Fire up the grill and prepare your vegetables, and then cut everything to bite-size portions to lay nicely across the salad.
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Romaine is certainly not the only choice for lettuce, but often the best when it comes to price and availability.
I'd suggest looking at the local farmers' markets to find some unique blends.
This is a perfect dish offering both local and sustainable ingredients.
—Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Avocado, roasted corn and tomato salad
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved and roasted
10 petite hearts or romaine, washed
5 ripe avocados, halved, skinned and sliced
3 cups corn kernels, roasted (fresh off the cob)
10 sprigs cilantro, cleaned
2 pounds thinly sliced wedges of rofumo or apple-smoked cheddar
Vinaigrette (see recipe,º right)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a cookie sheet, place tomatoes, sprinkled with olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 minutes, set aside. Place 1 romaine heart on a salad plate, arrange sliced avocado off to one side and equally distribute roasted corn and tomatoes and across the top of the romaine. Place one sprig of cilantro in the middle of the salad and arrange choice of cheese across salad diagonally.
Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve. Serves 10.
1 cup aged balsamic vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the vinegar, lime juice, shallot, soy sauce, honey, garlic and red pepper flakes into a blender. Puree on high and drizzle in the oil and continue puréeing for an additional 2 to 4 minutes until thick.