Thursday, July 19, 2012

Edamame Salad Recipe

Here is another salad for you!  I hope you tried the panzanella salad at one of your latest BBQ’s.  I made it again for our 4th of July Celebration! It went perfectly alongside our 16 lobsters while we ate alfresco in my parents back patio by the pool. 

On to the feature of today, Edamame Salad!  I am a huge edamame fan! They are one of my favorite snacks to enjoy while in the pods sprinkled with a little salt.  It is just fun food to eat.  My husband and I ate bowls full of salted edamame pods while relaxing at a poolside bar in Maui on our honeymoon. 
Edamame is perfect as a snack, but they also go well as a side dish warm or in a salad.  This salad allows the simplicity of the edamame bean to shine through while accompanied pecorino cheese, cannellini beans and garlic!  The snap of the edamame beans goes perfectly with the soft, smooth cannellini beans.  With only 8 ingredients, this salad is so simple to put together.  My sister and I love this salad, so I always make a little extra for leftovers. 

Edamame Salad Recipe
Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped dried basil
4 cups (18 ounces) shelled edamame beans
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
5 ounces pecorino, cut into 1/4 -inch chunks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

In a small, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, but not brown, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil and set aside.

If your edamame beans are frozen, you will need to cook them before assembling the salad.  Boil 4 quarts of water seasoned with 1/4  teaspoon of salt.  Cook for 5 minutes until thawed through.  Pour into a strainer and run cold water over to increase the cooling time. 

Once the edamame beans are cooled, combine them with cannellini beans, cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a serving bowl. Add the garlic mixture and toss well until all the ingredients are coated.

1)      There is no exact science to this salad.  If you want to add more pecorino cheese, you are more than welcome too! I am sure I usually use more than 5 ounces.
2)      The original recipe calls for less edamame beans, but I wanted to showcase them in the salad.
3)      Feel free to try different types of herbs.  If you want to try oregano, rosemary, thyme, go for it!
4)      As I mentioned above, this salad is great leftover! So if you have time, make it a day in advance for a party.  The flavors will meld together nicely.
5)      I buy my shelled edamame at Trader Joes in the frozen food aisle.  For this salad I use two bags.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Panzanella Salad Recipe

With summer officially here, that means lots of BBQ’s with family and friends!  This is a time to allow the fresh summer flavors to shine through and complement BBQ favorites.  I love to bring different salads to parties that everyone can try.  Panzanella salad is a rustic Italian salad made with day old bread and fresh produce.  It is a match made in heaven!

This salad is simplistic and purely shows off the amazing produce of the summer.  Plus, the homemade bread croutons soak up the tangy dressing, while still adding a lot of crunch.  The croutons are predominant in this salad, and not your typical salad with just a few on top.  If you bring this to your 4th of July festivities, all of the guests will love this salad. 

Panzanella Salad Salad
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Serves 12

For the Salad:
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the Vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

1)   If you are going to bring this to a party and make the salad ahead of time, I would suggest bringing the croutons in a separate container.  Then just add them to the salad with dressing when ready to serve.  This will allow the croutons to maintain their  crunchy perfection.   
2)  Feel free to add some of your favorite produce items to this salad.
3)  I only had red peppers the day I made this salad, but to make this salad even more
      colorfuly, you can use one yellow and one orange pepper. 
4)  The original recipe called for Champagne vinegar.  I didn't have any in the house, so I     used red wine vinegar and it worked out perfectly. 
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