Posts Tagged ‘Salad’

I love tomatoes.  I call them my favorite “fruit” … not so much because they are technically a fruit but because my favorite vegetable is carrots, and I would have a difficult time choosing between the two if they were both deemed vegetables.

???????????????????????????????This summer, my big Costco discovery was these Symphony tomatoes (I’ve also seen a smaller “symphony” package in Chuck’s Produce, which suggests to me that you might be able to find them elsewhere as well.)  They are an eye catching array of colorful cherry sized tomatoes – with colors such as chocolate brown, white (which looks like a “greenish” white), green, orange, and the familiar red.  Most of the tomatoes are roundish in shape, but some are “Roma” tomato shape.

To make my tomato salad, I start with a colander full of these tomatoes with all the blossoms removed and the tomatoes washed thoroughly.  Then I cut them.  Most of the round tomatoes I cut in half, but some of the larger round tomatoes I cut into fourths … basically, I cut the tomatoes into bite size pieces.

???????????????????????????????Then I season with Kosher salt and ground pepper.  If I happen to have it on hand, I will substitute the Kosher salt with a gourmet salt from Woody’s Gourmet.  (My personal favorite is the Black Truffle & Fresh Thyme Sea Salt)

Then I reach for my bottle of Smoky Bacon flavored Grapeseed Oil from Wildtree.  This is the MAGIC product in this salad, because it adds such a delightful flavor.  The bacon flavor is not an overpowering flavor, and I might like this even better if the bacon flavor was more pronounced (Bacon is a lot like chocolate in that more bacon = better.)  The bacon is best tasted when you taste the oil on it’s own, but, I still taste the bacon flavor when I make this tomato salad, and  love the way the smoky bacon and tomato flavors meld.

Note:  If you really want to focus on the bacon flavors, I suggest seasoning with plain Kosher salt rather than the gourmet stuff, as the extra seasoning in the gourmet sea salts tend to distract my palate.

grapeseedoil

Photo from Wildtree
Click on the pic to go there.

I have fallen in love with Grapeseed Oil because I love the taste.  I used to be very devoted to olive oil, but, I like grapeseed oil even better, and I love the Wildtree brand (and not just because one of my dear friends sells the stuff!)   The taste of the grapeseed oil is not as heavy as the olive oil, and I find this especially desirable on a salad like my tomato salad where I want to taste the tomato.

I drizzle the grapeseed oil over the seasoned tomatoes, and then I follow that with a drizzle of vinegar.  I tried this salad first using this Champagne Mimosa Vinegar from Chapparal Gardens – LOVED it – but now I use balsamic vinegar and that is good too.  The Champagne vinegar is better … but it is also kind of pricey, Then again, so is a good balsamic vinegar, but since I always have balsamic vinegar on hand … well, you get the idea, right?

After I’ve seasoned and dressed the tomatoes, I toss the tomatoes well in the mixture to make sure that all the tomatoes get some vinegar and oil and seasoning on them.  And then I eat it.  YUM!

???????????????????????????????Yeah, I told you it’s easy.  So, if it’s a little too easy for you and my recipe is leaving you asking why I bothered to write this post … let me add this:  Tomatoes are very good for you!  They are an excellent source of antioxidants and help lower cholesterol.  They are also an excellent source of vitamin C, A, K and potassium.  And they’re practically calorie free!  Now, the dressing on this salad isn’t calorie or fat free, of course, but, I suggest go sparingly with the vinegar and oil anyway and let the tomatoes be the star of the show.

You can find more yummy grapeseed oil recipes on my friend Jennifer’s blog!

champagnevinegar

Photo from Petit Amuse.
Click on the Pic to go there.

Product Description:

Most versatile of the Chaparral bunch, this vinegar is light with citrus notes.  It’s perfect for any type of salad, marinade, or sauce.

I received this sample bottle of vinegar in my November Petit Amuse sampler box.  You can subscribe to Petit Amuse here.

What I Think:

Happy New Year!

And what better way to ring in the new year than with some Champagne?  Well, since I am not much of a drinker, I think I’d prefer to go with this Champagne Vinegar from Chaparral Gardens, thank you!

For the purposes of this review, I used this vinegar as a salad dressing for a basic green salad of romaine lettuce, cucumber, radish and carrots.  I didn’t add any oil, nor did I add any extra spices – just Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

And really, I didn’t need any more than that to have a very enjoyable salad!  I think that’s what I like best about this vinegar, is that I can enjoy a salad without the extra fat and calories that oil would add.  This has a really lovely taste to it.  I can’t tell you that I’m tasting the difference here that the champagne adds to the vinegar, because, this doesn’t taste like champagne … at least, not to me it doesn’t.  It doesn’t even hint at champagne to me.  What I taste is a crisp, light vinegar taste that tangy, but also a little bit sweet.  I notice the citrus-y notes as described in the above description.

My Final Thoughts:

This is really good.  It’s light and refreshing, and I like it a lot more than I thought I would.  To tell you the truth, I wasn’t all that excited when I received this in my tasting box in November.  Not that I was disappointed, really, but, let’s face it, it’s not as exciting as the other items in the November box.  However, this turned out to be a very exciting way to enjoy a simple salad!

Photo from Petit Amuse. Click on the pic to go there.

Product Description:

Crunchy and buttery with a healthy dose of garlic, these croutons taste like they are fresh out of the oven.

These Butter & Garlic Croutons are available at Petit Amuse.

What I Think:

I received a sampling of these croutons in my Petit Amuse box for October.  The little sample pouch holds six croutons, just enough to determine whether they are something you’re going to want to get a full-size package.  Since there were only six croutons in the package, I decided to snack on them as they were, rather than toss them on top of a salad or float them in a bowl of soup.

And the verdict?  They’re pretty good.  They’re really crunchy, and very buttery.  And heavily seasoned with garlic.  As in GARLIC-Y!  Seriously, don’t plan on kissing anyone after eating these croutons!

I happen to love garlic, so I find the flavor of these croutons to be very appealing.  I love the buttery taste of them, and I love the strong taste of garlic.  I think they’d taste great in a tomato soup or on top of an ordinary salad – these croutons would really liven it up.

My Final Thoughts:

Because the garlic is so strong, I don’t think I would actually buy a full-sized package of these croutons for me and my family, because I’m the only one in the household who really loves garlic.  My husband likes it alright as long as it’s moderate … and I know he would think that these are way too garlic-y.  And truth be told, he uses more croutons than I do as I generally prefer my salads without croutons (I prefer nuts of some sort).   Good, but not something that would appeal to my entire family.