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A Light Summer Supper

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This weekend was another busy one for us.  Friday night we went to Tomahawk Boyscout camp, where Alex had spent the week, to see their end of the week awards ceremony.  Then Saturday was spent helping Nicole and Kelly move back to school.  So finally, on Sunday night, I had some time to cook and came up with my version of the Cravings Field Greens Salad and Tomato and Basil Bruschetta.

Salad and bruschetta for two on the deck

The salad ended up being quite easy.  I did my shopping at Trader Joe’s and bought a bag of spring mix greens, so there was no prep with that, just open.  I made some herb croutons out of ciabatta bread and seasoned them with herbes de provence (a blend you can find at most grocery stores) and then I made a very simple balsamic vinaigrette, with just balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper.  The other two components of the salad were sliced red onion and grape tomatoes.

The bruschetta came together pretty easily, as well.  I found locally grown tomatoes at Trader Joe’s that had great flavor (they tasted like tomatoes!), fresh mozzarella, a baguette and fresh basil.  Add to that olive oil, garlic and a balsamic reduction and you have some pretty tasty bruschetta!  There were a few more steps to this than the salad.  After slicing the bread and brushing it with olive oil, I put it under the broiler until one side started to toast up, then I flipped it over and put it back under for just a short time.  I then topped it with the mozzerella and put it back under the broiler until the cheese was just starting to melt.  Then I pulled it out and put the rest of the toppings on it.

Steve thought the salad tasted similar to the Cravings salad and he really liked the bruschetta.  The only thing I’d do differently next time would be to not reduce the balsamic quite so much.  It ended up almost the consistency of carmel, which is too sticky.  What I didn’t realize is that the reduction would continue to thicken as it cooled off.  So keep that in mind if you try this.

I have to say, I was pretty pleased with how both recipes turned out. It was a great light supper on a warm summer evening!  I will definitely be making both recipes again!

Field Greens Salad

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices ciabatta bread, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • 1-5 oz bag spring mix greens
  • 1 cup (more if you like) grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thinly

In a small bowl, whisk balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard together.  While whisking, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil.  Continue whisking until the oil is incorporated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a medium to large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add bread cubes, tossing occasionally, until nicely toasted.  Sprinkle with herbes and toss.  Remove from pan and reserve.

In a large bowl, mix greens, onions and tomatoes together.  Drizzle dressing over the top (a little at a time, so it’s not over-dressed) and toss until coated. Divide on to salad plates, top with croutons and fresh cracked pepper and serve.

Serves 4-6

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 oz fresh mozzerella, cut into a small dice
  • 10 leaves fresh basil, cut into small strips (roll the leaves up together and then slice)
  • 6-8 1 1/2″ slices of baquette, cut on a sharp angle
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and sliced in half
  • salt and pepper

Heat broiler on high.
Place balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low.  Reduce until vinegar coats the back of a spoon (be careful not to take it too far, it will thicken more as it cools).

While the vinegar reduces, toss the tomatoes and half of the basil with about 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil place slices on a cookie sheet.  Place cookie sheet under the broiler.  When the baguette starts to get brown around the edges, remove from oven.

rub cut side of garlic over each piece.  Turn pieces over and put cookie sheet back in the oven until baquette is barely starting to get brown.  Remove from oven again, rub each piece with garlic and divide cheese equally on top of pieces.  Put cookie sheet in the oven one last time until the cheese is just starting to melt.  Remove from oven.

Place baquette slices on individual plates or on a serving platter.  Divide tomato basil mixture equally on top of each piece.  Drizzle with the balsamic reduction, sprinkle with the rest of the basil and top with fresh cracked pepper.  Enjoy!

Cook's Night Off
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