Dressing

Heirloom Tomato & Peach Salad

I LOVE summer!!! When it comes to fresh produce, no other season compares!!! The bright colors of fruits & veggies, the fragrant smell of fresh herbs, and abundance of local farmers markets, can entice anyone..... I fell victim this weekend when I made a trip to Pepper Place Farmer's Market located in Birmingham .... I came home with arms loaded!

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One dish I created from my farmers market trip was inspired by MyRecipes.com. This recipe is quick, easy, and full of summer flavors!!!

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Heirloom Tomato & Peach Salad:Serves 4Salad Ingredients: 3-4 Heirloom Tomatoes (a variety of colors add dimension) 3-5 Small Tomatoes (green zebras, red zebras, and yellow tomatoes) Handful of Cherry Tomatoes 2 Peaches, Diced 1 Red Onion Diced 1 Large Avocado, Diced Sea Salt Ground Black Pepper 1 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese Handful of Purple Basil, Shredded Salad Dressing: 1.5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar Salt Ground Black Pepper 2 teaspoon Honey

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Mix EVOO, sherry vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, and honey in a bowl or shake in a small mason jar. Pour over tomato mixture. Gently fold in avocado, Basil, and crumbled feta cheese.

Serve as a side with sandwiches or grilled burgers. This salad also pairs great with grilled chicken, fish or pork, or as the main entree along side pecorino & pesto crostini!

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Vinaigrette 101

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Making vinaigrette is all about making it your own. I tend do keep my vinaigrette dressings at 2 parts oil, 1 part vinegar. You can use a wide variety of vinegars such as balsamic, red wine vinegar, white balsamic, or apple cider vinegar.

Instead of vinegar you can also use citrus juice as your acid such as lemon juice (think kale salad) or pink grapefruit juice which works nicely baby spinach salad.

Basic Vinaigrette 1 Tbsp Dijon 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup olive oil

Place Dijon into a jar or bowl and add vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake or mix vigorously. Add oil and continue to mix or shake. Taste and adjust as necessary.

Dressing will keep up to 1-week on your counter.

To add sweetness add sugar, honey, maple syrup or agave nectar.

To add creaminess add goat cheese, feta cheese, or Gorgonzola cheese.

Add fresh herbs to add zest and character. For example, add oregano and thyme for a Greek inspired vinaigrette.

Be creative! It's your salad!!

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Pictured Above: Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad tossed in Lemon Vinaigrette topped with Organic Walnuts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sautéed Red Onion, Organic Sun-Dried Roma Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, and Feta Cheese

TIP #2 - EATING WELL

Tip 2: Load Up on Fruits & Vegetables

Did you know that only 1 in 4 Americans consumes the recommended 5-9 daily servings of fruit and vegetables?!

Are you in the small percentage?

By increasing your vegetable and fruit intake you drastically cut your risk for heart disease and diabetes and significantly increase your vitamin and mineral intake which offers TONS of health benefits such as better eyesight, improve skin integrity, health bones, strong immune system, and cancer prevention!!!!!

Supplements are great in a pinch, but with summer here there are LOADS of seasonal fruits and vegetables waiting on you to enjoy!!!   What can you do to increase your fruit and vegetable intake today?

I increased my vegetable intake by making a "Farmer's Market Salad" which included fresh summer corn, okra, peas, arugula, and tomatoes!!!!