It’s time for a party, my friends. And not just any party, but a Kitchen PLAY Progressive Party. If you haven’t yet heard of Kitchen PLAY, you are in for a treat. Kitchen PLAY is a wonderful website designed to bring food bloggers and PR professionals together through a number of means, one of them being the monthly Progressive Party. Each month, six bloggers are assigned a course and asked to create a recipe, all using the same product or kitchen tool. I participated in a Kitchen Play Progressive Party back in May, and I jumped at the chance to do it again. The initial invitation didn’t reveal what the product was going to be, so I was jumping in blindly, but I knew no matter what, it would be a fun challenge.
Well, I lucked out, let me tell you, because our assigned product was Lindsay Olives. Have I told you how much I love olives? No? Well, I am telling you now. I love olives. And not just in my martinis (I know you know I love those!). I like all sorts of olives; I am really not very picky. I love them on their own and I love them in other foods. Whenever someone I am eating with starts picking around the olives in their meal, I am the first one to ask if I can eat them. I have no shame, really, when it comes to olives. And Lindsay Olives has quite an array of varieties. I’ve seen them at all my local grocery stores and I know I have purchased their black olives before. So this was a great opportunity to have a little fun with them.
My assigned course was the salad, and I was more than eager to get going on recipe development. Olives and salad are a natural combination. Virtually any salad can benefit from the addition of the salty, tangy olive, and I’ve certainly used them to save myself from garden salad boredom. And if we’re talking about Mediterranean style salads, then it’s a no-brainer. Olives are a must. Naturally, when I signed on to this project, my mind immediately jumped to all the Mediterranean style salads I know and love. Greek salad, Salad Niçoise, that sort of thing. But those salads make me think of summer, and here we are at the beginning of the long, cold New England winter. I wanted something with all of those wonderful flavors, but that also had a warmer feel to it. Roasting the vegetables was the perfect solution. It brought out the warm earthy flavours of the salad, which paired beautifully with the brininess of the olives and the tanginess of the feta cheese.
Want to get in on the action of the Kitchen PLAY Progressive Parties? The great part is that anyone can participate. Just make my salad or any of the other mouthwatering recipes from this month’s party, post about it on your blog, and you will be entered to win $50 plus an assortment of Lindsay Olives shipped right to you! (there are six prizes total). Kitchen PLAY is all about promoting food bloggers so this is your chance to get in there and promote yourself. Check out the details on the Kitchen PLAY Contest Page
Roasted Vegetable Greek Salad – This salad is good both room temperature and chilled.
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium eggplant, cubed into ½ inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, cubed into ½ inch pieces
1 red pepper, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 green pepper, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup grape tomatoes
½ medium red onion, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 6-oz can Lindsay Small Ripe Black olives
1 medium head romaine lettuce, chopped
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
For the dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
For the salad, preheat oven to 450F and place eggplant, zucchini, peppers, grape tomatoes and red onion in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and toss again. Spread mixture in a large 13×9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish. (Reserve bowl for tossing salad at the end).
Bake 35 minutes or until vegetables are soft and have some charred parts. Remove from oven and let cool.
Return vegetable to bowl, add olives and drizzle with dressing. Toss to coat.
Divide romaine lettuce among 8 salad plates. Top with roasted vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese and serve.
The deadline is January 31, 2012. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!