Summer Broccoli Salad

Tonight is pizza night! I always like a good salad to compliment the cheesy “za”. Salad on the side helps to not overindulge in those slices! As usual, I wasn’t feeling anything too basic. With what I had in the pantry and fridge this is what resulted!

Broccoli Chickpea Salad

4 cups broccoli florets
1 medium sweet Vidalia onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 TB
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Blanche the broccoli and set aside. In a large saucepan heat two tablespoons of olive oil adding the sweet onion and cooking until translucent. Stir in garlic and pine nuts. Toss in the cooked broccoli, lemon juice, chickpeas and diced pepper. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Pour over the salad and chill.

I decided to add one chopped romaine heart to the chilled salad before serving.

The above vinaigrette is my go-to for all cold summer bean salads!
Red wine vinegar works great in the dressing as well.

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“Family Dinner”

After flying the nest, my friends and I began an almost weekly tradition of, what we like to call, Family Dinner.  So what does this consist of? A crowd (of at least 5), good food (home-cooked of course), my antique dining room table, laughs, and wine.

Debates over the menu, day, time and availability all ensue over group text.  After the dust settles, I proudly announce the menu with bated breath.

Drumroll please … today’s evening consists of a freshly prepared caprese (with blanched asparagus) salad to start. We’ll follow up with the main course of marinated flank steak, “eggplant parmesan” (recipe to follow in a separate post), and broccolini.

Caprese Salad With Asparagus

Caprese Salad With Asparagus

Grilled Flank Steak

Grilled Flank Steak

How does a young professional pull it all off?

/A/MY Rules of Entertaining:

  • Plan the menu!
  • Shop the day before
  • Prep as much as you can
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew
  • Not every part of the meal has to start from scratch
  • Take some help where you can; accept a hand
  • Clean up as you go
  • Don’t skimp on tools and equipment
  • Relax
  • Have a glass of wine while cooking

Family Dinner!

What’s the verdict? Full tummies, memories shared & created, and a tradition that’s only to grow for many years to come.