Archive for the ‘salad’ Category

Char-Grilled Broccoli with Red Pepper, Garlic and Almonds

September 25, 2013

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This broccoli salad/side dish is a signature dish at Ottolenghi. It comes to Ottolenghi from a Tel Aviv restaurant where Sami Tamimi used to work. The original recipe called for mild chili peppers, which I couldn’t find, so I used red bell peppers and sprinkled over a little hot sauce.

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Wordless Wednesday: Ottolengi Mixed Bean Salad

September 4, 2013

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Another good salad for simanin (lubia), this comes from Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. It also appeared in Ottolengi’s column in The Guardian. For American measurements and a lower calorie Weight Watcher’s version of the dish, go here.

It is typical Ottolenghi: vibrant melange of vegetables, exploding with flavor from creative use of spices and herbs: Green beans, roasted red pepper, cumin seeds, fried garlic, capers, lemon zest, parsley and scallions.

Other interesting choices from this book for Rosh Hashana:

Chraimeh (fish in spicy red sauce)
Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini and Za’atar
Baby Spinach Salad with Date and Almonds (well, leave out the almonds)

Easy Honey Lime Black-Eyed Pea Salad

September 3, 2013

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Want a simple black-eyed pea salad recipe for Rosh Hashana?

Try this:

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Umami Sauce

July 18, 2013

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I have made batch after batch of this creamy sauce, adapted from Dr. Andrew Weil’s cookbook True Food, and never tire of it.  I have used it as a salad dressing, but it can also be used to enhance the flavor of ground beef, roasted fish, steamed vegetables and any number of other uses (like this recipe for stir-fried Brussels sprouts,  or stuffed potatoes with broccoli.

It is super creamy and thick, pungent with garlic, with a rich savoriness. The thickness does not come from mayonnaise or oil, but mostly from nutritional yeast, a powerhouse source of vitamins, minerals and protein.

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Weequahic Salad (Claremont Salad or Health Salad)

July 4, 2013

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This was a popular salad when I was growing up. The recipe supposedly comes from the legendary Weequahic Diner in Newark, New Jersey. The owners of the Weequahic, the Baumans, later operated the Claremont Diner in Verona. At both diners, complimentary bowls of this salad were offered to customers when they were first seated.

From the late thirties through the early sixties, the Weequahic Diner was a vital part of the scene in the Jewish section of Newark known as Weequahic. The Claremont stayed in business until fairly recently. After the original Verona location burned down in a fire, the diner was relocated to Clifton were it survived long enough to  be featured in an episode of The Sopranos before being torn down to make way for an auto dealership.

Part of the appeal of the salad is this little bit of New Jersey lore. Mostly, though, my mom and her friends liked to serve this salad in the sixties and seventies because it was delicious, easy to make and kept extremely well.

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Spinach Quinoa Tabbouleh

June 9, 2013

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Did you know that you can sometimes substitute spinach, kale or Swiss chard for parsley? Well, apparently, you can.

I tried making kale pesto a while back and loved it (though I have yet to post about it). This week’s Shabbos salad was a tabbouleh-like mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, quinoa and finely minced baby spinach. Right before serving, I tossed in some diced avocado.

The original recipe was a cilantro chickpea salad from Heather’s Dish that was spotted on Oh She Glows by Arielle of The Diva Dish who added in quinoa, avocado, lemon juice and cherry tomatoes to make Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad. I went back to lime juice, added in cucumbers, and removed the cilantro to make a kind of tabbouleh.

Last week, my husband said the farro salad was the best salad ever, and now his vote is for the tabbouleh. So light, so refreshing, so perfect for summer.

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Farro Salad with Mushrooms and Green Beans

June 2, 2013

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I have been wanting to experiment with farro for quite some time. Of course, when I finally found some farro in the supermarket, I couldn’t remember where I had seen interesting recipes using it.

I wanted a cold farro salad for Shabbos, preferably using the green beans and cremini mushrooms I already had on hand.  A little googling yielded not one, but two Green Bean and Mushroom Farro salad recipes (Closet Cooking and Melissa Kelley in Food and Wine). I went with the recipe that called for roasting the green beans and mushrooms and made a few changes (doubling the amount of mushrooms and roasting the vegetable with balsamic vinaigrette instead of just oil, salt and pepper).

The final salad was intensely savory, with a satisfyingly hearty chewiness from the farro, string beans and mushrooms. The bitterness and crunch of walnuts added a nice counterpoint, but the salad works without the nuts, too.

This is meant to be served cold, but it would also be lovely as a warm pilaf. If you don’t have farro, I think that barley would make a decent substitute, as it has a similar texture. This is something I would definitely consider making for Thanksgiving, as the flavor combination makes me think of the classic green bean casserole.

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Cinnamon Challah Croutons with Berries and Cream (Decontructed Blintzes)

May 20, 2013

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Apparently, dessert croutons are a thing, lately. There are places that sell toasted cubes of cake to eat as snacks or use in desserts or salads. The LA Times recently published a recipe by Nancy Silverton which featured bread croutons as a garnish for a rich chocolate dessert (Bittersweet Chocolate Tartufo with Olive Oil Gelato and Olive Oil Fried Croutons). And there are recipes featuring fruit, ice cream or some other creamy mixture, and sweet croutons (see here and here).

Anyway, I was thinking about a recipe from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great American Desserts called Top Secret Topping. It is nothing more than plain or lightly sweetened cottage cheese, which is somehow transformed by being pureed in the food processor into a luscious creamy smooth topping for fresh fruit. Maida said she swooned when she first tried it over strawberries, and her friends couldn’t guess what it was (yogurt? sour cream? creme fraiche? cream?) (here is her original description, reprinted in Maida’s Heatter’s Pies and Tarts).

She says you can use 1% or 2%, but you really need to use 4% to get the full effect. The extra fat in the 4% makes it possible for the mixture to whip up and increase in volume. The increased airiness as well as the smoothness of the pureed cottage cheese creates the impression of creme fraiche or whipped cream.

I decided to add cinnamon challah croutons to Maida’s combination of strawberries and top secret topping. The result: a taste I can only describe as deconstructed cheese blintz. I also tried the croutons on strawberry spinach salad with my fat-free orange dressing. It was nice, but I liked the combination of creamy cheese, berries and cinnamon croutons a bit more.

The cinnamon challah croutons remind me a bit of those mock blintzes made from toast stuffed with cream cheese. Made with coconut oil, they are pareve, but taste dairy, almost buttery.

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Citrus Honey Dijon Fat-Free Dressing

May 17, 2013

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I have a friend who can’t have any fat, and I like to put rich things in my salad: oil-based dressings, nuts and sometimes cheese. So what I did was serve a deconstructed salad, a home-made salad bar, with the salad greens in one bowl and all the possible topping in little bowls all around. I went with craisins, pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, grape tomatoes, corn, sliced mushrooms, crumbled feta and sliced roasted red peppers, but I could also have put out avocado, scallions and red onion. The fat-free dressing was served on the side.

 

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Spinach Quinoa Salad

May 17, 2013

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This is a fusion of spinach salad and quinoa salad, with an equal balance of the greens and the grains. The dressing is a super simple mixture of lime and lemon juice, with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. A drizzle of honey is entirely optional, but a very nice addition to the dressing. Pecans, sliced pears, scallions and red onion add crunch and color. If you are serving this with a dairy meal, crumbled feta cheese is a delicious topping.

The spinach doesn’t get so soggy, so you can take leftovers to work the next day.

I made this for Shavuoth and served it along with a do-it-yourself salad bar, a cheese platter, roast salmon, yellow rice, stuffed shells and eggplant parmesan. Dessert was fresh fruit, plus low-fat cheesecake and regular cheesecake.
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