the appetizer:

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More than 75 Recipes by Mark Bittman, includes recipes like Layered Salad; Big Beans with Skordalia; and Savory Vegetable and Grain Torta.

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Layered Salad

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes

For 20 years we've served alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella as if they were the only ingredients available for layering in a salad. It's a fine combination, to be sure, but come on—we can branch out a bit.

This version provides a formula for all sorts of combinations to try all year long, even when tomatoes aren't in season; just pick one of the options from each line in the ingredient list and build away.

1. Cut each tomato or orange crosswise into 4 thick slices. Put a layer of them on plates or a platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the cucumber or watermelon, then the onion or scallions; season again if you like. Put the avocado or cheese slices over all, fanning them out to get good coverage. Top with the radishes or apple and sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper one last time.

2. Use a fork to mix the oil and lemon juice or vinegar in a small bowl and drizzle the dressing over the top. Garnish with the chopped basil or cilantro and serve.

Layered Peach Salad: A must when they're in season. Cut 2 peaches into thin slices and layer them into the salad after the avocado or cheese and before the radishes or apples. Dress and garnish as above.

 

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This page created May 2009