CABIN FEVER SALAD
Toasted French bread cubes sautéed in margarine, garlic and cinnamon with Spanish peanuts and a spray of sugar. Tossed in a romaine lettuce salad with tomato, avocado and sweet onion. Dressed with a nut oil vinaigrette!
1 med. head romaine lettuce, washed, crisped and torn into bite-size pieces
2 c. fresh French bread cubes, 1/2 inch cubes
2 T. margarine
3 lg. garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1/3 c. Spanish peanuts, coarsely crushed
1/2 . cinnamon
2 t. sugar
2 T. peanut oil
2 T. sesame oil (light, not black)
2 T. white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 lg. slicing tomato, cored and diced into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes
1 light handful peeled, thinly sliced sweet onion
1 avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced, then cut the slices in half
Prepare lettuce: Put in covered container and refrigerate till ready to use.
To make toasted bread cubes: Take a loaf of unsliced French bread. Slice it into 1/2 inch thick slices, then cut each slice into 1/2 inch cubes. Place cubes on a baking sheet or piece of aluminum foil in a 350 degree oven till crisp. Don’t burn.
In large skillet, over medium heat, melt margarine. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute while stirring continuously. Add toast cubes and gently roll and stir to coat with margarine. Add crushed peanuts and cinnamon; stir then saute about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Sprinkle sugar over cubes, stir well and set aside.
In small bowl combine peanut and sesame oils, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir briskly with fork till thickened.
To assemble salad: Place romaine into large bowl. Add toasted bread cubes and nut mixture. Toss. Add tomato, onion and avocado. Drizzle dressing over all and gently toss again. Spoon onto salad plates and serve at once.
Notes: Different and delicious. No doubt! This is a main dish salad! If desired, extend the meal with a cup of tomato soup served prior to the serving of the salad.
The reason the sugar is added after the toasted cubes are removed from the heat is to keep the sugar from gumming up from the heat.
To crush nuts: Place in paper or plastic bag, seal, then pound with rolling-pin or the flat side of a hammer-head till coarsely crumbled. Don’t use the food processor; the nuts end up too small for this salad.
Use a light sesame oil.
I developed this recipe when, you guessed it, I had cabin fever!