De Ma Cuisine

salads Archive

Monday

20

July 2015

0

COMMENTS

Melon and Feta Salad

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Salads, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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I mentioned last week that I have a hard time eating melon any way other than chilled, plain, nothing else to it. I’ve heard of people putting feta with their melon. So weird. So so weird. I was never gonna try it. Why ruin a perfectly good thing?

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I was wrong.

I’ve been missing out.

I was the weird one.

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Creamy, cool, salty chunks of feta. Savory, crunchy, spicy red onions. Bright, summery, fresh herbs.

It’s like a summer poem on a plate. A mouthwatering piece of art.

Oh that I could eat this for every meal of every day.

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Although I really reeeeally enjoyed this salad as is (and it’s seriously best with everything piled into the same bite), if you wanted to change things up, here are some suggestions: You could make this an all savory salad and substitute eggplant for the melon. Easy. If you’re going for a vegan dish you might swap the feta for some crumbled extra firm tofu (you might want to add a little extra salt). If feta isn’t your favorite, but you love blue cheese, ricotta, or goat cheese, give ’em a try. Like most things that I make, it’s best made to suit the cook’s tastes, with what they have on hand.

I ate this for lunch today, standing at the kitchen island, watching a Red Sox game, all the while trying to hurry so I could clean up and get back to work. But, here’s how I really want to enjoy it: outside, with some of my favorite people, alongside some grilled sausage and a creamy potato salad, with some of Tim’s homemade ice cream for dessert. Maybe not today, but soon. It needs to happen soon.

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Sometimes there’s something to be said for, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Not here. I will never tire of freezing cold melon on its own. But, this salad holds a special place in my heart. Because, if I dig a little deeper, it’s a great reminder that it’s always a good thing to venture out of my comfort zone to try something new, something scary, something that might seem a little bit weird.

Happy Eating! 

Melon and Feta Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4

Melon and Feta Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 C (heaping) melon (cantaloupe or watermelon), cubed
  • 1 C tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 C cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 C red onion, diced
  • 1-2 sprinkles cayenne or 1 hot pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 T fresh mint, diced
  • 2 T fresh basil, diced
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 oz. feta (or ricotta, blue cheese, goat cheese, or extra firm tofu), crumbled

Instructions

  1. Toss melon through hot pepper (if using) in a bowl.
  2. Whisk salt through vinegar (and cayenne, if using), stream in olive oil as you whisk.
  3. Toss melon mixture with dressing. Add feta. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/melon-and-feta-salad/

Thursday

2

July 2015

1

COMMENTS

Potato Salad

Written by , Posted in Dinner, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Nuts, Potatoes, Potlucks, Salads, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Nothing says summer and comfort food all in one bite like potato salad. My mom makes great potato salad. We ate it a lot growing up (and still do, when we go home to visit). I never get tired of it. There are so many things you can do with potato salad. This one is a classic that’s been tweaked a bit… In a good way.

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For me, classic means hard boiled eggs, potatoes, and a creamy sauce. There might be something crunchy in there too – celery, pickles, red onions, bacon…

I didn’t vary on the eggs. Hard boiled goodness. I know there are many schools of thought on the perfect way to boil an egg. I do it one of two ways: I bring some water to a boil, add about 1 t white vinegar (so the whites seize up if the shell cracks), then either boil for 15 minutes, or turn the heat off and cover and let them stand for 15 minutes. Recently we watched an episode of Good Eats and Alton Brown did the turn off the heat method, so I tried it. It worked. The other way does too (the way my mom taught me).

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I strayed a bit with the potatoes. Only a bit though. I added some parsnips. I almost added turnips… Maybe next time. But, parsnips, try them if you want to be a little bit creative, but not too. They look like the potatoes (you know, in case anyone is picky about color), and they only taste a tiny bit different. I mean, I know they’re in there and I hardly notice them.

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The creamy dressing for my potato salad is usually a combination of yogurt and mayo. This time, I had some homemade mayo on hand (made with Burroughs Family Farm eggs). Since you’re not really supposed to keep homemade mayo around for too long, this was the perfect way to use it up. I also added some plain yogurt, and olive oil (just because I love the taste). There’s some garlic, herbs, and paprika. Salt, pepper, and dijon mustard. I don’t know if I’ve ever followed a potato salad recipe other than my mom’s, so I don’t know how far from normal I’ve gone. I also don’t care all that much. Because Tim thought it tasted great and so did I.

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It’s really a four-step dish. Steam potatoes (then cool). Cook eggs so that the perfectly golden yolks are firm. Whisk dressing. Assemble. And then, usually I stand there “making sure it tastes ok”, which means eating about half of it before it goes into the fridge. It’s one of my favorite things to eat. I take after my mom.

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This was great on its own. It was fabulous topped with some chopped walnuts and tomatoes. But, I really couldn’t pick a way that I preferred it. So, if you want it to be more classic, leave the toppings off. If you want to spice things up, add them. If you add them you’re also adding more protein (walnuts), and a healthy fruit (tomato – yes, it’s technically a fruit).

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It’s best eaten outdoors, while barbecuing, surrounded by loved ones. But, can also be enjoyed for breakfast (ask my mom), lunch, or dinner, with sandwiches, other salads, burgers, grilled meats and veggies, or just on its own.

Happy Eating!

Potato Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 lbs (about 8 medium) potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 lb. (about 2 medium) parsnips (optional, can use all potatoes), cubed
  • 1/2 to 3/4 C mayo (homemade if you have it)
  • 3/4 to 1 C plain yogurt
  • 1-2 T dijon mustard
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 hot pepper (optional), ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t fresh thyme (or 1/2 t dried)
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2-4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 C tomatoes, chopped, for topping
  • 1/2 C walnuts, chopped, for topping
  • 2 T combo of any or all: chives, parsley, or basil, chopped, for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot with about 1 1/2" water at the bottom. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes and parsnips to a steamer basket and add to the pot. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until they're tender. Cool completely.
  2. Whisk together mayo through pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Toss vegges with dressing. Fold in eggs. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Refrigerate for an hour or serve immediately.
  4. Serve topped with tomatoes, walnuts, and herbs, or just on its own.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/potato-salad/

 

Thursday

28

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

Customizable Panzanella Salad

Written by , Posted in Beans, Beef, Bread, Cheese, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Eggs, Fish, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Legumes, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Pork, Poultry, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Salads, Sides, Toasting, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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There are so many things that this salad can be. It can be vegan, paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, high-protein… It all depends on what you add to it.

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I made some baguettes a few weeks ago that I wasn’t thrilled with. They’re prefect for croutons though. If you prefer to avoid bread, quinoa or tofu would be great bread replacers. Or, if you’re eating gluten-free, your best gluten-free bread will be just perfect.

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To make up the bulk of this salad, I opened this week’s Abundant Harvest Organics box then pulled a few things from the produce drawer. But this is where there are so many ways you can make this salad your own.

Beyond tons of veggie options, here are a few ways you could adapt this dish:

Protein a Plenty: Add beans, quinoa (instead of or alongside the bread), tofu, hard boiled eggs, meat (tuna, beef, chicken, turkey, pork), nuts, cheese.

Paleo: Add eggs, meat, and nuts instead of the bread.

Vegan: Leave as is, or add quinoa or tofu.

Gluten-Free: Use your favorite gluten-free bread, or swap out the bread for quinoa.

All the Veggies: I used nopales, onion, carrot, green beans, radish, and summer squash. You could also add: snap peas, greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumber… or any other veggies that are in season and you think would taste great.

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I love the combination of a really good quality olive oil like Bari’s along with balsamic vinegar. But, a mixture of red wine vinegar and lemon juice, or balsamic and lemon juice would also be great. Customize it to make it your own!

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Riiiiiight before serving add the bread. Or to really avoid soggy bread, put the bread on the plate and top it with salad, letting the dressing soak in slowly. The lesson I learned today: only add as much bread as you’re going to eat. The leftovers will get way soggy (#freetofail).

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This is one of my favorite ways to welcome summer. But, come fall or winter, just trade the summer veggies for some roasted winter ones and you’ve got a winner all year round.

Happy Eating!

Customizable Panzanella Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Customizable Panzanella Salad

Ingredients

  • 3-4 C stale bread (any kind - or could sub 2-3 C quinoa or tofu), cubed
  • 1 t olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C balsamic or red wine vinegar (or half vinegar half lemon juice)*
  • 1 1/2 t dijon mustard
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 T to 1/4 C olive oil*
  • 3-4 T fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, oregano, thyme), chopped
  • 4-6 C any of the following (cubed, chopped, grated, or torn): summer squash, nopales, snap peas, green beans, greens, radishes, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumbers, red onions, nuts, hard boiled eggs, nuts, chicken, beef, tuna, pork, mozzarella, parmesan, cannellini beans, garbonzo beans)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Toss bread with 1 t olive oil, salt, and pepper, Place on a baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for about 5 minutes more (or until they're golden and toasty).
  2. Whisk balsamic vinegar through pepper. Stream in oil as you whisk. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  3. Toss salad contents (except bread, if using quinoa or tofu, add it now) with dressing. Add bread just before serving.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/customizable-panzanella-salad/

Monday

20

April 2015

1

COMMENTS

Warm Beet and Walnut Salad

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, Potlucks, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Rice, Salads, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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It’s spring. But, here in L.A. it seems like the weather’s not sure what it wants to do. One week it feels like summer, the next, we’re back to our winter weather.

But, this salad can be eaten rain or shine.

It’s a simple one. And it goes kinda like this…

You start with a grain: Quinoa, brown rice, bulgur wheat, wild rice, or couscous.

You choose your veggies (any or all): Beets, carrots, greens, tomatoes (ok, technically a fruit), or summer squash.

Then you choose your add ins: Walnuts, almonds, raisins, apples, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.

Fresh herbs are added: Parsley, basil, or thyme.

And you’re ready to eat!

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Since we get beets year round here, we can eat this hearty salad whenever we want. I had golden beets on hand, but red beets would work well too.

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I love the feeling of sunshine that golden beets bring to my kitchen. They’re such a happy root veggie.

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Veggies are cooked in a skillet – easy! Beets are a pretty dense root veggie, so be sure to give them enough time to cook (20 minutes or so seemed to do the trick for me).

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I love raw walnuts, so they were a perfect choice. Some raisins and apples added a bit of sweetness to the already sweet beets and carrots. Sweet, but not too.

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For my grain, I chose quinoa. Packed with protein, it seemed like a great fit for a vegan dish.

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Some quality olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon brighten and round out the dish.

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The finished product is a warm salad. The beets warm the add ins slightly, while the add ins cool the cooked veggies. You could also refrigerate and eat it a few hours later.

Quick and easy to prepare, packed with nutrients and protein, this one was a hit at our house. Even Tim, who isn’t crazy about beets, thought it was really good.

Happy Eating!

Warm Beet and Walnut Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 3-4

Warm Beet and Walnut Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 C water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 C uncooked quinoa (rinsed) (or couscous, wild rice, bulgur wheat, or brown rice with appropriate amount of water)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C golden beets (red beets would work great too), peeled and chopped
  • 1 C carrots (or summer squash), chopped
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 3 C greens (like spinach, chard, or kale), chopped
  • sprinkle cayenne
  • 1 t fresh parsley, chopped (divided)
  • 1 t fresh basil, chopped (divided)
  • 2 T raisins, chopped
  • 1/4 C apple, chopped
  • 1 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 C pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until done. (If using other grains, cook according to package's instructions.)
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot add the beets through pepper. Cook for about 20 minutes (or until veggies are tender), adding greens after about 10-15 minutes (depending on type of greens - more tender greens will require less time to cook).
  3. Remove skillet from the heat. Stir in half of the herbs (reserving the rest for topping), and then raisins through lemon juice, and cooked quinoa. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold, with a lemon wedge for squeezing over.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/warm-beet-and-walnut-salad/

Wednesday

4

March 2015

1

COMMENTS

Roasted Carrots with Honey and Almonds

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nuts, One Dish Dinners, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Salads, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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If these carrots had a story, I’d imagine that it would go something like this, “My grandmother used to tell us about life in the old country. Her father was a carrot farmer. They had good years, but there were the lean years too.

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Her mother made the best ricotta. It was a favorite in their town. During those harder times they would trade their carrots and that ricotta for the almonds grown on the farm right next to theirs.

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At the end of the summer, they would shake the trees and there was always so much dust in the air. But, it was worth it. When they tasted those almonds, combined with the sweet carrots, grown by her father’s hand, topped with the cool, silky ricotta, it felt like everything would be alright. There was a promise of better times in those simple ingredients.

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As she tossed the carrots with some olive oil, salt and pepper, a far away look would come over her.

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As she took her first bite, I knew that the taste was taking her back to a different time. Memories long forgotten were brought back with the sweet roasted flavor. It tasted like home.”

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 Yes, I think that’s the kind of story these carrots would tell.

Happy Eating!

Roasted Carrots with Honey and Almonds

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Yield: 2-4 as a side dish, 2 as a light main dish

Roasted Carrots with Honey and Almonds

Ingredients

  • 3 carrots, sliced into rounds (1/4" thick)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 T honey
  • 1/4 C (heaping) almonds, diced
  • 1/4 C ricotta cheese
  • lemon slices, for serving

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. Toss the carrots with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
  3. Toss partially roasted carrots with garlic, honey, and almonds. Spread out on the baking sheet and return to the oven and roast for 5-7 minutes more.
  4. Serve topped with a scoop of ricotta and a squeeze of lemon.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/roasted-carrots-with-honey-and-almonds/