Salad days

22 Apr

More on the lunch front: we love us some bistro salad. The combination of toasted nuts, creamy cheese, tart apples, herbs and greens… pinch us. A recent salad of greens, ambrosia apple, hazelnuts, and blue cheese lingers in our memory… Ditto for Tommy Bahama’s St. Croix chopped number with grilled chicken, roma tomatoes, Maytag bleu cheese, Granny Smith apples, macadamia nuts, hickory smoked bacon, sweet corn and honey-lime vinaigrette.
UPDATE: WE’VE ADDED TB’S RED WHITE AND BLEU SALAD AT THE END OF THIS LIST…

These three 1980s/90s restaurant salad recipes feature interesting dressings and grapes.

FIGBELLY SALAD
Red leaf lettuce salad with chevre rolled grapes and spicy toasted pecans tossed in tomato mint vinaigrette

Mash 250 grams (1/2 lb) chevre with 1 tbsp black pepper.
Mold 1 1/2 tbsp around green grapes. Chill.
Toast in saute pan: 1/2 cup pecans tossed with 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 tbsp oil cayenne and 1 tbsp honey. Saute in skillet for 4 minutes. Cool.
In food processor, whiz 1/3 cup roma tomatoes, a bunch of fresh mint, 1 tbsp grainy mustard, 1/2 tsp honey, 1/2 tbsp balsamic, salt and pepper. Slowly stream in 1 cup olive oil.
Slice chilled cheese grapes on top of a plate of red leaf lettuce, red onion, red pepper slices, and asiago cheese wedge.

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DIVINO SALAD
Ginger-scented rotini pasta salad with grapes and orange soy mayo.

Orange soy mayo: beat 2 egg yolks until pale yellow. Add salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar (try white balsamic). Mix and slowly stream in 1/3 cup olive oil, add another 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar and more oil until desired consistency.
Add 1/2 cup soy sauce and juice of four oranges.
Toss with 2 lbs pasta (or just ginger with pasta) with snow peas, halved red grapes.

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This one’s a little dated, but still good. It makes a litre of five-spice yogurt dressing!

CILANTRO’S BLACKENED CHICKEN SALAD
6 oz chicken breast per person
mixed greens
Dressing:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tbsp pureed garlic
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 level teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
pepper
Whisk dressing ingredients and chill.
Lightly dust chicken with blackening spice and cook. Cool slightly and slice diagonally.
Toss mixed greens in five-spice yogurt dressing and mound on plates. Top with chicken.
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RED WHITE & BLUE SALAD

1½ Cup Romaine hearts, diced 1″ x 1″
¾ Cup Thinly sliced Red onion, place in cold water
18 Pieces ¾” sliced ripe tomatoes
6 Tbsp Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Cup Blue cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
1.Place diced romaine hearts down the middle of a chilled medium round platter. Lay out tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Shingle the tomato slices in a “flower”presentation in the center of the plate on top of the lettuce.
2.Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette around the edges of the lettuce, Ladle blue cheese dressing in the center of the tomatoes, letting it pool down over the tomatoes. Sprinkle crumbled bleu cheese over the dressing.
3.Remove onions from cold water, squeeze out excess water and ball up on the center of the tomatoes. Serve.
BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE(Makes 1 Quart)
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
3 Cups Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Salt and Pepper
1½ Tbsp Roasted Garlic Puree
¼ Cup Brown sugar
2 Tbsp Basil, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
½ Tbsp Dry Oregano leaves
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl except oil. Using a wire whisk, whisk in oil slowly to thicken. Stir well before serving.
BLUE CHEESE DRESSING(Makes 1¼ Quarts)
1 Cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 Cup Sour Cream
2½ Cups Mayonnaise
¾ Cup Buttermilk
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ Tsp Coarse ground pepper
Place sour cream, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar and pepper in blender. Blend till smooth making sure to scrape the sides and corners to incorporate all ingredients. Crumble the blue cheese by hand and add to dressing

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