In the culinary world, a veritable industry has been formed around the idea of making cooking accessible to those on tight schedules. The idea of putting together weeknight meals in under an hour, or tips and tricks for streamlining the entertainment of guests, are the well-honed ingredients behind the careers of countless celebrity chefs – and for good reason. After all, tight schedules often do, in fact, result in what I’ll coin here as “culinary masochism”.
Take the current season, for example. In the lead up to the holidays, time becomes an especially rare resource. Between maintaining our work schedules, planning for the big get-togethers, and going through the motions of purposeful memory-making, it can be tempting to cut corners in seemingly innocuous areas – and those areas are usually at one’s personal expense. For example, how often during the week is it ever so deliciously tempting to choose a “quick bite” in place of a proper meal?
Aside from typically taking the form of the unhealthiest option within reach, these are often devoid of any mature flavors. As a busy full-time food blogger, you would actually be surprised just how often I myself tempted to give into the quick bites of which I just spoke, and so I do have a number of tricks I use to prevent actually succumbing (too often) to such temptation.
For example, today’s Three-Green Salad is quick, healthy, absolutely delicious, and is simply perfect for making in a pinch, or making as a takeaway for a lunch at work.
We start out with baby spinach leaves, radicchio, and Belgian endive, each thinly sliced in measurements outlined below. After mixing these together, we add in cooked farfalle, garbanzo beans and toss. Then we make a quick dressing of balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, lemon juice, and olive oil, add the pasta, and gently toss. Then simply garnish with fresh parsley and shavings of Asiago or Parmesan cheese – or both.
The essence of simplicity. Now there’s no excuse for those unhealthy quick bites.
Three-Green Salad with Farfalle
- Prep Time – 5 min
- Cook Time – 15 min
- Total Time – 20 min
- Yields 4-6 servings
For the Salad:
- 4 cups cooked farfalle
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups radicchio – thinly sliced
- 1 medium to large head of Belgian endive – thinly sliced
- 2 – 15 ½ oz. cans of chickpeas – drained
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley – chopped
- Asiago or Parmesan cheese – shavings
For the Dressing:
- 3 tbs. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove – grated
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp. fresh ground sea salt
- ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- Combine the salad greens in a large bowl. Add the farfalle and toss.
- Combine the vinegar, chicken broth, lemon juice, grated garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and whisk.
- Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and salad greens and gently toss.
- Garnish with the fresh parsley and Asiago or Parmesan cheese shavings.
What are some of your suggestions for saving time, health, and sanity this holiday season? Don’t forget to subscribe to Café Quill and share your tips with us on social media!