elevating the status of the salad

Category Archives: salad


Here’s a great way to get creative with your bumper crop of cucumbers, and it takes only 10 minutes from garden to plate. I used a mandolin for maximum beauty and because I like to live on the edge. Thanks to Karen Solomon and her book Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It for this and so many other fun kitchen ideas. 

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber – sliced thin 

1 small red onion-sliced thin

2 teaspoons brown rice syrup (or sugar or your sweetener of preference)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar 

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for 30 minutes. It can be refrigerated for 2 days. 


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I made this coleslaw for Father’s Day and have looked forward to having it a snack every day since. It’s a perfect food to bring to a 4th of July BBQ or picnic because it can be prepared ahead of time. The magical thing about this coleslaw is that even though we keep eating it, the bowl is still practically full. I’m not really sure what causes this phenomenon. It’s like the everlasting gobstopper of salads. Anyway, it took about 15 minutes to whip it up in the food processor, and I am grateful for that as well. If you don’t have a food processor handy, you can do all the slicing by hand…but it will be much more time-consuming. This recipe also came from Williams-Sonoma’s Salad of the Day book.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head green cabbage (about 2 lb)
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 T cider vinegar, or as needed
  • 2 T minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/4 c mayonnaise
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut the cabbage through the stem end into wedges, and cut out the core. Using a food processor fitted with the thin slicing attachment, slice the cabbage into thin slivers. Transfer to a (very!) large bowl. Slice the celery crosswise in the same way and add it to the cabbage.
  2. Replace the slicing attachment with the shredding attachment. Halve and core the apple but do not peel. Cut the apple and onion into wedges. Shred the apple, onion, and carrots, and add to the cabbage and celery.
  3. Sprinkle the vegetables with the vinegar and toss to coat evenly. Add the parsley and mayo and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least two hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more vinegar, salt, and pepper before serving. Serve chilled.

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This post features a bunch of recipes. Not only is there the salad and dressing, but I also want to share  this simple way to make baked chips. I served it with leftover vegan cashew avocado “cream” from these incredible tofu tacos I discovered on Love and Lemons. 

To make the salad (I measured nothing):

Put some chopped romaine lettuce in a bowl.

Top with the following: I chose to do it cobb-salad style, but you can toss it all together, too. Go loco.

  • radishes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • grilled corn (Soak it first for about a half an hour. Grill on medium-high for about 10 minutes, rotating a few times. Then, let it cool and cut it off the cob)
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped red bell peppers
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • drained black beans
  • optional: shredded cheddar cheese
  • You can also do: avocado, jicama, etc.

Basic cilantro-lime dressing:

Blend the following until smooth:

  • 2 handfuls of cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • a little bit of honey (or agave or sweetener of your choice)
  • salt/pepper
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • water to thin out as needed

For the chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare oil: Mix together a few tablespoons of olive oil with spices of your choice. I did a few shakes of cumin and paprika, and then a few pinches of salt.
  3. Put a stack of corn tortillas on a cutting board and cut them into sixths (first cut in half and then cut each half into thirds)
  4. Arrange tortilla triangles in a single layer on a cookie sheet (no overlapping) and brush both sides with the oil mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy.
  5. Serve with salad and dip of choice.

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After a recent encore viewing of Forks Over Knives, several of us were inspired to cook some plant-based foods last night. On the menu were spicy peas, sweet corn salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, and this grilled corn, zucchini, and bell pepper salad with black beans and barley. Thanks for Oh She Glows for this recipe. If you dice instead of chop the vegetables, you can have more of a relish/salsa for chips. Because everything is better on a chip. 

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 3 bell peppers (any color–I used a few beautiful purple peppers that turned an unappetizing gray after grilling)
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 6 ears of corn, husk removed
  • 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15oz can)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked wheatberries (I used barley since that was available)

Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 limes) I’m sure lemon works too
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro (or herb of choice)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

 Directions:

1. Preheat the grill over medium heat. When it’s ready add the corn, rotating every few minutes. After about 10 minutes, add the zucchini and bell peppers. No need to chop the peppers, you can leave them whole. Grill for another 10 minutes, rotating frequently, until lightly charred.

2. Meanwhile, cook your grains on the stovetop (if using them) according to package directions. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste.

3. When vegetables are done on the grill, cool, and then remove corn and chop the peppers and zucchini. Mix the drained and rinsed beans, grains, dressing, and vegetables together in a large bowl. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper, to taste. Will keep for a few days in the fridge.


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With the recent abrupt onset of summer, our grill has been getting some good use lately. Although I love grilling vegetables (asparagus, potatoes, eggplant, and portabellas are among my favorites), I kept my greens off the flames until today. I’m happy to report a new vegetable will now be part of the regular rotation. The parmesan basil crisps on top of the lettuce add the necessary crunch. Also, parmesan cheese might be one of the best foods out there and making these crisps  seemed like a  fun experiment to try on this quiet Sunday. 

The crisps can be made a day ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container. Hopefully you make a few extra because you’ll want to taste a few right away, just in case. 

Thanks to Grillin’ Fools for the lettuce method, and to Giada for the crisp method.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 T julienned basil
  • 2 large heads of romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, cleaned and patted dry, and sliced lengthwise down the middle
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

 

For the crisps…

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine cheese and basil.
  3. Put a heaping tablespoon on  a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten gently.
  4. Continue to add more tablespoons of the cheese mixture, leaving a bit of space between each one.
  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until golden and crisp.
  6. Allow to cool, and then remove with a flat spatula.

For the lettuce…

  1. Once your lettuce is dry, you’re good to go.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high
  3. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and set aside for a few minutes so that the oil gets garlicky.
  4. Brush both sides of the lettuce with the oil mixture, starting with the rounded side and then doing the flat side of the lettuce.
  5. Place the romaine heads flat side down on the grill.
  6. After 2-3 minutes (check for a nice browning), flip the lettuce 1/3 way. Repeat again after 2-3 minutes more. Do it again until the lettuce is nicely browned all over.
  7. Serve with crisps.

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It’s that time of year again, when it is hard to be inspired by the root vegetables at the farmer’s market. However, you can add a little goat cheese to anything and it solves most problems in the world, including “the winter that refused to end.” I hope you enjoy this recipe, as we (im)patiently wait for more exciting vegetables. This comes from Cooking Light’s April 2013 issue. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups radishes, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch wedges, with root and 1/2-inch stem left on
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (I used about 1 teaspoon dried instead)
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1.  Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Add radishes and oregano; toss to coat. Place 1 cup spinach on each of 4 plates. Using a slotted spoon, top each plate with 1/2 cup radishes. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing evenly over salads.

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Here’s another vegan winner from Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It was refreshing and well-balanced, with a little bit of heat (especially since we kept all the seeds in the serrano pepper). This salad can be a meal by itself, but we had some edamame with it for a little more protein.

Ingredients:

  • One 8-ounce package of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/2 cup thinly shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly julienned
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned
  • 1/4 cup thinly julienned snow peas
  • 2 carrots, thinly julienned, or shredded
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat sprouts, sunflower sprouts, or pea shoots (my choice), plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted (just realized I didn’t toast mine…oops!), plus more for garnish

For the dressing: Whisk the following ingredients in a small bowl and set aside:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons agave (I used honey, so this recipe is only mostly vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • a tiny bit of minced chile pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the buckwheat according to the package instructions. Do not overcook; buckwheat is very temperamental and falls apart if cooked too long. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking further. 
  2. Toss the cooked noodles with cabbage, red and yellow bell pepper, snow peas, carrots, sprouts, and sesame seeds in a mixing bowl. Set aside some sprouts and sesame seeds for a garnish.
  3. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad, toss gently, and serve.
  4. Before serving, garnish with leftover sprouts and sesame seeds.