Summer is here and so is salad season!
I know, it can be difficult to get too excited about salad, especially as a main meal. But that's precisely why, when you find a good one, you remember it.
The weather has been ideal this month, and we were lucky enough to be out enjoying a day of much needed family time on a gorgeous day. We stopped at a local restaurant for a late lunch, and since it was a scorcher out, the last thing I wanted was a hot entree or anything too filling. I briefly perused the sandwich selection, then the entrees-but just wasn’t feeling it. Too much bread, french fries, etc. I was trying desperately to be good!
Moving on to the salad options, I decided on a warm tomato salad. I’ve had warm salads before, where the vegetables are lightly sauteed, then added over the greens to slightly wilt them, so I thought I’d give this one a shot. Boy was I glad I did!
This had to be the most amazing chopped, warm salad ever, with sweet red peppers and tomatoes and a tangy balsamic. It was so delicious I couldn’t stop thinking about it; so much so, that I knew I had to try to replicate it at home.
I decided to utilize what I had on hand, which included some strawberries, fresh tomatoes, red peppers and red onions. I recently bought a balsamic reduction called Balsamic Cream, and thought it would be perfect for the dressing.
I also added some slivered almonds for a little crunch, and a few grilled portobello mushrooms. With a skewer of fresh grilled shrimp, this little salad became a satisfying and healthy meal, and with so much red going on, I couldn’t resist naming it Shades of Red: because this is the salad that’s so good, you will blush!
The addition of fresh fruit really added to the flavor, and made this dish as good as, (if not better than) the restaurant inspiration, and there was not a clear plate at my dinner table. I hope you try this salad for your dinner tonight, and savor it as much as we did! Enjoy!
Shades of Red Salad
½ red onion, chopped
1 red pepper
8 large strawberries, sliced
3 plum tomatoes, sliced into bite sized chunks
8-10 cherry tomatoes
1 T. slivered almonds
* cooking spray
1 portobello mushroom, grilled and sliced
10-15 grilled shrimp
1 Spring Mix Blend of greens (or baby spinach, romaine or butter lettuce)
2 T. Balsamic Cream, balsamic reduction or vinagrette
*Coat a saute pan with cooking spray and set heat to medium. Add red onions, stir and allow to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add red pepper, strawberries and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, add almonds and cook for 1 minute longer. Pour warmed fruits and veggies directly over spring mix blend or your choice of lettuce. Top with grilled portabello mushrooms, shrimp, or choice of protein, drizzle with balsamic and serve.