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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Two-Heirloom Tomato Salads

Photo May 26, 6 31 09 PM

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom tomatoes are in season right now, so I’m buying them fairly regularly. I have, two, really easy and delicious salads here that can be a main coarse or a side dish with any protein you like. The second one is completely vegetarian. Let’s talk about my first salad.

Photo May 26, 6 28 40 PM

Heirloom Tomato Salad With Bocconcini And Sopressata.

Photo May 26, 6 31 09 PM

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
1-1/2 heaping cups of diced Sopressata  (or diced Genoa Salami)
8 cups of heirloom tomatoes – halved and wedges ( depending on whole or grape size tomatoes)
1- 8 ounce package- herb marinated 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 cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of freshly chopped tarragon leaves

Dressing For Salad:
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:
Place all ingredients in a “2 cup” measuring cup. Whisk all the ingredients together until well combined.

Marinate For Bocconcini:
1-8 ounce package of mini Bocconcini
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
Pinch of Kosher salt
Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup of E.V.O.O

Directions:
Separate all the the mini mozzarella balls and place them into a small bowl along with the other ingredients. Using a spoon, gently mix together.

Direction For Heirloom Tomato Salad:
In a large salad bowl, place all the halved and tomato wedges. Add in the marinated mozzarella balls. Next, add in the chopped fresh tarragon leaves. Pour the dressing over and toss all the ingredients together. Serve with your favorite bread.

Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad

My second tomato salad called, Orzo And Heirloom Tomato Salad. This on is a vegetarian salad, totally meat free!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
1 pound of cooked drained and cooled orzo pasta
2 cup of arugula leaves
4 cups of diced and halved heirloom tomatoes ( depending 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 cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Directions:
Place the halved and diced heirloom tomatoes, cooked and cooled orzo pasta, halved artichokes hearts, mini mozzarella balls arugula leaves, Kosher salt, black pepper, and chopped parsley into a large salad bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and drizzle the two tablespoons of agave nectar over the top. Toss through gently. Next, refrigerate until your ready to serve as a colorful and tasty side dish.

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Greek Pasta Salad With A Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

Photo Mar 09, 7 43 07 PM

Photo Mar 09, 7 43 11 PM

Ina Garten was my 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 get the water for the pasta to boil and the pasta to cook, you can have all the veggies chopped and the dressing made for the salad.

Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 hothouse or English cucumbers diced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 a red onion sliced very thin then cut in half
2 pints of grape tomatoes halved
10 ounces of 1 inch cubed Greek Feta
1 package of cooked Fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons of finely chopped Italian parsley
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Sun dried tomato dressing:
2 tablespoon of drained capers
2 garlic cloves
8 drained sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
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. Through the feed tube of the food processor, while it’s turned on, drizzle in the E.V.O.O until dressing comes together.

Directions:
In a large bowl, place all the diced vegetables. To the vegetables, add in the well drained, cooked pasta. Pour on the half of sun dried tomato vinaigrette and stir though. 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 though 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.

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Burrata And Peaches

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This dish is what I call a “small bites” or Tapas. Burrata And Peaches, because of how they compliment each other is off the chain delicious. The one special ingredient I’m using in this dish is Goji berries. Now, these berries can be found at Whole Food Markets, where they specialize in organic ingredients. I keep them 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.

The stars of this small bite plate are the Peaches And Burrata. I’m using frozen peaches today because fresh peaches aren’t in season. Frozen peaches, along with other fruits, are packaged at their peak of freshness.

Yields: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: overnight, thaw in the refrigerator

Ingredients:
I package frozen peaches, 5-7 peach wedges per plate
1/4 cup of baby arugula leaves
1 tablespoon of Goji berries (fresh blueberries or dried cranberries)
1 tablespoon chopped Pistachios- optional
1 teaspoon of finely diced Fresno chili- optional
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
a spritz of fresh lemon juice from 1 wedge of lemon
1 tablespoon of Agave nectar
6 tablespoons of Burrata cheese
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Directions:
Start with 5-7 wedges of thawed frozen peaches on a plate arranged beautifully. Next, add the Burrata cheese over the top in small spoonfuls. Then add the 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 dish. Then add the delicate baby arugula leaves. Finally, sprinkle with Kosher salt,  pepper, and a drizzle of Agave nectar. Right when you’re ready to serve, squeeze a wedge of lemon juice over the top.

Light and delicious, this “small bite” is another example of how a few simple ingredients, are still a roller coaster for your taste buds!

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