Tag Archives: Salads

“Jersey” Panzanella Salad

30 Sep

Why Jersey Panzanella? Because Jersey tomatoes are the best! We had such a great season this summer. I planted one red and one yellow heirloom pant; we are still getting tomatoes and tomorrow is October 1st! We were getting so many and in my search to make something new I came across an Insta post from my friend and fellow blogger Stacey Snacks (no, she is not the pita chip lady) of a beautiful panzanella salad. Perfect for a light dinner on a hot, summer night.

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And just to let you in on a little something, I don’t like tomatoes. I like tomato soup, ketchup and pasta sauce but not tomatoes. I only eat tomatoes, raw, in the summer that are grown here in New Jersey. And I happen to know that the chef at our favorite restaurant is the same way.

Now I know that you are supposed to use stale bread, but I wasn’t anticipating making this so I didn’t happen to have a stale loaf of bread around. I bought a nice loaf of rustic Italian bread from a local Italian bakery, cubed it and toasted it in the oven…it was perfect! As with many of my recipes, I searched several and then use what I like from two or three to get the recipe that I will like and here it is, simple and delicious!

Ingredients

1 Small loaf of Italian bread, cubed

1 Small red onion, thinly sliced

3 Medium tomatoes, diced

1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 Clove of garlic, minced

2 Tbs Red wine vinegar

1/3 Cup Olive oil

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp Sea salt

1/2 tsp Freshly ground pepper

Several leaves of fresh basil, torn into pieces and a few left whole for garnish.

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place cubes of bread on a baking sheet, bake for about 5 minutes and then toss and bake for another 5 minutes or so to make sure they are evenly toasted. I like them very crispy so they don’t get too soggy.

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For the onions, slice thinly and soak the slices in water with a teaspoon of vinegar for at least 30 minutes, this will ensure they are not too strong.

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In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, toasted bread cubes and basil.

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Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mined garlic, dijon mustard, salt and freshly ground pepper to make the dressing.

Pour the olive oil dressing over the vegetables and bread, stir to combine and coat well. You may want to adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil leaves.

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Peace and good eats!

Potato Salad, Blue Cheese Style!

27 Jun

With the 4th of July coming up next week, here is great twist on classic potato salad, the addition of blue cheese. I know not everyone loves blue cheese but for those of us that do, this is a real winner! Just as easy as the old stand by but with great flavor. Make sure you use a good quality blue cheese. And for the peas, I like to use fresh, but you can use frozen if you need to.

This potato salad goes particularly well with grilled steak and bbq chicken. It’s a family favorite at all of our summer get togethers. And for those who don’t care for blue cheese it’s easy to cook some extra potatoes and make the old classic; two are better than one.

Ingredients:

3 lbs new potatoes (I like to use the fingerling potatoes that come in the different colors)

1 1/2 cup peas

1 cup blue cheese

1/2 cup chopped scallions or green onions

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut potatoes into small chunks, boil in a large pot of water until desired tenderness. Add peas to boiling potatoes for the last 2 or 3 minutes then drain in colander and rinse with cold water.

Mix the blue cheese, mayo, sour cream, scallions, vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add potato and peas to wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Sprinkle some chopped scallions on top and it’s ready to serve!

Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!

 

Corn Salad with a Spicy Twist

2 Jul

With the 4th of July just 2 days away, I needed to try something new, I always love the standards like coleslaw and potato salad but like to add something different each year. As I was scrolling my Instagram I came across a beautiful photo of a corn salad with avocado posted by Bon Appetit Magazine and knew I had to try it! It has a Mexican flair with serrano chile, cilantro and lime juice…delicious! Corn Salad with Hot Honey Lime Dressing for the win!

Now, the recipe calls for grilling the corn but I wasn’t going to start the grill for 4 ears of corn (we only have a charcoal grill) so I pan roasted mine in the cast iron skillet, just as good as grilled.

Also, you may not want it to be too hot, spicy that is; I used a mildly hot yellow pepper from my garden instead of the serrano chile. It’s really up to your personal taste and what you think your friends and family like…you can always add more heat but you can’t take it away.

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Ingredients:

4 ears of corn, husked and kernels cut off

2 Tbs unsalted butter

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more

Freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbs fresh lime juice

2 Tbs honey

1 1/2 Sriracha

1 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 avocados, cut into bite size pieces

1 serrano chile, thinly sliced

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Directions:

Heat butter in cast iron skillet over medium heat, add corn kernels. Cook about 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. I let mine brown slightly. Remove from heat, let cool.

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While the corn cools, whisk lime juice, honey, Sriracha, garlic and 1 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl to combine. Add corn, avocados, serrano chile and cilantro to vinaigrette; toss gently. Season with salt and fresh pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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Enjoy! We had it with crab cakes but it would be a great addition to any BBQ.

*To make this dish vegan just cook the corn in vegetable oil.

Not just any Slaw, Apple Slaw!

12 Jun

I love a good slaw and this is something I may not have tried it if it wasn’t for my friend and fellow blogger Kimbrough Daniels. This is no ordinary slaw; no mayonnaise and no celery seed but there is apple, red onion, shallots and cilantro. It is light and refreshing with lots great flavor.

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My husband loved it and I knew he would, he loves anything with apples. And this is a great salad to take to a picnic because you don’t have to worry about the mayo getting bad!

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1 Tbs minced shallot

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

Slaw:

1 small head of cabbage, shredded

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 or 2 apples, julienned (Honey Crisp or Pink Lady)

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

In a jar with a lid combine all dressing ingredients. With lid tight, shake well until combined. Place all the slaw ingredients in a large bowl, pour dressing over slaw and toss  until the slaw is well coated. Chill for at least 30 minutes and enjoy!

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*My husband suggested using Granny Smith apples to make it more tart…I think I’ll give it a try next time I make it because I will be making it again!

Lettuce Not Forget….Boston Lettuce!

15 Jul

Hello Everyone-

Happy Summer!  It is friday night at about 5:30ish and I am sipping a delicious cocktail.  It is an absolutely gorgeous night here in suburban New Jersey. Tonight I am writing about a lovely salad that I recreated from a restaurant that we eat at quite regularly, a Boston lettuce salad with a lime vinaigrette.  I think that most people (not serious foodies of course) get stuck in ruts with lettuce-you know what I mean-romaine, leaf lettuce and as much as most of us hate to admit…iceberg.  But let’s face it iceberg adds great crunch factor and who can resist “The Wedge” with blue cheese and bacon!?  Well, I love Boston lettuce with its soft, delicate taste and creamy texture so here is a great recipe for a tasty salad that is great for summer.  Please keep in mind that this is made up by me basically, so use your judgement but I did my best in terms of measurements.

Boston Lettuce Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

1 Head cleaned Boston Lettuce Head-torn into small pieces

1/8 to 1/4 Cup Maytag Blue Cheese (use your judgement, some people love it, others not so much)

1 Ripe Avocado-chopped

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Juice from 1 Lime

Salt to taste

1/4 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard (or so)

Put lettuce, avocado and blue cheese into salad bowl (I am a big believer in wooden bowls for salad). Mix olive oil, lime juice, mustard and salt well with a fork-pour over salad and toss…So Good!!!  And for those who can eat roasted pine nuts-go for it-they add great flavor and texture. I hope you enjoy this refreshing salad as much as my husband and I do!

Summer Salads…Just in Time!

25 May
 Hello everyone! Well, Memorial Day weekend is upon us.  This is the start of the summer salad season; when family and friends ask me “oh, can you please bring that yummy coleslaw that you make?” or “love that blue cheese potato salad, think you bring that?”  and then of course there is the pasta salad, my personal favorite (and my mother-in-laws) that I am asked to repeat over the course of the entire summer season. The first few times I make them it is fun and exciting but after that the excitement dwindles, then one Saturday at the end of August when I have made these and other salads umpteen times, my husband comes in the kitchen, asks for a taste and tells me how good it is….and then I am happy to be making them again! I am going to share these recipes with you now. They are classics with a bit of creativity.
Summer Salad Ingredients…
 

Before I start with the recipes I just want to share a bit of wisdom, perhaps many of you know this already but only learned this recently.  When making these types of salads with a mayonnaise base, mix the wet ingredients together first with the salt and pepper, herbs, etc to make the dressing, then add to the potatoes,  cabbage, pasta or whatever else.  It sounds so simple and makes a big difference…I wish I had figured this out sooner!

First, I am sharing my coleslaw recipe that is a big winner-it has herbs that give a nice fresh taste but still has that classic “slaw” taste.

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3/4 Cup Mayonnaise

3/4 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 Cup White Vinegar

1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley-finely chopped

2 Tbls Fresh Dill, finely chopped

1/4 Cup Chives, finely chopped

1 Tbls Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Green Cabbage-outer leaves removed, finely chopped

Mix all ingedients except cabbage in a large bowl, stir well to combine. Add cabbage and toss until evenly dressed….let sit about 30 minutes and ENJOY!

BLUE CHEESE POTATO SALAD

1 Cup Chopped Green Onion-green parts only

3/4  Cup Sour Cream

3/4 Cup Mayonnaise

1/4 Cup White Vinegar

4 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp Sugar

Salt & Pepper

3 lbs Potatoes-I like good old Idaho potatoes but  you can certainly use red skin

1 Cup Frozen Peas-cooked for 4 minutes

3/4 Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese

Cook potatoes until done. Mix all ingredients except potatoes in a large bowl until combined.  Add the potatoes until well dressed, let sit for at least 30 minutes… ENJOY!

TORTELLINI PASTA SALAD

1 1lb Box Rotini Pasta (or whatever your favorite shape is)

1 14 oz Bag Frozen Tortellini

1 9oz Bottle Kens Italian Dressing and Marinade (it is the best!)

1 Cup Chopped Baby Spinach

1 Can Quartered Artichoke Hearts

1/4 Cup Chopped Red or Vidalia Onion

Cook pasta according package directions and the tortellini. I usually cook the pasta and add the tortellini in with it when there is 4 minutes to go. You can do this if you use the tortellini that cooks for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and let cool.   Put the pasta and tortellini in a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients, combine well and ENJOY!

I hope you, your family and friends love these recipes as much as mine.  Have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend and remember why we are celebrating-to honor those soldiers who have died for our great country.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
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