After too many late nights and reckless eating at multiple events over the last two weeks, it's time to buckle down and focus on eating as clean as I possibly can if I'm ever going to get out in a swim suit. One way that I really try to keep things interesting and full of flavor (no deprivation) is to load up on herbs and ingredients with varying textures when eating at home. One of my summer go-to meals (that I could eat every day) is a hearty salad. This one, inspired by trips to Shutters on the Beach and a lovely creation by Dana Slatkin (Shutter's The Summertime, Anytime Cookbook). My ingredients vary a bit from her standard, but the objective of serving something lovely, delicious and filling is definitely achieved.
WHITE BEAN SALAD
2.5 cups of green and red romaine leaves, chopped
1 can Goya brand Cannellini Beans
3/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes*
Black olive dressing (repipe below)
One medium, ripe avocado, roughly sliced.
1/3 cup basil pesto (recipe below)
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
Kosher Salt and Fresh ground pepper
*First, make sure you have light but flavorful sun dried tomatoes. I'm obsessed with Giada's version sold at Target. Packed in sunflower oil and wine vinegar, they are light and perfect in any recipe. I eat them straight out of the jar, too!
Arrange the lettuce in the center of large bowls. In a separate bowl, mix together the beans and tomatoes. Put this mixture on top of lettuce. Place in avocados around sides. Drizzle lightly with dressing and balsamic. Top lightly with salt and pepper to taste. (This recipe makes 3 servings).
|Just a few of the dozen herbs I'm growing, including sweet and boxwood basil and thyme.|
SUSAN'S BASIL PESTO
|This black olive dressing can also be a bruschetta topper if you add a bit more tomato.|