Gifts For All Occasions!

Foodie Blogroll

Gifts for the Gourmand.

Archive for the ‘Salad/Salad Dressing’ Category

Lentil Salad

I will admit that I had not been a big fan of lentils in the past. I’m not sure why however let it be said that that has changed. This recipe is my version of one purloined from one of my recent demonstration events. I’ve tried to use as many organic items as possible and in this case instead of making my own dressing I used a store bought Organic Lemon/Sesame/Ginger Vinaigrette I’ve provided a link for ten recipes that can be used.

You will need:

¼ cup French Green Lentils
¼ cup Organic Red Lentils
¼ cup Organic Brown Lentils
½ small red onion, finely diced
½ medium cucumber, finely diced
¼ cup finely diced carrot
¼ Lemon Ginger Sesame Dressing

Preparing lentils can be tricky you want to make sure they are cooked enough yet not overcooked to make them mushy a little “al dente” goes a long way here. The lentils I used a small so I soaked them overnight and cooked them for about five minutes. They have a little crunch which works. When I talk about finely diced I mean no larger than the lentils you use. The rest is simple just combine everything and enjoy.

Apple/Pear Slaw

Summer is just around the corner, picnics and barbeques are already going strong. Here is a light, easy to prepare slaw that will liven up any gathering. This recipe will make enough for 4 people.

You will need:

Apple — one/4 servings, use a sweet variety I used Pink Lady.
Pear — one/4 servings, make sure it’s ripe I used a Bosch for this version.
Lime Juice — one medium/4 servings should be enough
Habanero Pepper — one small/4 servings.
Fresh Mint Leaves — approx. 1/4 cup/4 servings
Kiwi — 2 small/4 servings
Onion — 1 TBSP/4 servings very finely diced, use a sweet variety such as Walla Walla or Vidalia as an alternative you can use a red onion.
Olive Oil — approx. 1 TBSP/4 servings
Sea Salt — just a pinch or two

Use a bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients. Cut all of the fruit into 1/8 inch sticks, roll all of the mint into a log and finely chiffonade. Finely dice the habanero pepper and onion. Add the olive oil, salt and mint to the bowl mix well, add the lime juice and stir once more. Add the apple, pear, onion and pepper stir all to combine. This slaw is best if you let all of the flavors marinate for an hour or so then Enjoy!

Pea/Cheddar Salad

Summer will soon be upon us and you know what that means, barbeques and picnics. Here is a quick salad that I’m sure you and your friends will enjoy all season long.

You will need:

Baby Sweet Peas — 1 LB – frozen is good make sure they are baby which are smaller in size but also tend to be sweeter.
Sweet Onion — Half of a medium size (about ½ cup) use Walla Walla, Vidalia or other sweet variety – fine dice.
Celery — two or three ribs (about &#189 cup) fine dice.
Cheddar Cheese — finely grated to equal the volume of the peas, approximately 1 cup
Sour Cream — ½ cup
Mayonaise — ½ cup
Apple Cider Vinegar — two TBSP – you can add more or use less depending one your taste for the rich tart flavor of a good apple cider vinegar.
Sea Salt/Pepper — to taste.
Bacon — thick cut, cooked then finely diced, can be left out if you want a vegetarian version.

In a bowl large enough to hold ingredients mix mayonaise, sour cream, vinegar, salt and pepper whisk to combine, taste and adjust as needed. The final product should be loose enough to pour over the peas if it is too thick just add a little water to adjust. In another bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients combine peas, celery and onion stir to combine. Pour the sour cream/mayo/vinegar mixture over the peas combination and stir to combine. Taste once more and adjust salt/pepper if needed then add bacon bits and stir once more. Enjoy!

Cabbage/Peppadew Slaw

What do you make when you have about a half head of Savoy cabbage, not enough for a whole meal, some Peppadew peppers again not enough for anything substantial? Well you make this recipe.

I like using savoy cabbage in recipes since there isn’t as much liquid in it as there is in the good old fashioned head you are used to, so if you don’t have the savoy the only thing you need to do before putting this together is to put the shredded cabbage into a strainer/colander placed over a bowl, toss it with a good handful of salt so that any excess moisture wicks out. Rinse the cabbage before adding it to this slaw, don’t worry it doesn’t absorb any salt. This recipe will serve at least 4 people.

You will need:

Savoy Cabbage — one half head, shredded
Peppadew Peppers — two or three medium sized, finely sliced/diced
Carrots — One medium sized, shredded
Mayonnaise — 1/4 cup
White Vinegar — 1 TBSP
Sea Salt/Pepper — to taste

In a bowl large enough to hold all of the ingredients place cabbage, peppers and carrots, toss or stir to combine. Add mayonaise, vinegar, salt and pepper then stir to combine completely. I think you’ll like the combination of flavors this slaw has to offer. Enjoy!

German Style Potato Salad

Every once in a while I dig into my past with thoughts of things I haven’t made in some time. Today was one of those days. I had some leftover cooked potatoes which I decided to use for a breakfast plate which reminded me of one of my favorite potato salads. As I have been known to remake old favorites I think this effort is well worth a try.

There are two things that made sense to change, one is the type of potato the other how they are cooked. Back in the day I used good ole red potatoes which I boiled for use in the salad, this time I chose to steam some Yukon Gold for this recipe. Steaming provides a great texture and retains some of the moisture normally lost when they are boiled.

You will need:

Potatoes — one pound small to medium sized Yukon Gold
Bacon — quarter pound, thick cut, diced. Try to get bacon that has a lot of fat since you will need the rendering for the sauce.
Vinegar — two or three TBSP
Sugar — two or three TBSP, white. You might need more to adjust the taste.
Pepper — fresh ground, to taste.

Whether you use a steam basket or colander over a pot really doesn’t matter just be sure that you steam the potatoes in a single layer if there isn’t enough room you can steam them in batches. You can tell that they are done when a sharp knife goes into the flesh easily.

While the potatoes steam put the bacon into a sauce pot large enough to hold it and the vinegar with room to spare. Cook the bacon until crisp, remove it from the fat with a slotted spoon, reserve. Add one TBSP of sugar to the hot fat stirring to combine, carefully add one TBSP of vinegar then repeat with the remaining sugar and vinegar tasting as you go along to get the sweet/sour combination you desire. Keep the sauce warm while you carefully remove the skin from the cooked potatoes, dice them into about 1/2″ cubes. Place them into a bowl with the cooked bacon and then dress with the bacon/vinegar/sugar mixture. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Egg/Olive Salate

I’ve always loved a good egg salad either in a sandwich or as a stuffing for fresh tomatoes. I also love the taste of a good salty olive whether as a stand alone item or in a tapenade. I wanted to see if a combination of the two would work out to become a new favorite and since I had all the ingredients that I thought to use I began creating this rather tasty dish.

This recipe makes one good size sandwich or will stuff two medium tomatoes and it’s scalable up to any quantity you want.

You will need:
Eggs – two/serving – hard boiled.
Sicilian Olives – approximately 10/serving – finely diced, you can substitute other small to medium sized olives however the Sicilian style packed in oil adds a little kick.
Red Onion – approximately 1 TBSP/serving – finely diced
Yellow Mustard – approximately 1 TBSP/serving
Mayonaise – approximately 3 TBSP/serving – I use Hellman’s or Best Brand – you can use homemade of course
Sea Salt/Pepper – to taste – or if you are adventurous use one anchovy filet mashed.
Sun Dried Tomato – approximately 3/serving – dry packed works best but those packed in oil can be used just wipe off any excess oil –

In a pot large enough to hold the eggs without crowding fill with cold water to about 1 inch above the eggs cook at medium high for 20 minutes. I’ve found that this method of making hard boiled eggs works perfectly every time, you won’t get that ugly green circle around the yolk.

When the eggs are cooked immediately drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs. Drain the eggs and shake the pot to slightly crack the eggs, refill with cold water and let stand until they are completely cooled. Meanwhile dice the onion and tomato and if using mash the anchovy and combine. Chop the eggs into about 1/4 inch dice and add to the onion/tomato mixture add the mustard and mayonaise then season with pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Potato/Asparagus Salad – German Style

The other day I was in the mood for my mom’s famous, well at least in our household, German Potato Salad, I had all of the elements needed in my larder so I started to heat up the stove. I wanted to try to change it up a bit but didn’t know how to improve on her dish. I scoured the cooler and freezer and came upon some blanched asparagus waiting to be used in some dish or another. I decided to add them to the salad and away I went.

You will need:

Red Potatoes – approximately 1/2 pound/ serving.
Asparagus Spears – approximately 1/8 pound/serving.
Bacon – approximately 1/4 pound/serving. I had a little pancetta left so I added that to thick cut bacon. You can use just the thick cut bacon the flavor shouldn’t change all that much.
White Vinegar – approximately 1/8 cup/serving.
Sugar – approximately 1 TBSP/serving
Crushed Pepper – to taste.
Sea Salt – just enough to adjust the taste since the bacon you use might have enough.
Flour – approximately 1 tsp/serving.

Put the potatoes in a stock pot large enough to hold all. Add enough water to cover, bring to a boil and cook until they are easily pierced with a knife. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool completely. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle peel skin from each and cut into bite size pieces. In a pan large enough to hold all of the asparagus add water and bring to a boil. Blanch the asparagus until just tender and put in a cold water bath to stop the cooking process. Place the potatoes and asparagus in a bowl large enough to hold the combination. Dice the bacon/pancetta and put in a sauce pan. Cook the bacon until crisp, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the sugar and flour to the bacon drippings stirring to combine, add the vinegar and cook until the sauce thickens. Toss the vegetables with the bacon/vinegar dressing and serve. This salad can be served either hot or at room temperature. I wouldn’t serve it cold as the sauce might get too much. Enjoy!

Brussel Sprout Salad

If you are one of the many people that tend to turn your nose up when you hear the word Brussel Sprout take head. This simple, yet delicious salad will change your mind.

You will need:

Brussel Sprouts – quantity depends on how much salad you desire to make. I used about a pound for this recipe.
Sun Dried Tomato – approximately 1/4 cup/pound of sprouts.
Pecan Pieces – approximately 1/4 cup/pound of sprouts.Lemon Juice – approximately 1 TBSP
Sea Salt/Pepper – to taste.
Red Wine Vinegar – approximately 2 TBSP.
Olive Oil – approximately 6 TBSP.
Sugar – approximately 1 tsp.

The best way to shred the sprouts is with a mandoline or food processor fitted with a slicing blade, however, you can use a very sharp knife and thinly slice the sprouts. Cut the bottom off the sprouts and remove any dark outside leaves, they tend to get bitter. Put the sprouts, tomato, pecans, vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper in a non reactive bowl and toss well. The salad goes well with just about anything.

Great Chef Resource Books
Take this quick quiz, it’s fun.
Hard to find tomatoes.
More great recipes.