elevating the status of the salad

Category Archives: green salad

I recently got back from a wonderful weekend of cooking at Peter Berley’s kitchen on the North Fork of Long Island. The theme of the weekend was cooking with local foods in the winter. This salad stood out to me because of its unusual combination of flavors that seemed to go perfectly together. I had a healthy serving of it with some homemade foccacia for lunch on Sunday at the workshop. I enjoyed it so much that I made it on my own again Sunday night for dinner with friends. Every last piece of parsley was eaten up. Prior to trying this salad, I was not a fan of the fennel. However, shaving fennel with a mandoline helps to keep the flavor mild and delicious. This salad is a light and fresh complement to any meal.

Thanks to Peter Berley for this recipe and many others throughout the weekend. Your creativity in the kitchen is very inspiring!


  • 1/4 cup shaved or very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 very large or 2 medium fennel bulbs, shaved or very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup loosely packed cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 pitted green, brine-cured olives, such as Picholine, sliced
  • shaved parmesan to sprinkle on top (optional)


  1. Toss the onion with 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the fennel, parsley, olives, and celery leaves with the olive oil and the onion and its liquid. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more olive oil or lemon if needed.
  3. Sprinkle with parmesan (optional) and serve.

This simple salad was inspired by dinners at Frankie’s 457, including two of their salads: One has arugula and pecorino, and the other has a cipollini onion vinaigrette. My version uses balsamic vinegar and vegetables that can be found at the winter farmer’s markets including arugula, shallots, radishes, and carrots. Although I don’t crave fresh, crisp greens quite as much during the chilly winter months, this pretty salad balances out a heavy meal. You can definitely substitute your favorite greens in place of arugula.


4 cups arugula

1/4 cup thinly sliced Pecorino Romano

2 carrots, shaved (just continue to peel the carrot in long strips)

3 radishes, cut into matchsticks

1 shallot

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


1. To make the dressing, peel and roughly chop the shallot. Pulse the shallot in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, and pulse again. Add the olive oil and blend until smooth.

2. Layer the arugula, carrots, radishes, and romano on 4 plates. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.


“Fresh from Spain” might be a more appropriate title for this post, which highlights my favorite winter fruit…the clementine. I know that eating clementines in such large quantities does not win me locavore points with Barbara Kingsolver, author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. However, I find that a clementine a day  (at minimum) shields me from the germ factory* in which I work.

We used Murray’s chicken breasts for this recipe, which I sliced in half so they would cook more easily. Murray’s chicken comes from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. What I like about this chicken is that each package comes with a Farm Verification number. You can type this in, and find out exactly which farm. My number 2631 gave me 2 potential farms. Feel free to check it out at Murray’s Chicken website.

This healthy recipe comes from Lifetime Moms, and I only adapted the quantities. This amount made 4 salads, and was perfect for lunch the next day (just make sure not to dress it until right before you eat it)

*elementary school


  • 3-4 cups mesclun mix (We used Satur Farms)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 fresh clementines,peeled and sectioned
  • 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange or clementine juice, divided
  • 4 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  •  2  tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced, divided
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4  cup  extra virgin olive oil


  1. Mix together 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup orange juice or clementine juice, garlic cloves and ginger and pour over chicken breasts in a shallow dish. Refrigerate and let marinate at least 30 minutes.  Heat griddle over medium heat and grill chicken for 6 minutes each side until juices run clear.
  2. While the chicken is grilling, mix together remaining soy sauce, orange juice, honey, ginger and rice wine vinegar for the dressing.  Slowly add the olive oil while whisking until oil is incorporated.
  3. Slice the chicken into thin strips.  Layer greens, clementine sections, almonds and chicken, topping with desired amount of dressing.



On Veteran’s Day, I had the day off and enjoyed lunch with a friend at Freeman’s  (mmm). We both got their lentil salad, and it was so delicious that we each decided that we must make lentil salad ourselves as soon as possible. 

Jack Bishop’s A Year in A Vegetarian Kitchen is filled with healthy recipes that highlight seasonal food. This recipe was great because I was able to make it a few hours ahead of time, and then just put it all together at the end. It was delicious for lunch the next day as well. Are you scared of cooking lentils? You are not alone. I am not a very experienced lentil cooker, and they usually end up mushy and bland. This recipe turned me into a believer. I will put the exact recipe below, but I actually cooked my lentils at least 5 minutes less than he suggests (mostly because I was in a hurry.) The lentils were just the right consistency. 


1 pound turnips, scrubbed and cut into 3/4-inch dice

3 small red onions (about 1/2 pound), quartered through the root ends

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/4 cup dried green lentils (called French lentils in some places), rinsed and picked over to remove any stones

2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves

6 cups packed mesclun, baby spinach, or other tender greens (I used a combination of young greens from Carroll Street’s Sunday market)


  1.  Move an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the turnips, onions, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and salt and pepper to taste on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring the vegetables once or twice, until lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly and finely chop the onions.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the lentils, garlic, bay leaves, and 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in one teaspoon salt and continue cooking until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Drain and discard the garlic and bay leaves.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, whisk the lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Whisk in the remaining olive oil until the dressing in smooth. Whisk in the tarragon and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Add the warm lentils, chopped onion, and roasted turnips to the bowl with the dressing. Toss to coat and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Cool to room temperature, stirring the lentil salad from time to time to promote even absorption of the dressing.
  5. Divide the greens among four large plates. Spoon the lentil salad over the greens and serve.

I guess I’m on a pear kick, so here’s another one. This is a variation of this Epicurious recipe. It has great fall flavors and can be made in very little time. It is easy to double the recipe so you can make a lot for a big group.



  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 8 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach leaves, stemmed if needed
  • 2 firm but ripe Bosc pears (do not peel), quartered lengthwise, cored, and cut into long, thin slices


  1. To make the dressing, in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover tightly and shake vigorously to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
  2. Place the onions in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 30 minutes. This crisps the onion and takes away the raw onion taste. Drain well and pat dry on paper towels.
  3. In a small bowl, toss the cranberries with 2 tablespoons of the dressing to soften them. Set aside for at least 20 minutes or until ready to serve the salad.
  4. To assemble the salad, place the spinach, onions, and pears in a large bowl. Give the remaining dressing a last-minute shake and pour over the salad. Toss to coat evenly. Arrange the salad in a large serving bowl or divide it evenly among 8 salad plates. Scatter the cranberries over the top(s). Serve immediately.

This beautiful Barefoot Contessa recipe is perfect for the holidays. If you are hosting vegetarians, this can serve as a satisfying main course as well. I put her exact recipe below, but I actually made a few slight changes. I used about 1/4 cup olive oil instead of 1/2 cup. Also, I forgot to put the cranberries in the oven, so I just added them raw. To toast the walnuts, I put them in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Peeling a dicing a raw butternut squash is not on my list of favorite activities. However, super sharp knives help to do the trick. We recently got our knives sharpened by the good people at A Cook’s Companion. It was long overdue, and I am so glad we did it. It made the dicing process a whole lot easier.


  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.
  3. While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
  4. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

This recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated’s Fall Entertaining 2011 magazine. They suggest three versions. This one is with frisee, goat cheese, and almonds. Other variations include :

*watercress, parmesan, and pecans

*radicchio, blue cheese, and walnuts

Any version would be great for a holiday starter. I found this one to be light enough that it won’t weigh you don’t before a big meal. Also, you can make it ahead of time, and then just put it together right before serving.


  • 3 ripe but firm pears (I used Bartlett, but you can also use Bosc), quartered and cored
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablepoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 medium head green leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1 head frisee
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup almonds


  1. Toss pears, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add pears cut side down in a single layer and cook until golden brown, 2-4 minutes. Using a small spatula or a fork, tip each pear onto the second cut side; continue to cook until second side is light brown, 2-4 minutes longer. Turn off the heat, leave skillet on burner, and add 2 tablespoons vinegar; gently stir until vinegar becomes glazy and coats pears, about 30 seconds. Transfer pears to a large plate and cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Cut each pear quarter crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds: Place almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and shallot together in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add lettuce, frisee and cooked pears to bowl; toss and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Divide salad among individual plates; top each with portions of cheese and almonds. Serve immediately.

This is a beautiful special occasion salad, and our special occasion was that it was Wednesday. I think there is a certain irony to a salad that includes “fried” and “candied” in the title, and I couldn’t resist it. I used beets and Boston lettuce from this week’s CSA share. Thanks to sophistimom for the great recipe, which I adapted a only a little bit.


For the beets:

  • 2 beets, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the candied walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the fried goat cheese:

  •  4 ounces goat cheese
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

Greens and Dressing:

  • 1 head Boston Bibb lettuce (0r any other greens)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Prepare the beets:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Top with a piece of parchment paper. Place beets on parchment paper, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap paper and aluminum foil around the beets and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until beets are tender. Let cool completely. Then, cut into 1/4 inch slices and divide each slice into fourths. Meanwhile, lower the oven to 325 and get going with the walnuts:

Prepare the Candied Walnuts:

  1. Mix together the walnuts and maple syrup until evenly coated. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Make a single layer with the walnuts, and heat for 20-25 minutes, flipping once during cooking.
  2. Allow to cool, and then roughly chop the walnuts.

Prepare the Fried Goat Cheese: (NOTE: You will want the cheese to be warm, so you can compile the whole salad, and save the second step below for last.)

  1. Mix cheese with lemon zest, parmesan, thyme, and salt and pepper until well blended. Roll cheese mixture into quarter-sized patties. Freeze for about 20 minutes. Roll in egg, and coat with Panko.
  2. Heat oil in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat. When you put the cheese in the saucepan it should start bubbling immediately. Flip them after 10-15 seconds, and cook on the other side for 10-15 seconds. The cheese should be golden brown.

Prepare the greens and vinaigrette:


  1. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with the greens.

Compile the Salad:

  1. Layer the greens and vinaigrette, followed by the beets, walnuts and then goat cheese. Enjoy!


I guess it was inevitable: A Brooklyn blogger writes about pizza. In my opinion, a slice of pizza and a green salad is the perfect meal. Why not pile the greens on top of the pizza? For the dough, you can use store-bought or make your own. Our bread maker has a pizza dough setting which makes dough better than I ever could. I recommend using a pizza stone. Put it in the oven when you start preheating it. 

Note: Don’t confuse this “salad pizza” with a “pizza salad”, which I hope to experiment with one day soon!


The Pizza

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 summer squash, sliced thin (I used a mandoline)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • pizza dough of your choice
  • 4-8 ounces quality mozzarella cheese, shredded (how cheesy do you like your pizza?)
  • pizza sauce of your choice

The Salad

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 leaves of fresh basil, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place pizza stone in the oven.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet. Saute squash, onions, garlic, oregano, basil, and thyme for 8-10 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your dough, depending on the type you have. Sprinkle half of the cheese on the dough. Spread the tomato sauce on top, and then layer the squash mixture. Add the second layer of cheese. Place pizza in oven, and cook for 12-15 minutes.
  4. While the pizza cooks, whisk together tsp red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined. Toss with the lettuce and tomatoes. (You can add some fresh mild cheese here as well)
  5. Take pizza out of the oven when the cheese starts to turn light brown in a few places. Add chopped fresh basil on top, and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Pile the greens on top of the salad…Slice, and enjoy!

This salad is a slightly different take on Rick Bayless’ version in Mexican Everyday

The Salad:

  • 1 jicama, peeled and cut into sticks (use a paring knife rather than a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1 inch pieces (Here are tips on how to cut an avocado)
  • 1 medium bunch watercress, large lower stems broken off (You can substitute arugula)
  • 4 large romaine leaves, cut cross-wise into 1/4 inch slices

The Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup oil (I used a combination of vegetable and olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup  fresh lime juice
  • A few squeezes of fresh orange juice (I used navel oranges)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 cup roughly packed cilantro
  • 2 serrano chiles (or 1 jalapeno) stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a jar and secure the lid.
  2. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients. Give the dressing another shake to make sure it is combined. Drizzle about 1/3 cup of the dressing on the vegetables. (Save the rest of the dressing in the fridge for another salad). Toss to combine.
  3. Taste and add more salt if you think necessary. Serve immediately.
Variations: You can add toasted pine nuts, diced mango or goat cheese.