Archive for Spring Salads

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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Spring Pea Salad

I think fresh peas just yell out “Spring”; and this salad with the sweetness of the peas, the slight peppery edge of new radishes along with a hint of anise from fresh tarragon.

_DSC1967 resizeMakes 4 Servings

2 cups peas – approximately 2 lbs. in the shell, fresh peas
¼ cup green onions, finely chopped
¼ cup radishes, finely chopped or ½ cup thinly sliced, rounds or lenthwise looks really good too
2 tsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped


3 Tbsp. EVOO
1 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
2-3 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Whole leaves of small spring lettuce

Whisk together the EVOO & sherry vinegar.

Shell peas. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a Tbsp. of salt. Blanch the peas until just tender 1 – 2 minutes. Remove peas to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain in a colander & blot dry.

In a bowl toss together the peas, green onions, radishes & tarragon. Toss with the dressing. Place on top of a few small lettuce leaves on individual plates & sprinkle with the parsley.

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A Springtime Salad

We were entertaining visitors from back east and I thought, considering the arrival of so many local goodies in the market, that our guests should be treated to our very own “locavore” dinner. I created this salad (luckily I had little gem lettuce, Italian parsley and arugula growing in the garden), to accompany a barbecued chicken and for dessert, what else but local strawberries!

DSC_2458 nx2Makes 4 Servings

4 to 5 cups mixed salad greens
1 lb. or so of fresh, young English peas, shelled
1 bunch young radishes, thinly sliced (French Breakfast would be great)
½ cup Italian parsley leaves
3 green onions or an equal amount of chives, sliced into 1/4” slices (feel free to use the chive blossoms if you have some)
2 eggs

Meyer lemon vinaigrette

Make the Meyer lemon vinaigrette & place in the fridge until ready to dress the salad.

Place the eggs into a small pot & cover with cold water. Cover & bring to a boil; remove from the heat & let stand for 8 minutes. Drain the eggs & run cold water into the pot until the water remains cold. Once the eggs are cold, remove the shells & set aside.

Bring a medium sized pot to a boil; add salt then add the peas & blanch for 30 seconds. Remove from the boiling water to a bowl that is filled with ice-water & let cool.

Toss the salad greens, Italian parsley leaves, green onions or chives in a large serving bowl. Scatter the sliced radishes over the greens; drain the peas well & scatter on top of the greens. Drizzle with the Meyer lemon vinaigrette & toss salad together until ingredients are coated, to your liking, with dressing. Using an egg slicer, carefully slice the eggs and lay on top of the salad; drizzle a little dressing on the egg slices & serve the salad immediately.

This salad can be adapted using blanched & peeled fava beans or blanched asparagus that have been cut into 2” pieces. Instead of the egg you could use a nice, fairly young Pecorino or maybe both. It’s up to you!

To make the vinaigrette, click Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.

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Asparagus Vinaigrette

Chilled asparagus with a lovely vinaigrette makes a  great starter salad and an excellent addition to a buffet table.

DSC_1983 nx2Makes 4 – 6 Servings

1 ½ – 2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed (see below)
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 to 3 Tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a Tbsp. of salt.  Blanch the asparagus for approximately 2 minutes or until tender but crisp.**  Remove asparagus to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain in a colander, & blot dry. Place the asparagus on a serving platter & drizzle with the dressing; scatter with the shallots & parsley & serve.

I don’t recommend doing this too much ahead of serving the asparagus because they can change colour if allowed to sit too long in the dressing. We really want to keep that lovely green colour!


½ cup EVO)
2 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2-3 tsp. fresh tarragon, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of sugar (opt.)

Whisk vinegar & mustard in a small bowl. Slowly, while whisking constantly, drizzle in the EVOO until emulsified. Whisk in the tarragon, salt & pepper & pinch of sugar if using.

To see how to trim asparagus, click How To Trim Asparagus.

To see how to blanch asparagus, click Blanching Vegetables.

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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Anne’s Pineapple Shrimp Salads

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

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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Creamy Garlic Dressing

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

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

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

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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