Posts tagged #salad dressing

Kale and hearty (Apple and kale salad recipe)

It took some time for me to warm up to raw kale in a salad. It was always an eat-it-cuz-it’s-healthy winter staple, sautéed it in a little olive oil with garlic and some lemon or vinegar. In fact, kale’s rise in popularity mystifies me. Despite its healthful qualities, its bitterness is an acquired taste.

For some, kale’s rise in status has a downside. A mention of the vegetable elicits an eye-roll from my Brooklyn-living Ace Reporter son, always the contrarian.

Cliché or not, kale is here to stay, so I made a stab at coming up with a salad I would want to revisit time and again, especially now that it’s in all the farmers’ markets. One could argue that it is a beautiful leafy green that is hard to resist.

Cut into ribbons, sturdy kale can stand up to a strong, tangy dressing like this one, made with cream and lemon instead of oil and vinegar, and spiked with plenty of mustard. Toast some walnuts, throw in thirst-quenching apples, add spicy radishes to the mix, and you have an abundance of flavors that will awaken your taste buds. That long, cold winter is finally ancient history.

Chopped kale salad with apples and creamy mustard dressing (Serves 4)

DRESSING

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 to 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard (to taste)

1 teaspoon grainy mustard

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a bowl, stir the cream, Dijon mustard, grainy mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together.

SALAD

1/2 cup walnuts

1 bunch lacinato (Tuscan) kale

1/2 small head radicchio, cut into thin ribbons

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into bite-size matchsticks

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spread the walnuts on a pie pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until toasty and fragrant. Cool.

3. Fold the kale leaves in half lengthwise, and with a knife, strip out the stems. Stack the leaves and cut them into thin ribbons.

4. In a bowl, combine the kale, radicchio, apples, radishes, and walnuts. Toss with the dressing and serve.

Posted on July 11, 2014 and filed under Salad, Salad Dressing.

Eat across the color spectrum: A cheerful rainbow salad

On the phone last Friday, College Boy suggested I bake cupcakes. I made chicken stock. After all, his train from New York that morning had been cancelled, so he wouldn't be here to eat them. That left two of us—Man of The House and myself—two people who could not be trusted with a plateful of little frosted cakes for a nano-second.  Surely that would be dinner, along with a glass of Scotch (his poison) or red wine (mine.) Or maybe both. And plenty of it. I guess we can’t call out for pizza we joked reassuringly to each other, still uncertain when the lockdown would be lifted.

As it turned out, I could not summon enough focus to decide what to bake. So I cleaned out my freezer and made stock. Despite my best efforts to take breaks, my eyes and ears were glued to the television. Not even cooking—a favorite remedy of mine during times of stress—could offer refuge or distraction. At one point I snoozed on the couch, since I am one of the lucky ones who can sleep for twenty minutes any time, anywhere. I escaped into light slumber, lulled by the muted put-put of the helicopters through tightly closed windows, only waking to once again be riveted to the screen and the minute-to-minute updates. How very surreal to hear helicopters rushing to the scene, sirens wailing, and then, the unthinkable: gunshots--the final drama unfolding just three blocks down the hill from our calm and comfortable house.

There were no cupcakes for dinner. There was some good, soothing chicken soup, and plenty of the aforementioned poisons to wash it down. That was quite enough for one day.

The intensity of the past weeks demands lightness. In that vein, I offer you this colorful salad to bring you back into balance containing a wide color spectrum of foods, should you need that. With so few vegetables available to us Northerners in the in-between season, this salad fills in the gap. The salad goes nicely with some of those first grilled burgers or shrimp of the season, now that pleasant weather seems to have arrived.

Rainbow Salad

Serves 6

DRESSING

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 orange

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Pinch sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup olive oil

1. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, orange juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper together. Gradually whisk in the oil.

SALAD

1 small celery root (12 ounces), cut into fine matchstick

1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, grated

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into small dice

6 radishes, thinly sliced

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 avocado, sliced, for garnish

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, for garnish

1. In a salad bowl, combine celery root, cabbage, carrot, apple, radishes, pomegranate seeds, and parsley. Toss with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with sliced avocado and pumpkin seeds.

Posted on May 2, 2013 and filed under Salad.

Fennel and citrus salad and a new book by Beatrice Peltre

Putting chocolate behind us, (hey! Valentine’s day was just last week, did you forget already?) I’m looking forward to some serious palate cleansing. I’ve had this salad on my mind for weeks, and now that citrus season is in full swing, I finally got around to making it.

My craving for this salad was brought to a head during a recent book signing I attended for La Tartine Gourmande, the new book by beloved blogger .

I have been fortunate to get to know Béa a little—we both write for the Boston Globe and also share a favorite local woodsy walking place. Let me tell you, she is as lovely as her gorgeous, colorful photographs. In fact, if you are a blogger and an aspiring food photographer, you must add this book to your library. I literally lay awake most of the night after I brought the book home. Looking at the light-filled, drool-worthy pictures of her food, I was in turn acutely excited and inspired and then suicidally discouraged as a would-be photographer. No, I am not bi-polar, but that’s what happens when something really exhilarating comes along.

Béatrice Peltre has a Matisse-like sense of color and pattern that make you happy just looking at her photos. Her recipes are original, healthy, and reliable. In short: they work! They are imaginative! She brings her French sensibility to her recipes and a distinctive individuality to her style. You will certainly find many things you will want to cook to lift your spirits inside the cover. And even if you never cook anything from her book (which would be a terrible waste) you will certainly be cheered by the summery brightness on every page. One of the best ways to learn photography is to really study (and perhaps even copy as an exercise) photos you like. You can find her book .

The salad in Béatrice’s book inspired the one I made (you will have to go to her book for her version). I purposely did not read her recipe closely, to avoid leaning too heavily on her idea. I know that it did not have fennel. But there is not much latitude here—fennel and oranges are a classic combination.

Fennel, like cilantro, is one of those flavors that arouse strong love-hate feelings. When it comes to the delicious crispy licorice-ness of this winter vegetable, I say: Bring it! I love it raw doused with a bit of olive oil and lemon, or baked in a tian with white wine, Parmesan and bread crumbs. Perhaps because it is underappreciated in this country, it seems exotic and therefore elegant; but it is quite common in Mediterranean cooking. Don’t be a hater.

Choose bulbs that are pale green and firm, with stalks and fronds still attached. Pass on split, yellowed, or spotty bulbs. The sometimes-tough outer layer, as well as minor brown spots, can be peeled easily with a vegetable peeler. Save a few of the feathery fronds to decorate your salad.

Fennel and citrus salad with citrus vinaigrette

Serves 2 to 3

This salad has perky winter flavors: fruit that is all at once sweet, juicy and tart, paired with crisp anise-scented fennel and crunchy radishes. First, prepare the fruit and set it aside. Save the juices to make the vinaigrette; then make the vinaigrette. Finally assemble the salad. It makes an ideal accompaniment to any plain fish dish, like Ken Rivard’s and Jody Adams’ broiled whole fish, for example.

For the vinaigrette:

Makes 2/3 cups dressing (save extra for another green salad)

1/4 cup citrus juice

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup olive oil

Whisk the citrus juice, lime juice, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper together. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if you like.

For the salad:

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed (save a few fronds, freeze the stalks for making fish stock)

2 oranges, rind removed with a knife (see below), and cut crosswise into circles

2 blood oranges, rind removed with a knife (see below), and cut crosswise into circles

2 grapefruits, rind removed with a knife (see below), and cut into “supremes”

5 to 6 radishes, thinly sliced

1 handful of Italian parsley, leaves picked from the stems

Fennel fronds

Citrus vinaigrette

Salt and pepper, to taste

1  1/2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

1. Use a mandoline or a very sharp knife and a lot of patience to slice the fennel very thinly. Cut out the core as you slice. Toss the fennel with 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on 2 or 3 plates, or on one large plate.

2. Arrange the oranges and grapefruit over and around the fennel and top with the radishes. Sprinkle the parsley, fennel fronds, and pumpkin seeds over the salad. Drizzle with more vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

How to peel citrus with a knife to make "supremes"

The first time I realized there was another way to peel citrus I was so excited! No more pesky pith to ruin the look (and taste) of the fruit sections, or 'supremes'.

First, cut off the top and bottom of the fruit to expose the flesh.

Use a sawing motion with a sharp knife to cut away the rind and pith. Curve your knife as you go from top to bottom. Trim off any places you missed once you have gone all the way around the fruit. Cut it crosswise to make circles, or proceed to make 'supremes'.

Cut alongside each membrane to extract the section.

Another way to cut: after you cut along one side of a section, flip your knife angle and cut along the other side from the bottom up (this will go faster once you get the hang of it.)

Don't forget to squeeze all the juice from the 'carcass'. Use some of it for the citrus vinaigrette.