Archive for Fall Salads – Page 2

“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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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.


“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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Dreaming Of Spring Salad Dressing

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This dressing has been in my repertoire since early 1990! It is just plain yummy on fresh greens. I have made all sorts of adaptations to the original recipe and they are all, if I may say so, excellent!  I am always fond of using fresh herbs, they have such a “live” taste!

Makes Approximately 1 1/4  Cups

½ cup each canola & EVO
1 egg
4 ½ tsp. red wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. mayonnaise
1 small clove garlic, smashed
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried tarragon, crumbled, or 2 tsp. chopped fresh
¼ tsp. Tabasco sauce
½ tsp dried thyme, or 1 tsp. chopped fresh
1 very small piece of onion

Combine everything in a blender & blend until smooth and light. Place in a jar & chill until ready to use. Dressing will keep 3 days in the fridge.

Phyllis’ Variations on The Dreaming

*2 tsp. of balsamic vinegar and 2 ½ tsp. red wine vinegar for the 4 ½ tsp. red wine vinegar
*Dried basil & dried oregano for the dried tarragon
*Raspberry vinegar for the red wine vinegar, using the thyme & tarragon in the original dressing

Chef Salad

An oldie but goodie! My Dad loved this salad and turned me onto it a long time ago. I think in those days it was dressed with Thousand Island.   It’s the perfect way to use up some of that Christmas turkey & ham if you have some left over!  The salad goes over a treat anytime of the year though!

Makes 8 Servings

1 large head romaine lettuce, or a combination of romaine, leaf & butter lettuce, (if you can find Little Gem lettuce, substitute it for the romaine & butter lettuce)
1 small head radicchio
1 bunch watercress, stems removed
½ cup chopped green onions
12 oz. each cooked boneless chicken & cooked smoked ham, cut into julienne strips
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated on large holes of box grater or processor
4 hardboiled eggs, each cut into 4 wedges lengthwise or chopped coarsely
8 – 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
½ English cucumber, thinly sliced or an equal amount of the small cucumbers now available
1 red bell pepper (or a combination of red & orange), cut into thin slices or strips
1 large carrot, grated
Tarragon dressing (recipe below)

Tear lettuces into bite size pieces & place in a large bowl with the watercress & green onions. Place mixed lettuces onto 8 individual dinner plates. Arrange the chicken & ham strips on top of the greens; top with the grated Gruyere. Arrange the egg wedges or chopped egg around the salad; garnish with the cherry tomato halves, English cucumber slices & bell pepper slices or strips. Serve with the tarragon dressing.

Tarragon Dressing:

1/2 cup canola or other flavourless oil
1/4 cup EVO
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. dried tarragon or 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor & process 1 minute until thickened.

Celeriac Salad

In the fall & winter, when you can buy locally grown celeriac (also known as celery root), is the time for this salad. Blanching the celeriac keep it from darkening. It need only be done for 10 seconds or so, as it still needs to be crisp.

Makes 6 – 8 Servings

1 large celeriac, peeled, julienned, blanched** & drained very well
3 large celery stalks, thinly sliced at an angle
2 apples, preferably with red skin, cored & cut into thin slices,
¼ lb. Vintage Gruyere cheese, julienned
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
¼ cup finely chopped chives or green onions

For the Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. coarse ground Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Garnish: 6 large butter lettuce leaves (red butter lettuce would look great) & 2 Tbsp. chopped celery leaves

Make the Salad:

Toss together the celeriac, celery, apple & Gruyere in a large bowl. In a medium sized bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice & salt & pepper. Add to the celeriac mixture & toss together until all ingredients are coated with the dressing. Stir in the parsley, chives or green onions & chill until ready to serve. Place a butter lettuce leaf on each plate; top with the celeriac salad & sprinkle each with the chopped celery leaves.

**To see how to blanch the celeriac, please go to Blanching Vegetables.

Celeriac, Apple Salad With Hazelnut Vinaigrette

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In the fall & winter this salad has it all; local celeriac (also known as celery root), celery, fennel, apples & hazelnuts all from our Farmer’s Markets. What luck! You know what they say “eat your roots”.  Celeriac may not be beautiful looking but it has a lovely delicate celery flavour that is terrific in soups or even mashed potatoes!

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

For the Vinaigrette:

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
½ small garlic clove, pressed
¼ cup hazelnut oil + extra for drizzling (opt.) or use all EVOO
2 Tbsp. EVOO

NB:  You can add a bit of liquid honey to the dressing if you find it a little too sharp.

Whisk all ingredients together except the two oils. Combine the oils & slowly whisk to combine dressing.

For the Salad:

1 medium celeriac, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips, blanched**
1 medium fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 unpeeled Gala apple, cut into strips


Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings
2 Tbsp. each finely chopped celery leaves, Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/2 cup Toasted hazelnuts**

Combine the celeriac, fennel & apple in a large bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette. Place the salad on 4 – 6 individual salad plates; top with the Parmigiano-Reggiano, celery leaves, parsley & toasted hazelnuts.

**If you would like to see how to blanch the celeriac, please go to Blanching Vegetables.

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

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