Archive for the ‘Salad’ Category

It’s been a long time since my last blog entry and readership is definitely way down. Maybe I over commit myself, but I can’t help it, there is so much I want to do. So, what’s taking up all my time? Well, I’m glad you asked cause I want to tell you. Since last October I officially joined the Montavilla Farmers Market as a board member. I absolutely love this market because it’s right down the street from me and has a great sense of community. It’s now May and we’re ramping up for our opening day in June 5th. This is the markets 5th and biggest season so far and I’m absolutely excited to be a part of the planning.

Alright, so that’s not the only thing that’s taking up my time. I still have my day job, which is also quite busy right now. Plus, I still have time for a couple happy hours each week. Yes, I said a couple; I love my happy hours.

Since the Montavilla Market is not open yet I’ve been hitting up the PSU market on Saturdays, which I also love. When I was there a couple weeks ago I ran into something called braising greens. I’ve never really had much experience with winter greens and I’m always looking for an opportunity to try them out. The stand I bought the greens from just had them sauteed with leeks and mushrooms which looked and smelled very tasty. When I got home I did some research and found that a typical mix includes mustard, collard and turnip greens, kale and chard. Then I found an amazing warm dressing to test out. I changed this recipe slightly by adding leeks and increasing the balsamic vinegar by 1 tablespoon. Try it out, it’s super delicious.

Greens with Warm Pecan Dressing

Adapted from Seasonal Chef

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 2 servings

6 cups fresh mustard, turnip, and/or collard greens (about 1 pound)
6 cups fresh mustard, turnip, and/or collard greens (about 1 pound)
1 leek, chopped
3 T balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 T Dijon mustard
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped or broken

Wash greens well, dry thoroughly, then remove and discard the long stems. Tear the greens into salad-size pieces and place in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey and mustard. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a small skillet until hot but not smoking. Saute shallots until translucent and starting to brown. Turn down the heat slightly before adding the vinegar mixture and pecans and cook, stirring regularly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour over the greens and serve at once.


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Summer Salads

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted but Summer is almost over in the Pacific Northwest and I’m just trying to take advantage of every last bit of sunshine. We typically only have 3 months of warm weather here and this year it’s actually been more like 2 months. It really sucks and I’m certainly not ready for 9 to 10 months of dark, cloudy and rainy weather.

Here are some recipes to use up those summer veggies and herbs and take advantage of the last days of summer.

The first is a simple pesto salad. I love to use angel hair pasta for this recipe. Then I grill some zucchini or squash and toss it with fresh tomatoes.

Basil Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (see Cook’s Note) I used good Parmesan

    Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

    If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

    If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

    Corn and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

    1 cup red or white quinoa
    2 cups water
    1 cup black beans
    1 ear corn (grilled and kernels cut from cob)
    1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
    1 jalapeno pepper (seeded removed and diced)
    1/2 red onion (diced)
    1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
    1 tablespoon oil
    Juice of 1 lime
    salt and pepper to taste

    Cook the quinoa in the water until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
    Mix the quinoa, black beans, corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.
    Add the oil, lime juice and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss to mix.

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    This original recipe calls for Yukon gold potatoes, but I’ve been getting a bunch of red potatoes from my CSA every week so that’s what I used instead. Further, the recipe calls for 2 talks celery which I left out. I also think you can be generious with the mustard and lemon juice. I love the tangy flavor, yum! One last modification, I threw some parsly in there also. This salad is sooooo good and it tastes great warm.

    new 242

    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Cook time: 25 minutes
    Level: Easy
    Yield: 12 servings

    Adapted from Good Deal with Dave Lieberman

    3 pounds red potatoes, peeled
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
    1/4 cup tightly packed chopped fresh dill
    1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar
    1/2 lemon, juiced
    1 tablespoon grainy or regular Dijon mustard

    Put the potatoes in a big pot with enough water to cover by 1-inch. Season with salt and bring the water to a boil. Cook just until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.

    Drain the potatoes and return them to the uncovered pot off the heat. Let them sit until almost room temperature. (Cooling them in the warm pot will get rid of any excess water in the potatoes, and that’s good.)

    new 240

    Stir in the onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the remaining ingredients together in a serving bowl large enough to hold all the potatoes.

    When they’re cool, cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces, add them to the bowl as you go. Stir gently until all the potatoes are coated with dressing. You can make the salad up to a couple of hours in advance. Keep covered at room temperature. Don’t refrigerate or the potatoes will lose their rich, smooth texture.

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    Lately I’ve been receiving a lot of cabbage from my CSA, about a head a week to be exact. Yeah, that can be an overwhelming about of cabbage and I’m starting to run out of things to do with it. Coleslaw is something I’ve been eating a whole lot of, not to mention that I’ve been taking it to every summer BBQ I’ve had a chance. I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise so I’ve looked to see what alternatives I can do with coleslaw. Here are my two favorite recipes I’ve found.


    Coleslaw with Honey Mustard Dressing

    Adapted from Noble Pig

    2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
    2 Tablespoons pickle relish
    1 Tablespoon honey
    1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
    1/2 head small cabbage or 1/2 pound shredded slaw mix
    Salt and pepper

    In a medium bowl, whisk the mustard, relish and honey.  Whisk in 1/4 cup oil.  Add the cabbage and season with salt and pepper; toss.

    Test 038

    Asian Style Slaw

    Adapted from Food Network’s Dave Lieberman

    1 bunch (6 large) scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
    2 (16-ounce) bags coleslaw mix or 1 (16-ounce) bag each of shredded green and shredded red cabbage
    1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (from about a 1-inch piece)
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
    2 teaspoons sesame seeds, optional
    1 teaspoon salt
    20 grinds black pepper

    Rough up the scallion slices a little with your fingers so all the little layers of the scallion whites separate. Toss the coleslaw mix or both kinds of cabbage, the red onion and scallions together in a large bowl until everything is thoroughly mixed. You can make the slaw up to this point up to a day in advance as long as you keep it refrigerated. Before serving, simply bring the slaw back to room temperature, make the dressing and toss.

    Stir the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl until blended, then pour over the vegetables. Serve within 1 hour of dressing or the cabbage will get wilty and sad. I like to add slivered almonds to this recipe to give it an extra crunch.

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    Thai Salad



    Thai Salad

    I took a Thai cooking class a couple of  weeks ago and this was one of the recipes we learned. The instructor didn’t provide us with actual measurements so here is what I tried at home. I have to admit, I didn’t think this would taste that great at first, but once I tried it I was hooked. This recipe is fresh and the flavors are wonderful together.

    Prep time: 1 hour
    Cook time: 15 minutes
    Level: Easy
    Yield: makes 2-3 servings


    • 4 fried eggs
    • 1 bell pepper
    • 1 celery stalk
    • 2 shallots
    • 1 bunch green onions
    • 1 fresh Thia chili pepper (remove seeds if you want less spice)
    • Picked carrots and radishes (recipe below)
    • Cilantro to garnish


    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1 tbs sugar
    • 2 tsp fish sauce (don’t skip this, it’s really the most flavorful part)
    • Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and you’ve got dressing

    Picked carrots and radishes:

    • 1 cup carrot, julienned
    • 1 cup white radish, julienned
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)
    • Cover and marinade for 2 hours

    Start by frying the eggs, over well and set aside. Chop all your vegetables and combine in a bowl with the chopped eggs, and pickled veggies. Top with cilantro and sauce, toss to combine. It’s that easy. Really the hardest part is chopping all the veggies.

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