Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday Dinners: Latin Grill Salad

There's so much to do...and so little time, always! 

Yesterday we went to Brooklyn, saw my brother Shawn's sculpture and paintings as part of a great show called Time and Materials, on display at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (this show, up until June 9th,  is made up of art by construction workers; you will be inspired by a visit there!). His paintings--which will don the walls of my restaurant some day--can be viewed here!

And speaking of inspiration, this weekend's weather (at least here in New York) inspired many of you break out the grill--and dine al fresco! In honor of the season, I will be sharing recipes that are perfect for these kinds of soirées, including one from a book I collaborated on: Latin Grill

Whenever I have a barbecue—which is just about every Sunday in the summer—I make this salad, which I believe has Italian roots (at least in my family!) makes great use of leftover bread, as well as fresh tomatoes and basil. It’s not only simple, fresh, and tasty, it’s also very flexible; you can vary dressing according to your taste (my sweet shallot vinaigrette would also work well), or add different ingredients like cucumber, mesclun lettuce—even potatoes.   

Arlen’s Hombre Pobre (Poor Man’s) Salad   
Adapted from Latin Grill, written by Rafael Palomino with Arlen Gargagliano, 2010, Chronicle Books 

Serves 4

Photo by Dan Goldberg (Latin Grill photographer)

1 garlic clove, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes of crusty bread (preferably ciabatta)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
1 pound vine-ripened red tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound vine-ripened yellow tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
In a bowl, mash the garlic pieces to a paste, using a pestle or the back of a spoon, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the vinegar, and whisk in oil until blended.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the bread, mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Pour the oil and vinegar mixture on top and stir to coat.  Let the salad stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the dressing before serving.


Christine Romano's gorgeous interpretation--from across the pond! 
 Latin Grill

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