Archive for Salads

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad

Feta Cheese Salad is another recipe from Olives, Lemon and Za’atar. This is definitely a dish that is right up my alley! It’s a great compliment to any piece of chicken or lamb. Lay off the onions if you don’t like them…it won’t mess too much with the overall flavor of the dish. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min.

Ingredients:

1 pound of feta cheese, cut into 1/2 in. cubes (please splurge on GOOD feta for this)

8 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 c. fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons or to taste

Sea salt to taste

1 smal red onion, sliced into thin rings, optional

Preparing Feta Cheese Salad:

In a medium serving bowl, combine the feta and tomatoes with oregano and red pepper flakes. Stir in oil, lemon juice and salt. Gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust the lemon juice, oil and salt to taste. 

Feta Cheese Salad

Important Tips:

If you are buying crumbled feta in a plastic container, make another dish. In order for this to be as good as it is supposed to be, you really need some GOOD QUALITY feta! It’s worth it. I promise. 

Meal Ideas:

The options for feta cheese salad are endless. A few of my favorite ideas are 1) as a side dish to chicken kabobs 2) in a piece of warm pita bread 3) over lettuce to make a more “traditional” salad and topped with chicken kabobs…this is actually the best way, in my opinion!

 

Kale Citrus Salad

For the holidays, I typically make a salad that has craisins, glazed pecans and feta cheese with a champagne vinaigrette. This year, however, I wanted to do something different. I found this recipe in the Thanksgiving 2014 issue of Southern Living and thought I’d give it a try. I thought it was fantastic, but I love every ingredient in this salad. If you aren’t a red onion fan, use less than what the recipe calls for. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 large oranges

2 Ruby Red Grapefruit

3 T. orange juice

2 T. white wine vinegar

2 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil

1 5 oz. package baby kale

1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Whisk

Preparing Kale Citrus Salad:

1. Peel oranges and grapefruit; cut away bitter white pith. Cut each orange into 1/4 in. thick rounds. Holding 1 peeled grapefruit in the palm of your hand, slice between membranes and gently remove whole segments. Repeat with remaining grapefruit.

2. Whisk together orange juice and next 6 ingredients. Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Toss together kale, onion and 1/2 c. dressing in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top salad with citrus and sprinkle with cheese. Serve with remaining dressing. 

Kale Citrus Salad

Meal Ideas:

This salad is such a great compliment to any meal. However, if you add a simple piece of grilled chicken or salmon, it would be a great meal all on its own!

Got Leftovers?:

Not everyone likes leftover salad. However, the kale doesn’t wilt like typical lettuce does. I thought it was fantastic the next day! 

Melon with Thyme and Parmesan

In my household, hardly anyone likes melon. It doesn’t matter if it is watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew or some other kind of melon, they just don’t like it. I, for the life of me, don’t get it. Certainly I can understand why people say they don’t like honey dew because you so often get served the hard, tasteless, unripen version. But good, cold, ripe, sweet, and juicy melon is delicious!

This is an elegant way to serve it and make it taste even better. There is something about the nutty parmesan cheese that makes this a dish you’ll go back to for seconds and thirds!

Level of Difficulty:Easy (only thing ‘hard’ is getting a ripe melon)

Time Required:Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 1 hour

Ingredients for about 6 servings:

1/2 honey dew, canary or cantaloupe melon

Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T fresh thyme leaves (lemon thyme if you have it)

Fresh cracked black pepper

4 oz Parmigiano Regianno Cheese

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Vegetable Peeler

How to make melon with thyme and parmesan:

Pick a good, ripe melon. Wash your melon. Slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Remove the peel. The links here will provide more detail on picking, washing and peeling a melon if you need it.

Slice the melon thinly into about 3 inch strips. The thinner the better really. I’ve had versions of this at a restaurant where they called this a melon carpaccio.

Place on a  platter.

Drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Crack some fresh pepper on top. Add your fresh thyme leaves.

Using your vegetable peeler, shave thin but long strips of the parmesan and add on top.

Oh my is this a fresh summer treat!!

melon with thyme and parmesan

Important Tips:

Get a fresh melon and serve cold.

Use the real deal for the parmesan. Powdered or already shredded is not going to cut it for this dish!

Variations:

Change out the melon variety or dry small amount of rosemary instead of the thyme.

My kids absolutely love melon. This is something they would eat for sure!! ~Denise

Farro and Brussels Sprout Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Farro

With all the rage being to eat as many super foods at one sitting as you can, I constantly feel the pressure of not eating enough of them! Well, I saw this salad in a recent Food Network magazine and adapted it a bit for me. It was hearty but still light. A bit refreshing but more substantive than a traditional salad and it had a whole grain and Brussles sprouts together! Add my variation of adding blueberries and chalk up another super food! Yay me! Try this Farro and Brussels Sprout Salad next time you are looking to be healthy and impressive.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 40min

Ingredients:

14oz of Farro (I used a bag of Earthly Choice,  Italian Pearled Farro – it was also organic)

3 cups Brussels sprouts, sliced thinly

Juice of 2 limes

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 red onion

1 cup chopped and toasted walnuts

olive oil

salt and pepper

Preparing Farro and Brussels Sprout Salad:

Slice the Brussels sprouts into thin strips. Place on a baking sheet. Add salt and pepper and toss with a bit of olive oil. Cook for about 7 minutes in a 450 degree oven just to help them soften up.

Cook the farro according to the package directions. In general it takes a lot of water and about 30-40 minutes.

While that cooks, chop your remaining vegetables and the walnuts, juice your fruit and combine everything together as it becomes ready. Stir together and chill.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Farro

Variations:

I think this would be great to add blueberries to as well. I also think it would be great to substitute the citrus and olive oil with the Girard’s Champagne Vinaigrette dressing too! Next time!

Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Salad

When you are cooking a lot of heavy food for a meal, it is nice to have something light that also tastes really good. For the 4th of July, I was cooking a lot of BBQ. I had both BBQ ribs and pulled pork and both of those are pretty fatty and really heavy. Add baked beans and mac ‘n’ cheese and everyone is going to feel so full they won’t enjoy the rest of the evening. So, lighten’ it up!

Here is a great and simple salad using fresh from the garden ingredients.

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 30min

Ingredients for 8-10 people:

5 ears of corn

1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 large zucchini, diced

Juice of 3 limes

3 T Olive oil

1/2 red onion, finely diced

2 jalapenos, finely diced

salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne to your taste

Preparing Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Salad:

Cut the corn off the cob and place in a small pot with about 1/2 cup of water. Place on high and stir a couple of times until the corn turns a bright yellow, maybe 4-5 minutes. Remove, drain and let cool.

While that is cooling, cut your tomatoes, zucchini and jalapenos. You can then juice your limes, add the olive oil and spices. Add in the corn and stir together. Give it a taste and add spices to meet your liking but remember that cayenne usually gets hotter after it has a chance to blend.

Serve cold with all your favorite summertime meals. Delicious!

cold picnic salad

Variations:

I varied this from a Food Network recipe I saw that called for cucumber. I did not have any cucumber so I added the zucchini instead. I think it tasted better but nothing wrong with cucumber!

Roasted Tomatillo and Lobster Salad

When Denise and I made our video on How to Kill a Lobster Humanely, I had the pleasure of eating the lobsters since Denise won’t touch them, let alone eat them. I still laugh out loud every time I think of her jumping out of her skin about Thelma and Louise.

After eating some of the freshly steam lobster, I saved the rest for my husband to enjoy with me. We ended up with a daytime meal, so I made this tasty and light salad to enjoy the perfectly decadent lobster. Oh so good!

I blended these perfect lobsters with some Roasted Tomatillo Salsa I had just made and had leftover too. Yum!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep and Cook Time – 40min

Ingredients:

3 tomatillos

1 onions

1/2 bunch of cilantro

1/2 large poblano pepper

3 cloves of garlic

2 medium lobsters

juice of 2 limes

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Spinach

2 avocados

Salt and Pepper

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Steam basket

Preparing Roasted Tomatillo and Lobster Salad:

Make the tomatillo and poblano salsa according to the recipe in the link above. For this amount of lobster, I would cut the recipe in half which is what is indicated in the quantities above.

Steam the lobster and remove from the shell as described in the video. Simple and easy. Just takes a few minutes…if Denise is not in your kitchen freaking out!

Mix the tomatillo salsa, yogurt and juice of one lime. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Add in the lobster and stir gently to combine.

Plate with fresh spinach tossed with salt and pepper and the juice of the other lime.

Cut an avocado and add to the side. Top with the lobster and tomatillo salsa mixture.

 

lobster salad with tomatillo

 

Broccoli Bacon Salad

Our friend Kim brought one of the healthier dishes to Baconfest – The Sequel…Broccoli Bacon Salad! She started with the Broccoli Salad with Bacon Tomatoes recipe she found on www.aldi.com and then adjusted it more to her (and obviously everyone else at the party’s) liking. We thank her for sharing it with us!

Ingredients:

1 bag frozen, shelled edamame

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 c. chopped red onion

1/2 c. dried cranberries

8 oz. feta cheese

1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 c. mayonaise

1/2 c. sour cream

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 T. light agave nectar

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparing Broccoli Bacon Salad:

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with 5 cups of water and ice cubes. Set aside.
2. Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove broccoli (but save hot water) and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly.
3. Return the water to a boil and add salt. Add the frozen edamame and boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain, then run under cold water. Drain thoroughly and pat dry. It’s important to make sure the broccoli and edamame are dry or you’ll end up with a runny sauce like I did at first.
4. In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, edamame, crumbled bacon, onion, raisins or cranberries, cheese, and cherry tomatoes.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and agave nectar. Add to broccoli mixture; toss until well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This was delicious and pretty! Thanks Kim! ~Melissa