Posts Tagged ‘grape tomatoes’

by Caitlin Saniga

When I first saw purple bell peppers at the farmers market, I knew I had to give them a try. This colorful salad was the perfect solution. You’ve probably heard that different colors of produce offer different health benefits. I’m wondering if that holds true for purple peppers as opposed to other types of bell peppers. If it does, the nutrients in purple peppers boost the immune system, improve calcium absorption and limit the activity of cancer cells, among other things.

  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup cooked black rice
  • 4 large kale leaves, thinly sliced
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved (gold or otherwise)
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into half-moons
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into thin strips (purple or otherwise)
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Toss the onions with the vinegar in a small bowl; set aside about 10 minutes.

While the black rice is still warm, toss it with the kale, tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper. Add the red onions and stir to combine. Pour the olive oil over top and season with salt and pepper. Toss one more time. Serve immediately. Sealed in an airtight container, this salad lasts 1 day in the fridge.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Everyday Food

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by Caitlin Saniga

BLT salad

Don't worry. If your bagel BLT idea goes bad when you've left the bagel in the fridge for too many days, you can turn the sandwich into this awesome salad.

For the croutons:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder (Try adding just a few dashes.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (A few dashes works here, too.)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 savory bagel (Plain, cheese, jalapeno, onion, or another flavor that would make a good crouton. Stale works, too.)

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Italian dressing
  • salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • 4 cups loosely packed spinach
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved, or 1 Roma tomato chopped into pieces
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked to a crisp, broken into bits
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

To make the croutons, start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder and dashes of salt and pepper. Cut the bagel into bite-size cubes, anywhere from 1  inch to 1/2 inch thick. Put the bagel pieces in the bowl of oil and toss to coat. Spread bagel pieces over an ungreased baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until bagel pieces turn golden.

To make the dressing, whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, Dijon, Italian dressing and dashes of salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, toss spinach, tomatoes, bacon bits, cheddar cheese, croutons and dressing, and divide between two bowls.

Makes 2 salads.

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by Caitlin Saniga

How cute is orecchiette pasta?! It's not the easiest to find in stores (I found Delallo brand at Kroger, if that helps), but I love how it cups the chickpeas and mozzarella cubes here.

  • 1/2 pound orecchiette
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup drained canned chickpeas, patted dry (If you don’t make sure their at least pretty much dry, they cause quiet a stir when you add them to the hot oil. Water and hot oil don’t mix.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound Swiss chard, stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 basil leaves, torn

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, in a medium, deep skillet, heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil until simmering. Add the chickpeas and cook over high heat until crisp, 4 minutes. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with the cumin and coriander and season with salt and pepper. Discard the oil, and wipe out the skillet.

Add the olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add the chard and cook, stirring, until wilted, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pasta and reserved cooking water to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring until incorporated. Add the mozzarella and basil and toss. Spoon the pasta into bowls, sprinkle with the chickpeas and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe: Food & Wine

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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by Caitlin Saniga

The sauce for this recipe would also make a great dressing for a salad of, say, mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and feta.

  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Combine olives, shallots, lemon juice, mustard, anchovy paste, lemon peel, thyme and red pepper in processor. Blend until finely chopped. With machine running, gradually add oil and blend until almost smooth. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water just until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Refresh beans under cold water; pat dry with paper towels.
Toss beans, tomatoes and vinaigrette in large bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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