Friday, July 29, 2011

Free Recipe Friday

  Welcome, welcome, the new weekly series we are calling Free Recipe Friday, where we share free recipes with you!  Some new, some old, some tried and true.  We will give you, hopefully, easy to follow instructions with some enticing pics taken by
Shelby Taylor Photography
(On a side note, food styling/photography
is way harder than it looks!!!!)
  The first recipe out of the bag is one I had to re-create because I was craving it.  Before you boo and hiss because it's 'just a salad' - please remember it is 893 degrees outside, we haven't had substantial rain here since, well, I can't remember - springtime???
So, recipes that require turning the oven on
have kind of been on the back burner (no pun intended, ha). 

  On our recent vacation to the amazing Florida panhandle, we had dinner with some friends at Wild Olives, a little bistro/market in the Seacrest/Rosemary Beach area.  They had some really neat things on their menu and I ordered the Mediterranean Salad.  Probably not a new creation by any means, but to this East Texas gal it was!  The entire time I am eating the salad I am dissecting it and thinking,
'I am making this when we get home'! Enjoy! 

DISCLAIMER: I would like to remind you that I am not much of a 'measurer' when it comes to cooking - some of you know this...and I'm sorry if it drives you insane. 
When I was watching an old cooking show on PBS recently
(an authentic italian cooking show with Lidia Bastianich)
her quote really struck a chord with me. 
I thought, 'ahhh, YES, that's IT...that's ME!' - so here it is...
to encourage YOU to get comfortable in the kitchen...
and 'let go' sometimes!

"Cooking is...yes, about following a recipe...but at some point, you gotta let go of the recipe got to be in control"
- Lidia Bastianich (in her thick italian accent!)

So, henceforth, please be understanding in my recipe 'guestimates'
it'll be okay, really...I brave!

Mixed Greens - WHATEVER YOU LIKE (we used the Spring Mix, sold in a plastic container)
Grape Tomatoes - halved - we would have preferred homegrown, but the next best store bought thing with flavor is either Grape or Roma Tomatoes
Kalamata Olives - pitted, sold in a jar
Feta Cheese - crumbled
Diced Red Onion - (sadly we had to omit, because we didn't have any)
Diced Cucumber - cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out (this keeps your salad crispier)
Shrimp - about 1 lb. - (peeled) grilled, sauteed, steamed, baked, however you'd like them quite frankly!

Dressing ingredients:  The icing on the cake for this salad!
     (Believe it or not, I DID measure these ingredients)
    Whisk the following ingredients together in a medium size bowl -
     this made PLENTY for 6 adults with a cup or more leftover.

1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar, plus
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
        (I used way less, only because I do not care much for oregano - remember, make it your own!)
1 1/2 tablespoons basil
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic clove (or to taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2-1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)

Taste for saltiness and pour into a bottle or container.

For our salads, we kept the different ingredients in small bowls
and then placed a handful of greens on our plate 
and topped each individual salad with our fav ingredients,
swirled the yummy dressing on it
and ate it up along with some crunchy garlic bread.

Now, see?  That wasn't so hard was it?! 
Try it, your taste buds will thank you!
Mmm, delicious! 
See ya next week!