Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lettuce Clean Out the Fridge - November 10, 2012

In our house salad is the perfect solution for left overs.  Lettuce is plentiful in the Spring and Fall and Greens last even longer.  I wash a new batch of greens and have ready in the fridge during the week to make salads as needed.  But, salad can be made throughout the year without lettuces.  I've already blogged about rice salad and everyone knows such famous lettuce free salads as Caprese or Orange Salad.

A perfect example of salad as a way to clean out your fridge is Nicoise.  While, it is expensive for me to get the basic ingredients for this fabulous salad filled with fresh grilled tuna, olives, French green beans, potatoes and capers; this is exactly what is available in abundance in the Nicoise region of France.  So, I looked around to see what I had to make a great salad this week.  It all started with my cleaned lettuce and some great Brussels sprouts that had come in our farmer's box.  Here is the simple recipe for them:

Brussels Sprouts

6 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 c. sliced shallots
1 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
6 sliced garlic cloves
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. white wine
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Heat skillet over medium-high.  Saute bacon for 5 minutes until brown and remove pan from heat.  Add in Brussels sprouts and shallots and saute 4 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 4 minutes.  Add broth and wine and bring to boil.  Cook 2 minutes until sprouts are crisp tender.  Season.

Along with these beautiful sprouts and lettuces, I added carrots, olives and homemade croutons.  A little goat cheese and Balsamic vinegar finished it off for a perfect lunch. 

One last pointer about making great salads is that it helps to have some go to staples in addition to lettuce readily available.  We always have some dried fruit (especially cranberries), nuts and cheese.  These are fabulous together in a salad.  Capers, olives, croutons, sesame sticks and garbanzo beans also keep well and are great to pull out for a last minute salad.  Anyone else have favorite salad recipes or staples?

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