Sneak peek of a new project I’m working on. Black rice salad with mango, avocado, red pepper, purple cabbage, scallions and herbs, topped with garlic shrimp and Vietnamese dressing.
Serving something “two ways” sounds kind of cheesy, but sometimes it’s the best way to experience all the flavors of a given vegetable. Raw fennel is so different than roasted fennel, but amazing in their own ways. The same goes for tomatoes.
I roasted a bunch of stragglers I had left over and basically mashed them up with a bit of acid and oil to make a chunky vinaigrette. It’s also good stirred in with grains, like bulgur or quinoa, or israeli cous cous (which is a pasta). I kept this straightforward but a creamy cheese or crunchy nut would not be out of place in this salad.
Poblano peppers are delicious — they’re usually the pepper used in chili relleños, an indulgent and cheesy stuffed pepper dish. They can vary quite a bit in heat, so before adding them to your salad, taste a piece.
When including poblanos in a recipe like this, their tough outer skin is best removed. Charring and then steaming makes it super easy to peel the outer layer of skin right off.
If you’ve got lime or lemon, add a squeeze (I happened to be out at the moment). You could also add a drizzle of olive oil, but because avocados are so fatty on their own, I don’t find it necessary.
Labneh is a heavenly strained yogurt I was first introduced to as part of a Lebaneze meze (shared small plates). It is thicker than greek yogurt and more savory and cheese-like. Traditionally it’s served drizzled with olive oil and perhaps some za’atar seasoning.
Topping it with this cucumber salad may be gilding the lily a bit, but with some fresh, warm pita, this is a fantastic snack or part of a larger Middle Eastern meal. For some cucumber-on-cucumber action, you could even scoop it up with Lebanese cucumbers (or Persian cucumbers…and no one get mad that I mentioned those two words in the same breath please). Lebanese cucumbers are small, maybe 4” long, with very tender skins and basically no seeds. You can probably find them wherever you find the labneh!
File this under super simple summer meals. Hardly any chopping, and no heat required. So fresh.
Have you ever seen a fresh chickpea? I spied them today and had to try them. Shelling them is time consuming but they’re an interesting treat if you can find them. If not, substitute for canned & rinsed chickpeas.
I make variations on this dressing often — this time I used about 2T. greek yogurt, 2 t. dijon, 1/2 a lemon, a small garlic clove, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Massaging the dressing into the kale sounds silly but it really does help tenderize the sometimes tough leaves.
Here I go again with the oven…sincerest apologies, but I really don’t think a recipe of just raw cherries is gonna cut it! I took someone’s advice and tried pitting the cherries this time with a metal cocktail straw. I took off the stem and then ran it right through where it was. It was definitely quicker than the paring knife (thankfully, because it’s only Tuesday and I’m already sick of pitting cherries…)
I had some zucchini left over from last week so I made this sweet / savory / tangy lentil salad. I used these nice little black lentils, but they can be hard to find, so French lentils will also do.
Perhaps I will manage a cherry recipe that doesn’t involve turning on the oven tomorrow. And don’t forget to check out my Q&A on the Kohler design blog!
Thinly slicing raw zucchini prevents what I find to be a slightly off-putting spongy texture from being an issue. Although they are a pain, I love fresh fava beans. If you can’t find them or don’t want to deal with them, you could substitute for edamame.
For those of you who don’t know, bocconcini are little mozzarella balls! They could be easily replaced by pecorino, aged cheddar, or another favorite cheese — or no cheese at all!
Using such strong flavors in a dressing means you hardly have to use any oil — making this a super light, flavorful dressing for the summer. I used about 1 tsp. each of soy sauce and sesame oil, plus the juice and zest of 1/4 of an orange, to make enough dressing for one serving of salad.
Tatsoi is also from the cabbage family, and it’s started to pop up more and more in grocery stores as pre-packaged greens (at least near me). I’ve seen it referred to as “Chinese spinach,” but apparently it’s also known as “rosette bok choy.” By the looks of it they seem nearly identical!
Using the baby varieties of these greens means the stems are tender enough to eat raw, and add a nice crunch to the salad.
Just in time, here’s a nice side salad to bring to any Memorial Day festivities. It’s good served hot or at room temperature.
Garlic scapes are the flower stalks of garlic plants, and are one of those lovely surprises at the spring market. When cut into pieces and sauteed, they act like a vegetable - crunchy and mildly garlicky. If you can’t find garlic scapes, this salad would be delicious with pieces of asparagus or green onions instead.
A panzanella is a great template: seasonal veggies + toasted bread + tangy vinaigrette. Make it with cornbread and jalapeños, and it’s southern. Make it with peppers and toasted pita, and it’s the Middle Eastern salad fattoush. I like a lot of crunchy things in this spring version, radishes included of course, and cumin adds a nice fragrant note to the whole dish.
Was I drawn to making this just because of the alliteration? Maybe. But that doesn’t change the fact that green garlic is an excellent addition to a simple green goddess dressing. It’s totally up to you what herbs to include. I love basil in salad dressing, and tarragon adds a nice mild anise flavor. I used about equal parts of everything — 2 T. sour cream, 2 T. mayo, and about 2 T.+ of each herb. This is one that’s hard to screw up, so just taste and adjust!
I served this on a chopped salad with snap peas, purple cauliflower, radishes, carrots, and kale.
A little video experiment…I’m not sure I’ve found the perfect music yet, but bear with me :-)
Shaved asparagus salad — one of the simplest ways to enjoy asparagus when it’s fresh and tender.
As mentioned, shot by my friend John Kingman, awesome illustrations by my friend Cat Baldwin.
Asparagus, lemon, and egg seem to show up together a lot. One can reasonably assume that’s because they’re delicious together (they are). Hard-boiled eggs are just easier to deal with than poached eggs, and the other benefit is that they’re eaten cold.
The protein in the quinoa and egg make this a great main course salad, and you could easily add more greens, herbs or other veggies.
If yesterday’s salad was an inexpensive way to get greens and protein, this one is perhaps more suited for showing off. Again, arugula or other baby greens would be perfectly nice here, but it is pea shoots week after all!
The grapes add just a little extra crunchy sweetness, and really, has anyone ever gone wrong with burrata?