BITE BY BITE
Conquering My Culinary Bucket List One Dish at a Time
By Emily Banks Wooten
Things have been busy. There are several rather large projects I’ve been working on simultaneously. Research is underway for some upcoming columns that I’m excited about. However, I haven’t done much cooking lately. So this week, I’m going to cheat a little and revisit some good summer salads that you may have missed the first time.
Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad
— 1lb. asparagus, woody ends removed
— 1 large Haas avocado
—1 pint grape tomatoes
— ¼ cup olive oil
— 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
— 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
— ½ teaspoon kosher salt
— ½ teaspoon pepper
— Dash of red wine vinegar
• Place enough water in a medium skillet to slightly coat the bottom of the pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Place asparagus in water and cover again. Steam for 3-5 minutes or until the asparagus is tender but still firm.
• After they reach the desired tenderness, drain and immediately submerge in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once chilled, drain on paper towels until dry. Cut into bite-size chunks.
• Wash tomatoes, drain thoroughly and place in medium-size bowl with asparagus.
• Mix all ingredients for dressing with a whisk. Pour over asparagus and tomatoes and toss.
• Slice avocado in half and remove the pit. Run knife through avocado all the way to the peel making ½ inch squares. Run a large spoon between peel and flesh to remove the avocado.
• Add avocado right before serving. Separate cubes with your fingers and toss gently into salad.
Corn and Tomato Salad
From August 2018 issue of Family Circle
— 2 ½ lbs. heirloom tomatoes
— ¼ tsp. salt
— 3 ears cold grilled corn
— 3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
— 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
— 2 teaspoons agave or light honey
— Flaky sea salt
— Crumbled queso fresco or feta
— Cilantro, torn
• Slice tomatoes about ¼ inch thick. Place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with salt. Cut corn from cobs.
• Arrange tomato slices on a platter and sprinkle with corn.
• Whisk lime juice, oil and agave. Drizzle over salad. Top with sea salt, cheese and cilantro.
Recipe Note: If you prefer larger chunks of corn, slice down close to cob, then do the opposite side to get two wide slabs. Cut down remaining sides for thinner rows. Crumble larger pieces over tomatoes.
Andra’s Tomato Basil Dip
— Roma tomatoes
— Fresh basil
— Olive oil
— Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
• Take 8-12 Roma tomatoes, slice the ends off and scoop out and discard the insides, then chop the remainder.
• Chop a handful of fresh basil and add to tomatoes.
• Finely mince 6-8 cloves of fresh garlic. Use more or less to your liking.
• Drizzle approximately 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over the tomatoes, basil and garlic and gently stir. Top with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
• Make this ahead of time (a few hours if possible) and let it sit in the fridge for a while before serving so the flavors have time to “marry.”
• Serve on slices of French bread.