One of my favorite salads ever (and one that I requested for my wedding) combines just a few simple ingredients. The good thing is you can do the steps in any order--they don’t have to be hot to taste great together.
1 head Butter Lettuce
Wash and chop into salad-sized pieces
1 cup Roasted Butternut Squash
Turn the oven to 400 and prepare the squash by peeling it, scooping out the seeds and chopping into small cubes. Toss onto a foil-lined pan with 2 tbsp Olive Oil, and Salt, Pepper and Garlic to taste (or save a step and add Garlic Salt!).
Cook for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender. Set aside.
1 cup Sauteed Shiitakes
Remove the stems and wipe them down (or rinse, depending on your preference). Heat a small saute pan on medium-high, and when hot, add 1 tbsp of Olive Oil. Saute, stirring regularly until they’re crisp and slightly caramelized. Set aside.
Now for the toppings!
1 cup Goat Cheese, crumbled
A handful of Pepitas (Shelled Pumpkin Seeds)
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Lemon Vinaigrette, to taste
It’s the best savory salad for a winter’s night. And you’ll probably end up with more dressing than you need, so just stash it away in a mason jar for future salad cravings!
This was one of those recipes that came about because I looked in the fridge and realized I needed to do something with some leftover carrots (from this Lentil & Veggie Soup) and some curly kale. And it became my new favorite thing! Also something that would be great to bring to a potluck.
1 bunch Curly Kale
3 tbsp Olive Oil
½ cup Shredded Carrots (hello Cuisinart! You are my best friend.)
3 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Curry Powder
Salt & Pepper, to taste
¼ cup Cashews, chopped
Pull the kale off the stems by hand and chop finely. Drain. Once it’s dry enough, massage it with olive oil and lemon juice. Add to a salad bowl and top with curry and salt and pepper and mix. Top with cashews
One of my favorite vegetarian dishes at my college dining hall was orzo with feta and tomatoes. So simple and so flavorful! I decided to up the flavor with basil in this simple dish that’s perfect served cold. It’s become a potluck or picnic staple.
1 cup Orzo, cooked according to package directions
1-½ cups Grape tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh Basil, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Cook the orzo. When drained and cool, mix with all the other ingredients. Done.
I don’t know why it took me so long to get this one up on the blog…it’s the recipe our chef friend who catered our wedding came up with when we asked for a kale salad. Needless to say, it was well-loved by our wedding guests (as was everything he created for us that day!).
The easiest way to do it is to grate a bunch of parmesan, make a big batch of candied almonds and dressing, then keep them on hand so you always have the fixings. The only unusual ingredient is the Togarashi, which I had to search out at our local specialty spice shop.
1 bunch Lacinato/Dinosaur Kale, washed, deribbed and thinly sliced
¼ Parmesan, finely grated
1 Honeycrisp (or similar) Apple, thinly sliced
¼ cup Apple-Togarashi Vinaigrette
¼ cup Candied Almonds, roughly chopped
½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbsp Honey
1-1/2 cups Olive oil
1 tbsp Thyme, chopped
1 tsp Togarashi
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine in a mason jar and shake, or mix with an immersion blender.
1-1/4 cup Water
1-1/4 cup Sugar
1 lb Almonds, raw
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Salt
2 tsp Togarashi
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large pot, create a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water and bringing it to a boil; simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Add almonds and bring back to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain completely in a colander, allowing to drip dry for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, toss with sugar, salt and togarashi. Bake on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes, and cool on a drying rack.
Lately I’ve been making a batch of this by throwing it in a mason jar, putting on the lid and shaking. It’s perfect to have on hand for just about any salad! The secret is in picking a good quality ripe lemon.
Here’s my favorite salad to top with this: baby spinach, good feta, grape tomatoes, walnuts, a few artichoke hearts and a sprinkling of dill and sesame seeds. So good!
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
4 tbsp good quality EV Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
My mom came for dinner the other night and I wanted to make something new—something refreshing that felt healthy and filling. I turned to 101 Cookbooks for inspiration and found this little gem. Apparently it originally comes from a San Francisco restaurant called Pomelo and is on their menu as “otsu.” Also apparently it’s delicious. I think I’ve found a new way to cook tofu, too—it holds together nicely in a pan without any oil. And of course, it showcases the king of all herbs, cilantro. Cilantro cilantro cilantro.
I made a few augmentations for simplicity and learned that if you can’t find soba noodles (which I couldn’t on my last-minute shopping trip), whole grain linguine works rather nicely. I also pressed the tofu between two plates and put a heavy book on top to help squeeze out the excess moisture.
In the end, this can be served hot or cold and is delicious either way.
Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
1 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
12 oz dried soba noodles
12 oz extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 small handful of cilantro sprigs, for garnish
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, salt, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce in a food processor and process until smooth. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils. (I actually did all this with a stick blender, but it got a little sloppy so I think the food processor works best.)
Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water. Set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy.
At the same time, toast the sesame seeds in a small dry pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, cilantro, green onions, cucumber, and about ⅔ cup of the dressing. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and a few cilantro sprigs for garnish.
We bought a huge bag of those sugar snap peas at Costco the other day. It's true you can just eat them raw and they're delicious, but they're also very tasty in this just-steamed format. The warmth of the peas help melt the feta a bit, combining to make one delicious salad.
3 cups Sugar Snap Peas
1 cup Feta, crumbled
1 cup Walnuts, crumbled
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp. Brown Mustard
Salt and Pepper
Trim the ends off the snap peas if desired. Place them in a saute pan with a half cup of water, and cover. Steam for 5-7 minutes over medium heat, until tender but not mushy. Meanwhile, mix dressing ingredients together.
Drain water from peas, mix with feta and walnuts, and top with dressing. Serve with a light pasta.
I'm planning on making this one tonight--it's the perfect light complement to heavier dishes. I think I'll serve it with some zucchini fritters and a tomato and goat cheese tart...recipes to come later!
2 bunches Arugula, washed, dried, and torn
1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Lemon, juiced
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
A chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano
In a serving bowl, drizzle the arugula with the oil, squeeze in the lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until well mixed and taste for seasoning. Use a vegetable peeler to shave thin pieces of Parmigiano over the top. Look like a total rock star to your friends who are used to iceberg lettuce in their salads.
My grandma sent me this one...the recipe is for one serving, so if you're feeding two, double the recipe (and so forth). Thanks Gram!
This is so easy and so good. Perfect side salad with a little oomph! Measurements are a little vague depending on your taste (and the availability of package sizes). While dill is the more traditional herb for a dish like this, basil will perk things up a bit and also be very delicious.
1 large cucumber
4-6 oz. crumbled Feta
10-12 oz. grape tomatoes
5-6 oz. pitted Kalamata Olives
2 tbsp. fresh Dill OR Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop cucumber, tomatoes, olives, and herb. Combine in large bowl, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.