Salads · Uncategorized

Arugula Salad with Apples & Walnuts

This is a nicely balanced salad, sweet enough to serve with brunch, but also great with a grilled chicken breast for dinner!

This will serve 4 as a side, or 2 as a main.

arugula salad

Arugula Salad with Apples & Walnuts

Dressing

3 Tablespoons plain unsweetened yogurt (homemade if you have it)

Juice from half a lemon

1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive oil

1 Tablespoon liquid honey

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Salad

2 cups baby arugula

3 cups leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

1 apple, cored and thinly sliced

1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted   See Cooks Notes below

1/4 cup dried cranberries

2 Tablespoons raw, unseasoned sunflower seeds

Whisk dressing ingredients together in large bowl.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add arugula. lettuce, apples and walnuts to dressing in bowl.  Gently toss to combine well.

Sprinkle toasted walnuts, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds over top.

Serve immediately.

COOKS NOTE – to toast walnuts,  heat in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally until beginning to brown and slightly fragrant.  Remove walnuts from pan immediately (so they don’t burn in the hot pan).  Set aside to cool before adding to salad.

Salads

Roasted Red Pepper and White Bean with Anchovy Dressing

 

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Don’t let the anchovies throw you off.  They add the ‘pop’ this dish needs to make it great.

This serves 4 for a light lunch 8 or as a starter salad.

Aside from tasting good, this salad is very pretty.  then scrape skins off using your fingers or a paring knife.   Plate individually for best effect, or  bring it to the table on a large flat plate and serve it family style.

Thanks to Martha Stewart for this one.

4 red bell peppers

2 oil packed anchovy fillets, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

1/4 cup flat leafed parsley, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (from 15 oz can or home cooked) drained and rinsed

2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan (optional)

1 cup arugula or mixed baby greens

Char bell peppers over the flames of a gas burner or bbq, using tongs to turn as skin blackens and blisters (about 10 minutes per pepper).  Alternatively, you can do this under the broiler, turning as skins blacken.  Transfer blackened peppers to medium bowl and cover the bowl with a plate.  Let stand until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, whisk anchovies, garlic, vinegar, oil and parsley in medium bowl to blend.  Add beans and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper and let stand while you finish preparing the peppers.

Remove charred skins from peppers, using your fingers or a paring knife.  Cut peppers in half, remove and discard stems and seeds.  Arrange on platter and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Spoon beans over top, and scatter arugula over top.  Sprinkle parmesan over top and serve.

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Salads

Oriental Cucumber Salad

This is a nice change from plain old cucumbers in a salad.   The tender skin on long english cukes means you can peel them or not.

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Oriental Cucumber Salad

 

3 Tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

3/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 tsp white pepper (optional)

1 long english cucumber, thinly sliced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1/4 red Serrano pepper, minced (optional)

Mix rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper together.  Set aside.

Toss the cucumber, scallion, cilantro and Serrano together in large bowl.   Pour rice vinegar mixture over top, toss well and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

It goes pretty well with Gochujang pork, but I am sure you will find tons of stuff to serve this with.

 

Chicken · Main Courses · Salads

Spinach Salad with Pan Seared Chicken Breast

Not too taxing in the cooking department and still tastes great.   There are lots of ways to dress this, but honestly, a simple drizzle of good olive oil is really all you need.  This is on the lighter side, but still satisfying.

This serves 2 as a main course.

Spinach Salad

For the Salad

2 bunches spinach,  washed well, dried,  & larger leaves torn and tough stems removed

small handful of arugula, torn (optional, but highly recommended!)

2 hard boiled eggs, quartered

2 tomatoes, quartered

2 radishes, quartered or sliced

1 green onion, white and green parts thinly sliced

3 – 4 white mushrooms, sliced

Chopped preserved lemon for garnish (optional)

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

The Chicken

1 Tablespoon canola oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

juice of half a lemon

salt

pepper

Heat oil in frying pan, over high heat until oil is shiny.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to frying pan and sear on both sides.  About 2 minutes per side.  Partially cover pan with lid and reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until chicken is cooked thru.  I like an internal temp of 155 – 160.  Remove chicken to plate, tent with foil and let rest until internal temp reaches 165,  about 10 minutes. (Yes, the temperature does increase after you take it off the heat)

Meanwhile, toss all the salad ingredients except olive oil to combine and arrange on 2 plates.

Slice chicken crosswise into 1/4 inch slices, and lay on top of prepared salad.

Drizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over each plate and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over top.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and serve.

COOKS NOTE – if using spinach from a bag, ALWAYS give it a wash.  Even though the package says it is washed and ready to use, the stuff in those bags can be loaded with bacteria!!

Salads · Sides · Uncategorized

Potato Salad

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No summer gathering in our family is complete without an enormous bowl of potato salad.  My Mom makes an excellent version, and my sister in law takes hers over the top with the addition of dill pickles and cheddar cheese.   There are as many versions of this salad as there are households in North America and every cook holds the title of Best Potato Salad in their respective households, sometimes even the neighbourhood!

It is a dish that smacks of summer, bbqs and gatherings of happy people.  When we lived in Canada, potato salad during winter months was unheard of in our house.   Now that we live  in the land of perpetual summer, I make this at any time of year.  It is my go to side whenever  a large group gathers  for a few laughs, a couple of drinks, and most likely, something from the grill.   If you happen to live in cooler climes, make it this weekend anyway.   It is a handy thing to have in the fridge as you run from one Christmas Craft Fair to the next.  And besides,  summer really is just around the corner.

The key to this dish is adding the dressing to fully cooled potatoes, so be sure to start well in advance of when you want to serve it.

 

Potato Salad

 

3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, cut 1″ pieces (bite size)

2 stalks celery, sliced thinly, crosswise

4 radishes, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced

6 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled  (chop 5 and slice 1)

1 1/4 cups mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in steamer basket over boiling water until fork tender.  Remove from basket and cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar stirring well to combine.

Once potatoes are cool, combine with celery, radishes, green onions and chopped eggs in a large bowl.   Pour mayonnaise mixture over top and stir gently to combine.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with slices of hard boiled egg and serve.    You can make this one day ahead and refrigerate, just be sure to let stand at room temperature for half an hour before serving.

 

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Salads

Carrot Slaw

Because there are always carrots in the house, right?

Carrot Slaw

Serves 4

4 carrots, peeled

3 Tablespoons mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

Raisins, optional

Grate the carrots into a bowl, using the large holes on a box grater.

Mix mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and sugar together in separate bowl.  Add to grated carrots and toss to combine well.  Add raisins if using.  Can be made 1 day in advance.