Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Midweek Food Musings: The Salad as a Side, Tapa, and more...

Cucumber, Red Pepper, and Yellow Tomato Salad--with a Light Vinaigrette!

My trip to Spain reminded me of the beauty of the small plate. Trying many smaller dishes, as opposed to one larger dish, is a great way to dabble in an assortment of flavors. I welcome the "pairing" challenge of matching small plates together... A salad, whether it's paired with a Tortilla EspaƱola Pan con Tomate  or other dishes I've written about lately, should balance other dishes.Think color, texture, and of course, flavor.

The salad I'm showcasing above was created with the idea of balance; its components--cucumbers, red peppers, and yellow tomatoes are simple, tasty, and colorful. Lately I've been using the thin-skinned and crunchy cucumbers I've found at Trader Joe's There's something sweet and delicate about them, yet their crunch is bold. Red peppers are always a favorite--for both their color and flavor, and tomatoes, we wind down, they're not as sweet as their local cousins, but they are still a welcome  addition.

This salad, which was served alongside my  Moroccan-Spanish Chicken (from Monday's post!), offered the complement I was looking for; it married with the main dish, and didn't compete with it.
Rather than give you exact portions for this one, I invite you to play with the ingredients. By the way--I would have added fresh basil or another herb. (And if I "built" it with, say, garbanzos, I might have added fresh rosemary.) Would love to hear about your variations...

And, in the spirit of salads and pairing, do check this amazing spread out! This was the dinner my roommate from my junior year abroad (pictured below--then and now!) prepared for my friends Cary, Jamie and me--along with her husband Angel (who was our neighbor, back in the day!) and her lovely family....

Marga's Table--Gorgeous Salads, Cheese, Jamon with Melon, Tortilla EspaƱola, Pan Con Tomate 

Many Moons Ago! 

Ready to Eat: Jamie, Cary, Me, and our lovely hostess!

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