Ode to Salad


Oh big bowl full of salad

Crunchy, tangy, makin’ me glad

I like you better than crawdad

I eat you up and say “egad!”

Here is a recipe for super fast summer weeknight dinner… grilled cheese and salad.  You almost don’t need a recipe, but I’ll share my favorite way of making it and maybe it will give you a new twist on what you already do.

For the salad: Rinse some really fresh lettuce, arugula, spinach, what have you and spin it dry in a salad spinner.  Let it rest in your salad bowl whilst you make a super fast vinaigrette – which will make bottled dressing taste like bleh From Now On. 

For the vinaigrette: In a jam jar put about 1 teaspoon minced shallot or green onion, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (or your favorite vinegar), 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, 2 Tablespoons olive oil and fresh cracked pepper to taste.  Whisk with a fork or put on a lid and let your kid shake it up until dinner is ready.

For the grilled cheese: My favorite combination is 1/3 part grated sharp cheddar, 1/3 part grated gruyere cheese and 1/3 part crumbled fresh chevre, plus about a tablespoon of minced shallot or green onion.  The amount will depend on how many people you are feeding. Put it in a pile and squish together with your fingers to combine the creamy chevre with the grated cheeses and onion product.  Pile generously onto a slices of bread. Top with more slices of bread.  Heat a pan to medium high and melt in a nice pat of butter for each sandwich.  Place in as many sandwiches as will comfortably fit.  Cover with a lid and turn heat down to medium/medium-low.  When golden brown, lift each sandwich, insert another pat of butter in pan and flip sandwich  to cook the other side.  Cover with lid again to make sure cheese melts.  Sandwiches are done when golden to your liking.

Assemble salad: Toss salad greens with the dressing.  Top with chopped nuts if you like (I don’t mind if I do).

Yes, the grilled cheese in the photo are on homemade bread… I’ll post that recipe another time… I also love Essential bakery’s rosemary diamante for my deluxe grilled cheese experience.