Archive for Spring Salads – Page 2

Marinated Grilled Steak Salad

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This is such a good salad to have in your repertoire! Just think…sitting outside on a warm night, firing up the grill, glass of wine…does it get any better? The dressing can be made a couple of hours ahead. I bought rib steaks from P.E.I. from Market Meats, 2326 W. 4th Ave. in Vancouver, yummy, yummy!

Makes 4 Servings

For the Dressing:

1 medium shallot, minced
½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1.2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup walnut oil
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. EVO

For the Salad:

(2 or 3) 1 ½ ” boneless steaks, depending on the quantity of meat you wish to serve
½ cup toasted walnuts** coarsely chopped
2 Belgian endives, cut crosswise into 1” pieces
1 lb. assorted lettuce such as romaine, arugula, butter lettuce, red lettuce & arugula
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (approx. 1 cup)

Garnish: Very thinly sliced rounds of red onion

Make the Dressing:

In a small saucepan (not aluminum), combine the shallot, rosemary & ½ tsp. salt & pepper to taste. Whisk in the vinegar & mustard; whisk in the walnut oil & EVO. Arrange the steaks in a large glass or ceramic dish,; pour ¼ cup of the dressing on top, turn the steaks to coat evenly. Let steaks marinate for 30 minutes, covered with plastic wrap and left on the counter not in the fridge.

Preheat your charcoal barbecue or gas barbecue; warm the remaining dressing over low heat; keep warm. Grill the steaks to desired doneness**, remove to a platter & let rest for 2 minutes.

While the steaks are grilling & resting, toss the salad greens together & place on 4 dinner sized plates. Cut the steaks diagonally across the grain into ¼” thick slices and arrange on the salads; top with the toasted walnuts & blue cheese. Garnish with the slices of red onion & drizzle the warmed dressing over top.

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

**If you would like to see grilling times for steaks, please to go to Grilling Chart for Meats.

Phyllis Signature

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.

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

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When I want a creamy blue cheese dressing, this is my favourite! I love it on romaine lettuce, maybe with some heirloom tomatoes and a few very thin slices of red onion. The recipe makes a fair bit, so I usually make half the amount. Sometimes, instead of the sour cream, I use buttermilk.  Years ago, ny cousin turned me onto blue cheese dressing and I am forever in his debt!  Hy’s Encore used to make excellent blue cheese dressing. I always told the wait person how much I adored it.  One night, before we left the restaurant, he presented me with a jar!

Makes 2 ½ cups

¼ lb. (4 oz.), blue cheese, crumbled
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
¾ cup mayo (lite is fine)
3 drops Tabasco
1 Tbsp. EVO
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
¼ tsp. sugar
Freshly ground white pepper to taste


In a blender or food processor, blend 1 oz. of the cheese, the sour cream, the milk & the mayo until the mixture is combined well. Add the Tabasco, EVO, vinegar, sugar & white pepper. Combine briefly, using a couple of on/off turns. Add the remaining cheese & again using a couple of on/off turns, combine, making sure the cheese is still lumpy.

Place in a container & chill in the fridge until ready to use.



Phyllis Signature

Thai Coleslaw

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This salad can be made anytime of the year, but it is really great made with in season veggies. A mildly spicy coleslaw that is excellent for a barbecue. Leftovers (if there are any!) keep in the fridge for 2 days.  My brother, who hates anything fishy, read fish sauce, surprised himself by  liking this a lot.  He even copied the recipe to take home.  So, there you are!

Makes 4 Servings

4 cups cabbage, very thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, grated
DSC_3718 nx22 green onions, finely sliced
½ each red & green bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. black or white sesame seeds, or finely chopped peanuts

Toss together ingredients in a large bowl. Toss together with dressing and garnish with sesame seeds.

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. sambal oelek , adding more if you like it spicer
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. sesame oil

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.

**Sesame seeds keep quite well for a couple of months stored in the freezer. Sesame oil should always be stored in the fridge.

Phyllis Signature

Shrimp Salad

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This salad using fresh local shrimp is lovely anytime of the year when you can get fresh seafood. On occasion, I like to make us a treat  & use half shrimp & half crab.  It can be a little $$ but you don’t need much. The salad would be awesome made with local Spot Prawns in the spring. But we enjoy it anytime of the year.  Finest at Sea** has the best fresh shrimp & crab, so sweet & yummy. I have included two of our favourite dressings, you choose!  I have included two different dressings, you choose!  All the colours are just so darned appetizing!

Makes 4 Servings

¾ – l lb. fresh cooked medium to large shrimp (90 – 130 count)
2 hard boiled eggs, halved or quartered
8 – 10 cherry tomatoes
1-2 lemons, cut into wedges
5 – 6 slices per person, English cucumber or baby cucumber
12 stalks blanched asparagus** (when in season), otherwise you can omit them
(opt.) 1-2 avocados,** sliced or cut into cubes
6 – 8 cups assorted salad greens such as butter lettuce, watercress, frisee, radicchio, romaine, red lettuce, etc.

Garnish:  Chives or  green onions


Green Goddess Chive

Makes About 1 1/3 Cups

½ cup mayonnaise (light is fine)
½ cup sour cream (light if you like)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives
1 green onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 Tbsp. tarragon white wine vinegar
1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon or ½ tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in blender & blend until smooth; season dressing to taste with salt & pepper. Cover & put into the fridge until ready to serve.

Louis Dressing

Makes 1 ½ Cups

2 cup mayonnaise (light is fine)
½ cup Heinz chili sauce
1 Tbsp. minced Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. prepared horseradish (such as Woodman’s)
1 – 2 tsp. finely minced onion
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients. Cover; chill until ready to serve. I have been known to use any leftovers to make a tuna sandwich!

Place salad greens on 4 large plates. Arrange shrimp & crab if using, attractively on greens; garnish with egg quarters or halves, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, if using, avocado slices or cubes. Top with sprigs of chives. Pass dressing separately.

Note:   I have found that if you rinse the avocado with cold water after it is cut, it will not darken for some time.

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

**If you would like to locate Finest at Sea, please go to My Source List.

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Spinach Salad

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This is a delicious main course salad.  Makes a wonderful late spring or summer meal using locally grown spinach from a market or from your own garden.  The lemony dressing really adds sparkle and if I have fresh tarragon I will chop a bit and scatter that on the salad too!

Makes 4 Servings

Fresh spinach for 4 people, about 6 cups, stems discarded; leaves washed & spun dry**
3 – 4 slices of double-smoked bacon, thickly sliced
5 – 6 mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 green onions, chopped fine or thinly sliced red onion
2 hardboiled eggs, sliced or chopped
½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated

Place spinach on 4 large plates. Top with remaining ingredients & serve with spinach salad dressing.

Spinach Salad Dressing: 

Makes approximately 1 ¼ cups

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar
2 Tbsp. real mayonnaise, not low fat
½ – ¾ tsp. salt
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp sugar
1 very small clove garlic, chopped
1 cup EVOO or a blend of ½ cup each canola and EVOO for a lighter taste

In a food processor blend all ingredients except EVOO until smooth. With motor running, add oil in a thin stream., blending until emulsified. Transfer dressing to a serving container & chill, covered until ready to serve.

** Bagged spinach can be used but making the salad with fresh spinach makes a much fresher tasting salad.

Phyllis Signature

Soba Noodle Salad

This is a delicious, refreshing noodle salad with a hit of chilies and makes a perfect accompaniment for Asian style chicken or pork. When we served it recently, we had Chinese style barbecued pork tenderloin with it, great! We hope you enjoy the salad as much as we do!

Makes 6 Servings

¾ lb. dried soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
¼ cup sesame oil
¼ cup light soy sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt (optional or to taste)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (you could use a bit less)
8 green onions
2-4 red Thai chilies, seeded & membrane removed, minced (you can add more or less to taste)
½ – ¾ cup lightly salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups fresh bean sprouts

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. salt & then add the noodles & cook  until just tender but al dente; checking after 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain in a colander & rinse with cold water until noodles are cold. Drain the noodles very well & when most of the water has drained off, toss with 1 Tbsp. Canola oil. Place in a large bowl. Add the cilantro, green onions & Thai chilies to the noodles.

Combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, balsamic vinegar & salt (if using). Toss the noodles with the dressing. Place in a large serving bowl. Top with the peanuts & bean sprouts & serve.

**Click here for the  Barbecued Pork Tenderloin if you would like to make it to go with the salad.

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Bresaola “Carpaccio”

It is important to use a youngish Pecorino and not Pecorino Romano for this dish; perhaps Pecorino Fresca or Pecorino re Nero from Tuscany or a Pecorino from Pienza, if you can find one . The Pecorino’s  can often be found at Les Amis du Fromage or Benton Bros.** Really good, young EVO’s  from Tuscany, Lucca or Umbria work best, as they have a fruitiness and bite that can’t be beat. ** 

Find some really good Italian bread, of course the breads from Rise Artisan** can’t be beat; add some red wine and you’re good to go!

Thinly sliced Bresaola, 5 or 6 slices per person **
Young arugula
Pecorino cheese
Fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper

**Bresaola is  product like proscuitto but made using beef instead of pork.

Arrange the arugula on a platter; top with the Bresaola. Shave some Pecorino on top of the Bresaola; drizzle with EVO and grind black pepper over top. Buon appetito!


** A variation you might like to try is to add some very thinly sliced fennel bulb and change up the Pecorino cheese to Manchego.



** For locations of EVO, Rise Artisan Bread, Oyama Sausage, Les Amis Fromage & Benton Bros. please go to my source list.