Tomato and Avocado Salad with Orange, Fennel and Fresh Herbs

  
Tomato and Avocado Salad with Orange, Fennel and Fresh Herbs

This fresh summer salad is perfect for a large group and it makes its own dressing!

Ingredients:

  

8 large tomatoes

1 red onion

4 oranges

4-5 haas avocados

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup fresh tarragon

1/4 cup fresh basil

1 bulb fennel

Directions:

  

Core tomatoes and cut into wedges. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

  
Slice onion thin and add to tomatoes.

  
Remove skin from oranges and cut into segments. Add to tomatoes and onions and toss lightly.

  
Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop out of the skin with a large kitchen spoon.

  
Slice avocados into wedges and add to tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and fresh herbs and gently toss to coat.

  
Turn out onto a large platter and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.

  
Shave fennel on a mandoline slicer and place in the center of the salad. Serve immediately.

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Lobster BLT Lettuce Wrap

  
Lobster BLT Lettuce Wrap

I love a good Lobster BLT. The crispy bacon, sweet lobster salad and acidic tomato on toast with crunchy lettuce and mayonnaise is one of my favorite combinations.

Lately though, more and more guests are avoiding bread for a variety of reasons. While I love the classic, I felt a need to update this delicious dish to keep up with changing tastes so I ditched the bread and put the lettuce on the outside. Here is my recipe for Lobster BLT Lettuce Wraps.

Lobster BLT Lettuce Wraps

Makes 6 wraps

Ingredients:

Lobster Salad:

1/4 cup celery, small dice

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 cups lobster meat cut into large pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

Wrap and Garnish:

6 romaine leaves

10 grape tomatoes, quartered

4 strips bacon (or more) cooked

Chives

Directions:

To make lobster salad, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir briefly. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. 

Trim the root end off the romaine leaves. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

  
Chop bacon and chives and quarter tomatoes.

  
Place lettuce rib side down and fill with lobster salad.

Garnish with tomatoes, bacon and chives.

Serve immediately.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes (and what to do with them)

It is finally the peak of summer here in Maine and beautiful, fresh produce is piling up in home gardens and farm stands all across the state. We recently found ourselves with an abundance of perfectly ripe tomatoes that were begging to be preserved at the height of their flavor and I knew just what I wanted to do with them.

  

Oven-drying tomatoes is an easy way to concentrate their flavor while extending their shelf life. The tomatoes come out of the oven with a deep, rich flavor that will take your BLT or burger to the next level.

You can use oven-dried tomatoes almost anywhere you would used sliced tomatoes but my favorite thing to do is make them into a spread. Before we get to that, let’s talk about how to make oven-dried tomatoes.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:

Tomatoes

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt

Sugar

Directions:

  

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Slice tomatoes at least one inch thick, discarding the top and bottom. I usually get two slices out of a medium tomato and three out of a large.

Coat the tomatoes in olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and sugar.

Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil (this will make clean up a breeze later) and place a rack on top.

Lay your tomatoes out on the rack being careful not to let them touch each other. Place in the preheated oven and set a timer for 3 hours.

  
After 3 hours, remove from the oven and check tomatoes. If they are still a little moist on top, flip the tomatoes over and put them back in the oven for 30 more minutes.

  
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Oven-Dried Tomato Spread

   

Ingredients:

1 pound oven-dried tomatoes

1/8 cup packed basil leaves

1 shallot, quartered

1/2 garlic clove, crushed

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1/8 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor, making sure garlic and shallot are on the bottom.
Pulse several times and then add the olive oil gradually while the machine is running.

  
Remove from processor and refrigerate until ready to use.

Spread on your favorite sandwich as a condiment, use in place of tomato sauce or top crostini with feta and olives for a fantastic appetizer.