Every Wednesday the Phoenix Public Market holds an open-air market from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Last Wednesday I went to explore and while I was there I couldn’t take my eyes off One Windmill Farm‘s selection of tomatoes. The red, yellow, green and orange tomatoes came in all different shapes and sizes.
Tomatoes are a prime ingredient to have in your kitchen because of their versatility. They are delicious on their own, but can also be added to other dishes. A handful of cherry tomatoes makes a healthy snack, or if you are looking to make a meal out of them, I recommend a simple salad.
I believe there is a science behind making a nicely balanced salad. It is important to include a variety of textures–a little crunch and a little smooth. The smooth side of my salad this weekend came from butternut squash, avocado, feta cheese, and of course, the tomatoes. The crunch came from sweet orange and red peppers and spinach. Dried cranberries, nuts, crumbled bacon or croutons are a few toppings to consider for texture. When adding fruits and veggies, think about grapes, cucumbers, edamame or corn.
A salad dressing should do just what the name says–dress up the salad! It should enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients without drowning them. The combination of balsamic vinegar and seasonings in my Aunt Angela’s Balsamic Salad Dressing is light, but flavorful enough to wow your taste buds.
Balsamic Salad Dressing
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1 teaspoon of Adobo*
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 2 teaspoons of soy or tamari sauce
- 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
*Adobo is an all-purpose Latin seasoning you can find at the grocery store. You could also use 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon of oregano and a pinch of black pepper instead.
Directions: Whisk or shake all ingredients together! Pour over salad. This recipe will make a big batch, so store it in a jar or airtight container and dress up your salads until it runs out!
Whether you make a salad in the cafeteria or at home this week, be adventurous with your combination of crunchy and smooth toppings. Also, don’t forget to explore the Open-Air Market on Wednesday evenings from 4-8pm to find unique fruits and veggies to jazz up a salad. I’ll see you there!
Let’s hear in the comment section what ingredients make a perfect salad for you.