Tahoe recipe: Oh Puhleeese! A bread salad?
Special to the Bonanza
I understand. You have just come off Super Bowl Sunday. You want to pass (but not on the one-yard line) on anything resembling junk food. You are done with chips, crackers, chicken wings, pizza — not to mention that rich “Flat Foot Ball Appetizer” I hit you with last week.
I feel your pain. Where is my Alka-Selzer? Where did sweat pants go? (Now you are getting sad…) Where did all the cowboys go? (The ones who loved prairie skirts and didn’t look at your butt.)
Touching songs aside, my guess is your cowboy the day after Super Bowl looks like Mickie Rourke. Current.
Time to get back on track with healthy food, and that starts with a salad. Yes, this beauty is made with a small cup of bread, but it still falls into the gourmet salad category.
1 cup slightly stale, rustic-style French bread, not sourdough, cut into one inch cubes
6-8 tbls. olive oil
1 and 1/2 tbls. white wine vinegar
freshly ground cracked pepper
2 tbls. dried currants
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbls. pine nuts, roasted. If raw, two minutes at 450 degrees.
2 cloves garlic, slivered
1/4 cup slivered scallions (cut them lengthwise, in small strips, but only use a small part of the green)
2 tbls. chicken broth (if you have it around) or lightly salted water
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
4 cups of arugula
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, soak the currants in the water and red wine vinegar for about 10 minutes. Drain.
In another small bowl, combine the white wine vinegar with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste (easy on the pepper, in my opinion) and this is your dressing.
On a baking sheet, toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Bake for about 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Let cool, then tear the bread into bite-size pieces.
In a bowl, toss the bread with three-quarters of the dressing and let stand for 30 minutes. In a skillet, heat the remaining oil. Add the scallions, garlic, broth or water, sun-dried tomatoes and cook over low heat until soft, about 2 minutes and then transfer to a large bowl.
Add the currants, bread, pine nuts, sun-drieds and the remaining dressing. There you go! Now spoon this into a shallow 1-quart baking dish, cover loosely with foil and bake for about 15 minutes.
Transfer the bread salad to a platter, toss with the arugula and serve. Maybe next Super Bowl.
Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at email@example.com.