Panzanella, King of the Salads!

A week or so ago, Living Social had a deal in which you spent $10 and received a $20 coupon to Whole Foods!  I just couldn’t resist.  Last night after work, I walked the mile to Whole Foods with a shopping list in hand.

For whatever reason, I had been craving panzanella salad all week, so I decided to go with a recipe from Ina Garten, a sure winner! I also wanted to add salmon so here’s my take on Ina’s recipe.

Baked Salmon Panzanella Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 load of French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cucumber sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
  • 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 pound salmon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degree Fahrenheit. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.

Place raw salmon on a foil lined pan.  Season with salt, pepper, and the juice from one lemon.  Place salmon in 450 degree oven and bake for 12-15 minutes.

While the salmon bakes, make the vinaigrette for the salad.  For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers.

Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Remove salmon from oven after 12-15 minutes and allow to cool before platting.

Serve 1 – 1 1/2 cups of panzanella

and top with piece of baked salmon

Dinner is served!!

So I know I shouldn’t say this, but I really can’t believe it’s already Friday.  This week was an interesting one, to say the least, and I’m really looking forward to a few days off.

This weekend should be incredibly relaxing, or at least I intend it to be!!  The weather is suppose to be AMAZING (highs in mid 50’s, lows in 40’s– though there is a slight chance of rain but oh well).  I plan to crack open the windows, throw on a hoodie, and enjoy two days off!  Here’s what’s on the agenda:

  • Friday Night— Dinner with Liz, Julie, and Neal
  • SaturdayArt on the Avenue (This is my favorite art festival in DC!  I wait all year for this)
  • Sunday— 5 mile run with Neal, Redskins vs. Rams, graduate work

Have a fantastic Friday everyone!! Don’t forget to take the Locus of Control quiz!  It’s really interesting.

Spice it up!

Sometimes life just needs a little extra spice and last night I decided to spice things up with CILANTRO, Cha Cha Cha!

I found a wonderful, and easy recipe, on Nutmeg Notebook a few weeks ago and just knew that it would come in handy!  I began by sauteing chicken tenders with a little Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime

Chicken tenders are great because they cook quickly and make portion control easier for me.  The chicken tenders cooked for about 5 minutes on each side.

While they were cooking I prepared my salad.  I rinsed a can of black beans and a can of corn and added it to a big bowl of lettuce and cherry tomatoes.

I don’t know if I’ve told y’all… but I LOVE BEANS.  If you were to ask me “what’s your favorite food?” I wouldn’t even hesitate to yell out “Beans!”.  I was really tempted to add a can of pinto beans to the mix, but I refrained.  Though I may love beans, they don’t always love me.  My boyfriend would agree 😉

Next, I began to make the salad dressing.  I chopped up a packet of cilantro, juiced one lemon, and then mixed in the remaining ingredients.

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

The salad dressing is extremely tasty.  A little goes a long way, so I did not add mine directly to the bowl of greens.  I decided to add mine to individual salads.

This salad is so bright and it is really tasty.  In the future I’ll definitely add pinto beans, onion, avocado, and maybe something for crunch (toasted corn tortillas?).  I brought it for lunch today and my tummy is growling already!

I think this salad would also be incredibly tasty with a fillet of salmon on top instead of chicken… just a thought.

Today has been a great day so far.  I slept in this morning until 7AM, made a beautiful strawberry-pineapple smoothie, put on a soft cotton summer dress, and headed into work (ok, I showered in there too).  I also got two free tickets to a sneak preview of Horrible Bosses.  Can anyone say Spontaneous Date with My Amazing Boyfriend??  I’m thinking, sneak dinner into the theater and then go out for FroZenYo afterwards!! I love it when a night in with homework turns into a night out with my honey!

What is your ideal frozen yogurt concoction?  Favorite toppings?