Saturday, April 18, 2009

California Flatbread Salads with Balsamic Strawberries


Spring has sprung, and I've been seriously craving fresh veggies.

I made tortillas recently but realized as I started gathering my ingredients that I had only a little all-purpose flour. Instead of throwing my hands up in despair I decided to use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose.  This resulted in crispy, cracker-like flatbreads -- not exactly a tortilla but still delicious.  

Instead of trying to roll up the "tortillas" and fill them with meat, cheese, and the like, I piled the flatbreads with fresh greens, sliced almonds, bleu cheese, red onion, and balsamic strawberries.  I enjoyed this creation so much that I've decided to repeat the process and use the flatbreads as a base for fresh salads on a regular basis.  The finished product has a very California kitchen feel to it.  

Here is a loose recipe for the salad I threw on top of the flatbread.

California Flatbread Salads

6 - 7 strawberries, sliced
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 head Romaine lettuce
2 large handfuls baby spinach
1/4 cup diced red onion
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
4 - 5 whole wheat tortilla crisps
1/4 - 1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Place the sliced strawberries in a small bowl and pour the vinegar on top.  Allow the strawberries to marinate while you make the rest of the salad.
Tear the Romaine into bite-sized pieces and mix with the spinach in a large wooden bowl.  Add the diced red onion and use your hands to evenly distribute the greens and onions.  Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad and toss to coat the leaves.  Place each tortilla on a plate and top with a generous serving of the salad.  Top each serving with a sprinkling of bleu cheese and almonds.  Drain the strawberries and place on top of the salad.  Serve immediately.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
coarse kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl mix the garlic, mustard, lemon juice, honey, and apple cider vinegar.  Stir vigorously until fully combined.  Starting with a single drop, slowly add the olive oil.  Continue pouring in a steady stream, vigorously stirring the vinaigrette as you add more oil.  Mix until the dressing is full combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.




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