It seems that spring is finally gracing us with its presence. Good thing we didn’t hold our breath, eh? In celebration of the season, bolt to your nearest farmers’ market — or produce section — for some fresh, fresh, fresh produce.
Here’s the catch: rather than zapping these veggies with heat, reach for a trusty kitchen tool instead: the mandoline. With its thin-slicing capabilities, this gadget converts veggies into some sensational no-cook sides. But be sure to watch yourself — this tool is seriously sharp. (Don’t have a mandoline? A standard vegetable peeler will work just fine too.)
Summer Squash Carpaccio by Food Network Magazine is vibrant and vital as we progress into the warmer months. Here ribbons of yellow squash and zucchini are thin but perky as they marinate in a simple lemon vinaigrette with herbs and grated pecorino.
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Hot Tips From Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:
To give your salad extra crunch, just toss in some chopped toasted bread. For extra flavor, rub the toast with garlic first; we did this for Food Network Magazine‘s Grilled Chicken Salad With Gazpacho Dressing. These quick croutons are especially great in summer tomato salads — they soak up all of the tasty liquid.
If your New Year’s resolution is to eat smarter in 2012, it’s no secret that fresh fruits, vegetables, substantial proteins and healthful whole grains will become your best food friends this year. For a light meal that is easy to make and incorporates those hearty grains and good-for-you veggies, try serving a few simple yet satisfying salads in place of a traditional, heavy meal. Ditch those basic leafy green salads and opt for ones that boast interesting ingredients and textures.
Food Network Magazine’s Warm Beet-Orange Salad (pictured above) is packed with such in-season eats as tender roasted beets and bright citrus. Toasted walnuts add a welcome crunch to this colorful plate.
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