Tag Archive for Dijon mustard

Middle Eastern Salad

Middle Eastern Salad

As I mentioned in a very early post, I am half Middle Eastern. I am sure that is why I love garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and such. As many of you who frequent the mall food court know, Hovan makes a great side salad. Many years ago, I tried to recreate it and didn’t do a bad job at it if I do say so myself! It’s very easy to make it your own and add more or less of certain ingredients depending on your tastes.

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 15 minutes. Chill time: At least 30 minutes


For the Salad (these are ideas, use them all or just some):

Roma Tomatoes, Diced
Feta Cheese, Crumbled
Small or mini cucumbers, quartered
Parsley, chopped
Fresh mint, chopped
Red onion, sliced
Chick peas, drained
Kalamata Olives, drained

For the Dressing:

Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 T. Olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano

Preparing Middle Eastern Salad:

For the salad: Combine desired quantities of chosen ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

For the dressing: Combine all ingredients together in bowl and whisk together.

Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Middle Eastern Salad

Important Tips:

Most of the time, we will suggest adding “salt and pepper to taste”. However, with this dish, you need to remember that feta cheese and Kalamata olives are quite salty. If you want to add salt, do so after all of the flavors have blended together for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, you might ruin the dish.


You can certainly eat this as a side dish by itself. I chose to put it in some radicchio for lunch one day to make it more of a “lettuce based salad”. You can also add a piece of grilled chicken to it and some nicely crisp green lettuce if you like. You really can’t go wrong. Make it your own!

Middle Eastern Salad

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

I often make my own salad dressings. I like to make dressings that are light, not oily, and have lots of lemon and garlic. This lemon dijon vinaigrette goes with just about any main course since its flavors aren’t too overpowering.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min


1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. Dijon mustard
Pinch of Kosher salt

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Small wire whisk. My favorite one is from Pampered Chef.

Preparing Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a small wire whisk until blended.

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Meal Ideas:

I often serve this dressing over romaine lettuce and sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.

Got Leftovers?:

This is also a good chicken marinade!

Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette

asparagus recipe

I found this recipe 14 years ago in the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Vegetables book. I modified their version to remove the parsley and hard-boiled egg mostly for my personal preference and I also increased the red wine vinegar to make it more tangy. I never measure any of these ingredients but have attempted to give you some guidelines to help. Remember, a vinaigrette is about your flavor profile and what you like so make it your own.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time -10 min (plus soak time on asparagus if you have the time) Vinaigrette can be made well in advance; Cook Time – less than 5 minutes at the last second (perfect while your meat rests)


1 bunch of asparagus prepared (see How to Prepare Asparagus)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 T Dijon Mustard (either smooth or the grainy kind is fine, I like the grainy one)
2 green onions, finely chopped (whites and greens)
1 t salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper

How to Make Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette:

1. Mix all above ingredients (except asparagus and olive oil), then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the other ingredients to make the vinaigrette (and to make an emulsion so the oil and vinegar don’t separate). This can be done well in advance if desired.
2. Follow the steps to How to Prepare Asparagus. This too can be done well in advance too.
3. Remove the asparagus from its water bath and place in a skillet with about 1 cup of water (cover about 1/2 way up the asparagus). For a nicer presentation, keep the asparagus all going the same direction.
how to cook asparagus
4. When everything else you are cooking is done, turn the skillet with the asparagus and water on high.
5. Once the water is boiling (1-2 minutes), move the asparagus around until it has all turned a bright green.
6. Once it reaches that bright green color, I remove it. That is when it is crisp-perfect and won’t taste at all like that mushy stuff in a can. If you want to cook it a bit more, you can but not more than about 1-2 minutes.
7. Place on your serving platter and top with the vinaigrette.


Top with your favorite vinaigrette or just salt, pepper and olive oil