elevating the status of the salad

Category Archives: salad with fruit


Although this salad doesn’t highlight local ingredients (for those of us in the northeast), it is a great way to beat the winter blues. To turn it into a meal, try adding some chopped avocado and putting it over a bed of farro. Happy New Year everyone!

From Food and Wine, December 2012 (makes 8 servings)


  • 6 oranges
  • 2 red grapefruits
  • 2 limes
  • 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (I used Vermont Creamery’s crème fraîche)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • Salt


  1. Using a sharp knife, carefully peel the oranges, red grapefruits and limes, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a small bowl to catch the juices from the fruit, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Cut the lime and grapefruit sections into thirds and leave the orange sections whole. Transfer all of the citrus to a serving bowl and add the sliced shallot and chopped parsley. Reserve the citrus juice for another use.
  2. In another small bowl, whisk the lemon zest with the lemon juice, crème fraîche, maple syrup and poppy seeds. Season the dressing lightly with salt. Pour the dressing over the fruit, toss the salad gently and serve right away.

When making this salad, I thought it was going to be really weird. Then, I couldn’t stop eating it. The combination of spicy and sweet is definitely addicting, so watch out. Sweet Corn Charlie had arava, which looks like a cantaloupe from the outside and a honeydew from the inside. It is as sweet as candy, with none of the HFCS. I also used cantaloupe. However, you can use any melon you want. The original recipe called for blackberries, but those were not an option at the farmstand , so I used raspberries. The original recipe is from Food and Wine magazine.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 green melon (about 1 1/4 pounds)—halved, cut into wedges, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 orange or yellow melon (about 1 1/4 pounds)—halved, cut into wedges, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives


  1. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, and crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Arrange the melon and raspberries on a platter. Drizzle the dressing over the fruit. Garnish the salad with the feta and snipped chives and serve.

You can lighten this salad by omitting the goat cheese. However, this particular version was made with Bucherondin, a goat cheese log from Stinky Brooklyn. It is also tasty if you substitute sunflower seeds for the almonds. 


  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 6-8 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 basil leaves, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. To reduce the vinegar, pour it into a small saucepan along with the brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Stir frequently, and be careful not to burn the vinegar. When it reduces by about half, remove from heat. When cooled to room temperature, whisk in olive oil. I added a little bit of salt and pepper, put it in a sealed container and gave it a few shakes.
  2. To assemble the salad, layer spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, almonds, and basil.
  3. Drizzle the salad with dressing just before serving. You will have extra dressing, which you can refrigerate and use at another time.

“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.



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 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.

It’s been a busy month of moving and starting the school year all over again. This weekend my knives and cutting boards miraculously emerged from boxes, and the internet is somehow up and running. Here is the first fresh from brooklyn post from my new home, also (conveniently so I would not have to rename this blog) in Brooklyn.

Tonight’s salad was served alongside greek burgers (let me know if you want that recipe, too), which are bursting with rich flavor. It is a light salad that freshens up a heavy meal. I love the balance of sweet watermelon with peppery radish. It also helps that this salad could not possibly be any easier. Although it is fall, this week’s CSA shipment included incredibly juicy yellow watermelon. No one is complaining…we are smiling as we to cling to the last flavors of summer as long as possible.

Both the greek burgers and this salad come from Cook’s Illustrated’s America’s Test Kitchen.


4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon

1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and sliced

1 cup thinly sliced radishes (I used a mandoline)

1 tablespoon lime jice

1/4 cup chopped mint


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

While spending a warm summer evening out with friends, I got two excellent pieces of advice for this blog.

1.”You really should put a watermelon salad on there.”

2. (after I expressed my concern that I was overusing feta cheese) “Feta makes everything better. Why deny it? Just go with it.”

So here goes. Thanks for the easy recipe, Paul Deen!


  • 1 (5-pound) watermelon
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 whole mint sprigs


Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.

In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.

To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves.