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Brown bagged

4 Jan

In our effort to both eat less and save some dough, here is a salad worthy of note.

SUNNY SMOKEY SALAD
1 cup toasted quinoa cooked in 2 cups of water–toast dry quinoa in a skillet until it starts popping
1 can drained chickpeas
1 cup of vegetables: diced cooked sweet potato, grated zucchini, beet, carrot or whatever you have.

Dressing:
3TBS olive oil
3TBs orange juice
3TBS pomegranate or red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1/2 salt
Toss together after cooked quinoa has cooled. Chill and serve.

Summer Salad

27 Jul

Further evidence of our pizza/salad love combination: here are some summer salads we’d like to pair with grilled pizza.

* Little Gems lettuce with green goddess dressing and tart beets.

* Macadamia-crusted goat cheese with garden lettuces, and blueberry dressing or mango salsa.

Blueberry Vinaigrette
1.5 cups blueberries
1 lime, juice and zest
1.5 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp hazelnut oil
About 1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of red chili flakes
2 lavender flower buds (about 1/4 tsp

Blend blueberries, lime juice and zest, and sherry vinegar in a food processor. Strain out blueberry skins using a strainer, pressing down on the blueberries with a rubber spatula to release all of their juice. Whisk blueberry juice, maple syrup and oil together and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lavender.

* A Thomas Kelleresque salad of romaine with stone fruits (plums and nectarines), sliced cucumbers, candied spiced pecans and a spearmint yogurt dressing (also good on watermelon)
1/4 tsp. sea salt, or more to taste
1 tbs. shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbs. rice vinegar
1 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh spearmint, coarsely chopped
In a bowl emulsify yogurt and olive oil together with a whisk. Add the shallots, spearmint, vinegar and salt. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate till serving.

Dice the watermelon(s) and serve it on a bed of sunflower sprouts. Drizzle spearmint yogurt dressing on top and garnish with fresh ground black pepper and spearmint.

* Using pureed peach or nectarine for dressing atop peaches, arugala, other greens.
(2 tablespoons Peach Puree, 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot, 1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley, 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, 3/4 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 pounds ripe peaches, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper)

Stampede detox 2.0

19 Jul

GOOP's carrot ginger dressing


This is the first day of the rest of your summer… Stampede is over and everyone’s beat. Beef and beer bloated, to boot.

How will we ever recover our girlish figure?

Time for another post-Stampede detox.

Here are some light summer salads perfect for detoxing, courtesy of Gwenny from GOOP. Ever the inspiration…

SALAD WITH CARROT AND GINGER DRESSING
From GOOP: “This dressing is the jam! Great on salad and also as a dip for vegetables. This recipe makes enough dressing for two salads, so be sure to save the extra.”
SERVES: 1
TIME: 5 minutes

For dressing:

1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sweet white miso
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed oil
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons water

For salad:

1 head of baby gem lettuce (or any greens), roughly cut
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 avocado, diced

Pulse the carrot, shallot and ginger in a blender until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides, add the miso, vinegar and sesame seed oil and whiz together. While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.

Combine the lettuce, onion and avocado in a bowl, drizzle with plenty of dressing and serve.
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One quick soup, and then on to more summer salads:

Ginger and Scallion Soup
Fresh ginger—peel and dice about 5 slices
3 scallions chopped
1.5 cups water
Boil the ingredients lightly uncovered about 10 minutes and drink. It should induce a light sweat. This is a home remedy for colds and runny nose.

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GOOP summer salads:
For the dog days of summer. These very tasty, wonderfully easy-to-make salads are terrific on their own, as side dishes or for rounding out your picnic basket.

CHICKEN SALAD
I like this a lot better than the standard deli chicken salad (which does have an appeal of its own). I added peppery arugula, apple and walnuts to the chicken-mayo-celery combo and finished it off with a squeeze of lime for some zing. I love this as an open-faced sandwich on grilled sourdough.

SERVES: 4
TIME: 20 minutes

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (poached or roasted is good, incidentally this is great recipe for leftovers)
1 large stalk celery, cut into 1/4” dice
1/2 green apple, peeled and cut into 1/4” dice
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 handfuls arugula, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Veganaise, or your favorite mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
coarse salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Stir everything together.

AVOCADO & CRAB WITH MARIE ROSE SAUCE
Admittedly kitschy, but so delicious. Crab and avocado is a wonderful combination, a bit luxurious but worth it for a special meal. Marie Rose Sauce (sometimes called ‘Mary Rose’), very similar to Russian dressing, is said to have Irish origins.

SERVES: 4
TIME: 10 minutes

8 ounces fresh jumbo lump crab meat
1 lemon, cut in half
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Veganaise or your favorite mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 small shallot, finely grated
2 avocadoes, cut in half, pits discarded
In a medium bowl, squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon over the crab and stir to combine with a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk the Veganaise, ketchup and shallot together in a large bowl and fold in the crab, being sure not to break it up too much. Fill each avocado half with a quarter of the crab salad. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges and serve alongside the stuffed avocados.

LEE’S ASIAN SLAW
My dear friend, Lee, made this recently and served it with a chicken wrap—a great summer lunch, full of crunch and flavor.

SERVES: 4 as a side dish
TIME: 20 minutes

1 small clove of garlic, peeled and finely grated
one 1″-piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon spicy toasted sesame oil (or more or less to taste)
freshly ground black pepper
coarse salt
2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Whisk the garlic, ginger and rice wine vinegar together in a bowl and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. This is a good time to cut up your vegetables if you haven’t already. Whisk the soy sauce, agave and sesame oil into the vinegar mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine the cabbages, carrot, pepper and scallions together in a large bowl and toss with the dressing at the last minute, sprinkling the seeds on top.

COLD SOBA NOODLE SALAD
Soba noodles are wonderful and really good for you – hot or cold. Here, I tossed the al dente cold noodles with a bright combo of soy, sesame and herbs. Lovely on its own or accompanying grilled salmon.

SERVES: 4
TIME: 15 minutes

8 ounces buckwheat soba
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons light agave nectar
2 teaspoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup neutral oil (grapeseed)
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or Eden Shake (a prepared mixture of sesame seeds and seaweed)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Cook the soba in boiling water, according to the package directions (about 6 minutes). Immediately rinse the soba under cold water. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, agave, mirin, vinegar and oils in a large bowl. Toss the cold soba with the dressing and mix in the sesame seeds, cilantro and scallions.

Salad Days

2 Jul

Yet more hot weather salads. These elegant cheese and herb tarts are perfect toppers for summer greens.

RICOTTA TARTLETS AND SALAD WITH TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE
Recipe from Canadian Living Test Kitchen
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (250 mL) ricotta cheese
1 egg white
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each pepper and baking powder
1/4 tsp crumbled dried lavender
Salad:
1 tbsp (15 mL) tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) crumbled dried savory
Pinch each salt and pepper
1/4 cup (50 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups (2 L) mixed baby salad greens
1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped fresh chives or green onions

Grease 12 mini muffin cups; sprinkle sides and bases with 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the Parmesan cheese to coat evenly. Set aside.

In bowl, beat together ricotta, egg white, remaining Parmesan cheese, thyme, flour, pepper and baking powder until smooth. Press evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven until puffed and tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes.

Salad: In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, savory, salt and pepper; gradually whisk in oil. Add salad greens and chives; toss to coat. Divide among plates; top each with 2 tartlets. For a more assertive flavour, replace Parmesan with shredded Canadian Asiago or Canadian Swiss cheese.

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ZUCCHINI PESTO TARTS WITH SALAD
Recipe from New York Times. Adapted from Scott Carsberg
Time: 2 1/2 hours plus two hours’ chilling

1 1/8 cups flour, more for rolling the dough

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves

1 stick butter

1 egg

4 medium zucchini, about 1 pound

Extra virgin olive oil as needed

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, washed and well dried

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 to 6 cups assorted greens like red leaf lettuce, romaine, chard and radicchio, thinly shredded

Lemon juice as needed.

1. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and rosemary in a food processor; pulse once or twice. Add butter, and process until butter and flour are blended and mixture looks like cornmeal, about 10 seconds. Place mixture in a bowl and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over it, then toss with a fork; add a little more water if necessary, until you can pack dough into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. Roll dough out on a floured surface until thin. Cut to fit 4 small tart pans or 1 medium one. (There will be leftover dough; wrap and freeze or refrigerate for another use.) Press dough into tart pans, and prick surface all over with a fork. Refrigerate again for an hour.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg with a tablespoon of water, and brush tart shells; bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden and slightly browned. Set aside for up to a few hours, or proceed immediately.

4. Cut zucchini in quarters lengthwise. Dice each strip into 1/2-inch pieces. Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; a minute later, add zucchini and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they just start to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Add parsley, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft but still green. Remove from heat and cool. Combine zucchini-parsley mixture in a blender with Parmesan and blend until smooth.

5. Spread zucchini pesto over baked tart shells. Toss greens with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Pile greens into tart shells and serve.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Mind Your Line

30 Jun


Summer salads ahoy. Here are our two favourite salads ever.

Greek Souvlaki and Watermelon Salad
Pork or chicken skewers, marinated with lemon, oregano, salt/pepper, olive oil, garlic
1/2 small watermelon or 5 cups worth
tomatoes
onions
cucumber
mixed greens with spinach
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
tzatziki
citrus honey poppyseed vinegrette
Barbecue marinated skewers, brush on vinegrette at the end to carmelize.
Spread greens on a platter. Top with watermelon, vegetables, cheese and pinenuts. drizzle with dressing.
Top with souvlaki. Serve with tzatziki for dipping.


Vietnamese Chicken and Mint Salad

Recipe from Nigella Lawson 2007
1 Thai chile, seeded and minced
• 1 large garlic clove, peeled, minced
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
• 1 1/2 tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce (nuoc nam or nam pla)
• 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
• Freshly grated black pepper
• 7 to 8 ounces white cabbage, shredded
• 1 medium carrot, shredded, julienned, or grated
• 7 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded, or cut into fine strips
• 1 bunch mint, plus extra for garnish, leaves roughly chopped
• Salt
Directions
In a medium bowl, stirring with spoon, combine the chile, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, oil, onion, and black pepper, set aside for 1/2 hour. In a large bowl combine cabbage, carrot, chicken breast, and mint, tossing with tongs. Pour cabbage mixture over the dressing, tossing with tongs, slowly and patiently so everything is coated. Add salt, to taste. Serve on a flat plate with mint for garnish

Pink and green — everything’s Lilly

7 May

We’ve already droned on about our favorite preppy fruit salad here, but that won’t stop our Lilly Pulitzer-esque obsesssions to make even our food pink and green.

Although Lilly has some lovely party books that we’ve missed out on, we were lucky enough to snag a silk re-issue of a pink and orange shift. We can’t wait to slip it on, mix something cool and nibble one of these salads with friends.

SEAFOOD AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH LIME VINAIGRETTE
Recipe from “EsSentially Lilly: A Guide to Colorful Holidays,” by Lilly Pulitzer and Jay Mulvaney.
Substitute or add mussels, grilled diced swordfish or cooked calamari to the salad. The acids in the lime vinaigrette will help keep the avocados from turning brown, so you can make the salad a few hours ahead.

1 cup dry white wine
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops
1 pound large (21 to 25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined.
1 pound lobster or crabmeat
2 ripe Florida (or 3 Haas) avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut lengthwise into halves
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 large head green leaf lettuce, separated into individual leaves, washed and dried

Boil 2 quarts of water with first five ingredients, then add scallops and shrimp, cooking 3 minutes. Remove to bowl, cover and refrigerate two hours. Combine lobster or crabmeat and remaining ingredients in large bowl. Drizzle with 1/3 cup lime vinaigrette and toss gently. Serve over lettuce leaves, with remaining lime vinaigrette.

LIME VINAIGRETTE

Grated zest of 2 limes
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 garlic glove, crushed and peeled
1 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot
In medium bowl, whisk together lime zest, juice and garlic. Gradually whisk in olive oil and shallot. Season with salt and pepper.
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SEAFOOD AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH LIME VINAIGRETTE
1 pound large cooked shrimp
1 avocado, in large dice
1 cup fresh corn
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
½ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup honey
1 garlic clove, pressed or chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Combine the shrimp, avocado, corn, cilantro and onion in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, honey, garlic clove, salt, pepper and olive oil and whisk until well combined.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and gently toss to combine. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving.
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BABY SPINACH, GRAPEFRUIT AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE VINAIGRETTE
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice for 10 minutes or until reduced by one-third.
Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Pour cooled juice into a medium non-reactive bowl. Whisk in 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 3 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pepper. Stream in 1/4 cup olive oil and whisk until incorporated.
Toss into salad of baby spinach, cubed avocado, supremed pink grapefruit.

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GRILLED GRAPEFRUIT AND ROSEMARY SHRIMP
1/4 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
8-10 rosemary sprigs with straight stems
1 pound (26-30 per pound) shrimp

In a bowl, combine grapefruit juice, orange juice, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice.
Pull most of the leaves from each rosemary stem, leaving about 2 inches at the top of the sprig (look like mini Lilly palm trees, lol). Mince enough rosemary leaves to make 1 teaspoon and add to bowl. Save extra leaves for other uses.
Add shrimp to bowl and mix. Let stand at least 15 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
While waiting for shrimp to marinate, put rosemary stems in a bowl and cover with water.
Drain shrimp, discard marinade. Form 1 shrimp into a C shape and push thick end of Rosemary sprig through fat section, then through tail end of the shrimp. Continue skewering shrimp with remaining rosemary, distributing shrimp equally among the sprigs.
Lay skewered shrimp on a BBQ grill over very hot coals or very high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 1 or 2 seconds), close lid on gas grill. Turn shrimp as needed to cook evenly until they are opaque but still moist looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 4 minutes.

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PALM BEACH SALAD
2 cups diced avocado
lemon juice
1 cup chopped celery
24 boiled, cleaned shrimp
1 T green onions
1 cup chili sauce/mayonnaise/sour cream Shrimp Louis-style homemade dressing
6 slices crumbled bacon

Sprinkle avocado w/lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients except bacon, and mix. Chill. Serve on lettuce and garnish w/bacon.

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