Living in a beach town has its perks, especially during the summer. Lake Michigan has been incredibly warm this year, topping out a couple weeks ago at 77 degrees! Evan and I have been taking full advantage and often wander down to the lake after work for a swim. How could you not? No one is saying the “W” word yet, but summer won’t last forever. Here are a few pics of our beautiful downtown beach:
One must fuel up before a big swim! We eat LOTS of green stuff every day – a smoothie for breakfast and a huge salad for lunch. One of the newer salads we’ve added to the rotation is an Italian Giardiniera salad with mixed greens, fresh mozzarella and, as the name suggests, giardiniera. If you’re not familiar, giardiniera is a mix of chopped spicy pickled vegetables packed in oil. The veggies often include carrots, celery, cauliflower, peppers and occasionally, olives. It’s delicious. It’s one of my favorite pizza toppings at Lou Malnati’s in Chicago.
I like to put the giardiniera on a some paper towel and plate to help soak up the extra oil, especially if it’s a particularly spicy mix. A quarter cup is good for two large lunch salads, but you can certainly use more or less.
The only other two ingredients are your choice of greens and the mozzarella. The dressing is simple – 2 tablespoon of the giardiniera packing oil and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. If the packing oil is too spicy (speaking from experience here…), you can use olive oil instead with some fresh ground pepper.
Great for lunch or a tasty side salad for your next Italian dinner! Enjoy:)
Italian Giardiniera Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
6 cups of your favorite greens
1/4 cup giardiniera
4 ounces fresh mozzarella
2 Tbsp giardiniera packing oil (or olive oil and fresh ground pepper)
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Place 1/4 cup drained giardiniera on paper towel to remove excess oil. To make the dressing, combine 2 Tbsp oil and 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar. Toss the giardiniera and dressing with mixed greens and fresh mozzarella.