Summer Salads: Garlicky Romaine

I could call this “cooking with Jacques” except this did not call for any cooking, except for the brief sautéing of the croutons. My Jacques Pepin Essential Pepin cookbook has lovely ideas for salads. What are salads but tossing oil and vinegar with greens? And a few other raw vegetables…and much more! Our go to salad greens are romaine lettuce and baby spinach.

I had all the needed ingredients for this “garlicky romaine with croutons”. Apparently in the spring I made homemade bread all of which we did not consume. I am of the school of thought to not waste food so I cut the remaining bread into crouton-sized cubes and froze them. Now I have the perfect recipe for them.

  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 1/2 cups 1-inch pieces “stale country bread”

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet; cast iron works well here. When oil is hot add the bread and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to turn the cubes. Although at first I thought this was too much oil, it worked out very well for the 4 minute sauté.

  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic; I used minced garlic from a jar.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mustard; Jacques calls for grainy mustard. I used spicy so as not to have three opened jars of mustard in my fridge.
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

I mixed the dressing ingredients in a small jar. I used half to dress the heart of romaine that I put into the bowl. We added a generous helping of Romano cheese as well. Romaine seems to call out for parmesan or Romano cheese in our household.

This is a tasty garlicky dressing. I was able to use this salad for two meals without making more dressing or croutons. This makes sense in that the recipe says it serves four.

tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms

These aren’t really recipes but comments on throwing ingredients together to make meals. Yes, I suppose that is what makes  a recipe. Anyway the amounts of the vegetables in the following meals will be entirely up to you and what you have and want to use.

This is a bunch of tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms served over egg noodles. My Hubby likes egg noodles. When he makes pasta he cooks bunches of it. He does this for tuna-noodle in the summer and with spaghetti which then becomes his spaghetti pie. I try to cook just enough for the meals I am planning.

I have vegetables delivered weekly from Imperfect Produce. You can google that and see if it would be right for you. I may have mentioned it in a previous blog but am not sure. So I had a bunch of tomatoes that arrived green. I let them sit on my counter for a couple of weeks and they did turn red. Meanwhile I had 3-4 other tomatoes in a weekly delivery. And the mushrooms have been very nice lately. I am still trying to put more vegetables in our meals. We’ve done a lot of big roast ups of whatever vegetables are on hand but Hubby has let me know that he is done with broccoli!

  • 6 or so smallish tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  •  8 ounce package white mushrooms
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • Egg noodles or pasta of your choice
  • Grated Romano or parmesan cheese to serve

Boil water and cook the noodles. This will take 5-8-10 minutes depending on how al dente you like your pasta. You can use whatever pasta you have on hand. This might be nice with bowties.

Slice the garlic and sauté in oil or butter. Slice mushrooms and add to pan. Roughly chop tomatoes and add them to the skillet and stir together with a few shakes of the seasoning. The garlic will take about 3 minutes; the mushrooms add 5, and then the tomatoes for about 5 more.

Drain the pasta. We put our pasta in the bowls and then add the tomato mixture. Serve with grated cheese. Enjoy!