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avocado_salad
Based on a recipe from Regina Rae (q.v. for detailed instructions on sectioning the grapefruit; see also my youtube video howto):

  • 2 red grapefruit, sectioned
  • 3 avocados, coarsely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • forkful of mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground white pepper to taste

Make dressing by squeezing lime into a measuring cup, and whisking in a little mustard with a fork. Add garlic and white pepper, then add an equal amount of olive oil. Whisk to mix (the mustard will act as an emulsifier to hold the dressing together).

Section the grapefruit and place the slices in a small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sections from the juice and place into a larger bowl to mix the salad. Peel & coarsely chop the avocados and toss with the grapefruit juice to retard browning, then add to the grapefruit and toss gently with the dressing.

This dressing is also good with tomatoes and avocados (3 avocados, 1 pint of campari tomatoes, quartered):
Tomato-avocado salad

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I used all that pretty fresh spinach from the P.H.E.L.P.S. mk1 to make this tuna and white bean salad based on a recipe from Donna Hay’s New Food Fast. She uses lime juice in place of the rice vinegar for the dressing (I would have too, but I was out of limes–the rice vinegar added a nice sweetness, so I’ll probably do it this way again).

Serves 2:

  • fresh spinach
  • grape tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans tuna in olive oil (Use the good stuff, and do not under any circumstances be tempted to use tuna in water. The less said about that abomination the better.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs rive vinegar or lime juice
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper to taste (I like fresh white pepper; YMMV)

Arrange spinach on two plates. Top with tomatoes, cucumbers, tuna, and white beans. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top. Mix Vinegar (or lime) with olive oil and pepper; drizzle over salads.

This is based on a recipe from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table. I used frozen peas instead of fresh lady peas (it’s winter, so sue me!), and used steak instead of tuna.

I cooked the steak like the “Steak & Frites” from Everybody Eats Well in Belgium (basically, pan fried in butter) with a tip from Cook’s Illustrated: heat thick steaks in a 275F oven for 20 mins so they cook more evenly.

    • 2 cups (10 oz package) frozen tiny peas
    • 4 ribs celery, chopped
    • 2 shallots, finely chopped
    • 1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and diced
    • 2 Tbs olive oil
    • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
    • Freshly ground white pepper
    • 2 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp salt (or a little more, to taste)

 

Lightly peas so that they are soft and bright green, but not mushy. Then rinse in cold water to cool and prevent over cooking. Combine with other ingredients, and adjust salt to taste.

  • 1 large bunch fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle hot pepper sauce
  • 2 NY strip steaks
  • 8 ounces mixed baby greens
  • 1 12-ounce container marinated small fresh mozzarella balls, drained
While steak heats, combine parsley, oregano, and garlic in processor; blend 10 seconds. Add 1/2 cup oil, vinegar, and hot pepper sauce; blend until almost smooth. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook steak over a hot grill or pan sear over high heat until done to your taste.
Thinly slice steak and serve over salad greens with mozzarella balls and chimichurri dressing.

I’ve only had a very few outstanding sandwiches in my life–the Vietnamese grilled pork on baguette at Pho Que Huong on Green Springs, and the Cuban steak sandwich from Little Miami in Lake City, Florida–and this is one of them. The combination of fresh bread, salad, yogurt, feta, and meat is sublime. As an added bonus, the leftover spread can be thinned with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and some lemon juice to make a great salad dressing for the remaining romaine and feta.

For the spread:

  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)
  • 3 heaping Tbs Greek-style yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the sandwich:

  • 4 pita breads
  • 4 large leaves romaine lettuce, torn in half
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, coarse chiffonade
  • Sliced meat (we used steak, but grilled pork would also be good)

Combine all spread ingredients in a small mixing bowl, and mix with a fork. In each pita, put a schmear of spread, then add a couple of slices of meat, some cucumber, mint, and a lettuce leaf. Yum! (I’ve read that a couple of slices of tomato and red onion make a fine vegetarian version, but haven’t confirmed.)