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Chia Seed and Cucumber Salad Recipe

chia seed and cucumber saladOne day I was staring at a package of chia seeds trying to think of something to do with them beyond the ubiquitous chia pudding. I wondered what would happen if I added them to my mother’s cucumber salad recipe. I also traded out her garden cucumbers for Read more

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Tomato Mozzarella Salad For Two

tomato mozzarella saladThis Tomato Mozzarella Salad recipe comes to us from Christina Barrueta, freelance food & beverage writer and creator of WriteOnRubee.com who recently served this salad recipe on a romantic picnic for two. She recommends using a variety of vibrantly colored, vine ripened tomatoes, a great mozzarella and garden-fresh herbs to really make the flavors sing. Pair it with a well-chilled rosé and prepare for the perfect taste of summer. Read more

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Grilled Romaine with Parmesan, Cocoa Nib “Croutons” and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Chocolate shouldn’t just be for dessert! Here’s a new way to enjoy chocolate as an appetizer not to mention make your salad that much more sexy!

Cocoa nibs are the roasted beans used to make chocolate. Used in their unprocessed state, their antioxidant benefits are enormous and their flavor is rich and chocolate-y yet savory-perfect for pairing with faintly charred and figure-friendly romaine and a touch of tangy parm.

recipe by Amy Reiley
serves 6

3 romaine hearts
1 ½ – 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved
1-1 ½ tablespoons cocoa nibs
grape seed oil for brushing

  1. Heat grill to medium heat.
  2. Clean but do NOT trim romaine hearts, (keep root end attached). Cut romaine hearts lengthwise into 4 quarters, ensuring leaves stay attached to bottom root. Brush both cut sides of each quarter with a tiny bit of olive oil.
  3. Place romaine, cut side down, on heated grill. Grill 2 minutes then turn to put second cut side down. Grill for an additional 1-2 minutes until second side browns slightly.
  4. Gently toss romaine with enough dressing to coat (you may not need all of the dressing) then sprinkle with cheese and nibs before serving.

For the dressing:
1 shallot, finely minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons grape seed or walnut oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Merlot or other medium-bodied red wine
1 pinch dried lavender or herbes de provence
salt and pepper to taste

Slowly whisk oil into vinegar, add the remaining ingredients. Adjust seasoning. Serve immediately or shake well before serving.