Spring is upon us! Even if it's not quite showing it's warmth yet - let's coax it on in with a fresh, spring-like salad, shall we? This is one of my favorites. Insalata Mista means mixed salad in Italian. You can use whatever veggies you want. The key is to use the freshest ingredients possible. Wash them early so they have time to dry off, and don't put them in the refrigerator (until after you've used what you need for the meal.)
We steamed a couple of artichokes to munch on before dinner. Then I melted butter with some Italian herbs and mixed up some mayo with Italian salad dressing for 2 different and tasty dips. Be sure to save the hearts to put in the salad.
2 Artichoke hearts, sliced
2 Tomatoes, cut in quarters
8 oz Oyster or trumpet mushrooms
1 bunch of Asparagus
Fresh Parmesan, shaved
4 Organic chicken breasts
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1.) Roast the asparagus. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle trimmed stalks with
olive oil and salt. Place in oven and roast for about 10 minutes.
2.) Mix together the arugula, leafy greens, sliced mushrooms and asparagus.
3.) Thinly slice the saved artichoke hearts and toss in salad.
4.) Shave fresh Parmesan on top.
5.) Dish out salad equally among plates. Place sliced tomatoes along the edge of the plate.
Grilled Chicken Breasts
I grabbed some rosemary from our rosemary bush out back and infused extra virgin olive oil with it for a few hours. I brushed the rosemary/oil over the chicken breasts and seasoned them with a little salt and pepper. Then we grilled them up on the outside grill. Slice up the meat, and divide among salads.
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper
1.) Whisk together the extra virgin olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle dressing all over salad and tomatoes.
I picked up fresh baked bread from the Italian restaurant down the street. It's brushed with olive oil, garlic, and herbs de provence.
This meal pairs perfectly with a crisp, white wine - Roero Arneis is a great choice.
And why not top off the night with espressos on the porch...
The Chicken Chick