Wednesday, June 27, 2012 Summer Salads

It would seem I'm back on a Smitten Kitchen kick. It's been heating up here in Southern California, being Summer and all. (I mean it's not Texas hot, not even close.) But Summers and salads go hand in hand for me, they're cool, fresh, & crisp exactly what you want when it warms up outside.

Here are two we've made this week, both delicious, unfortunately there's only pictures of one of them.

Black Bean Confetti Salad
30 oz. Canned Black Beans, Drained & Well-Rinsed
4 Bell Peppers, a Mix of Colors, Diced
1 Medium White Onion, Diced
1 Cup Rotisserie Chicken, Shredded
1 Lime, Juiced
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Cumin
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Honey
1/8 tsp Cayenne
1/2 Cup Cilantro, Chopped

Mix Beans, Bell Peppers and White Onion in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk remaining ingredients into a vinaigrette. Ideally, you’ll have a 1/2 cup of dressing. Pour it over the Bean mixture, toss it well and adjust seasonings to taste.

Panzanella Salad
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Delicious Loaf of Bread, Cut into 1-inch Cubes
1 tsp Salt
2 Large Tomatoes, Diced
1 Cucumber, Diced
1 Zucchini, Diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Diced
1/2 Red Onion, Halved & Thinly Sliced
20 Large Basil Leaves, Coarsely Chopped
1 tsp finely minced garlic
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

In a large bowl, mix the Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Pepper, Yellow Pepper, Red Onion, and Basil. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Heat the Oil in a large saute pan. Add the Bread and Salt; cook over medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more Oil as needed.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the ingredients.

Serve immediately, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

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