Summer evokes salads, whether it is one to use up a bounty of yellow cherry tomatoes from the garden or a side for grilled burgers. Our CSA membership has further challenged us to come up with even more adventurous and interesting salads. Add to that we love to entertain. Last week we had friends for a casual mid-week dinner, bison burgers with chipotle avocado mayo. We had a watermelon to use from the CSA box, a ton of cherry tomatoes from the garden, and Craig craves all things gorgonzola. Voila.
Red Potato Salad with Bacon-Gorgonzola Vinaigrette
Originally a Bobby Flay recipe, with lots of modifications to reduce fat/calories
4 lbs. small new red potatoes, scrubbed, cooked until almost tender, drained, and halved
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black
6 slices bacon
1/2 large red onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled gorgonzola
Place the bacon in a skillet and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain, let cool and crumble.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan. Add the onions and cook until soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add additional olive oil **if needed**, vinegar, and sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Pour the onion mixture over the potatoes, add the crumbled bacon and parsley and toss to combine, season with salt and lots of black pepper. Add the crumbled gorgonzola.
I put it in the warming drawer to somewhat melt the gorgonzola and always serve semi-warm. Or – you could heat on a very low flame or perhaps microwave.
Tomato-Watermelon Salad with Feta
Modified from a Bon Appétit recipe
Serves 6 to 8
8 cups 1 1/4-inch chunks seedless watermelon (about 6 pounds)
3 pounds ripe tomatoes (preferably heirloom) in assorted colors, cored, cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
1 teaspoon (or more) coarse kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs, a mix of basil, and mint
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 5 ounces)
Combine melon and tomatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sald and toss to blend; let stand 15 minutes. Add oil, vinegar, and herbs to melon mixture. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired. Sprinkle with feta cheese and toss gently. Serve immediately.