Saturday, September 10, 2022

With You There is No Wrong

Giant Chicken Panzanella Salad
I may have a hard time recognizing potential friends these days, but one look at this salad and I knew we were destined to be best buddies.  It helps that I made it.  Fresh corn, red onions, tender chicken, mushrooms, and herbed-up giant croutons.  This salad is like eating the top off a pizza.  I topped it with a little Queso Fresca.  Each bite is a mouthful of your favorite vegetable side players dressed for the night in a light vinaigrette.  It's festive, it's fun.  Your tastebuds need to party too and your eyes get to feast on the excitement.  I love when there's no guilt of a giant second helping. 
Do you recall your first salad bar memory?  Depending on your age, you may have been present for some of the first, like at the Sizzler Steak House or Pizza Huts of the 70's.  You could choose anything you wanted to put on your cold iceberg lettuce.  You were hungry but the main entree was coming, so even though you loaded your plate, you left some room for that, and bread, lots of bread.  After mushrooms, tomatoes, and olives, I always went for bacon bits, plenty of cheese, egg slices, croutons and a disgusting amount of bleu cheese or Ranch dressing over the top, in other words I avoided most of the icky vegetables.  It wasn't the healthiest time in history but it did introduce people to the idea that you could eat a plate of cold vegetables and it became intriguing to see all the color on your plate.  Before that, you would normally have just one faded boiled to death vegetable on the plate either from a can or frozen to accompany your meat and starch.  Fresh vegetables were a summer treat, when we grew our own or bought corn and fruit from corner Farmer's stands. 
Now, we have the luxury of putting almost any vegetable available to man on our salads and we make our own dressing, we grate our own cheese.  We even make our own croutons, like I did here.  I shucked and removed the fresh corn from the cob. 
We've come a long way, baby. Hopefully this doesn't end in supply issues, crop fails, contaminated harvests and damage from flooding or drought.  But I know I truly appreciate this salad today. 

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