SE7EN'S A BANQUET, 9INE'S A BRAWL.

Sailing through the aisles of a slick, new Sobeys store… [sponsored]

Posted On September 28th, 2015 Author Lia Rinaldo  Comments: 0

It was only a matter of time before you'd see a sponsored post here. And I have to say, the experience is much like being assigned a story and having it take you somewhere you probably might never end up–like the newly-renovated Sobeys store on Highway 7 in Dartmouth. 

Two weekends ago, I headed out for an afternoon drive to check out the grand opening of this new format store for Sobeys, the first of its kind here in our area. It's interesting when you take a moment to consider your own shopping habits especially around food–and what matters to you in the moment–is it ease & convenience, locally-driven, social? When I think about it, I'm a little all over the map–local is key (and knowing what's local is as well)–I buy direct from farmers, producers and markets when and where I can. But ease and convenience is also a big factor, I, like everyone else, have a regular grocery store that I frequent in my neighbourhood. I can get in and get out supplementing our weekly household stock in a very short amount of time. There's a routine. I know where everything is, and frankly the state of the store or the experience is not even important to me. I'm fulfilled by other food experiences on a regular basis. This is a down and dirty chore sometimes.

But what happens when a store wants to make a chore a bit more of an experience for you? Or even, dare I say, strive to be a bit more of a destination–reminiscent of a market shop or what it feels to move through a few other known groceries around town? I'm not sure how often I will be able to get out to this location, but I will say definitively–Mom! I found your new grocery store. Save the shop for the trip home to the Eastern shore! Perhaps even for some other folks I know who live out that way... Sober Island Oysters? 

So, overall thoughts? The big standouts for me–a vastly expanded and nicely designed produce section showcasing seasonal vegetables and clearly denoting what was local within that mix. And as the ultimate cheese lover–an extensive, well-appointed cheese and deli section. Cheese for miles, okay, well, aisles. No one heading out to the Eastern shore should be left wanting for cheese. You're well-covered, folks. No excuses. 

And then, of course, there's all things Jamie Oliver... I admit, I'm a big fan. I have the cookbooks and have darkened the door of some of his restaurants, like Jamie's Fifteen in London. As I was being compensated to be here and was happily shopping about, it occured to me that I should pick up his latest cookbook Jamie's Comfort Food. And glancing down at my cart full of fresh produce, I couldn't help but make a fully-loaded salad–his version of a Retro-Layered Salad. It was a delicious first pass. Unfortunately, my salad photos did not turn out–could possibly have something to do with it being a weekend meal at home with some wine involved. I won't embarrass myself either way. So, you'll just have to wait until I make one. Stay tuned. Until then–here she be:

Retro Layered Salad from Jamie's Comfort Food

Serves 6-8 people, Prep time 1 Hour & Chilling

Ingredients

1/2 English cucumber

1 heaping tsp dried dill- I used fresh

2 tbsps of white wine vinegar

8 oz of dried mini-pasta shells

2 tbsps of sundried tomato paste

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 11oz can of corn- I used the equivalent in fresh corn

2 scallions

extra virgin olive oil

cayenne pepper

1/2 an iceberg lettuce- I used romaine

2 cups of sprouting cress- I used a combo of fresh herbs fro the garden

14oz cooked, peeled shrimp

2 large carrots

1/2 bunch of fresh basil

3 1/2 oz Red Leicester cheese- I used a sharp, smoke cheddar

Marie Rose Sauce

2 tbsps of ketchup

4 heaping tbsps of mayonnaise

1 splash of Worcestershire sauce

1 splash of brandy- amen!

A few drops of Tabasco sauce

Juice of 1 lemon

1. Cut the cucumber into a 1/2 inch dice, toss in a bowl, with a pinch of sea salt and pepper, the dill and white wine vinegar, then leave to pickle. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, the drain and toss with sun-dried tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Drain the corn and place in a separate bowl, finely slice and add scallions, drizzle with a little oil and a pinch each of black pepper and cayenne pepper, then mix together. To make the Marie Rose Sauce, simply combine all the sauce ingredients, then have a taste and season to perfection.

2. Line a 10-inch wide mixing bowl with a double layer of plastic wrap, letting it hang well over the edges. Spoon the corn into the base and pat down into an even layer. Snip over 1 cup of cress, evenly scatter over the shrimp, then spoon over the Marie Rose Sauce and spread out in an even layer. Peel and coarsely grate over the carrots, then layer the dressed pasta on top. Pick over most of the basil leaves, then evenly grate over the Red Leicester and scatter over the remaining lettuce. Press everything down with your hands, then spoon over the cucumber and any dressing.Fold in the pastic wrap to seal the salad, then get yourself a plate that just fits in the bowl, place on top of the salad, and something heavy to weight it. Refridgerate for at least two hours. 

3. When you're ready to serve, turn out the layered salad–think sandcastle–and carefully peel away the plastic wrap. Snip over the remaining cup of cress, scatter with the remaining basil leaves, and drizzle with a little oil. Great served as is, or as part of a bigger spread with roast chicken, bread and other salads. 

If this doesn't say, epic party salad. I'm not sure what will. I already have some ideas on where I'd take my own version. I'm thinking avocado, beans, more fresh herbs... maybe a bit of a Mexican bent or South California. We shall see. 

Please note: The author has received consideration from Sobeys' media partners in exchange for this content. Sobeys has not reviewed these claims and is not reponsible for the content. 

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