Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Grilled vegetables and dried apricots in a garlic, fennel vinaigrette

I had some leftover grilled vegetables (Fennel bulb, red onion, zucchini, and shitake mushrooms) from BBQing last night. I chopped them up, threw them on some fresh arugula, whipped up a dressing, and was surprised at how wonderful the resulting salad was.

Serves 2

2c grilled vegetables, medium dice
2c fresh arugula, washed and dried (if using pre-washed, a half bag will do)
1/4 c dried apricots, medium dice
1 large clove garlic, sliced thin
1t fennel seeds
1T extra virgin olive oil
2T olive oil
3T white balsamic vinegar

Place the grilled vegetables, arugula, and apricots in a medium salad bowl.

Toast fennel seeds in a sautee pan over medium heat until they darken slighty and release their aroma. Remove the toasted seeds from the pan and grind them.

In the same pan, add your 2T olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add your sliced garlic and fry until golden brown and crispy (beware the hot spots on your pan! Don't let any garlic burn!)

Add your hot garlic and garlic oil to the white balsamic. Add the ground fennel, and the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.


Willowbottom said...

So does this mean that whenever I use heat, I should use regular olive oil and use extra virgin only for fresh foods?

Rebecca said...

If I want EVOO in my dish for flavor, I treat it like a fresh herb and add it at the end of my cooking.

For high heat when I want to use olive oil, I use "pure" olive oil (also often called just "olive oil" on the package). It is cheaper too and if I recall correctly, was heat treated to get the oil out of the olive. In other words, not "cold pressed."