Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Seasonal {Summer} Suppers

Part Three:  Sweetgreen’s July Salad 

I attended my first year of college at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with one of my very best friends, Brigid. That year we managed to get placed into the same “freshman seminar” English class, where we loved our professor but had a somewhat insane amount of reading to do. I remember that one story in particular was so ridiculously long and boring that we decided to read it out loud in lieu of falling asleep. As I was reading along, somewhat mindlessly, I came to the name Brigitte Bardot and, like a fool, read this Brigitte BarDOT. To which Brigid responded:

“Ummm….it’s BarDOUGH.”

Oh my. I am laughing just typing this. Thank goodness this happened in the sanctity of our dark and dank basement dorm room and not within the ear-shot of the pseudo-intellectuals we shared that class with.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I had a similar moment several months ago when I tried to pronounce the word quinoa, which is a vital ingredient in this salad. For the record, you should say KEEN-WAH and not QUI-NO-A to avoid an embarrassing moment.

So, what is the July salad? Simply put, an updated caprese salad. I know, I know – you’ve already had one right? Sweetgreen has made this salad heartier and more salad-like (in the way that I think of a salad, anyway) with the addition of quinoa and spinach. And though they did call for balsamic vinaigrette, I went ahead and made my own creamy balsamic dressing which you absolutely should make. Below I have provided exact measurements for the dressing (make it all, believe me) but not for the salad. Just make as much as you want and/or need (but don’t forget that this makes for a pretty great lunch the next day).

Here is what you will need:

For the salad:
-baby spinach
-tomatoes (any kind that you love will do)
-fresh mozzarella
-(spicy) quinoa*

*I looked for a box of spicy quinoa at the grocery store, hoping to find something that resembled a couscous mix. Since I couldn’t find one, I just added a rather hearty shake of red pepper flakes to regular cooked quinoa. I recommend doing this as it gives the salad a nice bite.

For the dressing:
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 small clove of garlic, pasted)
-1/2 teaspoon sugar
-1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
-3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Here is how you will make this:
-Cook your quinoa according to the package directions.
             -Chop up your spinach and place into a big salad bowl.
-Chop tomatoes to your liking. You might want to remove some of the pulp if they are SUPER juicy to avoid a watery salad. Add the tomatoes to the bowl.
-Chop the basil into reasonably small pieces. Add to the bowl.
-Chop the fresh mozzarella into small chunks. Add to the bowl. (Am I sounding repetitive…?)

-When the quinoa is done, season with red pepper flakes to your liking. Add to your bowl and toss everything together.
-Now make your dressing. Ready?
                -Combine all the ingredients and stir.
-To serve, place a heaping amount on a plate and drizzle with your amazing homemade dressing.
So EASY and SO delicious!

I have never been to Sweetgreen but I am looking forward to the day when I get to eat there. To learn more about them, find a location and read the recipe for their August Salad (another I look forward to re-creating) visit their site here!

Brigitte Bardot image here.

1 comment:

  1. Bahaha! A fond memory of my accidental verbal b****slap. That keenwah salad looks fantas!! (my attempt at abreeving "fantastic". Too far?) well done little one