Celebrating my recent girls night out & my dear friend (Jin’s) birthday!
Summer’s officially here and that means summer heat, eating light & fresh and VACATION! For me, we just spent the past two weeks visiting my parents and catching up with friends in Dallas.
This post is dedicated to my home girls. My Fab 7: Grace, Susie, Sandy, Jin, MiJin, Eunice & Jihea. I’ve known these girls for as long as I can remember. One, from birth (my sister). Some, as early as middle school and others since high school. . we’ve gone through so much together and have so many wonderful memories. And even though I live out-of-state and moved several years ago, we still keep in touch and when we meet up again, I feel as though no time has passed. I imagine this is what it would be like if Charlotte ever moved out of NYC and Carrie, Miranda and Samantha were still there. . or wait, Samantha did move to LA for a bit. . anyway, you get what I’m sayin’.
These girls know stories. . about me. . some hilarious, some I never want to re-live ever again. . these girls have my back and I have theirs. Home girls. F.O.R.E.V.E.R.
My last night in Dallas, we had our GNO (girl’s night out) and went to Mercy Wine Bar in Dallas. We all had such a great time gabbing away and the wine and yummy food was delicious! I felt like a FOB because we all took out our iPhones or cameras and snapped about 20 photos at the table. But then again, we couldn’t miss an opportunity to capture the moment together.
Of the many delicious dishes we had, the Caprese Tower (sliced tomato, roasted yellow bell pepper, fresh mozzarella, basil pesto and a balsamic glaze) stands out to me. If you’re ever there, get one. Hell, get one of everything from the menu and 3 cheese plates. This salad was divine and inspired my posting this Tomato Tower Salad. . I would have made something similar to the Caprese salad but I forgot to buy the mozzarella! I definitely will re-create this for next time.
I was flipping through my August issue of Cooking Light magazine and came across this recipe here. I’ve changed a few things: I wanted to use yellow tomatoes to add color and I did not make the buttermilk dressing and opted for something a little lighter and used my current fave dressing from Trader Joe’s – their Light Champagne Vinaigrette. If you have not tried this dressing, it is to die for! I love it. I also ran out of time so I did not grill the corn and just boiled it. If you have time, I highly recommend grilling the corn. It’s super yummy and the grill marks look pretty! And lastly, right before devouring this salad, I splashed some balsamic vinegar on this as well.
This tomato tower salad is the essence of summer. Hope you give this one a try and enjoy!!
Tomato Tower Salad with Corn, Avocado & Bacon
Ingredients (for 2 servings)
- 3-4 bacon slices, crumbled
- 1 ear shucked corn
- 2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 6- 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices total (or I would try an heirloom tomato)
- 2 yellow tomatoes, cut into 6- 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices total
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ripe peeled avocado, thinly sliced
- Trader Joe’s Light Champagne Vinaigrette dressing
- Season with salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil to drizzle on the plate
- Splash of balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Chives for garnish
If you want to try the Buttermilk Dressing from Cooking Light:
- 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
(These directions include grilling the corn & making the buttermilk dressing)
- Preheat the grill to high heat.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 8 minutes or until crisp, tossing occasionally to curl. Drain bacon on paper towels.
- If making the buttermilk dressing: Combine the buttermilk and next 5 ingredients (through garlic), stirring with a whisk. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Coat corn with cooking spray. Place corn on grill rack; grill 8 minutes or until well marked, turning occasionally. Remove from grill; cool slightly. Cut the corn kernels from the cobs.
- Wash and slice your tomatoes, the avocado and dice the chives.
- To assemble: Add a dash of olive oil on the plate, layer the red and yellow tomatoes (about 5-7 slices), add avocado slices (one on each side and one on top). Scatter corn evenly onto plates. Drizzle each tomato tower with the dressing. Crumble the bacon on top, add the diced up chives for garnish, season with salt and black pepper. And lastly, splash a little balsamic vinegar right before eating.