Posts Tagged 'salad'

Strawberry Fields Salad

strawberry fields salad5558

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.

 

Advertisements

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

IMG_9464

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

Oh my!  You are gonna love this sweet potato salad. Colorful, tasty, and filling.

I created it from memory based on a dish my friend Lucia had made a couple of years ago as a side.  I served it over a bed over lettuce to give it a little more dimension.  For variations, I think you could sub chopped pecans for the pine nuts or scallions for the red onions.  To add more protein, I think drained black beans would be a tasty addition too!

Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dried Cranberries & Pine Nuts

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 or 4 medium), peeled and cut into small 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste. On a baking sheet, even spread the potatoes in a single layer. Bake until the potatoes are cooked but still firm, about 30 to 35 minutes. Refrigerate to cool.

Place the cooled sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the red onion, cranberries, and pine nuts and toss to combine. Add the lime juice and fresh cilantro and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of lettuce as a main or as a side salad.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: I like to line my baking sheets with parchment paper. The paper liner prevents sticking and helps make clean-up easier.

Variation: Chopped pecans would be a tasty substitute for the pine nuts.

Vegetarian & Vegan

Cashew Noodle Salad with Miso-Ginger Grilled Tofu Skewers

Cashew Noodle Salad with Miso-Ginger Tofu Skewers

I am a huge fan of the Cashew Noodle Salad at Whole Foods.  It is super delish.  That said, I think this homemade version is even better!

When I was writing my cookbook Simply Grilling, I asked my friend Justin Fox Burks (who was also my photographer for the book as well as author of the fabulous food blog www.theChubbyVegetarian.com) for a tofu recipe.  I knew tofu was tasty when grilled but I don’t have much experience cooking with it. Since Justin is my go-to guy for all things vegetarian, I knew he would have a great recipe for me. Little did I know, I would actually be getting two great recipes in one!

Let’s start with the Tofu.

Tofu on its own tends to be pretty bland.  Justin recommended that I marinate it in something very flavorful … like the Miso-Ginger marinade in this recipe. Other than the red miso paste and mirin, all the ingredients were items I already had on hand.  Luckily the miso and the mirin have a good shelf life, so I was able to find other uses for these Asian ingredients.  (Eggplant is excellent when marinated in miso by the way! There is a recipe for it in Simply Grilling.) A plus for this recipe, the marinade gets a second life as a sauce to brush over the cooked tofu. Nothing goes to waste.

Justin also passed along an invaluable tip about grilling and searing tofu … Lightly dusting tofu in cornstarch prevents it from sticking.  Worked like a charm!

Oh … and be sure to get the extra-firm tofu when grilling it.  Otherwise it will fall apart on the grill.

Now for part two of the recipe … the Cashew Noodle Salad.

As I mentioned before, I am a huge fan of the version at Whole Foods.  It’s a meal in itself or a tasty side. I had heard about Justin’s homemade version from friends, and was thrilled when I saw it in this recipe. It couldn’t be an easier to make and I think his version has more flavor and kick. (Must be that Sambal chili paste!) If it isn’t devoured right after making it, it does last for a several days in the fridge.

So, my first “Meatless Monday” recipe is really a two-for-one deal!  Make them together or separately.  But be sure to give them a try!

Enjoy!

Cashew Noodle Salad with Miso-Ginger Tofu Skewers

From Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

For the Cashew Noodle Salad:
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sambal chili paste
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 pound spaghetti or soba noodles, cooked per package directions and cooled

For the Miso-Ginger Tofu Skewers:
1 tablespoon red miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2  tablespoons water
Dash of sriracha
1 block (14-ounce) extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
Vegetable oil, for the grates
Skewers (if using bamboo, soak in water for 30 minutes)
Corn starch, for dusting

To make the Cashew Noodle Salad: Place the cashews, soy sauce, sambal, sesame oil, mirin, rice vinegar, and garlic into a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Place the noodles in a large bowl. Add the cashew sauce and sliced scallions. Toss to until well coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the Miso-Ginger Tofu Skewers: In a shallow nonreactive dish just large enough to hold the tofu in a single layer, stir together the miso paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, mirin, ginger, garlic, sugar, water, and sriracha. Place the tofu in the marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and marinate for at least an hour or as long as overnight.

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

Remove the tofu from the marinade. Shake off the excess and pat dry. Thread the tofu onto the skewers. Lightly dust with the cornstarch.

Strain the marinade and place into a small pot over medium-high heat to reduce.

Allow mixture to reduce by half or until slightly thickened.

Place the tofu on the grill. Close the lid and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes on the first side. Turn over and lightly brush with the reduced marinade. Cook an additional 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and brush again with the marinade.

To serve, place the tofu skewers on top of the cashew noodle salad.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tip: Lightly dusting the tofu skewers on both sides with corn starch will help prevent sticking and allow the reduced marinade to cling to the tofu.

Food Fact: Miso paste is a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans. There are two main varieties available: Red (aka) or White (shiro). Look for it in the Asian foods or refrigerator sections of your local market.

Do-Ahead: The cashew noodle salad will last up to a week covered and refrigerated. In fact, it is one of those dishes that some say tastes even better the second day.

Vegetarian and Vegan.

The photo was taken by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

 

Have a surplus of summer squash?

Zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant have thrived in my veggie garden this summer. I keep looking for new ways to enjoy my garden’s bounty! This salad is one of my favorite.

This is a quick and  easy vegetarian salad you can make with grilled summer squashes.

The base of the salad is quinoa. It you are not familiar with it, quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free grain that cooks much like rice and has a texture similar to couscous. It makes a delicious and healthy base for a salad.

Enjoy!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Vegetable oil, for the grill basket or screen
1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups quinoa, cooked per package directions
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup finely shopped fresh cilantro

Preheat a clean grill with a grill basket or screen to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Light brush the grill basket or screen with oil.

In a large bowl toss together the red onion, eggplant, red bell pepper, zucchini, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the vegetables to the grill basket. Close the lid and cook, turning once or twice, until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Place the prepared quinoa in a large bowl.  Add the grilled vegetables and toss to combine.

In a small bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm or chilled.

Serves 4.

Do-Ahead: The quinoa can be made a day ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Grill Pan Friendly: The veggies can be grilled indoors on a grill pan.

Source: Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Watermelon and Arugula Salad

I don’t think any fruit says summer and back-yard barbecues like watermelon. I love, my kids love it … a juicy, refreshing slice of watermelon is just hands-down a quintessential favorite.

Most people only think of serving watermelons sliced  … but one of my favorite ways to enjoy this juicy treat is in a salad.  I just love the whole “savory versus sweet” thing that goes on when you match ripe, sweet fruits with savory ingredients.

For this salad, I toss watermelon with spicy arugula. I find that a flavorful green like arugula provides a great contrast to the sweet fruit.  (Spinach would be a good substitute if you can’t find arugula.)

In the South, we like to salt our watermelon slices. (Don’t make a face if you haven’t tried it!) The piquancy of the salt actually enhances the melon’s sweetness.  To get that same experience in this salad, I add crumbled Feta cheese.  This salty cheese works the same way Kosher salt would on a cold slice of watermelon. Yum!

So for the next time you buy a watermelon … think salad rather than slices.

Enjoy!

Watermelon and Arugula Salad
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
1 small watermelon, seeded, rind removed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 package (5 ounces) Baby Arugula salad blend
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

For the vinaigrette:

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and red wine vinegar.  Slowly add the oil in a steady stream, whisking to emulsify.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:

In a large salad bowl toss the salad blend, watermelon, feta cheese, and pine nuts. Add the vinaigrette to taste and gently toss.

Makes 6 appetizer or side salads.

Tip:  Add fresh mint leaves for an interesting zing to this refreshing salad.


Jennifer Chandler

Search Recipes by Category

Learn more with the Simply Grilling cookbook

Learn more with the Simply Salads cookbook

Follow me!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 157 other followers

Twitter Updates