Last weekend we were at a house-warming party for a friend. She made the most amazing salad. Seriously, it has been a while since I have had a new salad and one that truly hit the spot. The guests cleared out the bowl, and she saw how enamored I was with it. She pulled me aside and said she would make more. It is easy and has very few ingredients. We then made it this week, and it was good, but I need to find out what she did. She sometimes cooks in the oh I’ll add more of this here and that there. And, somehow her version just tasted better. Hmmm.
We cut the recipe in half (even though the original recipe says for 2).
Smoked Mozzarella Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing [Adapted]
2 oz mixed greens
1/2 lb smoked mozzarella cheese, sliced
2.5 oz jarred sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (drained weight)
1/8 c fresh basil, shredded
1/8 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tbsp capers, rinsed
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 garlic clove, chopped
extra olive oil
salt+pepper to taste
Put all the dressing ingredients into a blender. Use the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes and add extra as needed to equal 1/3 cup of oil. Blend until smooth. Toss the mixed greens, sliced mozzarella, and dressing together and serve.
Try it — I am curious what you think, and how it could be tweaked.
Over the summer, there are specific food dishes that especially hit the spot. All the fresh fruit and berries you can imagine, yummy and cooling beverages, and any refreshing dishes that beat the heat. One of those in our house is Caprese Salad. There is something about mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes that just screams summer. So when I found this recipe from Love and Olive Oil for a Caprese Salad that includes blueberries, I thought – YUM! We made it on the Fourth of July. We were not intending to be patriotic, that was all luck.
I’ve changed it to our liking, but the gist is similar. I spooned a bit on crackers and Chris ate it straight from a bowl with a spoon.
Some recipes hit the spot others do not. I am grateful that most of the time Chris and I are on the same page when we like or dislike something. We both started out liking this recipe, and then we did not. We used lime chips to dip and scoop the fundido. After a few minutes the cheese got really stringy and no longer was fun or possible to pick up with a chip. Maybe I am biased because we have had some amazing fundido dips at a few different restaurants here in Portland where the cheese stays soft and easy to dip with over the course of the meal. For this particular recipe I had to cut chunks and add to the chip in order to eat. Additionally, the chorizo left so much oil behind that it felt like quite a mess.
Two things to note. We cut the recipe in half and still had way too much food and did not want to keep what was left over. The second thing — I am not giving up. I want to find a fundido recipe that keeps the cheese softer, more fun to eat, and not feel like I have a tire around my waist after finishing dinner. You might try this recipe (I mean look how easy it is) and decide if you like it. If you do, let me know.
Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with the olive oil. Heat a large, deep-sided, nonstick skillet over medium-high for 1 minute. Add chorizo** and cook for 4 minutes, breaking any big chunks apart. Add Oaxaca cheese, and cook together for 3 minutes more. Remove cheese and chorizo mix to the baking dish. Turn broiler on high and cook for about 5 minutes, or until top of cheese is golden brown.
*Note: We did not use Don Froyland brand.
**Instead of chorizo, add 1/2 cup yellow onion and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add either 2 lbs fresh mushrooms (chanterelle or shiitake, sautéed), or 10 poblano peppers (broiled, then steamed in a paper bag, peeled, deseeded, and diced), and cook another 3 minutes before adding the Oaxaca cheese.