Balsamic Watermelon Salad

THE INGREDIENTS

5 ounces greens of choice

2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into medium cubes

1 cup extra sharp cheddar, cut into small cubes

2/3 cup candied pecans (or walnuts)

2/3 cup radishes, thinly sliced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 large garlic clove, minced

Salt & pepper

Basil (optional)

Avocado (optional)

THE STEPS

In a large bowl, add greens, cheddar chunks, candied pecans, radishes and watermelon chunks.

For the dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together garlic, balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble: Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Serve with a few sprigs of basil and avocado slices (optional).

Best Caesar Salad Ever [With Parmesan Crisp Cup]

INGREDIENTS

~14 ounces romaine hearts, torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 lemon

1 cup coarsely grated parmigiano-reggiano*

3 large garlic cloves

6 dashes Tabasco

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

~1 1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil

8 slices soft sandwich bread crusts removed, cut in 1/2 inch cubes (oatmeal and/or pumpernickel are the best)

Salt & pepper to taste

2 chicken breasts, grilled (optional)

*plus more for parm crisp bowls

THE STEPS

For croutons: in a large pan over medium/high heat, heat 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 garlic clove that’s been peeled and sliced. Add cubed bread to lightly simmering oil. Over medium-high heat, use a spatula to lightly press and turn croutons, so croutons absorb oil and evenly toast. Keep turning and toasting for 7-10 minutes, or until croutons are golden. Remove garlic slivers after toasting. Set croutons aside.

For dressing: in a medium bowl, whisk together juice of a lemon, 2 minced garlic cloves, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, 3/4 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper. TIP: don’t over-salt because the cheese is salty! Add more lemon or olive oil depending on how lemony you like your dressing.

For assembly: In a large bowl, toss romaine, whisked dressing and cheese. If the lettuce seems dry, drizzle a bit more olive oil and toss once again. Plate your masterpiece, topping generously with croutons and a bit more cheese! Crack some ground pepper, and sliced grilled chicken breast (optional!).

For individual parmesan crisp salad bowls:

Place a water glass, upside down, on a plate.

Use a nonstick 8-inch omelet pan. Evenly spread 1/3 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano in the bottom of the skillet. Turn heat on medium-high and let cheese cook for 5-8 minutes. The cheese will bubble and slowly turn golden brown. Once the cheese passes light golden brown and turns true golden brown, slide cheese disk out of pan and onto the bottom of the water glass. The cheese disk will form around the bottom of the water glass into the shape of a bowl. Let cheese cool and harden for 3 minutes before adding salad to parmesan bowl!

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