elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: dairy

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!

Ingredients:

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

Directions

  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!
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This soup is so refreshing! It is also extremely easy to make. You should prepare this at least a few hours in advance and then allow the flavors to chill in the fridge before serving. The ingredient list is definitely flexible, so feel free to adapt according to taste. Let me know if you make any good adjustments. 

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Ingredients

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used fage 2%)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water (depending on how much you need to thin it out)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Place all ingredients in a large food processor, starting with only 1/4 cup water. Process until it is very smooth. If it is too thick, add more water until it is the consistency you want.

While you have the feta and mint ready, here is another summer salad. This one was adapted from Peter Berley’s class. He used farro (spelt) but I had quinoa on hand. Also, he used golden beets–so that the color would not bleed into the rest of the salad. I only had red beets, so I did just added the beets on top at the end, rather than mixing them in with the cucumbers and quinoa.

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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 beets, cooked, peeled, and diced

Beet Preparation Note (can be done ahead of time and stored in fridge) I roasted in an aluminum foil pouch for about an hour at 400 degrees, testing for done-ness when a fork glided easily through the beets. Depending on the size, it takes about an hour or more. Then, I allowed them to cool. Once cool, I used a paper towel to remove the skins from the beets, and diced.

Mint Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, cucumbers and vinaigrette. Mix well. Top with beets. Refrigerate until cold.
  3. Add the feta, dill, and parsley to the salad. Season with extra lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Top with beets.

I have a few strong beliefs about Indiana sweet corn:

1. Indiana Sweet Corn is the Great Equalizer

Horace Mann said that education is the great equalizer. However, on a muggy summer evening in northern Indiana, when the fireflies light up the sky and the crickets start to play their nightly symphony, corn can certainly level the playing field as well.

My love affair with Indiana sweet corn began soon after my love affair with my husband started. We  sat down to a wonderful dinner with his family on a hot Indiana night several years back. This was before we were married. I was just getting to know his family. Of course, I was feeling nervous about eating with the right fork, talking at the right time, and passing my food in the right direction.

When the corn got passed to me (from the left), I gingerly selected an ear, and quietly panicked. How am I supposed to eat this thing? No one was passing the corn holders from left to right. Reluctantly, I began to tackle the corn. It took me way too long to peel the husk off, as I was trying painstakingly hard to remove every single fiber. I delicately began nibbling at my corn, being careful not to get any stray kernels on the corner of my lips or between my teeth. Should I floss mid-meal?! I was about to take a knife  to start cutting the kernels off the cob, when I finally looked around me.

I saw everyone else eating corn with gusto!  Husks were being nonchalantly tossed to the middle of the table, and ear after ear was being devoured with no utensils or apparent concern for dental floss. Everyone was busy eating their corn type-writer style. It seemed that my future father-in-law had especially mastered this technique. He glanced at me for a moment, and smiled. I picked up my corn with two hands, started chomping away, and smiled back with a corn-toothed grin. It was then I learned the power of corn to bring people together.

2. Indiana Sweet Corn Can Be Eaten Raw

Before I tasted Indiana sweet corn, I used to only eat corn when it was slathered with butter and salt, or hidden under a mound of a mayonnaise/cheese/spices to make Mexican street corn. While I still adore the street corn at one of the numerous street fairs in NYC in the summertime, I enjoy eating Indiana sweet corn just as nature made it. If you’ve never eaten raw corn before, I recommend only doing so if the corn is as fresh as possible. We get our Indiana sweet corn from none other than Sweet Corn Charlie’s farm stand:

http://www.sweetcorncharlie.com/

And a quick quiz, for my fellow city slickers. How many ears of corn grow on a single stalk? (Scroll down to find the answer)

Indiana Sweet Corn Salad

This recipe is from Real Simple magazine

1 cup walnuts

4 cups fresh corn kernels: To cut the kernels off the cob, first cut it in half crosswise. Then, Place one half cut end down on a rimmed baking dish or shallow bowl. The rim will keep the kernels from falling all over the place. Use a sharp knife and cut as much of the kernel off as possible. Avoid cutting too close to the cob, or you will end up with tough pieces.

2 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool and roughly chop.

In a large bowl, combine the corn, jalapenos, lime juice, oil, walnuts, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspooon pepper. Sprinkle with feta before serving.

Quiz Answer: One! (sometimes 2)

You can enjoy this corn salad with some beer can chicken. These lovely ladies are organic Amish chicken from northern Indiana.

Beer Can Chicken


This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday. He suggested using frisee or escarole, but we had baby spinach and romaine–so we used that. We also substituted the suggested queso anejo for cotija cheese.

Serves 4

1 medium-large head (8 ounces) frisee or escarole, root end cut off, the remainder cut into 2-inch sections

2 medium-large (about 1 pound total) ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch (or smaller) cubes

2 medium avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/2 inch (or smaller) cubes

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (divided use)

1 pound skirt steak

salt

ground black pepper

2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press

1/4 cup beef broth or water

1 canned chipotle chile en adobo, seeds scraped out and finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

About 1/3 cup grated Mexican Queso anejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan

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Scoop the greens into a large bowl. Spread the tomatoes and avocados over the top.

Set a very large (12-inch) heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and measure in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle both sides of the skirt steak with salt and pepper. Lay it in the hot oil and cook until it’s about medium-rare, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. remove to a cooking rack set over a large plate–this keeps the juices in the meat rather than running out onto the plate.

Turn the heat under the skillet to low. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, until very fragrant. Then pour in the broth (or water) and stir to release any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet (the liquid will quickly come to a boil.) Turn off the heat and add the chile, along with the lime juice and the remaining 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt (usually 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon).

Cut the skirt steak into roughly 3-inch lengths, then cut each piece across the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Add to the bowl with the frisee. Pour the warm dressing over the frisee and toss to coat thoroughly–the greens will wilt slightly. Divide among four dinner plates or large salad bowls. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve right away.