Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Heirloom Tomato Salads

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Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomatoes are in season so I’m buying them fairly regularly. I have two, really easy and delicious salads here that can be the main course or a side dish with any protein you like. The second of the two is completely vegetarian.

Let’s talk about my first of the two Heirloom Tomato Salads. Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Local Grown Florida Heirloom Tomatoes

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Red Onion

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Arugula

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The second salad is my Artichoke, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad.

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad (2)

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

1). The first tomato salad is an Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: large mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, large salad serving bowl, a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk

Ingredients:
8 cups of heirloom tomatoes, halves, and wedges (depending on whether whole or grape size tomatoes)
1 1/2 heaping cups of diced Sopressata, OPTIONAL (substitute diced Genoa salami)
1 8-ounce package of Bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls or pearls)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1 1/2  tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

Salad Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup *E.V.O.O.
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Salad Dressing:
Place all ingredients into a (2 cup) measuring cup. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.

Herb Marinade For Bocconcini:
1 (8-ounce) package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of Italian-flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O

Directions:
Separate all the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small mixing bowl along with the other ingredients. Using a spoon, gently toss to combine. Set aside.

Direction For Heirloom Tomato Salad:
In a large mixing bowl, add the tomato halves and wedges. Add the marinated bocconcini and chopped tarragon. Pour the dressing over and toss all the ingredients together. Transfer to a large salad serving bowl. Serve with your favorite bread.

2). The second tomato salad is an Arugula, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad. This one is a vegetarian salad, totally meat-free!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, large mixing bowl, large salad serving bowl, large mesh sieve

Ingredients:
1 pound of orzo, cooked drained and cooled
2 cups of arugula leaves
4 cups of diced and halved heirloom tomatoes (depending on whether whole or grape size)
1 (14.6-ounce) jar of long-stemmed artichoke hearts, halved
1 (8-ounce) package of Bocconcini ( mini mozzarella balls
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl add the diced and halved heirloom tomatoes, cooked and cooled orzo pasta, halved artichokes hearts, bocconcini, arugula leaves, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Squeeze fresh lemon juice and drizzle the two tablespoons of agave nectar over the top, gently toss to combine. Next, transfer to a large salad serving bowl. My Artichoke, Heirloom Tomato, And Orzo Salad are so delicious you’ll be asked to make it over and over again.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

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Ina Garten was the inspiration for this salad. She did an episode on making pasta three different ways. This Greek pasta salad caught my eye. I wanted to make it with a couple of changes. What’s really cool about this recipe is, in the time it takes to cook the pasta, you can have all the veggies chopped and the salad dressing made. This is my Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette.

Hot House Cucumber

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Red Onion

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Kalamata Olives (2)

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E.V.O.O.

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Greek Pasta Salad With A Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepot, colander, large mixing bowl, large serving bowl, mini food processor

Ingredients:
2 hothouse or English cucumbers, diced into 1-inch chunks
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons then quartered
2 pints of grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
10 ounces of good Greek Feta, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 pound of fusilli pasta, cooked, rinsed until cold and drained
2 tablespoons of fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients For Sun-dried Tomato Dressing:
2 tablespoon of drained capers
2 garlic cloves
8 sun-dried tomatoes, drained (packed in oil)
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh sprig of mint for garnish

Directions For Dressing:
Add the sun drained sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until they are finely minced. Next, add in the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Kosher salt, black pepper, and Agave nectar. Pulse the ingredients to combine. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the *E.V.O.O whisking until the dressing comes together.

Directions:
In a large bowl, place all the diced vegetables. To the vegetables, add in the well-drained, cooked pasta. Pour in half of the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and stir through. This gives the hot pasta a chance to absorb those flavors. Finely, add in the cubed Feta, freshly chopped herbs, and remaining dressing. Gently toss the diced Feta (so to keeps its integrity) and herbs through until all the ingredients are well combined.

Serve the salad at room temperature or chill in the frig and serve cold. Garnish with a sprig of mint. This is my Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette.

*E.V.O.O. is the acronym for extra virgin olive oil.

1 Comment »

Burrata With Peaches

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A “small bites” or Tapas-style dishes are really popular in Spain. Here in Orlando, I’ve noticed new Tapas wine bars popping up everywhere. As I was checking out one of these wine bars, near my house. I looked over their menu and the dish that caught my eye was the Burrata With Peaches. I left there and headed right to my grocery store. This time of year fresh peaches is not in season. The next best option, frozen. Listen, don’t be afraid of using frozen fruit, they’re a really great substitute when you can’t find fresh.  Frozen fruit and berries are picked at the peak of freshness and are delicious.

I’m going to show you using peaches and burrata with a few added ingredients makes the perfect salad. Burrata With Peaches compliment each other so well it blows my mind.

A really unique ingredient I’m using in this dish is the Goji berry. Now, these berries can be found at Whole Food Markets, where they offer unique and organic nuts and berries. It’s best to store Goji berries in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. The Goji berry is packed with antioxidants and a great addition to any salad. You could, of course, substitute fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, even a few pistachios, whatever you like.

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Arugula

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Burrata And Peaches

 

 

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: Overnight
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: large mixing bowl, Microplane, 2 salad plates

Ingredients For Two Servings:
1 package frozen peaches, thawed

7 wedges per plate
1cup of baby arugula leaves, 1/2 cup per plate
2 tablespoons of Goji berries (substitute fresh blueberries or dried cranberries), per plate
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional) per plate
1 teaspoon of Fresno chili, seeded and minced, divided (optional)
1 teaspoon of lemon zest, per plate
a spritz of fresh lemon juice (1 wedge of lemon juice) per plate
2 tablespoons of honey, 1 per plate
2 (4-ounce) balls of Burrata cheese, 6 tablespoons per plate
Kosher salt to taste, per plate
Freshly ground black pepper to taste, per plate

Directions:
The night before, fill a bowl with your frozen peaches. Let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the peaches into a bowl the next day.

Arrange 5 to 7 peach wedges, on a salad plate, in a star-like formation. Next, add tablespoons of Burrata cheese over the top of the peaches. Add grated lemon zest, letting the zest flakes fall where they may. Gently drop the berries all over the dish so they fall nestling themselves throughout the peaches and Burrata. Then add the delicate baby arugula leaves. Finally, sprinkle with Kosher salt,  fresh ground black pepper, and a drizzle of honey. When you’re ready to serve, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over the top.

Light and delicious, my Burrata With Peaches is another example of how using really good ingredients makes all the difference in the world.

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