Normally, I would not do a post on a recipe that has already been posted.  Here is the thing....this salad has a story, and now some history, so I just had to share.
To start from the very beginning, this story began one nite last year when DH and I went out for dinner.  A rarity in this household let me tell you.  It turns out the chef at the restaurant we went to is also a Celiac.  How he manages to cook all the "regular gluten food" is beyond me.  I would have ended up in hospital!  Anyways, upon reading the menu, and knowing I wanted to play it safe, I ordered a warm steak salad.
Dang, that salad was good.  I was bound and determined to go home and make that EXACT salad.  It was August of 2010, the garden was ripe with garden lettuce, zucchini, beets, basil, rosemary, chives, and cherry tomatoes.  I realized, I did not have all of the ingredients needed for this particular salad.  So I thought, I will use the fresh ingredients from my garden, and although quite different from the chef's salad, I will see how it turns out.
As in my first post, my daughter and I died and went to heaven.  Seriously, this is the best warm salad we have ever had.  In fact, my daughter refuses to order a warm steak salad at a restaurant because she says, absolutely nothing compares to the one we shared this night.  Bless her heart.
Now onto the story.  My very best GF and her husband were going to come for lunch.  I decided I would make this sinful salad.  As I was in the kitchen preparing the meal, MBGF joined me.  She nonchalantly peered over my shoulder, as I was sauteing the zucchini and beets etc. and said "My DH does not like beets, and absolutely hates zucchini".  Oh dear.  Plus he hates feta cheese.  What to do?
I had nothing else to offer...this was it.  I placed the platter of salad onto the table, and we began to serve out platefuls. My friend's DH started to pick through it, but then decided it was too much effort, so he put a huge serving onto his plate.
The results:  He scarfed it up.  Seriously.  This made a huge plate of salad - really enough for four maybe five people.  He finished it off, with not a crumb left.
Next story:  My DH has never had this salad until tonight.  He was always away playing music every time I made it.  Well the night before, we had beautiful BBQ Porterhouse Steaks, the steaks were huge so there was a lot left over.  Time for this most sinful salad.
Zucchini, tomatoes, feta cheese and red wine vinegar are not on his top 100 fave list.. in fact they don't even make his top ten fave list..so I knew this might be a challenge.  As I was preparing the meal, I told him the story of our best friends - hoping this might influence him.  He looked at me with one eyebrow raised. Oh dear. This was what dinner was going to be...and I certainly could not eat the whole thing myself.
Mercy...my fingers are crossed XXXXX:
It turned out he did not need convincing - it was a huge hit - especially after an extra large helping!  Yeahhhhh.... August I love you....fresh basil, rosemary, parsley, chives, zucchini, cherry tomatoes - what is not to love?  So I say:  if you have fussy eaters in your house, make this salad tonight - it really is a winner!  🙂  More August love on the way...

Ina Gawne


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August 4, 2011