Tag Archives: salad

Random goodness

Here are some random meals we’ve had (somewhat) recently that I really liked and don’t want to forget….

Leftover pot roast on egg noodles: Pretty self-explanatory, no? When my mom visited, she bought me my beloved crock pot and made an introductory pot roast for me. I popped about 1/2 of it in the freezer and resuscitated it 2 months later for a delicious dinner.

A scrumptious salad: Arugula with chopped cherries, Marcona almonds, grated Parrano cheese and balsamic vinaigrette

Pollo Rico! This is one of my favorite local spots. 1/2 a delicious roasted chicken, Mexican rice, GREAT beans, 1/2 a roasted onion, corn tortillas, fire-roasted tomato salsa and creamy jalapeno salsa…all for about $7. Seriously?

Veggie curry: This is now my go-to pantry/freezer/leftover dish. Yum. Basically onions, garlic, ginger and chickpeas + any veggies I have around, all simmered in a sauce of diced tomatoes, curry, coriander and turmeric. Served with a raita made of shredded cucs, garlic, yogurt and a pinch of salt. Super easy. Super healthy. Super supper

Cobb salad: Your basic composed salad. Romaine + bacon + hard boiled egg + tomatoes + feta + avocado + light, lemony vinaigrette

2 good dinners

  1. Thai chicken salad: I marinated a chicken breast in a ginger marinade, grilled it up and sliced it thin. The dressing is fish sauce, lime juice, chilies, a little sugar and grapeseed oil. The greens are mache, spinach and cilantro. Throw in some peanuts, carrot sticks, red bell pepper, and we’re good to go!
  2. Greek pita and salad: First of all, we didn’t need the beet/goat cheese stacks. I had a roasted beet leftover, so I made it. But it was overkill. Just saying.  I made small patties with ground lamb, lemon zest, salt & pepper, and chopped mint. Sauteed those and served in half a whole wheat pita. Top it with greek yogurt mixed with a crushed garlic toe, a whole shredded cucumber, salt & pepper. YUM. The greek salad is just parsley, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, cucumber and feta, tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Boom

Tomato Gratin

I heard about this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (shocker) and then saw it pop up in a few other places. I haven’t had the best tomato summer, so I was looking for something to do with less than oh-my-god-this-is-heaven tomatoes. This definitely did the job. The tomato flavor comes through like a punch to the jaw, it’s easy, can be made days in advance and is a generally excellent veggie entree.

We had it 3 times so far….

1. Tomato gratin + green beans with toasted garlic + an insanely delicious salad of arugula, fresh cherries, marcona almonds, shaved parrano and balsamic vinaigrette

2. The next morning with a fried egg on top

3. Tomato gratin + asparagus with bacon and parm + a great salad of chopped romaine, shredded havarti dill, shredded carrots, tomatoes, chopped egg and a green chile Caesar dressing

The second time I made it, I went too light on the croutons and it was too loose and lacked some substance. Learn from my mistakes.

  • 3  Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced bread, in a 1/2 inch dice with crusts removed (a good french bread works well, but just nothing sour)
  • 1 1/2 lb tomatoes, 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup fresh slivered basil
  • 1 Cup grated Parm
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in large pan over medium high. Add croutons and toast thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Let sit at least 3 minutes to release some juices
  3. When croutons are toasted, add tomato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Place in casserole dish (it won’t rise, so it can be pretty full) and top with cheese.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly. 

Spicy Mango dressing

I love to make Indian food. It’s absolutely one of my favorite cuisines and their vegetable dishes are plentiful and scrumptious. As a salad lover, I have struggled over what type of salad to serve with such flavorful dishes. In the past, I’ve gone in the direction of bright, straight-forward, palate-cleansing flavors. So, maybe mixed greens and grapes with a simple dressing of lime juice, salt and olive oil. No more, my friends. I LOVE this dressing. Major Grey’s mango chutney is pretty common, so anyone should be able to make it.

One note- you end up “wasting” all of the solids in the mango chutney. Just puree them and save them for mixing in turkey burgers, or as a sandwich spread, or to serve with cheese and crackers. Waste not, want not…especially when it comes to yummy, spiced mango spread.

1/2 cup Major Grey’s chutney
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cayenne + salt to taste

  1. Force chutney through a sieve into a bowl and whisk in lime juice,  cayenne, and salt to taste.
  2. Slowly whisk in oil (a food processor works great)
  3. Dressing may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring dressing to room temperature before using.

Roasted beet salad

I lurve beets + goat cheese. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s spectacular. The bright, earthy sweetness of the beets, mixed with the creamy tang of the goat cheese. Plus, it is soooo pretttty. That’s “pretty” with 4 t’s.

Anyway, aside from loving the flavor combo/plate appeal, I love this dish because it is easy, impactful and great for serving a group. Check it out:

3  medium beets

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Goat cheese (amount depends on how high you stack them, how much you like goat cheese- just buy a log)

Greens or microgreens (optional and amount varies)

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

1  teaspoon Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Rinse the beets and trim off any leafy tops. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in the oven. Roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Once cool, remove beets from packets, reserving oil. Remove beet skins by simply scrubbing with a paper towel. It should just slip off. This is messy work, though. Consider gloves. Set aside peeled beets.
  3. Whisk the mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl. Gradually 2 T of the reserved beet oil. Season with salt and pepper. The dressing should be pretty tangy and a pretty color.
  4. Slice the beets into even 1/4 inch slices. Start building stacks by placing a larger slice of beet on the plate. Add a circular slice of goat cheese and press out until roughly the size of the beet. If you didn’t get a big enough slice the first time, just nab a bit more. Top with a slightly smaller beet slice, press down and repeat until you have several layers.
  5. If using greens, toss with a small amount of dressing and a bit of lemon juice and scatter around plate or under beet stacks. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

Tabouli

A big container of tabouli is pretty much a constant fixture at the Feferdome. It’s healthy and so yummy- just great, bright flavors. Give it a shot, people!

1 Cup Bulgur wheat (I like Arrowhead Mills)

1/2 Cup boiling water

1 teaspoon table salt

1/4 Cup lemon juice

1/4 Cup EVOO

1 pint cherry tomatoes- halved, sprinkled with 1/2 t salt and set over colander to drain for 30 min

2 cucumbers- peeled, seeded and diced

2 Cups mint- washed, picked, and minced

3 Cups parsley – washed, picked, and minced

  1. Pour boiling water over tabouli mixed with salt. Cover with Saran and let sit on counter for 30 min.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil. Cover and rest in fridge for 2-3 hours.
  3. While tabouli is resting, prep your veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, parsely and mint).  I cut my tomatoes and cucs by hand, but process the mint and parsley in the food processer.
  4. Once tabouli is fully rested, stir in all veggies and let marinate at least 30 more minutes (in fridge or in counter). Adjust seasoning with S&P and serve!

Carrot salad

This dish gets a B+ for deliciousness, but an A+ for looks. It is such a beautiful pop of color on any plate. Also, it’s nutty flexible. I serve it with French meals, Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern. Change the herbs, seasoning and vinegar and, presto, new dish. I’m doing my basic French recipe below, but will suggest some variations at the end.

4 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (use a box grater) or peeled in long strips

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/8 t finely grated fresh lemon zest

3 T finely chopped parsley

1 t Dijon mustard

1 toe garlic, pressed (optional)

1 t EVOO

  1. Toss carrots with 1/2 teaspoon table salt and set in colander to drain for 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients except carrots and parsley
  3. Toss dressing with carrots and parsley, adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, and eat up!
  • French = lemon+parsley+EVOO
  • Middle Eastern = lemon +parsley + EVOO + 2 teaspoons cumin + 1/4 t cayenne (you can also sub tahini for the mustard)
  • Asian = rice wine vinegar + cilantro + 1 t grated ginger
  • Italian = balsamic + basil + EVOO

Liza’s Tahini dressing

Liza made this for me in Philly and I LOVED it. When I made it, it was a little too thin. I might try it in the food processor next time- add the tahini in a thin stream and try to emulsify it a bit more. You know? I’ll let you know if that thickens it. Either way, she is onto something because it is GOOD.

1/4 cup well-stirred tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste)
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mild honey
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Blend all dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth

Steak salad

The inspiration: The other night, my hubby was grilling some chicken to serve with his Super Fabulous Jerk Sauce (he’ll post that another day). Anyway, he was already grilling, so I had him throw a flank steak on for the next night’s dinner. I trimmed the fat, pricked it all over both sides, rubbed it with Kosher salt and pepper, and had him throw it over a pretty hot flame until good and charred on both sides. Knowing it had a full 24 hours to rest and that it would cook a good bit more, he just got a nice crust on each side (no need to cook through).

Steak salad

What you’ll need: Flank steak, green beans, little red/bliss or yellow/butter potatoes (the smallest ones you can find), feta, green onion, cherry tomatoes and any greens (I like 50% baby romaine and 50% arugula, but whatever)

How you do it: This looks way longer and harder than it is

  1. Get water boiling in a large pot. Add a hefty pinch of salt. Drop in potatoes and cook until tender, but not 100% done. Remove with slotted spoon and rinse under cold water or add to ice bath. Set aside
  2. While water comes to a boil, cut cherry tomatoes in half or quarters and toss with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Set aside while potatoes boil. The salt draws out moisture and the sugar adds some nice sweetness. The sugar, by the way, is not necessary if it’s the summer and you have nice, ripe tomatoes.
  3. After you remove the potatoes, drop some green beans into the boiling, salted water. Just add them, let the water come back to a boil, then remove with slotted spoon
  4. While the green beans are blanching, run your tomatoes through a salad spinner for about 30-45 seconds. This will remove excess moisture and leave you with super tomato-y tomatoes. Set aside
  5. After you remove the green beans, you can go ahead and wash your lettuce. Give it a good spin in the (now) clean salad spinner. Dump into a bowl big enough for mixing.
  6. I like to make the potatoes a bit yummier at this point. Put ~1/2 T butter or EVOO in a skillet and get it hot. Add potatoes and a bit of Salt & Pepper (S&P). Sautee on med-high heat until you get a good crust on the potatoes (no more than 3 min). Add thinly sliced green onion, remove from heat, stir and set aside to cool in pan.
  7. So, the steak was cooked earlier, so it just needs to be sliced SUPER thin against the grain. You may find it easier to cut in half length-wise first. Set aside.
  8. You can use/make just about any dressing you like. I’ll deal with dressing another day, but I basically mix up a few ingredients in a mason jar. This time, I used Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, light brown sugar, S&P and olive oil.
  9. Toss greens, crumbled feta and half of dressing. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and/or lemon juice. Mound on however many plates.
  10. In same bowl as greens (now empty), toss green beans with ~2T dressing, S&P and arrange in bundles around plate. Repeat same process with tomatoes and beef, placing tomatoes around greens (like green beans), but mounding steak on top. Place potatoes around greens as well.
  11. Eat