Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rustic Bruschetta & Asparagus Salad

It's been awhile, and it wasn't because I was ordering pizza every night....its just that our meals have been simple, quick and not worth documentation as of late. We're talking tacos, enchilada casserole, turkey burgers and salads topped with chicken nuggets. Hey, I never claimed to be gourmet!

Anyways, tonight I finally had a little time to throw together something. Here is the appetizer we cooked up from ingredients bought at TJ's today. The "par baked panini rolls" were something new to me and were great because by the time you toast the cheese on top, the rolls are not teeth-breaking crunchy as they might be if the rolls were already fully cooked.

Here's how I made it: Melt a frozen cube of crushed garlic (or 1 tsp chopped fresh) in one Tbsp. of olive oil. Brush over the rolls or baguette slices, and give them a quick toast. Add sliced basil, sliced tomato and sliced fresh mozarella. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and toast until melty.

I love the size of Trader Joe's box of basil. It is the best bargain around. I will have to get creative with the rest of it later this week....if anyone has a great basil dish, please let me know. Here is the rest of our dinner, caught in the very last of the natural daylight around 7:30 pm.

Sauteed Asparagus on Field Greens with Chevre and Lemon Zest

Perfectly served with the honey baked chicken over rice recipe from an earlier post.

Saute asparagus with cooking spray and generous salt/pepper. Meanwhile, dress the greens in your favorite salad dressing. Mine is a dijon vinaigrette made from lemon juice, dijon, rice wine vinegar, olive oil and a dash of honey. Place hot asparagus on top of dressed greens, and add the chevre and lemon zest.

I personally love how the hot veggie melts the cheese and wilts the lettuce a bit. I wonder if that's weird. Just like some people cannot handle sweet pineapple on their pizza, I bet the consensus is that a salad should be all cold ingredients. Hmph.

On a side note, I want to congratulate Shawn this week for trying a new dish for her family - chicken picatta. I heard it came out great (maybe a little tart) and she's ready to move on to veal. Way to go!


LouAnne said...

I bought the rolls too but haven't used them yet - tonight with open-faced meatball sandwiches!

I'm with you on the salad page - the only salad that should be cold is an iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing.

Have you tried the fresh ricotta cheese from TJ's yet? I love a blob on my spaghetti, or this morning I put mini chocolate chips in it and ate it with fresh strawberries and blueberries. It also makes a nice change to fresh mozzarella when those gorgeous summer tomatoes start arriving - a teaspoon or so on a thick slice of tomato with some sea or kosher salt. Yum!

Deanna S. said...

Hi Louanne - I have not tried the fresh ricotta yet. That's going to be next on my list because you make it sound so versatile. I usually only reserve it for lasagne, but that other stuff sounds great(especially the fruit and chocolate chips..yum!)

Happy meatball sandwiches tonite~what time should I be there? Haha...

LouAnne said...

Oh Dee - this tastes so much better than the stuff at the regular store - fresh and not gritty. It is very versatile - sweet or savory. The possibilities are endless! Sweetened a bit and mixed with the chocolate chips is the traditional cannnoli filing (mmmm, cannolis!).