JULY: Beet Salad

This beet salad is easy to make as long as you can cook the beets ahead of time. Quantities vary depending on the number of guests.

Ingredients:

Roasted beets, peeled and thinly sliced
Goat or Feta cheese
Orange juice
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Arugula

Roast Beets, cool, peel and slice.

Place a bed of arugula on a platter and arrange sliced beets on the arugula.

Drizzle with orange juice and olive oil, add salt and pepper, and crumble cheese on top.

 

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AUGUST: Multigrain Salad

This multigrain salad is a great dish for a salad buffet.  You may need more vinaigrette for this recipe as you adjust quantities to suit your tastes.

Ingredients:

1 cup farro, cooked according to directions
1.5 cup of Israeli Cous cous cooked according to directions. When cooked drizzle with olive oil, spread on a sheet pan separating the kernels and roast in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until semi dried.
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup of dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/4 cup minced parsley
Grated rind of one lemon
Vinaigrette
2 T lemon juice
2 T sherry vinegar
1 small minced shallot
1 T. honey
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup of olive oil

Cook farro and couscous. Let cool.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Make the vinaigrette, add and toss.

Serves 10 with other salads

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NOVEMBER: French Lentil Salad

This French lentil salad is updated with the fresh taste of citrus.

Ingredients:

2 cups of French lentils
2 whole allspice
1 bay leaf
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
6 scallions, cut on the diagonal
4 thin carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stems of celery, diced
1.5 cups of toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Citrus Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
3/4 of a cup of evo
fresh parsley and lemon thyme, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Cook the lentils, allspice and bay leaf in 4 – 5 cups of water until soft and still holding their shape.  Cool.

Place the lentils in a large bowl. Remove the allspice and bay leaf. Add the peppers, scallions carrots and celery. Add half of the walnuts.

Mix the vinaigrette and add to the salad. Toss. Serve with the rest of the walnuts on the top as a garnish.

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January: Winter Salads

Here are a couple of winter salads to enjoy when more tender greens like lettuces and mesclun are out of season.

First Version:

1/3 head of celery, sliced across the stems
1/2 head of celeriac, julienne slice
1 head of Belgian endive, sliced
1/4 bunch of Italian parsley, coarse chop
1/4 sweet onion or to taste, sliced very thinly
1/2 head of fennel, sliced

Toss all of the vegetables with a simple fresh lemon juice and olive oil dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.

This was a very light and refreshing salad,  enough for 4 servings.

Second Version:

Equal amounts of thinly sliced:

green cabbage
fennel
celery
zucchini
chopped Italian parsley

Toasted salted sunflower seeds
Grated cheese ( whatever you have in the house )
A simple Balsamic dressing with a bit of honey mixed in

Toss your vegetables with the sunflower seeds, cheese and dressing and serve.

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April: Revitalizing Salad

While traveling last month I had this salad at a little cafe. It was one of the most interesting and refreshing things that I ate on that trip. No numbers but here is the list of ingredients.

Ingredients:

BEETS, steamed lightly and finely julienned
SUNFLOWER SEEDS, toasted
QUINOA, cooked
ALMONDS, chopped
RAISINS
KALE, chopped fine
BLACK RICE, cooked
MINT, fresh and finely chopped
BEETROOT HUMMUS, really a puree of cooked beets as a topping

They served this with a hot relish / chutney, toasted red peppers and sprouted beans on the side.

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November: Shrimp Remoulade Salad

This recipe was much requested by guests at a wedding I catered recently so here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

3 cups of homemade Mayonnaise using Champagne Vinegar
1 tsp Salt
2T plus 2 tsp dry mustard
1T plus 1 tsp paprika ( not smoked )
8 drops of tabasco sauce
12 sprigs parsley minced
2 cloves of garlic mashed
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 tsp capers with 1 tsp of the juice. More if you like.

Mix the above in the cuisinart. Remove to a bowl and add the following:

10 scallions chopped
6 stalks celery, tiny chop
3 lbs small cooked shrimp chopped

Serve with dark bread.

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Christmas Salad

Christmas SaladsI came up with this recipe on Christmas day as I was having a group over for Turkey and Latkes. The holidays did collide this year, 2016. It is light and refreshing and a good foil to the latkes and all the other rich food that we eat at this time of the year. Note that it should be made the day that you are serving it as it wilts and looses its brightness by day two.

Ingredients:

3 Persian cucumbers, sliced very thin ( the small seedless ones in the supermarket )
.5 bunch of red radishes, thinly sliced
2 Watermelon Radishes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, cubed
3 scallions chopped
half a bunch of Italian Parsley minced. About 1/4 cup
juice of 1.5 limes
juice of half a lemon
1 T. White Balsamic vinegar
.25 cup of olive oil or more as to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Cut all of the vegetables as listed and toss with dressing ingredients.  Serve the same day.

Serves 10 with other food on the menu.

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Winter Salad For 6

Winter SaladI like to have a large salad for lunch. However, I often find that by 4 p.m. I am hungry so I have been looking for ways to solve this problem, besides 6 slices of buttered toast! In the last few months there have been lots of magazine articles featuring salad bowls. Or more “Stick to Your Ribs Salads” as I now call them. I have tried lots of them and have come up with a favorite. Of course you are free to add other things, different grains, squash, dried fruit,  etc, but this is my current winter salad lunch.

Ingredients:

1 cup of Farro
1.5 l bs of butternut squash. Peel and remove the seeds.
1/3 cup toasted chopped nuts ( almonds, walnuts ) or pipitas
1/2 to 1 cup of crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/3 cup of dried cranberries
1 head of Frisee
1 head of Escarole
1 head radicchio
or greens of your choice

Heat oven to 425 degrees

Farro: Cook according to package directions. Let cool.

Squash: Cut into half inch squares. Toss in a large bowl with 2 T. olive oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Turn the squash out onto the baking sheet, and spread to a single layer. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, tossing during baking. Let cool. The squash shrinks while baking.

Prepare cheese and nuts.

Wash lettuce, tear into pieces and place in a salad bowl, or make 6 individual plates.
Add the squash, farro, chopped nuts and cranberries either by tossing or arranging artistically.
Place cheese on the top

You can use any of your favorite salad dressing, but I just found this one in the Nov./Dec. issue of Eating Well and love it with this mix.

Burnt Honey Vinaigrette

3 tbl honey
5 tbl white wine vinegar ( I used Champagne)
1 tbl finely chopped Shallot
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
.5 tsp each salt and pepper
5 tbl extra virgin olive oil

Cook honey in  a medium pot over medium high heat, swirling and scraping down the sides , until it turns a deep amber and smells caramelized. About two minutes. Watch it carefully so that it does not burn or boil over.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar. Next whisk in the shallot, mustard, s&p. Slowly whisk in the oil.

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Moroccan Cous Cous, With Spiced Honey Citrus Dressing

Moroccan Cous cousHere’s a great side for the warm season with an exotic Moroccan twist. Serve with grilled meat or bring it to your next pot luck for a pasta salad with “wow” factor.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of Israeli Cous Cous
4 tbl butter

.5 tsp ground cumin
.25 tsp ground cardamon
.25 tsp ground cinnamon
2 lemons, or .25 cup of juice
1.5 tsp orange zest
1 tbl fresh ginger minced
1 tbl honey
.25 tsp turmeric
3-4 tbl Lemon infused olive oil or olive oil with 1 Tbl. lemon rind
salt and pepper to taste

1 red pepper, chopped
1 red onion, minced
10 dried figs or dates, sliced
10 dried apricots, sliced
.5 cup raisins
1 orange, chopped
.5 cup cilantro, fresh, chopped

1 cup pistachios, toasted

Cook the cous cous by first sautéing it in a pan with the butter until it starts to have some color, stir often. Then add 2 cups of water. Cook covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

Chop and slice the pepper and fruits. If the figs or apricots seem very dry you can let them rest in some warm water to soften. Drain before you chop.

Mix the dried spices and oil. Combine everything but the pistachios.

Transfer to a serving bowl. When ready to serve top with the pistachios. Can add chopped cilantro as a garnish as well.

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Grilled Mexican Corn Salad

This summer salad makes great use of the bounty of sweet corn this time of year, and tastes great with most summer foods including grilled meat.

Ingredients:

10 ears of corn, peeled

1 red pepper, small dice
.5 cup of mayonnaise
1 lime: zest and 3 T. juice
1 lemon, .5 tsp zest and 1 T. juice
3 T olive oil
.5 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp cayenne
4 oz. Queso Fresco cheese, small dice
4 oz Manchego cheese, small dice
.5 cup chopped Italian Parsley
.5 cup chopped Cilantro

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add corn , remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime and lemon zests and juice, 1 T olive oil, mustard, cayenne. Season with salt.

Heat the grill. Brush the corn with the 2 T. of olive oil. Grill over high heat until charred on all sides. Transfer to a plate and cool. Cut the kernels from the corn.

Toss the corn with the red pepper and the sauce. Add the two cheeses, parsley and cilantro. Toss again. Season with salt and pepper.

10 – 15 servings

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Shaved Vegetable Salad

A client asked me to make a shaved asparagus salad for her dinner party this summer. I thought that it might be more interesting with several vegetables, so here’s my updated version.

Shaved Vegetable SaladIngredients:

1 lb asparagus
1 lb zucchini
1 lb yellow summer squash
1 lb haricot vert, green beans
1 bunch radish
4 tablespoon chopped dill
4 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
4 tablespoon chopped chives
1 red onion sliced very thinly

Marinade:

juice of 2 lemons
.5 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:

.5 cup pumpkin seeds, salted
saved asparagus tips

Wash and dry asparagus, beans, zucchini, and summer squash. Cut off the hard end of the asparagus and cut the tips to save as garnish. Using a vegetable peeler shave all of these vegetables to thin strips. Thinly slice the radish and red onion.

Marinade: Mix the lemon juice and oil with salt and pepper.

Save some of the marinade for the asparagus tips. Marinate the tips and save in a small container. Toss the rest of the vegetables in a bowl with the herbs, lemon, and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit overnight to cook the vegetables. Know that the salad will reduce by half as it wilts.

Just before serving garnish with the asparagus tips and the pumpkin seeds.

Serves 12

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Plums And Tomatoes With Burrata And Hot Sauce

It’s October but there are still fabulous tomatoes to be had. Last year I found a series of salads in the August 2018 issue of “Bon Appetit.”. Now I don’t normally do this but there were 3 salads in that article and I have been eating two of them all summer and serving them at every party that I can. They were amazing. The one printed below has everyone asking for the recipe. The other, on a separate page, was a cucumber and honeydew or cantaloupe with ricotta salata. So run out and get some tomatoes while you can. The original recipe calls for peaches but it’s plum season now so that’s what I’m having for lunch.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. mild hot sauce, such as Crystal or Frank’s
2 tsp plain rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
kosher salt to taste
6 ripe plums ( or 3 peaches or nectarines ) cut into halves
2 large ripe tomatoes cut into wedges ( I like to use the orange and yellow heirlooms as they are less acid )
8 oz ball of burrata
tarragon sprigs for garnish
flaky sea salt for garnish

Whisk oil, hot sauce, honey and vinegar in a small jar until the honey dissolves. Season with the kosher salt.
Cut the plums and tomatoes and put them in a low platter.
Tear the burrata into pieces on top of the fruit.
Garnish with tarragon and salt.

The nasturtiums are still blooming in my garden so nothing like a little extra garnish.

Serves 2 – 4

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