Thanksgiving… around these parts it is the first of the face-stuffing holidays of the season. I need to get one thing straight: we are Canadian and so technically Thanksgiving was on October but given that we were in the Us visiting relatives for the holiday, we decided to celebrate American Thanksgiving in Canada ( don’t think about it too hard just go with it). I have to admit that there was a time (not that long ago) where the idea of a plate piled high with casseroles and stuffing was downright thrilling. Pants would be loosened, stomachs expanded and you would roll home in a food induced coma.
Nowadays it all takes on a nightmare effect. As a vegetarian, I obviously don’t eat the turkey but there are plenty of other options. Butter is the foundation of almost all of the dishes and everything bubbles in one variety of condensed soup or another. I mistakenly gave my Mother and entire tin of Campbell’s soup recipes for Christmas one year and have been paying the price since. This is going to sound pretentious and not unlike those annoyingn hhealth nut friends of yours who love to rub their “lifestyle” in your face but here goes: Since I have made the decision to try to eat better and cut out processed foods (as much as possible) and unnecessary fats (some are absolutely necessary), I feel great and when I go back, even for one night, to the mounds of greasy food, I feel like rubbish. I also get the pleasure of spending the majority of the following day getting to know the magazines in my bathroom.
And so this year, when I asked what I could bring to the feast,
I declared that I would bring a salad. I have to admit that this was not the most popular decision and pretty much permanently soli8dified most of my families stereotypes of vegetarians, but I needed it. What salad to bring…?
My absolute favorite salad is a tomato salad. Admittedly this a salad better served in the summer but alongside the frozen broccoli that has been stewed to death in cream of mushroom soup, I thought that tomatoes a little out of season would be relatively fine. This also meant that I could eat primarily the salad and then make a showing of nibbling on the other items. This all sounds quite snobby and terrible but at the end of the day, if eating it is not worth the calories, the there is no point in shoving it in. Coming from a chubby girl, if it is not worth the calories, then it must be pretty bad.
It is important to make a statement to your salad and add in something that typifies you and hopefully adds a little extra nutrients. I decided to sprinkle it with green lentil sprouts which add a crunch, a little sweetness and a hit of nutritional value.
I also want to make a quick note about the cheese. If I am making this salad on a Wednesday night in the summer (which I often do) then go ahead and get a boccanchinni ball from the deli. It will be delicious. For special occasions, go for the buffalo mozzarella! This is a time to be thankful and I am thankful for the soft, oozy buffalo mozzarella. I am a fan of a big handful of basil. I treat is almost like a lettuce in the salad. There is not point into delicately chiffonading it and sprinkling it over. This is a main ingredient for the salad. Don’t be skimpy with the basil!
Tomato Sprout Salad
A go to salad for parties or to impress your guests
- Tomatoes - the more shapes and colours the better
- Buffalo Mozzarella
- Sprouts of your choice
- Fresh Basil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Slice your tomatoes any way you like and arrange on a plate.
- Season your tomatoes with salt and pepper
- Slice and arrange the avocado on top of the tomatoes. You can be as fancy or as rustic as you like here.
- Rip up the mozzarella (get your hands in there) and add to the salad.
- Sprinkle on your sprouts and your basil. I rip the basil into large pieces because I want to taste it and have it act like a proper green in the salad.
- Drizzle the whole thing with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and serve!
The Gilded Sprout http://thegildedsprout.com/
This salad is served best on a plate or tray to show off the layers but this is completely up to you.
There you have it, a tasty and classic salad that beats the pants off of the pre-washed bag of lettuce and selection of fridge salad dressings. This makes a statement and tastes good.