All Tossed

With spring’s arrival, I'm inspired to toss up a fresh seasonal salad. Now is the time to really enjoy spring greens when they are sweet and at their peak; later in summer the flavors tend to bitter a bit with the heat. Whether you are preparing salad for two or planning your Mother's Day brunch, here are few tips + recipes to make plating up your spring salad even better.

Be sure to do the prep with your delicate spring lettuce; submerge leaves in cold water repeatedly until there is no evidence of soil or sand. Then give those leaves a good spin, so your homemade vinaigrette will easily coat your leaves. Wet leaves repell the dressing.

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Good Stuff Pick - OXO Salad Spinner

George's Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Makes 2 1/2 cups | Know Your Fire Cookbook

1 Tablespoons chives

1 tsp chopped parsley

1 tsp capers or chopped green olives

1/2 tsp lite soy sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, Gorgonzola, Roquefort or Stilton

1 recipe Basic Vinaigette (recipe to follow)

Combine the chives, parsley,capers or olives, and lite soy sauce with the cream and half the cheese and blend well. Add the vinaigrette and stir in the remaining cheese. Let the dressing stand at room temperature for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.

George's Basic Vinaigrette

Makes 2 cups | Know Your Fire Cookbook

"Use whichever vinegar appeals to you: If using balsamic, cut the amount in half." 

1 1/4 cups virgin olive oil

3/4 cups vinegar

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and beat with a fork or a whisk to blend. Or place the ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid and shake until they're well blended.

Allow the dressing to sit at room temperature for 24 hours to develop the flavor.

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There are four main kinds of lettuce to choose from: Butterhead (Bibb), Crisphead (Iceberg), Looseleaf (Cutting) and Romaine. 

Looseleaf

Looseleaf lettuce make colorful tender leaf salads in chartreuse, deep green and bronzy reds. 

Crisphead

Crisphead lettuce contain curved, overlapping leaves which form crispy, firm round heads. Inside, creamy white leaves are tightly packed. Deep green outer leaves are delicious too.

Romaine

Romaine lettuce contain elongated, thick leaves which are crisp and savory.

Butterhead

Butterhead lettuce is the largest and best-flavored group of lettuces. Tender leaf lettuces form a tightly folded head with delicate buttery flavor. Typically smaller heads than other types. 

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Grill Skewers

Tune-in GHL Tuesdays and Thursdays on Create TV beginning July 14th

George Hirsch Know Your Fire Fridays

Forty years ago people were afraid to enter the water at the beach... the movie Jaws has had an everlasting effect since. But I say - no worries, just skewer and marinate. Today, I'll opt for grilling swordfish which is ideal when topped with a highly seasoned marinade for flavoring, not tenderizing. The fish is marinated for under 30 minutes making for a quick fix from kitchen to grill.  

Have a great weekend!

Use this vinaigrette as a marinade for vegetables, meats, or seafood and as a basic vinaigrette for salad greens.

Chef George's Grilling Vinaigrette

makes about 1 cup | from  George Hirsch Living it UP! cookbook

 chefgeorgehirsch.com

1/2 cup tomato or vegetable juice

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon horseradish

2 Tablespoons pitted green olives, chopped

4 cloves Caramelized Garlic

1 green onion, chopped

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Fresh ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients until well blended. Cover and alow the vinaigrette to sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.

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Swordfish Skewers

makes 4 servings

chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle

1 1/4 pounds *swordfish, cut into 2 inch pieces

1 green pepper, cut into 2 inch cubes

1 red pepper, cut into 2 inch cubes

1 sweet onion, cut into 2 inch cubes

1 lemon, cut in quarters

1 lime, cut in quarters

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Arrange the swordfish, peppers, onion, wedges of lemon and limes on skewers. Pour Grilling Vinaigrette and olive oil over skewers; marinate for 30 minutes, in the refrigerator.

Preheat the grill. Grill for 2 or 3 minutes on each side on high. Baste with the marinade, then cook over a lower temperature for several minutes until done.

*Optional: use mako, jumbo shrimp or sea scallops. And chicken.

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