Asparagus Panzanella Salad
with Balsamic-Pesto Vinaigrette

 

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad:

1 loaf French bread, sliced

10 asparagus spears

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed with hot water 

1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles

 

For the Vinaigrette:

1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper 

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon basil pesto

 

DIRECTIONS

Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes. Spread onto a baking sheet and let dry overnight in a cool oven or for 1 hour at 150 degrees. Cut 1 inch off the asparagus stems and discard. Cut the remaining parts of the stems into 1 inch pieces. Place in boiling water for 2 minutes to blanch. Let cool. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Add the asparagus, tomatoes, basil, peas and onion. Toss to combine. To make the dressing, in a measuring cup combine the olive oil, vinegar, pesto, salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour over salad, toss and add the cheese. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving so that the flavors have a chance to combine and the oil and vinegar soaks into the bread.

 

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Mixed Greens & New Potato Salad
with Parsley Vinaigrette

 

 

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad:

2 cups mixed spring greens

2 cups arugula

1 small fennel bulb

3 radishes

10 baby new potatoes, boiled and chilled

1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

2 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled

 

For the Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS

Place mixed greens and arugula in a mixing bowl. Place all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Spoon two tablespoons over the greens and toss to combine. Place the remaining dressing and the greens in the refrigerator. 

Cut off the top and bottom off the fennel bulb and discard. Split the bulb in half and slice into small slivers or use a mandoline to make very thin slices. Do the same with the radishes and set aside.

Remove the salad greens from the refrigerator. Neatly pile into a serving bowl. Scatter the fennel and radishes over the top. Cut the potatoes in half and line the edges of the salad with the potatoes. Add the pecans, goat cheese and bacon. Serve with additional dressing on the side.

 

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Chinese Chicken Salad
with Peanut Vinaigrette
 

 

INGREDIENTS

2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced thin

2 cups shredded Napa cabbage

1 cup shredded red cabbage

1/4 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

3 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha

2 teaspoons grated ginger

chow mein noodles, for garnish

2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl combine the romaine and broccoli slaw. In a jar combine all of the remaining ingredients except for the chow mein noodles. Shake to combine. Add about half of the dressing to the slaw mixture and toss to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to let flavors of the dressing soak into the greens. When ready to serve,  mound the slaw mixture together in a large serving bowl. Top with the chicken. Drizzle the chicken with a little more of the dressing. Top with the chow mein noodles and orange segments.

 

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Primavera Pasta Salad

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound penne pasta, boiled and chilled

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper

1 cup sugar snap peas, blanched

1/2 cup fresh basil, loosely packed

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin

1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced thin

1/2 cup quartered artichokes

1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 cups baby spinach

 

DIRECTIONS

Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Cut the sugar snap peas into thirds and set aside. Stack the basil leaves and cut into strips. Add the snap peas, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichokes, mozzarella and pine nuts to the pasta. Carefully toss with tongs to evenly distribute the ingredients.

Refrigerate the salad for 30 minutes to 2 hours before serving. Serve over a bed of spinach leaves that have been divided between each serving plate.

 

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Mixed Green Cherry Salad
with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
 

 

INGREDIENTS 

2 cups fresh baby spinach

2 cups mixed spring greens

1 cup cherries, pitted and halved

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

2 radishes, sliced paper thin

1 cup walnuts, toasted

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

 

 

DIRECTIONS

Chop 1/4 cup of the cherries into fine pieces and place in a jar with the balsamic vinegar. Let soak overnight in the refrigerator. In a large serving bowl combine the spinach, mixed greens, 3/4 cup cherries, blue cheese, radishes and walnuts. Take the vinegar out of the refrigerator. Add the olive oil, black pepper, salt and mustard. Shake the jar until combined. Serve the vinaigrette with the salad. This salad pairs very well with grilled meats.

 

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Prosciutto & Melon Salad
with Cantaloupe Vinaigrette

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup diced cantaloupe

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup canola oil

Salt & pepper

1 bag of mixed baby lettuces

½ medium honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and cut into 6 slices

½ medium cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut into 6 slices

12 very thin slices prosciutto

fresh ground black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Add salt & pepper to taste. Divide greens between 4 salad plates. Wrap each melon slice with a slice of prosciutto. Place 3 wrapped melon slices on each plate. Drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon dressing and sprinkle with pepper. Serve remaining vinaigrette in a bowl on the table.

 

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Dandelion Greens & Avocado Salad with Polenta Croutons & Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette

 

INGREDIENTS

For the Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Croutons:

1 cup instant polenta

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

For the Salad:

1 bunch of dandelion greens

1 avocado, sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1/4 cup chopped pecans

20 mint leaves, finely chopped

Garnish, parmesan cheese shavings

 

DIRECTIONS

To make the dressing, whisk together first four ingredients in a bowl. Slowly add oil, still whisking, to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the croutons, in a saucepan heat milk and water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in polenta. When the mixture begins to thicken add the cheese and continue to stir. Spray an 8x8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Using a spatula, spread the polenta evenly across the bottom of the pan. Spray the spatula to smooth the polenta into a clean layer. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight. Carefully remove the polenta from the pan keeping it in one piece. Cut the polenta into small 1/2 inch squares. Heat oil in a sauté pan and cook the polenta cubes until they are toasted and brown.

To assemble the salad, place the dandelion greens in a large bowl and toss with three tablespoons of dressing. Spread the greens across a platter. Top with the avocado slices, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries and chopped pecans. Using a vegetable peeler, shave pieces of parmesan over the salad. Serve additional vinaigrette at the table.

 

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Purple Hull Pea & Grilled Corn Salad

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups raw, shelled purple hull peas

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups frozen corn, thawed

2 large tomatoes, seeded and small dice

1/2 cucumber, seeded and small dice

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS

Rinse peas in cold water in a colander. Pour stock into a large saucepan. Add peas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes until peas are tender. Drain and cool peas. Add the corn to a sauté pan with a small amount of oil. Sauté until golden and slightly charred. Cool completely. Add corn to cooled peas. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. 

 

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Red Cabbage and Carrot Slaw
with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

 

INGREDIENTS

For The Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

For the Slaw:

1/2 head red cabbage

2 carrots, peeled

2 apples

1/2 cup slivered almonds

 

DIRECTIONS

Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Using a food processor with the shredding attachment shred the red cabbage, carrots and apples. Pour enough of the vinaigrette over the slaw to moisten completely. Add the almonds and toss to combine. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. 

 

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Grilled Peach & Goat Cheese Salad
with Lemon Vinaigrette
 

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

2 peaches, halved, pitted and sliced

1/2 cup pecans

3 tablespoons honey, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 head of radicchio

1 bag mixed greens

1 cup grape tomatoes, split

1/4 cup Haute Goat peach goat cheese

For the vinaigrette:

1/4 cup fresh basil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

Toss the peaches in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of honey and olive oil. Heat a grill pan or cast iron skillet over high heat and place the slices in the pan. Lightly grill on both sides.

Using the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of honey, chili powder and pecans. Stir to combine and cook until lightly toasted. Remove and let cool. For the dressing, blend basil, lemon juice and mustard on high speed until completely smooth. With the motor running, add oil in a steady stream, blending until incorporated; season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble the salad, place a large radicchio leaf on each plate. Top with a handful of mixed greens, a few cherry tomatoes, some of the peaches, crumbled goat cheese and pecans. Drizzle with the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 to 6 salads.

 

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Modern Waldorf Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

 

INGREDIENTS

For the Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Salad:

2 cups mixed greens

1 large apple, cored and cut into wedges

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup apple juice

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 red onion, sliced

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

 

DIRECTIONS

 

To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, salt, pepper and oil in a jar and shaking vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust the tartness to your liking. To make the salad, heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the apples. Sauté lightly until they begin to soften. Add the apple juice, two teaspoons of honey, and cinnamon and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the apples from the pan and set aside in a bowl. Do not clean the pan. Immediately add the onions and remaining teaspoon of honey and sauté until soft and caramelized over low heat. Add a small amount of water if more moisture is needed in the pan. Remove the onions and place in the bowl with the apples. Add the pecans and toss to combine. Place the greens in a large bowl. Add two tablespoons of the dressing and toss to combine. Top with the onions, apples, pecans and blue cheese. Serve with remaining dressing at the table. Makes four salads.

 

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Smoked Salmon and Fennel-Endive Salad

 

INGREDIENTS

1 bulb of fennel

2 heads Belgian or Red endive

1/2 cucumber, slice thin

1 orange, segmented

4 ounce package of smoked salmon (sold at Brookshire’s at the seafood counter)

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

10 mint leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

Remove the stalks and fronds from the bulb of fennel. Reserve some of the stringy fronds and chop fine until you have two tablespoons of finely chopped fronds. Set aside. Discard the fennel stalks. Cut off the root end of the fennel bulb. Set the bulb upright and cut down the middle from top to bottom. Thinly slice the bulb.

(Use a mandoline for best results.) In a small bowl combine the mascarpone, mint leaves, fennel fronds, vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread the cheese mixture into the endive leaves. To arrange the salad scatter the fennel and cucumber slices over a large platter. Place the endive leaves around the edges of the platter. Roll the salmon slices and stand up right or lay flat on top of the cucumber and fennel slices. Garnish with cracked black pepper, orange segments and more of the fennel fronds. Serves 2 to 4 people.

 

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Baby Romaine & Radicchio Salad
with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
 

INGREDIENTS

For the Dressing:

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 blood oranges, juiced

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1 teaspoon mustard

Pinch of salt and black pepper

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

For the Salad:

1 small bag red and green leaf baby romaine

1 head radicchio

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

1 cup raspberries or sliced strawberries

3 red radishes, sliced thin

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine the vinegar, orange juice, agave nectar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.

Place the baby romaine in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Using tongs coat the romaine with vinaigrette.

Place 2 radicchio leaves on each plate. Top with the romaine and scatter the remaining ingredients over the top of the romaine. Serve the remaining dressing at the table. Makes 4 salads. 

 

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