Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Saved by the salad

I confess - I ate more bread, sugar and butter than a Pilates teacher should own up to. Miraculously, I made it through the Thanksgiving holiday without adding any pounds. Still feeling a little sluggish (it was Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake I've been munching on nightly after all), I turned to a clean and simple entree salad for tonight's dinner.

White Bean And Tuna Salad
Giada De Laurentiss

Here I've assembled all the ingrediets: baby spinach/arugula mix, great nothern beans, radicchio, cherry tomatoes, capers, tuna in olive oil and reggiano cheese.

For a contrasting background, I selected white plates. Spread shredded radicchio atop the greens.

Doug's tomatoes are halved, mine are quartered.

Giada's recipe calls for a red onion. I've substituted a shallot because its milder.

Sprinkle on the capers.

Drain and rinse the beans. I substituted Great Northern for the
Cannelini because they are my favorite bean.

Frankly, I rarely eat tuna packed in water any more...the olive oil packed is so much more tasty. I halved the can between the two of us, oil and all.

Taking the tip of my knife, I chipped off irregular shaped pieces of reggianio off my hunk of cheese. The cheese is supposed to retain its flavor better this way. In this kind of salad, it makes sense to do so for appearance sake as well.

All that's left to do is add a bit more olive oil and (just so happen to have a bottle from the Newkirk's last visit to Italy) balsamic vinegar.

That's a mini panettone in the background, waiting to be made into Ina Garten's Panettone Bread Pudding. Panettone is Italy's version of fruit cake and it's been around since ancient Roman times. Like fruit cake, it makes its appearance from Christmas to New Year's. The Italians like theirs with hot chocolate or liquor such as Sambuca (also have a bottle from the Newkirks...everyone should have the Newkirks as friends). It is the holidays and I do a damnable amount of 100s.

I hope you will try Giada's salad post Thanksgiving. It is turkey free, full of healthy protein, reminds one of Italy and another portion can be packed for lunch the next day. The calories one saves can be spent on other things, such as panettone...

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