By Joe Fleischman
This easy, colorful salad will quickly become one of your springtime favorites.
This recipe works equally well with grilled chicken, fish or beef, and can be prepared up to 48 hours before serving.
The Meyer lemon vinaigrette is extremely light and easy to prepare, making the salad a great option for barbecues, potlucks or unexpected guests.
Meyer lemons, although relatively new to the culinary scene in the United States, have been cultivated in China for thousands of years. Used mostly for decorative purposes, this lemon- mandarin orange cross has found a place in many professional kitchens throughout the country.
Meyer lemons have a sweeter flavor then regular lemons and are not as acidic, making them the perfect complement to salad dressings, marinades and desserts.
These hearty fruits are available in most markets from November to May and may be purchased online year-round.
Joe Fleischman is executive chef at Meritus Medical Center. He has 20 years of experience as a professional chef, culinary instructor and speaker.
Grape-tomato and garbanzo-bean salad
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
6 ounces garbanzo beans, rinsed
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 ounces black olives, sliced
2 ounces carrots, grated
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Add Meyer lemon vinaigrette (see recipe below)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, beans, green pepper, olives, carrots and basil, mix well. Mix vinaigrette into salad mixture a small amount at a time until well coated. Reserve additional dressing under refrigeration for up to 2 weeks. For best results, chill salad overnight prior to service.
Serves 8 to 10.
Meyer lemon vinaigrette
Juice of 2 Meyer lemons
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a small mixing bowl add Meyer lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and garlic.
Whisk in olive oil a small amount at a time until well incorporated, add salt and pepper to taste.