Shaved Fennel Salad with Beets, Raspberries & Grana Cheese

Tossed with a raspberry-honey vinaigrette, this showpiece salad boasts beautiful color.

Ingredients:
1 bunch beets, cleaned and trimmed
4 cups water
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly shaved crosswise, fronds reserved
¼ cup Grana cheese, grated
4 cups loosely-packed salad greens, washed and patted dry with a paper towel
½ cup raspberries
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

For the vinaigrette:
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup raspberry wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1-2 teaspoons honey
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place beets in a large roasting pan and pour over water, red wine vinegar, sugar and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover with parchment and foil. Roast until just tender, they should be easily pierced with a knife, about 40 minutes. Peel beets under cool water. Cut into quarters.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the roasted beets, fennel, fennel fronds, and greens with about ½ cup of the raspberry-honey dressing. Plate dressed greens. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary, sprinkle with the Grana cheese and raspberries and serve.

Heirloom Tomato & Grilled Bread Panzanella

The beauty of this summery salad is in its simplicity: Be sure to use good-quality olive oil and season generously!

Ingredients:
4 cups Pomodoro bread, cut into large cubes
2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
½ cup good-quality olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
¼ cup freshly-crumbled feta or goat cheese
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Toss the bread cubes with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Grill the bread cubes until lightly charred, turning frequently with tongs. (A grill basket works well for this if you have it; otherwise watch that you don’t lose the croutons down the grate!) Remove from the grill and reserve.

2. On a large platter, arrange the heirloom tomato slices and drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped basil, cheese and grilled bread croutons and drizzle with another swirl of olive oil and, if desired, balsamic vinegar as well.

Variation: If you can find it, this salad is amazing topped with burrata cheese instead of the crumbled soft cheese!

Grain Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

Drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette, this crisp salad is accented by green olives and sweet onions.

Ingredients:
1½ cups cooked farro, quinoa or other grain of your choice
2 heirloom tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ Walla Walla sweet onion, diced
¼ cup green olives, pitted and chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. In a large bowl add the farro, tomatoes, onion, olives and parsley, then toss to combine.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to coat.

3. This salad can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Charred Green Bean Salad

This simple, satisfying salad courtesy of chef Michael Symon always gets rave reviews!

Ingredients:
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup sliced toasted almonds
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Prepare a grill for indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, build the hot coals on one side only. If using a gas grill, heat one side only to medium-high heat.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook at a rapid boil until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the green beans to an ice bath, then dry on a kitchen towel.

3. Add the green beans to a grill basket and place over indirect heat to char them slightly, about 5 minutes. You do not have to cover the grill. When they reach the char level you are looking for, transfer them to a serving platter.

4. Whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, mustard and oregano in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking constantly, then season with salt and pepper. Pour the oregano vinaigrette over the green beans while still warm, then sprinkle with the feta and almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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