Salad For Dinner? Absolutely! - 27 East

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Salad For Dinner? Absolutely!

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Smoked turkey salad.

Smoked turkey salad.

Surf and turf spinach salad with Oceana chardonnay.

Surf and turf spinach salad with Oceana chardonnay.

authorStaff Writer on Jul 18, 2019

A composed salad is a perfect main course for summer suppers. Cook the food during the cooler morning hours and refrigerate it until assembly. There’s no need to slavishly follow the exact ingredients or amounts listed in the recipes. Simply strive for balance between two forms of protein, greens, and vegetables, with addition of textures and tastes (soft, crunchy, sweet, salty, spicy) and have fun composing your own combinations. Pick up a loaf of crusty whole grain sourdough bread and serve fresh stone fruits for dessert.

Often the Seasonal Chef column recommends serving Sauvignon blanc or rosé with my recipes. However, I’ve discovered an amazing chardonnay, Oceano, made by a colleague and innovative wine maker, Rachel Martin, owner/vinter of Oceano Wines. I agree with Ana Paula Galvani of Sherry–Lehman, “For me, Rachel’s Chardonnay is very different from the others. Its freshness speaks to its cooler coastal terroir... It’s creamy on the palate. I’m a white Burgundy lover and I love hers!”

Oceano works beautifully with both of the following recipes. It’s my “go to” chardonnay! Lucky for us, Oceano is available here on the East End of Long Island. Ask for it at your favorite wine store, pick it up at Finest Kind Wine & Liquor in Montauk, or order it at

The only prep for a smoked turkey and hard cooked egg with grilled squash salad is to cook the egg and grill the squash! Serve it on a bed of crunchy romaine lettuce, parsley and red onion, add green olives and basil leaves for garnish … it is as delicious as it looks.

Here’s a riff on a surf ‘n turf dinner. When grilling meat for one meal, make extra for this salad with shrimp, potatoes, mushroom and green beans, with a creamy aioli dressing.

Enjoy the beautiful sunset while dining al fresco. Bon appetit!

Smoked Turkey, Grilled Squash & Hardcooked Egg Composed Salad(Serves 4)1/2 large head romaine lettuce, washed and spun dry — about 16 leaves, cut into chiffonade

Handful flat leaf parsley leaves

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 to 3 yellow squash, about 6” by 1,” trimmed, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices

2 to 3 zucchini, about 6” by 1,” trimmed, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices

About 2 cups smoked turkey breast, cut into small squares

4 hard cooked eggs, peeled, quartered, cut into chunks

12 pimento stuffed mammoth green olives, sliced

1 box grape tomatoes, washed

About 12 to 16 large basil leaves, rolled and cut into chiffonade, for garnish

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Balsamic glaze for drizzlingTo prepare:In a grill pan over high heat, lightly spray the pan with olive oil and working in batches, arrange the zucchini and yellow squash slices on the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the slices and cook until grill marks appear on one side, flip the slices and cook in the same fashion until barely tender. Transfer to a plate and reserve until assembly.

Roll romaine leaves as if rolling a cigar and cut into thin slivers (chiffonade.) Mix the lettuce with parsley leaves and onion and divide the mixture among four dinner plates.

Mound turkey, eggs, yellow squash, and zucchini on the bed of greens. Arrange olives and tomatoes attractively around the salad. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze over the entire affair, garnish with chiffonade of basil and pass salt and pepper at the table. Serve with crusty bread and pour a chilled glass of Oceano chardonnay. Surf And Turf Spinach Salad With Aioli Dressing(Serves 4 to 6)1 pound beef tenderloin or sirloin steak, grilled or seared, sliced or cubed

20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, seared or cooked

1 clove garlic, smashed

Avocado oil for searing

For the Aioli dressing:

2 medium pasteurized eggs (or 4 egg yolks)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Zest of 2 large lemons

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

About 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the salad:

6 to 8 cups baby spinach, washed and spun dry

1/2 bunch upland watercress leaves

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

4 ounces fresh white or cremini mushrooms, washed, stemmed and sliced

4 new red skinned potatoes, baked or boiled, and thinly sliced

About 2 cups green beans, blanched, trimmed and cut into 2 inch lengths

1 pint cherry tomatoes for garnish

Lemon or lime wedges for garnish

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper passed at the tableTo prepare:Early in the morning or one day ahead, sear steak according to personal preference. Bring to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if making ahead.

Pat raw shrimp dry with paper towels. In a skillet over moderate heat, coat the bottom with oil, add smashed garlic to the oil and saute until golden brown, remove the garlic and reserve. Increase the heat, add shrimp a few at a time and sear until first side turns red and begins to curl, sear other side and cook until the flesh changes from translucent to opaque, about one to two minutes per side. (Cooking time depends on the size of the shrimp.) Transfer to a side dish lined with paper towels and reserve. Refrigerate if making several hours ahead.

For the aioli dressing: In a food processor or blender, process the egg and mustard until well mixed. Add the lemon zest and garlic. With the machine running, drizzle the olive oil through the feeding tube, in a very thin stream until the mixture becomes thick, the consistency of mayonnaise. Continue adding oil and lemon juice alternately once the sauce begins to thicken. Mix until emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer to a glass container and refrigerate until serving time.

To assemble the salad: In a bowl, toss spinach, watercress and onion together and scatter the greens on a large platter or individual dinner plates. Add mushrooms, potatoes, and beans in an attractive arrangement. Arrange steak and shrimp over the vegetables, tuck reserved garlic clove in the shrimp and garnish with tomatoes and lemon wedges. Drizzle with dressing and pass remaining dressing at the table. Serve with crusty country bread and chilled Oceano chardonnay.

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