Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tasty Sides Fit For A Fun Fourth

Hope you are enjoying this gorgeous summer weather and are looking forward to the holiday. Wanted to pass along a couple of recipes for easy-to-prepare, colorful and most certainly tasty side dishes perfect for a Fourth of July celebration. Enjoy.

Berry And Gorgonzola Salad
Use seasonal berries for this refreshing salad, matching tangy and rich Gorgonzola cheese with sweet berries, roasted red onions, almonds and tomatoes.
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound spring lettuce mix
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup mixed seasonal berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries
5 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
For the vinaigrette
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher or sea salt
Black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
To roast the red onion, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the onion with the canola oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until soft and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the raspberry vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Drizzle in the oil while continuing to whisk, until vinaigrette slightly thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Toss spring mix, almonds, tomatoes, berries, Gorgonzola cheese and roasted onions with the vinaigrette.

Cherry Salsa
Cherry salsa makes a sweet and savory condiment for all sorts of meats and fishes. Tastes good on it's own too.
2 cups sweet cherries
1 jalapeño, minced (for less heat remove the seeds and the ribs before chopping or don't use at all)
2 medium shallots, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Pit and chop cherries and combine with jalapeño, shallot, basil and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

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