Tomato Salad with Pickled Shallots
and Goat Cheese Croutons
Normally when your face is red you are feeling bashful or embarrassed. But today, and for the next few weeks as a lead up to Canada Day, my face will be wearing very patriotic red (and white) from licking my lips from a myriad of red (and white) dishes. Today I am beginning with appetizers, mezes or tapas...whatever you wish to call them. I am always up for a challenge and creating a menu based on a theme is my blogging challenge for this month. Red and white dishes here we come!!! I challenge you to come up with a menu using the colours of your own countries flag. Let's show some national pride here!
What menu would you come up with using the colours of your own flag?
Canada's 143th birthday is fast approaching on July 1st. For many this is just another long weekend but Canada Day is an opportunity to gather in every community from coast to coast to coast to celebrate the vision of our ancestors. We celebrate with community events, backyard barbecues, family picnics and plenty of fireworks in each and every community across the country. Canada is a melting pot of cultures, sights and sounds and is steeped in history. As a Canadian I hope I have shared a glimpse into our passion for food over the past 3 years of blogging.
This year not only will we be wearing red and white T-shirts and sun hats at the MTBT household (the colours of the Canadian flag), but, we will also be enjoying red and white dishes... from appetizers to dessert. I have dreamed up a red and white menu that would make our ancestors proud and one that celebrates the Canadian spirit. After all what is a celebration without food!!! And what is Canada Day without red and white somewhere in the picture, or as in this case the star of the show.
Of course you don't have to be Canadian to enjoy these summertime favourites. You just have to have a love of good food which as bloggers I know you do!!!Each recipe uses fresh local ingredients and celebrates our local producers and farmers. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Canada or any country in the world than to take pride in what we have to offer from coast to coast.
First up in our patriotic menu is a tomato salad with pickled shallots and goat cheese croutons. Red with the tomatoes and a good quality red wine vinegar and white with the goat cheese and bread croutons. If you find yourself on a quest for the perfect blend of summer flavours look no further. If Heirloom tomatoes are in season wouldn't this look stunning with every colour of red and orange in the rainbow captured on the plate. There is nothing that screams summer more than a plate full of sun-warmed tomatoes from the garden. This makes a delicious appetizer or can be served as a salad that compliments the rest of your menu.
I served this on a large platter where my guests topped the creamy goat cheese covered croutons with the tomato slices and pickled shallots for a perfect balance of flavours marrying the acidity of the tomatoes, vinegar and tangy goat cheese. I must say I had more than my share, it was that good!!!!Such a simple combination that allows the flavour of the tomato to be the star.
What red and white appetizer would you bring to the party???
Leave a comment and I may give it a try.
Leave a comment and I may give it a try.
here . We'll post about a different food every few months while creating greater awareness of how these foods fit into your healthy diet.
This month her chosen ingredient is olive oil. Olive oil has been used in Mediterranean countries for thousands of years and has quickly been ingrained in North America and other parts of the world. It’s actually a pure fruit juice and unlike most seed or vegetable oils, it does not require any heat or chemicals to extract the oil and needs no refinement. The oil can be consumed as is immediately after pressing.
Cooking with olive oil is like cooking with wine. Never use a wine or olive oil that does not taste good to you. An inferior oil will leave an unpleasant aftertaste. If you do the taste test and compare the "pure" to the "extra-virgin" oils you'll then understand the difference.
When cooking with olive oil, I save my extra-virgin and pricier oils for salads, dressings, and vinaigrette. You can drizzle it over slices of crusty bread or onto open-face sandwiches. I use it on a baked potato or add it to mashed potatoes instead of butter. Extra virgin olive oil tastes great on cooked vegetables or brushed onto fish or meat before serving. It goes a long way on the path to eating good and feeling good!
**Tomato Salad with Pickled Shallots and Goat Cheese Croutons**
2 shallots, sliced moderately thin
3 tablespoons (45 mL) red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced garlic
1/2 cup (120 mL) olive oil, divided
1/4 pound (113 g) fresh goat cheese
3 tablespoons (45 mL) minced chives (about 1 bunch)
1 baguette (about 3/4 pound)
1 1/4 pounds (563 g) tomatoes, sliced into 1/4- to 1/2-inch (6 - 13 mm) thick rounds
Freshly ground pepper
Combine the shallots and the vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for a minimum of 1 hour. Combine the garlic and one-quarter cup of the oil in another small bowl and set aside at least 30 minutes. In another small bowl beat together the goat cheese and chives.
Heat the oven to 400F (204C) degrees. Slice the baguette at a sharp angle 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 - 13mm) thick to create spears of bread. Strain the garlic from the olive oil and brush the bread on both sides with the oil. Discard the garlic or save for another use. Place bread on a baking sheet and bake until golden, 5 - 10 minutes. Allow to cool and spread with goat cheese/chive mixture.
Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Strain the vinegar from the shallots into a small bowl and then beat in the remaining one-fourth cup of oil. Dip each tomato slice in the mixture and arrange the dressed tomatoes in a wide serving bowl or on plates, being careful to mix colors and sizes. Carefully separate the shallot slices into individual rings and scatter them over top. Pour any remaining dressing on top.
Arrange the goat cheese croutons around the outside and serve.
Serves 4 -6
You may also enjoy these red and white appetizers:
Pesto Cherry Tomato Caprese
Char-Grilled Halloumi with Tomato Dressing
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
Tomato Feta Salad
Layered Heirloom Tomatoes with Feta and Basil Oil
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