Radish Slaw with Remoulade and Pistachios

Looking for a light, refreshing summer salad? This the answer to any steak or other rich, red meat dish that needs a zesty sidekick (though this also went very nicely with salmon).screen-shot-2017-06-03-at-8-57-20-pm-e1496538875297.pngWe made this originally to pair with our steak with corn salsa, and then quickly realized it went well with an assortment main meats.

Ingredients

Remoulade

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tbsp coarse grain mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of EVOO
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp minced chives
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp cornichons
  • 1/2 tsp liquid from canned chipotles in adobo sauce (optional but if you have the chipotles from the steak recipe then why not?)

—–

  • 1 large daikon radish, about 8 oz, peeled and dice
  • 1 bunch red radishes, sliced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • (optional but good if you’re repurposing leftovers) handful of mixed greens

Directions

  1. Place the egg in boiling water for 90 seconds using a slotted spoon.
  2. Take the egg out of the water, let it cool slightly. Tap the top of the egg to peel of the top of the shell and using a small tsp, carve out the egg from the shell (think of it as a flash soft boiled egg). Add to a food processor.
  3. Add the lemon juice, mustard, salt and the pepper and pulse or blend. With the motor running, add the olive oil until it is emulsified.
  4. Add the tomato paste, parsley, chives, capers, cornichons and the chili liquid and keep processing until well mixed.
  5. Separately, combine the radishes and celery in a large bowl. Add about 1/2 cup of the remoulade to coat completely and mix. (Save the remaining remoulade for seafood dishes or sandwich condiment. We still haven’t figure out what to do with our leftovers quite yet. Mainly because we forgot about it.)
  6. After mixing thoroughly, refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  7. Prior to serving, add the pistachios and mix.

Adapted from the Wine Lover’s Cookbook.

Beet and Chickpea Quinoa Salad

I used to live right above a Le Pain Quotidien and as it was one of the few restaurants in my neighborhood where I could just sit with my newspaper and eat my favorite soft boiled eggs.  They also had some light, rustic French fare that included this tasty quinoa salad.

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We try to pack our lunches during the week, and lately I’ve been making a lot of quinoa salads, but it felt time to mix up the type of quinoa salad.  I suddenly remembered this one, and it ended up also being a delicious brunch when set over some lightly dressed arugula and a side of avocado toast.

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Add some eggs and then you truly have a healthy but elaborate brunch. Bon Appetit!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 medium beet, chopped (I like to buy the precooked, prepeeled beets and just dice them)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas

If you’re serving this over an arugula salad… then also:

  • 2 cups arugula per serving

And if you want to add eggs…

  • 3-4 eggs/person

Directions

  1. Begin by preparing the Quinoa salad. In a medium bowl, mix the cooked quinoa, beet, parsley, and chickpeas. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until fully incorporated.
  2. If you’re serving over arugula, add arugula to your serving plates, and then add about a cup of the quinoa salad.
  3. If you also want to add eggs, heat olive oil on a medium sized skilled, crack your eggs into the skillet and cook for about 5-10 minutes until the whites are not runny anymore.  Serve on top of everything else!

Adapted from Le Pain Quotidien, Quinoa Taboule Salad Recipe.

 

Easy Feta and Roasted Tomato Salad

Light salads often feature as a first course in our more elaborate dinners on the weekends.  Oftentimes I know I want to make a green salad but am never sure what to throw into them.  The best salads, though, are often when you discover leftover bits and pieces in  your fridge, that when assembled look picture perfect.  This was one of those.

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I happened to have a bunch of roasted tomatoes leftover from a previous brunch, and so decided to throw them into this light salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 block of feta cheese
  • 5 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1/2 lb arugula
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut your tomatoes in half and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with foil with the flesh sides up.   Season with salt and pepper and oregano.  Bake for about 35 minutes or until the tomatoes look slightly browned.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. Cut the block of feta cheese into 2″ squares and set aside.
  4. Once the tomatoes are done, let them cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. Assemble the salad by placing the arugula in a shallow bowl, followed by an arrangement of feta and tomatoes to your taste.
  6. Serve immediately!

Herbed Farro Salad

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Farro is one of those wonderful ancient grains that is so satisfying it might just turn you into a vegetarian. I’m using an organic, whole-grain farro which I buy at nuts.com. You can also make this with a pearled version of farro. Since the cooking times are very different, follow the cooking instructions on the farro you buy. This salad is from Giada DeLaurentiis, slightly tweaked by me. It is a wonderful side dish to grilled fish or meat. If you add some cubed feta or Bulgarian cheese, it becomes a light meal in itself.

Herbed Farro Salad

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

1.5 cups of farro, cooked according to instructions on package

1.5 teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half if small or quarters if larger (If you can buy the small heirloom tomatoes, it makes for a very delicious and colorful salad.)

1/2 chopped sweet or red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1 bunch chopped flat-leaf parsley or a mixture of cilantro, parsley and mint (I used a mixture this time, but have made it with just parsley as well.)

1-2 cloves of minced garlic

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Fresh cracked black pepper or Aleppo Pepper to taste

about 1/4 cup EVOO

Directions

  1. Drain the farro and allow to cool to just warm.
  2. Add the tomatoes, onion, chive and parsley and mix through.
  3. In a jar or small bowl, mix together the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and EVOO and add to the farro salad. Toss to coat everything.

NOTE: This salad is best eaten at room temperature so if you make it ahead of time and refrigerate it, take it out 30 minutes before serving.

Cooking Farro: There are many different methods, but the following is how I cooked it.

For whole-grain organic farro, I used these directions:

Soak farro in water for 8 hours or overnight to reduce overall cooking time. To cook whole-grain farro on the stove top, combine 3 parts liquid to one part farro. Bring the farro to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook uncovered for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until the grain is tender. It is a bit of personal taste just how chewy you like your farro.

For pearled farro, use these directions:

Use 3 parts liquid to 1 part farro. Bring water or broth to a rolling boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the farro and let it cook for 20 minutes. For a chewy texture, cook for less time. For a mushy texture, cook longer.

Bread Salad My Way

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I could give up many foods without a great sense of loss, but carbs – particularly bread – is not one of them. When the weather gets hot, my husband and I eat a lot of salads for dinner. We eat salad all of the time but in the summer months, instead of salads being a side, they are the main event. What follows isn’t really a recipe; it is more a method. There are almost infinite ways to vary the ingredients, as long as you keep the overall balance of flavors and textures intact.

I’ve read recipes where you soak day-old bread in water and squeeze out all of the liquid. I tried making panzanella that way and frankly prefer the way I do it. Why soak the bread in water when it can absorb all of the wonderful juices from ripe tomatoes? You can use almost any kind of good rustic bread. I happen to have bought a sourdough boule, but I have used multi-grain or whole wheat farmer-style breads successfully as well. Take whatever bread you choose and cut it into 2-inch dice. Place the bread on a baking sheet in a cold oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. When the oven comes to temperature, turn it off, but leave the bread in there, with the oven door closed, for at least 20 minutes or overnight. That will form the base of your salad. How much bread you use is really up to you. A half boule can easily feed 4 people.

Several hours before you are ready to serve the salad, place the dried bread cubes in a large bowl. We have entered farmer’s market season so getting beautiful heirloom tomatoes should not be a problem. You want LOTS as well as the lovely little Persian cucumbers, although the seedless English cucumbers will also work. I like to have a thinly sliced onion – yellow, Vidalia or red – and pitted olives and capers. Start cutting up the vegetables and layering them over the bread cubes in the bowl. Once you have these basics, you can play around. I made my salad up to this point and added in a few of the additional vegetables I mention below, set it on my counter, covered, until about 45 minutes before I am ready to serve. My other ingredients and the dressing will go on about 30 to 45 minutes ahead of serving and I will toss the salad. Tonight, I am using marinated cooked shrimp, but some times I use grilled, diced chicken or thinly sliced salami and coppa or jamon. If you want to go vegetarian, just use a good diced cheese – like a fontina or a sharp provolone, cut into small cubes or large julienne.

You will want LOTS of fresh herbs – the more the merrier. I bought some beautiful garlic chives at the farmer’s market on Tuesday, so I am adding lots of that and an entire bunch of flat-leaf parsley. I really enjoy the slightly anise taste of fennel as well as the bright green crunch it provides, so I will add both sliced stems or bulb and the feathery ends that look like dill. If you are not a fan of fennel, you can get the same basic texture by using celery or even Napa cabbage. I have marinated artichoke hearts, but sometimes I will add roasted peppers instead. I hope that you are getting the idea here that you can tailor the salad to your personal tastes and what is fresh and available. The end result should be as attractive to the eye as it is to the palate.

As I mentioned above, about 30 to 45 minutes before I plan on serving, I add my protein and dressing and toss the salad. I like to make a garlicky vinaigrette with fennel seed and some Dijon mustard, but use whatever you like – just make it yourself. When I am ready to plate the salad, I have a bed of arugula which I also picked up at the farmer’s market and which I lightly dress with a bit of my homemade dressing and I pile the bread salad on top. You need nothing more than a glass of a crisp white or Rose and maybe some fresh melon and cherries for dessert. If I have any leftovers, I eat them for lunch the next day. The weather is perfect and our terrace is blooming so tonight we dine al fresco!

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Orange and Radish Salad

IMG_1473IMG_1473This salad was such a hit at the Seder that I am making it again in a much smaller quantity to accompany tonight’s Sockeye salmon. While I am making this for Passover, there is absolutely no reason that my salads can’t be eaten during the rest of the year – or at least throughout spring and summer. And, in fact, I am always preparing some salad or other since veggies and fruits make up a large part of our diet. This salad is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey and sounded wonderful so I gave it a try. For the Seder I made a much larger amount and used both the plain red radishes and daikon radish. I also used a couple of blood oranges in addition to navel since I happened to have them and they lent such a lovely color and unique taste. Tonight’s version only has the navels.

Orange and Radish Salad adapted from Madhur Jaffrey

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

2-3 navel oranges

1/4 packed cup radishes, thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Torn mint leaves, scattered

Drizzled glaceed balsamic vinegar (This is vinegar that has been reduced until it is almost a syrup. You can buy it in most grocery stores and is wonderful over strawberried served with basil.)

Directions

  1. Peel the oranges in such a way that you remove all of the white pith along with the skin. Slice off the “navel” and a slice off of the other end. Cut into circles about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and set aside.Arrange attractively on a large plate.
  2. Scatter the radishes over the oranges.
  3. Sprinkle the salt, cumin and pepper.
  4. Scatter with the mint and just before serving, drizzle with the glaceed basalmic vinegar.

Lentils du Puy and Potato Salad with Tarragon

lentils de puyThe beauty of Lentils du Puy is that they just never seem to get mushy, which is wonderful if you want to serve them in a salad where they are the star. This is a classic French salad and is wonderful eaten at room temperature. I’m serving lamb chops tonight and lamb and lentils are a wonderful marriage of taste and texture. I also make this salad when I am serving a summer dinner of lamb merguez sausage or any other flavorful sausage. All it needs is a green salad with some ripe tomatoes, a nice Dijon mustard and a crisp wine. Well, okay, I have already admitted that my husband and I are bread people, so I would also serve this with a crusty baguette.

Lentils du Puy and Potato Salad with Tarragon

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

1.5 cups Lentils du Puy or other green lentils

6-7 small potatoes like a red baby Bliss or Yukon Gold or a mixture

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1.5 teaspoons Kosher salt or to taste

1.5 teaspoons dried tarragon or 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon

6 Tablespoons EVOO

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

20 cracks of fresh black pepper

Directions

  1. Rinse your lentils in cold water and place in a medium pot with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. If you are using Lentils du Puy, cook uncovered for about 23 minutes, immediately drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Regular green lentils may only take about 18 minutes. You want them tender but still holding their shape.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, add all of the other ingredients except for the potatoes to a large serving bowl. When the lentils have cooked and been cooled and drained, add them to the bowl with everything else and mix through.
  3. Cook the potatoes uncovered, whole and in their skins until tender but firm – about 14 minutes, but check if a sharp knife easily pierces the potato and pulls out easily. Once cooked, immediately drain them and run under cold water to stop the cooking. The potatoes should easily peel. Cut into large dice and add to the lentils. Adjust your seasonings and enjoy.