Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spare Parts Make a Great Salad

There is nothing more rewarding or satisfying than creating a meal or part of a meal from random ingredients, non-planned and with no recipe in front of you. The other night I made a vegetarian chile served on a bed of toasted millet and wanted to make a vegetable side dish to go with it. I came up with a salad that was bursting with flavor and really complimentary to the spicy main entree. It reminded me of salads that I've seen on menus or at least should be on one.

I had a number of ingredients that needed to be used sooner than later. They were: half a small head of frisee (curly lettuce), small piece of red bell pepper, blood orange, avocados and leftover lemon dressing. The result was in a beautiful delicious and nutritious salad. Since it was improvised and I didn't write down what I was doing while composing the salad the below recipe is estimated.

Frisee, Red Bell Pepper and Avocado Salad
Serves 4

Small head of Frisee, leaves pulled apart and cleaned (about 4 big handfuls)
Half of red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1 blood orange, peeled and cut into sections
Lemon Dressing (1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste)
note: You could also add some sliced red onion and radish if you like more flavor. I would have if I had it on hand.

  1. Place the frisee and bell pepper in a bowl, pour some dressing (about half) over the leaves and toss to coat.
  2. Arrange the frisee and bell pepper evenly on four plates, top with the blood orange sections.
  3. Meanwhile cut open the avocados, remove the pit. Cut each half into slices and remove from with a spoon. Layer each half on on salad.
  4. Sprinkle each salad with a bit more dressing if needed and some salt and pepper.
    Ready to serve.

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