Maldon salt

Being Lazy: Basil Dressing for Tomato Salad

by Anne Maxfield on September 19, 2013

Accidental Locavore Tomato Salad With Basil DressingIf you’re on your own for dinner, do you cook for yourself? The Accidental Locavore does to a certain extent. It gives me the opportunity to try some things out, or to eat exactly what I want, but sometimes, you just want to keep it simple. I made this dressing from a recipe from the Perfect Pantry with all intentions of making the BLT salad it was to go on. However, a bowl of tomatoes kept staring at me and the idea of cooking bacon just seemed like work (yeah, it’s just cooking bacon, but…), so a dollop or two of this dressing on some great tomatoes was the perfect accompaniment to a simple grilled lamb chop. This makes about ¾ cup:

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (any kind is fine)
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (to make 2-3 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Accidental Locavore Basil DressingIn a small blender, mini-food processor or with a stick blender, combine all the ingredients, until everything is well mixed and the dressing is a pale green. If it’s too thick, add a little water to thin it out. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: As I said before, laziness prevented me from going the whole BLT salad route. The extent of my labor (after making the dressing) was to cut a couple of good heirloom tomatoes into ½” wedges and tossed them with a couple of tablespoons of the dressing. I also added about a teaspoon of Maldon salt to the tomatoes, as I thought they needed more salt (but my husband will tell you I’m a salt fanatic). I also “cheated” and used my own homemade mayo and yogurt and homegrown basil, so it doesn’t get much better than that, right? This would be a great dressing in the middle of February, when you can get decent basil but nothing else. Some of it on some nice lettuce, or even an iceberg wedge with bacon, would give you hope for summer!


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Snow Pea Salad With Feta and Pine Nuts

by Anne Maxfield on August 29, 2013

Accidental Locavore Snow PeasMy friend Denise gave the Accidental Locavore a mess of snow peas last week (along with a ton of stuff from her garden) and since it was the only thing we hadn’t gotten around to eating, I decided to make an easy salad with the peas and brought it to her house for dinner the other night. This generously served 4 and came together in about 20 minutes.

  • 1 pound snow peas, washed and trimmed
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons good olive oil
  • Maldon salt to taste
  • ¼ cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely sliced

Accidental Locavore Snow Pea SaladIn a microwave safe container, steam the snow peas with a tablespoon or two of water, covered, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Shock to stop cooking by rinsing in cold water and ice. Drain and pat dry. Cut in half the long way and put in a medium bowl.

While the peas are cooking, toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes, until just fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pine nuts, feta and salt to the peas. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle on the mint, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: A good, easy salad to play around with. I tried using goat cheese instead of the feta and it was ok, but a little less assertive than the feta. Basil might easily take the place of mint, or even try substituting lime juice and cilantro for the lemon juice and mint. Green beans, especially haricots vert, would mix well with or replace the snow peas. Let me know what you think.