Strawberry Balsamic and Basil Salad Dressing Recipe

Dana took one look at the bright red bowl of salad dressing before looking up at me and asking, “What’s in it?”  She, like me, is an adventurous eater so I knew she wasn’t questioning whether she’d eat it – she just wanted to know what ‘it’ was.  I told her the ingredients.

Seems like there’s a whole lot going on.

It wasn’t exactly a rave review.  But I held out hope – and it was worth it.  Despite having a lot of ingredients, this really was a fantastic dressing and she agreed.

Strawberry Balsamic and Basil Salad Dressing Recipe Strawberry Basil Balsamic [Read more...]

Roasted Vegetable Spring Salad

The ‘secret’ to this salad is lightly roasting the vegetables; they are cooked just long enough to increase their natural sweetness yet not long enough to soften to mush.  The veg is still firm (especially when chilled) but has a near-noodle quality when served.

This salad is fairly acidic (it uses balsamic and lemon) and you may wish to lower the amount of acid that you use; but I wouldn’t!  Vinegar and beets are a natural combination (i.e. pickled beets) and this salad exploits their relationship.  The addition of lemon makes it light and spring-like yet the amount of root vegetables also makes this a salad you could eat as a meal.

Roasted Vegetable Spring Salad carrots beets Asparagus [Read more...]

A Simple Spicy Spring Salad

I used to avoid salad at all costs – I didn’t find it filling and didn’t think it could be a meal.  I’m still not entirely convinced that I’ll ever think of salad as a meal but I’m finding them to be more and more filling – and more and more interesting – all the time.

Salads like this are anything but boring:

A Simple Spicy Spring Salad salad hot sauce [Read more...]

Another Tip for Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing

I shared the best tip I’ve ever learned about making oil and vinegar salad dressing (specifically it was about when to add salt to the dressing) last year.  These things seem to go in cycles so it’s time for another simple tip.

I grew up learning that you used mustard emulisfy (which essential means to mix or blend) an oil and vinegar recipe in to a condensed (not separated) sauce.  I experimented with tahini to do the same thing last year and found that it was great as well!

Lately I’ve been using chevre (goat cheese) to emulsify my salad dressings.  I mix 1 tablespoon of salted wine vinegar with 3 tablespoons of oil and a tablespoon of chevre to make a base salad dressing.  From there you can add any ingredients (including jams, nuts and even honey) to extend the sauce.

How do you jazz up a simple salad dressing?

Butter Stuffed Mushrooms (Recipe)

These are divine – so fabulous that a friend who is a self-professed mushroom hater (I didn’t know that was possible either) refused to share his portion on New Years.

They’re also fantastically easy to make!

Butter Stuffed Mushrooms (Recipe) Mushroom Butter [Read more...]

Beet Salad (with Honey, Garlic and Leafy Greens)

Fall is a bit of a shoulder season when it comes to our kitchen; the changing weather beckons for soup one day and something lighter the next.  A steady stream of greens (some from greenhouses and some of the heartier greens that are still being harvested from the field) make salad a natural choice but other ingredients are scarce.

I love to make a lettuce and beet salad for lunch on the weekend.  I sometimes make it with bacon (like in this recipe) but you can skip that if that’s not your cup of lard!

Beet Salad (with Honey, Garlic and Leafy Greens) salad November lettuce beets Beet [Read more...]

Salsa Recipe (Best Ever)

Our last salsa recipe was for canning (preserving).  If you want to preserve salsa for winter, check it out – if you’re looking for something fresh to eat with dinner, try this one out.  You can mix and match ingredients but the real secret is the techniques of resting the ingredients with salt and cooking the tomato water into paste.  This will result in a super-tomato flavored salsa that isn’t liquidy and doesn’t need lime juice for acidity.

This salsa punches you with tomato.  It will not be ignored.  But it’s punch is packed with tomato love so don’t worry if you’re a lover and not a fighter.

Although I try to be humble with the recipes I share with you here, I’m beyond confident with these techniques and can’t recommend it enough.  It simply rocks.  It was so good that Dana ate the leftovers as if it was salad!

Salsa Recipe (Best Ever) Tomato salsa Onion Corn [Read more...]

Three Tips to the Easiest Salad Recipes

The purpose of this post is to teach you three simple trick to make a salad with the drop of a hat without needing to follow any instruction at all.  It’s a single tip that is so diverse and easy to use that I’m calling it the easiest salad recipes.  If you noticed the plural on the word ‘recipe,’ it was intended: this will work with almost anything you have on hand…

Three Tips to the Easiest Salad Recipes salad Olive Oil lettuce Lemon Kale [Read more...]

The Simplest Arugula Salad Recipe in the world

Arugula.  Olive Oil.  Lemon.  Parmesan.  Salt.

Delicious.

The Simplest Arugula Salad Recipe in the world Olive Oil Lemon arugala [Read more...]

Spring Lentil Salad Recipe

It’s almost the end of asparagus season; we’re trying to get as much as we can before it goes away for another year.  Having said that, we’ve had so much that we also don’t want to overdue it – so asparagus has transitioned from being the featured ingredient of our dinner to an accent.

This salad is eaten hot or cold and stores well in the fridge (I think it actually improves with time as the olive oil and acids have a chance to work their magic).  The acid also helps brown or green lentils stay crisp so this salad shouldn’t go to much on you!

Spring Lentil Salad Recipe Tomato Sherry Vinegar Lentil Asparagus [Read more...]