Posts Tagged 'goat cheese'

Strawberry Fields Salad

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Strawberry Fields Salad

Whereas most people think of strawberries as desserts, these juicy berries can add a delicious sweetness to a savory dish. This fresh and bright salad has the perfect combination of tastes and textures. Each element of the combination … the sweetness from the fruit, tartness from the baby lettuces, saltiness from the cheese, and crunch from the nuts … compliments the others.

The blush wine vinaigrette is a homemade version of a popular store-bought dressing. Making homemade dressings is very simple since most dressings, like this one, use ingredients most people already have in their pantry. Don’t be surprised if you prefer homemade versions of dressings better than their grocery store counterparts. This one for example has a brighter flavor (thanks to the freshly squeezed lemon juice), has no preservatives or MSG, and costs so much less than the bottled original.

Add sliced chicken or a salmon filet and you have a complete meal.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Fields Salad

For the blush wine vinaigrette:
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
5 tbsp. canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
6 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
2/3 cup green or red grapes, halved
3 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the blush wine vinaigrette:
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly add the oil in a stream, whisking to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:
In a large salad bowl toss together the salad blend, strawberries, grapes, chives, almond slices, and crumbled goat cheese. Add the dressing to taste and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 appetizer or side salads.

Cooking Tip: Mix and match this colorful salad using your favorite ingredients. Try substituting spinach or dried cranberries. Goat cheese is also a nice substitute for the blue cheese.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler.

 

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Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad

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Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad 

This easy summer side dish is a great addition to any backyard barbecue. I like to make this colorful and chilled side dish ahead of time so I am free to enjoy time with my guests.

Enjoy!

Grilled Corn and Green Bean Salad

Vegetable oil, for the grates
4 large ears corn, shucked
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound green beans, trimmed, boiled until crisp-tender, and cooled
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (1/2 small onion)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Brush the corn with the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the corn on the grill. Close the lid and cook the corn, turning occasionally, until just tender and slightly charred on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the corn to a cutting board to cool.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to carefully slice the kernels off the cob; discard the cob. Place the kernels in a large bowl. Add the beans, tomatoes, and onion.

In a small bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and oil until well combined. Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss to coat. Add the goat cheese and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Tip: Blanching is a culinary term for cooking a vegetable until it is just crisp-tender. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the vegetable and cook until vibrant green and crisp-tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Do-Ahead: The vegetables and dressing can be prepped the night before. Toss all the ingredients together before serving.

Variation: Feta cheese would be a delicious substitute for the goat cheese in this salad.

From Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Food Styling by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by Justin Fox Burks

 

Mixed Lettuces with Strawberries, Red Grapes, and Almonds

This is of my favorite salads.  It has the perfect combination of tastes and textures. I could wax poetic about how each element of the combination … the sweetness from the fruit, tartness from the lettuces, saltiness from the cheese, and crunch from the nuts … compliments the others.  But I will spare you the rhetoric and just tell you in plain terms … it’s darn good!

The Blush Wine Vinaigrette is my homemade version of Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette.  When I was writing my cookbook Simply Salads, I took some of my favorite store-bought dressings and did my best to imitate them. At times my kitchen resembled a strange sort of vinegar and oil laboratory! Some attempts worked; others didn’t.  But I am proud to say that I may even like my homemade version of this dressing better than the original. It’s brighter in flavor (thanks to the freshly squeezed lemon juice), has no preservatives or MSG, and costs so much less than the bottled original.

Hope this becomes one of your favorite salad combos too!

Enjoy!

Mixed Lettuces with Strawberries, Red Grapes, and Almonds
From my cookbook Simply Salads

For the Blush Wine Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
1 bag (8 ounces) Mediterranean salad blend
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
2/3 cup red grapes, halved
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (preferably Maytag)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Blush Wine Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.  Slowly add the oil in a stream, whisking to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:

In a large salad bowl toss together the salad blend, strawberries, grapes, scallions, almond slices, and crumbled blue cheese. Add the dressing to taste and gently toss.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 appetizer or side salads.

Cooking Tip:  Mix and match this colorful salad using your favorite ingredients.  Try substituting spinach or using green grapes or dried cranberries. Goat cheese is also a nice substitute for the blue cheese.

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Candied Walnuts & Citrus Vinaigrette

Beets are one of those things that I used to always turn my nose up at.  Well…to be honest…that’s putting it mildly.  I’d say for the first thirty-something years of my life, they would have been listed at the top of my “Yuck!” list.  “Why would anyone want to eat those slimy canned red things that seemed to just languish on the salad bar?” was my sentiment.

Then one day…it all changed.

I was at my favorite NYC restaurant (Balthazar) and when my salad arrived, there were beets!  How I missed that on the description I have no idea.  I would have never ordered anything with beets!   

My friend laughed at me as I forked through the lettuce leaves like a picky toddler.  She dared me to eat a beet and, never one to turn down a food challenge, I took a bite. 

I am sure there was a look of shock on my face.  What I tasted was nothing like the beets I had eaten so long ago in my high school cafeteria.  These little red slices were sweet, earthy, and … surprisingly delicious. 

Since that fateful day, I have become a huge fan of fresh roasted beets.  (I still won’t touch the canned variety!) The simple process of roasting these little orbs brings out their almost candy-like sweetness.  Just wrap them in foil, pop them in the oven, and 45 minutes to an hour later…you have a delicious treat.

Give beets a try in this Roasted Beet Salad from my cookbook Simply Salads.  The orangey citrus vinaigrette complements the beet’s sweetness and the tangy goat cheese adds a nice contrast.

Enjoy!

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Candied Walnuts, and Citrus Vinaigrette

Makes 4 dinner salads or 6 appetizer salads   

Roasting beets brings out their natural sweet and earthy flavor. They will taste nothing like the canned beets that you find in the self serve salad bar.

For the Citrus Vinaigrette:

1/2 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

1/2 pound small to medium beets, stems trimmed and scrubbed
1 bag (5 ounces) Sweet Baby Greens salad blend
1 log (4 ounces) fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup candied walnuts 

For the Citrus Vinaigrette:

In small bowl whisk together the shallots, lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest, Dijon mustard, and oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil. Place the foil packet on a baking sheet and bake until the tip of a sharp knife easily slides through the beets, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool. Once cool enough to handle, use paper towels to peel the beets. Cut into quarters.

Divide the salad blend equally among the plates.  Top with the beets and then drizzle with the vinaigrette to taste.  Crumble the goat cheese on top and garnish with candied walnuts.


Jennifer Chandler

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