the cabbage.  Throw it all into a huge bowl. 

Mix up the vinaigrette in a trusty jar and pour over the kale mixture immediately.  Stir and coat everything. 

Now here is where I digress from the original recipe.  They want you to roast the seeds in a pan and then coat them in tamari.  You can definitely do this step, but turns out the coating just comes off once the seeds hit the vinaigrette in the salad.  I usually just buy salted seeds and roast them and then toss them in with the salad.  The roasting brings out their flavour and their saltedness is basically what you are going for with the tamari. 

Toss it all together and let sit for 30 minutes (they say 2 hours! Who can wait that long?).  This gives the leaves a chance to soak up all that good vinaigrette.  You can leave it for longer or if you just can’t wait, like you just got home from training and are about to parish from hunger, then dig immediately! 

 This is a massive salad (serves 4-6 hungry athletes) so you can half it or it keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Wow, that is kind of a long title.  I am the worst at coming up with recipe titles.  When I ask Mr. Foodlova if he wants this salad for dinner, I usually say, “want that, you know, that salmon chunk salad”  or I masterfully stutter ” I’m making that bean thingy mix salad tonight.”  Doesn’t that sound delicious?  Bean mix – yuck.  So, I’m giving you the long version title because then you  know all the main players in this game and you will be thinking of how the combo will taste.  Spoiler alert –> it is awe(high note) – some(low note).

I’m going to go on a little side note here, so please bear with me.  I like me some comedy and sometimes we will rent a DVD.  On the advice of my sister-cousin (that’s my name for a cuz that is like a sis) we rented Russell Peters.  Um, you need to rent Russell Peter. OMG it is funny.  No exclamation marks in this paragraph because I am being 100% serious.  Funny.  Now, recently I surfed Youtube and landed on this Russell Peters’ bit (fyi: contains swearwords!).  Watch and you will totally understand how I just wrote awe(high note) – some(low note) above.  And if you’re a friend of Mr. Foodlova, then you will be losing your mind laughing because it is an exact replica of how he will articulate a particular swear.

Back to the main track….where was I, oh ya, I am writing a food blog.  Beans and salmon.  Ricardo.  Yes, the lovely debonaire character.  I miss his Quebecois accent on TLC, but still have his cookbook to browse.  This recipe does not hail from his cookbook, oh no, this is one committed to memory from his show.  I’m sure I remember it slightly different than he made it, but it is deadly none the less.

If it’s hot out in your neck of the woods, then eat it chilled, if it’s mild, then eat it warm.  If you live south of the equator, eat it hot.  Any way you like, it is lick-the-bowl-when-you’re-finished good.

**Loaded on It’s a Blog Party!

Salmon Salad with Green and Black Beans – adapted from Ricardo Larrivee

Now, here are some variations.  I prefer to use sage as the fresh herb of choice.  It gives the salad a crazy-good earthy taste.  I replaced it with dill on this day because sage was out at the store.  Turns out that either way is great.  If you need some carb action in this meal, steam/boil/bake some potatoes and toss with the salad.  A side of plain rice mixed in would also be good.

You can step this recipe up a notch by BBQing the fish and green beans first.  This gives the salad a smoky taste and the salmon gets those crispy edges.  I definitely reccommend it, especially if it’s too hot to cook in the house.

Salmon (enough for 2-4 people or however many you are feeding) cubed into 1 inch squares

2 C fresh green beans (break the beans into 1 inch segments)

1 can Black beans, rinsed (important!)

1/2 an onion, diced (or a whole small one)

3 stalks celery, chopped

fresh sage (add to taste)

Dressing:

3 tbsp  canola oil

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I’ve used red wine vinegar and it was good too)

1 tbsp dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

Begin by steaming the green beans.  You can just boil the beans or throw them in the microwave, but the method I like is using a one-size-fits-all steamer tray.  This thing is so pretty, but also works aweome.  It fits in any size pot.  All you need to do is put about 1 inch of water at the bottom and then place the tray in.  Lay the veggies on top and start steaming.  You can even do potatoes this way.

 

 In another large pan, start to saute the onion and celery.  All the ingredients are going in this pan, so make sure it is big enough.  When the onions just turn opaque, drop in the cubed salmon.  Gently stir around the mixture until the salmon is cooked, but not flaking apart.  Throw in the rinsed black beans and steamed green beans and toss.  When the whole mixture is warm, pour out into a large serving bowl.  Tear the sage into the bowl (or chop the dill).

Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar and shake until combined.  Just so you know – the mustard acts as an emulsifier and that is why the oil and vinegar can mix.  Booya, I know my chemistry 🙂

Now heap onto your plate and make sure you get seconds!

Hello.  As I was clicking through those other food blogs I told you about (What I’m Reading), I started wondering if everyone was on holidays?  How could they just leave us all hanging here with only a post here and there.  Don’t they know that they have loyal followers that need want to read their new shiny posts as often as possible?  Don’t they know that some people are bored and rely on their postings to pass time and procrastinate on papers that are due at the end of the month?! 

Then I looked at the last time that I posted….ummmm….sorry.  Yup, I am guilty of the same thing.  The weather turned hot here and I have been spending less time at the computer.  I have been coaching some speed skating, crocheting a baby blanket, taking Dutch lessons, frequenting the markets around Delft, riding over to Rotterdam to watch the Tour de France in person – you know just your every day stuff.  Um, I hope you caught that last one, you know the one about watching the Tour de France!!!  Ya, just your every day stuff over here in Europe.

While I try to put a lid on the bragging, let’s talk about this recipe.  It’s not European at all, but it is a recipe from a European (is the UK european?).  Jamie Oliver that is.  The Naked Chef.  Remember when everyone used to call him that and you started watching the Food Network just to see a guy cooking in the nude only to be disappointed, but then excited again since his recipes were so dang good and easy?  We have a friend who is in love with Jamie.  He’s got every cookbook and every time we get invited over for a meal, it’s some amazing dish from the pages of the Naked Chef.  

This amazing Thai salad is from his first (I think) publication The Naked Chef Takes Off.  Said friend inspired me to buy this cookbook for Mr. Foodlova and it has not disappointed.  Aside from this salad, my first post on Risotto is from this book.  There are several others that are so easy and tasty that you just keep making them.

You know when you eat something and you think, “What is that taste?”  It’s a taste you keep wanting more of.  “Sure I’ll have another helping of the salad”, “What’s in this salad?”  That would be the star of this dish – the vinaigrette.  Lime juice, ginger, soy sauce, cilantro and the secret ingredient is sesame oil.  That is the je-ne-sais-quoi (or however you would say that is Thai) of the salad.  You will not be disappointed if you try it and summer time is the perfect time!

Crunchy Thai Salad – adapted from Jamie Oliver 

This salad can be made by the truckload.  If you’re making it for the whole family or a BBQ/potluck then use a whole savoy cabbage.  To make it smaller just use half of the cabbage head. 

1 Chinese or Savoy cabbage 

A couple handfuls of arugula and/or spinach 

red and green bell pepper, julienned (finely sliced in strips) 

a couple handfuls of bean sprouts 

a small bag of baby snap peas 

a couple green onions, chopped on the bias – for asian flair! 

half of an english cucumber sliced in strips to match the peppers 

See how you can add anything you want or have in your fridge?  Just add as much as you think.  You can’t really go wrong.  This is the combo I usually use (plus or minus a few ingredients), but go nuts! 

Vinaigrette 

4 tbsp lime juice 

3 tbsp oil 

1 tbsp sesame oil 

1 tbsp soy sauce 

a good pinch of brown sugar 

1 tbsp minced ginger 

1 small clove garlic, minced 

something spicy – you could use a red chili, some red pepper flakes, some hot sauce you like, I’ve even used some Sweet chili sauce. 

a handful of chopped cilantro (can be substituted with basil or mint) right into the dressing. 

Chop up all the veggies and throw into a large bowl.  Shake all the vinaigrette ingredients up in a jar.  Pour over the veggies and toss.  Sprinkole with some sesame seeds to finish it off.  Let sit for a few minute in the fridge so that the vinaigrette can get soaked up a little.  

If you want to make it a meal, add some cooked egg or rice noodles and some chicken or shrimp would do the trick for some protein.

What’s that zingy-zip?  What’s that citrus cool?  Well, it’s lime of course!  And what goes better with lime than salt? Not much.  Think lime margarita with a salty rim.  Now you’re talking.

This slaw is perfect for a BBQ or a summer spread.  It has that cool zip of lime mixed with the saltiness of feta.  The combo is unreal.  This slaw must be hard to make – you think.  Nope.  Easy-peasy.  Actually, it is only 5 ingredients.  Yup, just 5 wonderful, find-in-your-own-home ingredients.  Now this is an easy one to whip up.  Especially if you forgot about that BBQ you were invited to and promised to bring a salad.  Not like that has happened to any of us.  Well, instead of buying that suspect potato mush salad from the deli at the local grocery store or grabbing some chips and dip on the way (lame), whip this up.  Even your husband could figure this one out (sorry, that was a little kind-hearted jab).

I know I just posted an awesome beet and blue cheese salad, but I had to post another salad to even up the score for those two dessert posts of Dutch appeltaart and rustic pear pie in a row.  Don’t worry, I am watching out for your waistline.  Austublieft! (translation = you’re welcome).

Feta and Lime Slaw – adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

thinly sliced small head of cabbage (you can even buy it bagged if you want)

0.33 cup feta cheese (seriously, just crumble as much as you like.  You know I used more than this :P)

3 tbsp oil (she suggests more, but I like an even ratio of oil and acid)

3 tbsp lime juice (I used 2 small limes)

1 tbsp honey

s + p to taste

Thinly slice up the cabbage (or open the bag) and throw into a large bowl.  Crumble the feta cheese on top.  In a small container (I usually have a saved glass jar from something or other to shake up vinaigrette in) combine the oil, lime juice, honey and salt and pepper and shake.  Pour over the salad and toss.  Done.  Cover with Saran wrap and take to your BBQ party.

***When you let it sit for a little while (meaning about 30 mins) the cabbage will soak up some of the vinaigrette and wilt a little.  Don’t worry, it tastes better this way.

This was the first thing Mr. Foodlova made for me.  Yup, our first stay-in dinner date.  He was poised to impress and he sure met the mark.  He began the evening with saganaki – yup, he lit cheese on fire and then put it out with a squeeze of lemon juice.  He had me at “cheese”.

He then escorted me out to back yard where he had a picnic table set up.  He barbecued some sort of meat – can’t remember, but I’m guessing it was buffalo, and he also made a big salad.  This big salad.  When he set it down and I took a peek I realized that there was blue cheese in it.  I was shocked!  Oh…no….I hate blue cheese……what am I going to do?!  What I did was take a small amount and hope that I could eat at least some of it.  I had only tried the stinky cheese once before and hadn’t touched it since.

Mr. Foodlova was very proud of his spread and was confident that I would rave and fall madly in love with him.  I, on the other hand was about to try some of the salad.  I do love beets, which gave him major points.  So I went in and prepared my self for the worst.  Yum?  YUM!  Was this really blue cheese or some delicious cousin?  It was perplexing, but I took some more and the rest is history. 

Now this salad is a regular in our home.  We even planted beets in our flower bed so that we would have fresh ones for this very purpose.  I am not kidding you when I say that this salad is unreal.  You gotta love beets and if you do, the flavours are the perfect complement.  Sour and creamy from the cheese, acidic and bright from the lemon juice and fresh from the parsley.  The beets round out the flavour with sweet earthiness.  The presentation is dark and luscious and if you add the beets warm, the cheese melts a little and mingles with the vinaigrette.  Trust me – try this!!

I just linked this recipe to It’s a Blog Party.  It’s a fun website that gets the blogging community together for the specialty of the day.  Tuesday is Delicious Dishes, so head on over and check it out!

Beet and Blue Cheese Salad – adapted from Moosewood

It says to use spinach, but we have used many different kinds of leaves; beet leaves, kale, arugula, swiss chard.  I think fresh beet leaves are the best!  This serves up nicely with a steak because, of course, it goes great with blue cheese.

3 medium sized beets, chopped into cubes and boiled or steamed

Spinach

Blue cheese

 Dressing:

3 tbsp oil

3 tbsp lemon juice

0.5 bunch Parsley

Salt and Pepper

 Chop up the beets into 1 inch cubes and thow into boiling water or steam them.  I just thought of broiling them…that would probably be really good.  If you try it, let me know how it turns out!  Boil/steam/broil until you can easily pierce with a fork.

While the beets are doing their thing, mix together the vinaigrette, throwing the parsley right in.  Put the spinach in a large bowl.  You can add as much as you like, but I usually add 2 handfuls for every person that is eating. 

When the beets are done, toss them over the spinach.  Crumble as much blue cheese as you like right over the steaming beets.  Then coat it all with the vinegrette.  Toss and serve to your special someone!

Alright, alright, I know I am in the Netherlands and about to show you a recipe for an Italian salad, but this salad is so good tha you won’t be thinking Dutch for long.  Remember how I said that there is a bakery on every corner here?  This salad with homemade crouton was just beggin’ to be made.

I also may have let you in on the fact that Arne and I are larger humans now, thanks to the foodfest we had in Calgary/SK before leaving.  I truly do deserve the name foodlova.  We ate so much great food, that we weren’t even hungry for the last week of it.  Anyways, we made a pact to eat a salad every night for a week instead of the regular fare.  It worked out well and now we are both looking and feeling pretty much back on the lighter side of things.  A few 2 hour rides in the country didn’t hurt either.

Now I am liking the whole idea of a lighter dinner a few times a week.  I find since I stopped skating I am just less hungry.  I never thought that would be, but alas it has happened to me.   This was not one of the salads we ate on the diet week, though.  Actually, I’m not really sure why this is called a salad.  The only leaf it has to offer is a few basil leaves.  The main bulk to this masterpiece is the bread.  Big chunks of crunchy, yet tender, cubes of homemade ciabatta croutons. 

Day old bread is the way to go for this one.  I have used fresh and it is fine, but having left over bread is a great excuse to whip up this quick side or starter salad.  I usually serve it with some sort of meat.  You could do a steak, sausage or an italianized chicken breast.  Either way, make sure you serve it with wine because that is what an Italian would do, right?

Panzanella Salad – adapted from The Main’s Anthony Sedlak

½ loaf of ciabatta bread cut into large cubes

I large buffalo mozzarella ball torn up into bite size pieces

1 clamshell of cherry tomatoes or any toms you like (these ones looks so beautiful I had to get them! I used 3)

1 small bunch of fresh basil

**for this recipe you can really play around with how much of each ingredient you put in.  If you are using more just add another tbsp of both oil and vinegar and you can make heaps and heaps more if you’d like!

 Dressing:

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I had red wine vinegar and it tasted really good too)

½ small red onion finely diced

 salt and pepper

Toss the ciabatta cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread evenly over a baking sheet.  Bake in a 400 degree farenheit oven until golden brown.

Mix up the dressing and set aside so that the onions soak up a little dressing.  It will make the onion a little more mild and give nice flavour to the dressing.  Add salt and pepper and stir/shake.

In a large bowl, tear up the mozza balls into bite size pieces.  Tear up the basil leaves and add to large bowl.  You can cut the mozza and basil for less of a rustic look if you’d like.  Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl.  When the croutons are ready, throw them in with everything else.  Pour dressing over and toss.

Important: let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving, so that the dressing gets soaked up into the bread a little.  This not only tastes awesome, but then the croutons won’t scrape the inside of your mouth as much.  Don’t worry, they still stay crunchy, but get a kind of tenderness that is just amazing!

Foodlova

I'm an ex-Olympian and I have a serious passion for food. I guess you could call me a food lova! What about you?

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