Friday, July 30, 2010

Summers Salads and a Give Away

I was recently contacted by Girard premium salad dressings and given the opportunity to try their line of premium salad dressings.  They sent me bottle of their three new flavors- apple poppyseed, creamy balsamic, and peach mimosa,  and one bottle of their classic Champagne dressing. We eat a lot of salads during the summer because they are quick and easy, and perfect for a relaxing dinner on the patio, so this was a great chance to change up some of our usual salads with some new flavors.

I sampled each of the dressings and was impressed with the fresh flavors and the balance between the acid and the oil. On my menu was Julia Child's Cobb salad and the classic champagne dressing was perfect match for this salad.
Cobb Salad
1/2 head finely chopped iceberg lettuce
1 small head finely chopped romaine lettuce
Grilled or poached chicken breast
Red Onion
corn kernels
tomatoes that have been seeded
hard boiled eggs
bacon, crisply cooked
blue cheese

Fill a salad bowl with the chopped lettuces. Dice the chicken breast and toss with a tablespoon of salad dressing,then arrange on top of the lettuce. Finely chop the hard boiled eggs and season with salt and pepper before arranging next to the chicken. Chop remaining ingredients and place them on top of the lettuce. Just before serving toss the entire salad with enough dressing to coat the ingredients evenly.

Along with the dressings Girard's sent a along a few recipes to try. The two that caught my eye were a cococus salad with the classic champagne and a chicken salad with the apple poppy seed dressing. We have a couscous salad that we make a lot during the summer so instead of the usual blasamic/olive oil drizzle, I used the chanpange dressing and it was really good. I also love the apple salad at Panera, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make it at home with the apple poppy seed dressing.

Coucous Salad

This is my go-to couscous salad.
2 cups cooked coucous
finely chopped red onion
toasted pine nuts
sweet one hundred tomatoes, halved (or any other variety of cherry tomato)
finely chopped basil
crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper
Griard's Champagne dressing

Toss first 6 ingredients together and mix with 1/4 cup of dressing and salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving toss with additional dressing to taste.

Chicken Apple Salad

This is my version of chicken apple salad..  Add enough of each ingredient to suit your tastes and for the number of servings you need. I usually use about 2 cups of greens per serving for a main dish salad.
Mixed greens
sliced red onion
chopped toasted walnuts
shredded cheddar cheese
dried cranberries or cherries
chopped grilled chicken breast
chopped celery
crumbled bacon
apple chips
Girard 's Apple Poppy Seed dressing

I tried the balsamic dressing over vine ripe tomatoes and it was the perfect mix of balsamic vinegar and oil.
The only dressing I haven't used yet is the peach mimosa, but I hope to give it a try this weekend.

Girard's has generously offered to send 5 lucky readers the same samples they sent me. To enter just leave a comment about your favorite salad. Be sure that you include your email if your comment doesn't link back to your blog. Comments must be received by August 7th at 12 a.m. pacific time.

Here is a link to an online coupon for $2.00 off one bottle of Girard’s Salad Dressing.
GIRARDS COUPOON Please note that the coupon is on a first come, first serve basis, so be sure to act fast!