Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break

I ended up baking off a family pack of chicken thighs this week, half breaded and half dry rubbed to eat with assorted vegetable sides - dinner done. Of course it never sounds good after the 2nd night of eating the same thing. And then one day we had the most beautiful weather, like 70 something degrees! I caught the first buds on the trees outside in the sun.

That day a chopped salad was on the brain. Something fresh and clean tasting, a break from the hot plates. I love chopped salads! The idea of a bunch of vegetables being chopped to the same bite size chunks and drizzled in a tangy citrus dressing... Heaven! I love green apples so those of course went in along with corn, tomatoes, beans, red onions, avocado. I put it over a bed of greens, crumbled up some queso fresco cheese to top it along with the cubed up chicken. Because the chicken was seasoned well and baked, the flavors held up to the cold vegetables.

Chopped salads are a staple on my spring menus. They are so much better than a regular salad. Something about the size and the way the pieces compose a bite filled with all the tastes individual but then instantly combined. To me, there is nothing better. It highlights the fabulousness of vegetables and like guacamole, chopping and serving right away makes the biggest difference in capturing the flavors at their peak. I like giving them little themes, like this tex mex one.

The chopped salad must be like a second cousin to the tostada because it just exudes springtime.

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