Archive for Winter Salads

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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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

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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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Anne’s Pineapple Shrimp Salads

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This recipe is in homage to the lady who hired me to take over at the executive dining room of a major Canadian bank, when she retired two years later. This salad was always welcomed at the luncheons there, especially after Christmas and New Year’s pig-outs! It is very refreshing and really good. I particularly like to serve biscuits with this salad. Click on the links at the bottom of the recipe for two of my favourite biscuit recipes.

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

DSC_8695 nx2For the Salad:

1 to 1 ½ lbs. cooked shrimp
2 medium sized pineapples (the “Gold” ones are the sweetest)
2 heads butter lettuce; red butter lettuce would be very colourful

Make The Dressing:

1 cup canola oil or other light tasting oil
6 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. grated fresh ginger, or more to taste
¾ cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s light is fine)
1 ½ Tbsp. ketchup (4 ½ teaspoons)
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 to ¼ tsp. Tabasco
1/8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

Garnish: 2 lemons cut into 8 wedges each,
cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Combine the oil, lemon juice, paprika, sugar & ginger in a jar & shake well. Place the shrimp into a large bowl. Pour half the dressing over & marinate in the fridge for an hour to blend the flavours. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the remaining dressing, mayonnaise, ketchup, Dijon mustard, Tabasco & white pepper; put aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the salads.

Remove the skin from the pineapples; quarter & remove the cores. Cut the pineapple into bite sized cubes. Tear the lettuce into pieces & arrange on individual dinner plates. Arrange the pineapple cubes in a mound on top of the lettuce; drain the shrimp & place on top of the pineapple cubes. Either drizzle with the dressing or pass dressing separately. Garnish with cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, green onions & lemon wedges.

**I particularly like this salad with Anne’s bran biscuits but my homemade buttermilk biscuits are equally good.

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Clementine, Goat Cheese And Walnut Salad

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This salad is one that I like to make in December and January when clementines are available. If you find some watercress it would be a nice addition to the other greens. If you have a pear on hand you could chop it up and add it as well. The salad can be served as a main course; maybe with a bit of cooked chicken breast.

DSC_6117 nx2Makes 4 Servings or 2 – 3 Main Course Servings

4 – 6 large handfuls of mixed salad greens
½ cup toasted walnuts** broken up
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 – 4 clementines, peeled & divided into segments
3 – 4 oz. mild goat’s cheese
Very thinly sliced red onion (4 – 6 slices)

Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp. minced shallots
2 Tbsp. Sherry wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. salt or to taste
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp. EVOO

Make the Dressing:

Whisk together all ingredients except the EVOO in a small bowl; slowly drizzle in the EVOO, whisking constantantly until the dressing is emulsified. Set aside.

Assemble the Salad:

Mix the salad greens, walnuts, cranberries, red onion slices & clementine segments together. Toss with enough of the dressing to lightly coat the salad. Crumble the goat’s cheese over & toss again. Serve immediately.

**If you would like to see how to toast the nuts, please go to Toasting Nuts.

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Toasted Hazelnut Salad With Dried Cranberries

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An utterly fabulous salad! This is a recipe I like play around with and all are wonderful, especially the one with duck cracklings, croutons, Gorgonzola and changing out dried sour cherries for the cranberries in the dressing! The key is the dressing! Don’t fret if you don’t have hazelnut oil, use 3 tablespoons EVOO and 1 tablespoon vinegar, it will be great!

DSC_5845 nx2Makes 6 Side Salad Servings

3 Tbsp. EVO (set aside 2 Tbsp. for the dressing)
2 large shallots, chopped fine
½ cup dried cranberries
4 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar (set aside 1 Tbsp. for the dressing)
3 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted lightly**
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. hazelnut oil or EVOO
3 cups butter lettuce
2 cups frisee` lettuce
2 cups baby spinach
(or 7 cups mixed greens)

In a small saucepan heat 2 tsp. EVOO over moderate heat until hot but not smoking & cook shallots, stirring, until golden brown. Stir in the cranberries, 3 Tbsp. vinegar, water, sugar & simmer, stirring occasionally, until syrupy, about 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl & cool to room temperature.

In a small skillet heat 1 tsp. EVOO over moderate heat until hot but not smoking & cook the toasted hazelnuts with salt & pepper to taste, stirring until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate & cool.

In a small bowl whisk together mustard & remaining tablespoon vinegar with salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste. In a stream whisk in 1 Tbsp. hazelnut oil & 2 Tbsp. EVOO (or use 3 Tbsp. EVOO instead), until emulsified.

Toss the greens in a large bowl with just enough dressing to coat & divide the greens among 6 plates. Sprinkle with the cranberry mixture & hazelnuts.

Variations: I have added crumbled Gorgonzola or bleu cheese to the salad too! During the holidays I like to add fresh mandarin orange sections. And…don’t see why it would not be excellent with leftover turkey & mandarin orange sections to make a main course salad for 3 or 4 people.

**If you would like to see how to toast the hazelnuts, please go to Toasting Nuts.

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Creamy Garlic Dressing

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I make this dressing so often, I could make it in my sleep! It’s terrific on really fresh salad greens and on a tomato & onion salad topped with shredded fresh basil and chopped fresh oregano.  Yummy, yummy!

DSC_3777 nx2Makes Enough Dressing for 4 – 6 people.

1 large clove garlic
1/8 tsp. salt, coarse sea salt works well
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup EVO
Approximately 12 cups of mixed greens such as romaine, radicchio, butter,
& endive, torn into pieces if too large
Homemade croutons**
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Mash the garlic with the salt on a clean surface with a large knife, using back & forth movements of the knife, continually mashing them together until a paste has formed. Place in a medium sized bowl. Add the mayo, vinegar & Dijon. Slowly drizzle in the EVO constantly whisking until emulsified. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Toss the greens with the dressing, sprinkle with croutons & cheese and serve.

Variations: 

“South East Asian”:  Use 1/2  lime juice & 1/2 white wine vinegar, add a bit of chopped mint or cilantro, change up the canola oil or other vegetable oil for the EVO a bit of cumin.

Raspberry Vinaigrette:  Substitute raspberry vinegar for the wine vinegar, change the garlic to finely chopped shallot & salt & pepper to taste.

**If you would like to make your own croutons, please go to Homemade Croutons.

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A Lemon Vinaigrette

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A very, very good dressing that I think is especially suited to some new spring greens!   Try it, I think it will become a favourite of yours too!

_DSC0559 nx2 ver 2Makes Approximately 1/2 Cup

½ clove garlic, smashed
1 ½ tsp. lemon zest, finely grated
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp. mild honey
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. EVO
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 ½ tsp. chopped fresh oregano

 

 

Put everything into the blender except the EVO. Blend well; with the blender running, slowly drizzle in the EVO until everything is well combined.  Transfer to a bowl and add the oregano and salt & pepper to taste.  Store in fridge until ready to use.

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