Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cucina! Cucina! Chop Chop

The weather has turned cold and rainy and all we've been eating are soups and stews. Delicious and warm? Yes. But sometimes the rain gets me down and I just want to eat like it's summer again!

This is my favorite summer Chop Chop Salad. It's quick to assemble and most importantly, everything can be chopped up ahead of time.

1 head iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped into small pieces
1/2 can garbonzo beans
5 slices of salami, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 can chicken - or whatever you have leftover
1-2 roma tomato (2 if they're small)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2-3 sprigs fresh basil, also chopped

Put chopped lettuce into bowl and layer other ingredients in order. If you really like garbanzos add the whole can. If I have tahini, I usually turn the rest of the can into a tasty hummus, which can be served with pita bread or chips along with the salad.

1 garlic clove
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup vinegar - I like balsamic but red or white wine varieties will work well
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of salt, pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend - mine is McCormick and it lists marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil

Using a garlic press, squeeze the clove into a container that you can seal and shake. Add mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and seasonings, then add the olive oil. Shake the container vigorously until dressing is combined.
If you like a creamy dressing, add 1 tsp mayonnaise with the mustard.

We don't like a drenched salad, so if there's too much dressing you can always store it in the container in the fridge for another salad venture. Just let it sit at room temp for 15 minutes and then shake again to reincorporate.

Can't you just taste the sunshine?

The Grocery Cart Challenge hosts the greatest recipe swap every Friday - Prego! (Not pregnant, "Thanks" in Italian!)

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I am an attorney, working mom of 3, who loves a bargain, a great deal and freebies. Who doesn't want the best, for less? Come here to see my triumphs and budget tribulations, good deals and my take on what the good life can mean...