Brrrrrrr! And yummmmmmmmmmmmm!
It's almost Christmas. The aromas of sweets and pines and candles. The laughter of children. The delight in their eyes. It's all worth it, isn't it?
But food is a major part of this holiday, and, after all the sweets I consume, I hunger for a good crisp salad filled with nutritious "fun" goodies.
According to Bernadette Bessette, the colorful grandmother of my protagonist in The Long Quiche Goodbye, texture, flavor and presentation matter.
So this week, keeping that adage in mind, I put together a winter salad using the tastiest items in my refrigerator. Adorn with strawberries and apples and you've got a truly beautiful plate.
CHRISTMAS WINTER SALAD
10 strings beans
2 strawberries, halved
6 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 green apple, sliced thin
1 Tbs. safflower oil (to grill mushrooms)
6 mixed olives
6 slices favorite salami, halved
2 slices Scharfe Maxx cheese, diced
1 cup mixed greens
2-4 Tbs. oil and vinegar salad dressing (recipe below)
Cook the string beans in boiling water laced with 1 tsp. salt for 3 minutes. Rinse and cool.
Grill the mushrooms in 1 Tbs. of oil, flipping once, until lightly browned.
Place greens on a salad plate. Top with salami, mushrooms, and cheese. Outline the greens with the green beans, strawberries, apple slices and olives.
Drizzle with salad dressing.
When you're eating the salad, mix it all together. That's how it tastes best to me!
SIMPLE SALAD DRESSING
2 Tbs. safflower (or olive) oil
4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Shake and serve.
Note: I found Scharf Maxx Cheese at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York. It's a raw swiss cheese made by the Studer Dairy in Hatswil and is a very piquant cheese. Yum!
By the way, would you like to suggest a new secret ingredient for our February Iron Chef? If we choose yours, you'll win a great prize. Just send your suggestios to our mail box: MysteryLoversKitchen@gmail.com. One entry per person per day for our followers. The winner will be chosen among our followers only, so join us! Just scroll down our right column and hit the "follow" button! Watch our posts next week to find out what prize you might win for your suggestion!
Merry, merry Christmas to all. May your new year be filled with love, laughter and good health!