Yay! It's salad season again!
In the winter, when the temperature drops and the sun goes into hibernation, I'm just not feeling the salad thing. But during the heat of the summer, I'm happy to scarf down a big salad every day. (Do you remember when George bought Elaine the big salad on Seinfeld? He wanted her to know that HE purchased the big salad. He wanted to get credit for it.)
Anyway, I'm loving some new finds from Trader Joe's and Costco which have elevated my summer salads to a whole new level.
For example, you must try the new Israeli feta cheese from Trader Joe's. (I believe Costco also carries an Israeli feta, but you have to buy a larger package, so I haven't sampled their brand.) No, it is not super cheap (at around $7 per pound) but it's super yummy, creamy, buttery, crumbly goodness. Takes your salad to new heights.
You will definitely want to pair this delicious feta with Trader Joe's frozen falafel. These fried chickpea patties are my latest substitute for croutons. Traditionally, you might eat them inside a pita, but they are also fabulous on top of a salad. Just toss a couple into the microwave for one minute and they are ready to serve. What could be easier?
I'm sure you're asking, "What kind of dressing should I put on this salad?" I'll tell you! I love a lemon tahini dressing with this Israeli salad. Trader Joe's carries a tahini sauce (right next to their magnificent selection of hummus!) which transforms quickly and easily into a smooth, creamy salad dressing.
To top your Israeli salad, you will want to grab a tub of Wild Wonders gourmet medley of mixed baby tomatoes at Costco. These are the sweetest--not to mention, the prettiest--tomatoes I have ever enjoyed. They come in almost every color of the rainbow, as well as multiple shapes and sizes. Cute and delish!
Here's the recipe:
2 TB tahini sauce (not plain tahini paste)
1 TB whole milk or Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 big bunch of fresh baby spinach leaves
2 frozen falafel patties, heated for one minute and warmed through
1 Persian cucumber, sliced
1 handful mixed baby tomatoes
1-2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Mix the ingredients for the dressing in the bottom of a salad bowl. Add the baby spinach and toss until the leaves are well coated. Top the salad with the rest of the ingredients and serve immediately, if not sooner. Makes one big salad for Elaine or anyone who is very hungry.