Archive for Fall Salads

New Potato Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

Here’s a really lovely “new” potato salad.  My personal favourite potatoes to use in this salad are Sieglinde.  I think the lemon dressing adds a nice brightness.

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

2 lbs. small new potatoes, unpeeled, Siegelinde (available at Helmer’s)**
1 tsp. lemon rind, finely grated
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. stoneground Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. EVO
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped or an equal amount of young green onions

Scrub potatoes and leave whole. Cook in a pot of boiling water salted water,  12 to 15 minutes, lid on.** Cook potatoes until just tender when pierced with a thin metal skewer. Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl. When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, so they can absorb the dressing.  I think they look really nice this way.

Dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon rind, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt & pepper until smooth. Slowly whisk in the EVO. Add the chives & drizzle over the still warm potatoes; toss. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve at room temperature of even slightly warm.

To buy Helmer’s potatoes, click My Source List.  To see my method for cooking the potatoes, click How To Boil Potatoes.

 

Chicken Or Turkey Salad With Pears

The first time I made this salad was for the chairman of the organization I worked for. Later in the day he made a point of taking me aside and thanking me for “the best salad I have ever had”. Well, that’s definitely one big pat on the back! By the way, we love it too! The Honey Tarragon Vinaigrette simply makes the salad. This is something you can make with either freshly cooked or leftover chicken or turkey.

Makes 6 Servings

8 cups assorted greens (I really like the greens at Farmer’s Markets, they are so very, very fresh & keep well)
2 cups julienned cooked chicken or turkey
½ red onion, very thinly sliced
2 firm ripe pears (Bosc, Anjou or red skinned pears such as Red Sensation, would look great)
3 oz. blue cheese
DSC_2463.jpg nx21/3 cup walnut pieces or halves, toasted**
Herbed croutons (recipe below)
Fresh dill sprigs

Honey Tarragon Vinaigrette

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp. dried tarragon or 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
¼ – ½ tsp. salt (to taste)
1/3 cup combined walnut oil & EVOO

Make the dressing:

In a blender combine all ingredients except the oils. Slowly drizzle in the combined oils, with the blender running, until the dressing is thickened. You can do the dressing the same way, using a bowl & whisk. (Place the dressing into a jar and store in the fridge until needed, shake dressing to combine before dressing the salad).

Herbed Croutons

1 cup cubed day-old white of whole wheat bread
2 Tbsp. EVOO
½ tsp. each dried thyme, tarragon & salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Place the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet; toss with the EVO, herbs & salt. Place in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until crispy but not too hard. Set aside until ready to make the salad.

Assemble the salad:

You can place all the ingredients in a large salad bowl, but I have to say it is much prettier to assemble the salads on 6 individual plates.
Place the greens onto the plates; arrange the turkey or chicken on top of the greens. Cut the pears in half & remove the cores. Slice the pears & place them around the chicken, tucking into the greens here & there. Crumble the cheese onto the salads; top with some of the walnuts & croutons; garnish with thin slices of red onion & a sprig of fresh dill. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.

To see how to toast nuts, click Toasting Nuts.

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Pear And Coronation Grape Salad With Hazelnuts And Gorgonzola

While at the Saturday Farmer’s Market, I bought local pears, grapes and hazelnuts. When I got them home I thought “I have some Gorgonzola in the fridge and I’ll bet it would be fabulous with the pears, grapes and hazelnuts.” I think I was right!  And I also think a fresh Pecorino or shaved Parmigiano would work well too!

Makes 6 Servings

Roasted Shallot Dressing:

2 shallots (approx. 2 oz.), peeled
EVOO for drizzling on the shallots before roasting
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. EVOO
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 250 F.

Place the shallots on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with EVO. Wrap the shallots tightly in the foil and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Remove from foil & cool to room temperature.

Place the roasted shallots & the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender, blend until smooth.

For The Salad:

2 pears (red barlett or bosc)
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted (see below),chopped coarsely
1 bunch Coronation grapes, or other dark grapes
4 oz. Gorgonzola or bleu cheese
6 cups assorted salad greens, including arugula
(opt.) 100 grams pancetta, very thinly sliced, fried until crisp

Cut the pears in half and remove the cores. Slice into ½” thick slices. Divide the greens among 6 places & top with some of the Coronation grapes, Gorgonzola & a Tbsp. or so of the hazelnuts. Drizzle the salads with the dressing, top with the pancetta slices if using. Serve immediately.

I love the salad both with or without the pancetta.

To see how to toast the nuts, click Toasting Nuts.

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Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Meyer lemons were something we never saw in our markets here in Vancouver…but thankfully all that’s changed! Heck, even Costco sells them now!  This dressing is excellent and I make it often.  Whenever I find Meyer lemons, I pick up a bunch, squeeze them and freeze the juice for later use.

Makes Approximately 1 Cup

¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ tsp. stoneground Dijon mustard
1/8 – ¼ tsp. each of dried marjoram, oregano & basil (fresh herbs are wonderful if you have them, simply use 1/2 tsp. of each one)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 ½ tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
¾ cup EVOO

Put everything, except the oil, in the blender & blend until well combined; slowly drizzle in the EVOO until dressing is emulsified or all ingredients are well blended. Taste, adjust seasoning to your taste & enjoy.

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Anne’s Anchovy-less Caesar Salad Dressing

This one is for all of you who hate anchovies as much as I do!  I’ve sampled really fresh, marinated ones in Italy, sorry, they still taste like anchovies!  It’s OK though, my husband adores the little morsels!  The garlic gives it a really good punch. Anne gave me her recipe a really long time ago and we make the dressing often as you can tell from the stained, well-used recipe in the photo. Get out the romaine, parmesan and homemade croutons.

Makes approximately 1 cup

1 egg
2 garlic, coarsely crushed
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
9 Tbsp. EVOO
Dash of salt to taste
½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp. lemon juice
2-4 drops of Tabasco
2-4 drops of Worcestershire sauce

Combine everything but the oil in a blender. Blend well. Slowly drizzle in the oil until well emulsified. Pour into a jar & keep chilled for up to 3 or 4 days.

Toss with romaine lettuce leaves, a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese & croutons, toss again.  Enjoy!

If you would like to make your own croutons, please go to Homemade Croutons.  Featured image shows salad with toasted Italian bread drizzled with EVOO…also fabulous!

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Cobb Salad

This is my adaptation of the famous salad.   I absolutely adore Cobb Salad.   From the tang of the blue cheese to the creamy avocado, crunchy lettuce, salty bacon, delicious!  Serve with homemade biscuits** or purchased rolls.  Thinking of starting a “Cobb Salad Club” for everyone I know who loves this salad as much as I do!

Makes 4 – 6 Main Course Servings

Make the Dressing:

You may need to increase the dressing if you are making recipe for 6 people.

DSC_0718.jpg nx23 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ cup EVO

Whisk together all dressing ingredients, except oil, in a bowl, then very slowly whisk in oil in a thin stream, until emulsified. Or you can do this in a food processor. If you like you can make the dressing 1 hour ahead and store in the fridge until needed.

Make the Salad:

3 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves (1 ¼ lbs.)
2 ripe avocados
1 head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into ½” slices
6 bacon slices, cooked until crisp, drained & finely chopped
18 – 24 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 – 4 oz. blue cheese or Roquefort cheese, crumbled
2 – 3 large eggs, hard-boiled, each egg cut into 4 wedges
(opt.) 1 bunch watercress, leaves removed from coarse stems
¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives or green onions

Bring 5 cups of water to a simmer in a large saucepan, add chicken & simmer, covered 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat & cover; let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate to cool completely. This can be done the day before. (You can use leftover chicken breast if you have any, say from a roast chicken). Cut the chicken into 1/2” cubes. Halve, pit & peel avocados. If you rinse them with cold water, they won’t darken for some time. Cut the avocados into slices.

Divide the romaine (& watercress if using) between 4 – 6 dinner plates. Top with the chicken, arrange the avocado slices, egg wedges & cherry tomato halves decoratively around the plate. Sprinkle with the bacon and garnish with chives or green onions.

Serve the salad, passing the dressing.

If you would like to see how to microwave bacon, click Cooking Bacon in the Microwave.

If you would like to make biscuits, click Biscuits.

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Asian Coleslaw With Peanut Dressing

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here.

If you only knew how many recipes I have for coleslaw! It’s seems like there’s at least one from every country in the world! This one is great with any Asian inspired meal and would go well with ribs, chicken or pork chops and I think would be a great addition to a barbecue. Just remember to dress the salad just before serving.

Makes Approximately 8 Serving

DSC_7002 nx2For the Dressing:

6 Tbsp. rice vinegar (not seasoned)
6 Tbsp. vegetable oil
5 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter (I would suggest a natural style with no sugar or salt added)
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. golden sugar (packed), if you have palm sugar feel free to substitute it for the golden
1 ½ Tbsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 ½ Tbsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. Sriracha sauce (or to taste)

For the Coleslaw:

5 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (use a mandoline if you have one)
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (as above)
2 large red bell peppers cut into very thin strips
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut into thin strips (or use a food processor), I have an old Mouli, so I used it
8 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Make the Dressing:

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour into a jar with a lid so you can shake it up when you come to dress the coleslaw. You can make this the day before; just remove the dressing from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to use it. I always make the dressing ahead as I find it helps to blend the flavours.

Assemble the Coleslaw:

Combine the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Add the dressing & toss to coat. Season with salt & pepper & serve.

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Duck Confit Salad With Pears

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here.

In my “former life” as a private chef, I was always on the lookout for new main course salads. This one is simply one of the best salads I have ever had the pleasure to make and enjoy! I have adapted the recipe from Gourmet Magazine. My husband and I used to make our own duck confit every fall following the instructions in “Mastering The Art of French Cooking Volume Two” by guess who? J. C. and Simone Beck I would encourage you to make this if you have the time, it’s so delicious and keeps very well in the fridge covered with duck fat!! I always froze the fat for another duck confit making adventure. Now the juices are flowing….maybe it’s time to make some again! And…I know our friend Boris would love to receive a container full again!

Makes 4 Servings

DSC_1442 (2) nx2For The Dressing:

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
5 Tbsp. EVOO
2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
Salt & pepper to taste

For the Salad:

½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 confit duck legs
2 – 3 firm-ripe pears (preferably red skinned & local in-season)
8 cups mixed greens that includes baby spinach
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1 cup Shaved fresh fennel (opt.)

Preheat oven to 180 F.

Whisk together the mustard, vinegar & salt & pepper to taste in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 4 Tbsp. of the oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified, then whisk in the shallot. Set aside until ready to assemble the salads.

Toast the walnuts in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally until fragrant & lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.Transfer the nuts with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain & season with a bit of salt. When the skillet has cooled down wipe out any of the nut bits.

Heat the skillet with a tiny bit of oil on moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown duck on all sides until the skin is crisp, about 5 minutes. Or alternatively do this step in a 400 F. oven. Transfer the duck legs to a cutting board & remove the meat from the bones & tear into bite-sized pieces, discard bones. Keep the duck warm, covered, on a baking sheet in a 180 F oven.

Halve & core the pears (a melon baller works like a charm for this task); cut the pears lengthwise into ¼” thick slices. Mound some greens on each of the four plates, combine the pears, duck, cheese & nuts with the dressing, season with salt & pepper to taste. Mound the pear/duck mixture on top of the greens & serve the salads immediately.

NB: we purchase ready-made duck confit legs from Oyama Sausage at Granville Island.

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Mixed Salad With Apple, Nuts And Grapes

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here.

Inspired by Tessa Kiros “Twelve” cookbook, this excellent salad is easy to make and can be changed up to other nuts & cheeses, perhaps hazelnuts & pecorino Toscano or Gorgonzola dolce. Right now is apple season, local grape season and local nuts are available so perfect timing!

DSC_1159 nx2Makes 6 – 8 Servings

1 large apple
Mixed greens with radicchio & arugula for 8 servings
½ + cup shelled walnuts, very coarsely chopped & toasted**
½ + cup stemmed local grapes (I have used Coronation & Skookum grapes)
8 Tbsp. very good quality EVOO
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar or Mosto Cotto if you have it!
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings

Wash, core & halve the apple, leaving on the skin. Cut each half thinly; placing the slices into lightly salted cold water that has a bit of lemon juice added.

Wash & spin dry the mixed greens. Divide the greens between 8 plates or one large serving platter. Top with the nuts, the well- drained apple slices, stemmed grapes.

Mix the EVOO and balsamic together in a small bowl; season with salt & pepper & drizzle the dressing over the salads or salad. Scatter with the Parmigiano & serve immediately.

**If you would like to see how to toast the nuts, please click here.

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“Tuscan” Fig Salad

The other day a friend dropped off some fresh figs from her garden…

In anticipation of the fig delivery we had picked up some Pecorino ReNero and a bit of a French bleu cheese (they were out of Gorgonzola Dolce).  We figured this would be the perfect time to assemble a bit of a antipasto/salad so we could use some of he delicious olive oil we bought at Azienda Agricola Casamonti that we only use for drizzling on stuff and also to dribble some of the amazing mosto cotto we picked up in Panzano in Chianti at Stefano’s place, Accademia del Buon Gusto.  Some nice crusty bread might be a good thing too!

DSC_8818 nx2For the Antipasto/Salad:

Some fresh figs, quartered (approximately 2 per person)
Fresh greens
Slices of Proscuitto di Parma, 2 – 3 slices per person
Thin slices of Pecorino
Gorgonzola Dolce (preferably) or another very creamy type blue cheese
The best EVOO you have
Mosto cotto or a good aged balsamic vinegar

 

 

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