My friend Katelyn is a grain salad person. She’s always serving the tastiest salads with barley or wheat berries mixed together with other delicious morsels.
Last week my sister hosted dinner and served a tasty orzo and arugula salad that I absolutely loved. I decided to adapt her recipe by using farro and it turned out wonderfully. I served it to Katelyn alongside this Chicken Piccata recipe from Homemade Italian Cooking. She asked for the recipe, so here we are. 🙂
The magic ingredient in my salad (that’s completely optional) is reconstituted porcini mushrooms chopped up finely. It adds depth to the dish and the lemon, feta and dried cranberries bring in a brightness that complement the spiciness of the arugula.
This is a wonderful side dish to serve at Thanksgiving as it incorporates cranberries, grains, and has a look of good cheer on your plate.
You can of course replace the farro with any grain such as brown rice or couscous.
Farro and Arugula salad with Feta, Cranberries and Porcini
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (optional)
- 2.5 cups cooked farro, cooled
- A few big handfuls of baby arugula (or baby spinach/arugula mix)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup Craisins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Splash of white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place dried porcini in a small bowl and cover completely with boiling water. Place a plate on top of the bowl and let sit for 20 minutes until mushrooms are soft. Chop finely.
Add all the ingredients to a salad bowl and toss until everything is well coated. Add more olive oil if it needs to be loosened up a little.
I’ve discovered I’m picky when it comes to potato salad. I don’t like celery, I don’t like hard-boiled eggs, or caraway seeds, or big hunks of onion, or mushy potatoes — ok, ok I’m a potato salad priss!
I needed to use up some thin-skinned potatoes in my pantry so I turned to Pinterest and couldn’t find just what I was looking for. I did find something close. This recipe from Mrs. Happy Homemaker calls for pickle brine instead of vinegar or lemon juice. That piqued my interest.
So I came up with my own version and it was everything I’ve always wanted in a potato salad. It’s creamy, tangy, salty and has a good bite.
Pickle and Potato Salad – the perfect potato salad without celery or eggs
- 3 pounds small, thin skinned potatoes
- 3/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
- generous 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup pickle brine
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- salt and pepper
Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for about 12 minutes until potatoes are fork tender but not mushy.
Drain potatoes and run cold water over them to cool.
Combine the pickles, mayo, brine, mustard, and green onions in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When potatoes are cool enough to touch, slice them half lengthwise and then slice into 1/4-inch wide pieces.
Add potatoes to the sauce and mix until potatoes are completely coated. Serve warm or chilled.
Tonight was supposed to be leftovers night, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to cook something using the ingredients on hand. We had leftover chili and tortillas so I decided on chili enchiladas. That’s a heavy dish and as with most Mexican-style dishes I never know what type of vegetable to serve on the side. Broccoli? Cole slaw? Naw.
I rifled through the fridge and found an English cucumber, feta and some limes. I had chickpeas in the pantry. Yes….this could be something.
This salad was the perfect palate cleanser to the heavy enchiladas. The bright lime dressing cut through the spicy, cheesy sauce and left me licking the salad bowl.
You can opt to not fry the chickpeas, but that added crispiness was a wonderful touch.
Cucumber chickpea salad with lime dressing
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 english cucumber, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3+ tablespoons good olive oil
- 1/4 cup feta crumbles
- salt and pepper
Coat the bottom of a medium sauté pan with olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. Heat over high flame. Remove as much moister as possible from the chickpeas by putting them in a salad spinner.
When the oil is hot, add the chickpeas to the pan and fry them for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden and crispy. Turn off heat and let chickpeas cool.
In a medium bowl, add the cucumbers, green onion, cilantro and feta.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When chickpeas are cool, add to the rest of the salad. Just before serving, whisk the dressing together and toss into the salad.
With a new year comes New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve decided to join the countless others who resolve to eat more healthily. As a contributor to Anchorage Food Mosaic Project, I was recently asked what my Food Year’s Resolution was. Fewer cheeseburgers was the first thing that came to mind, but also to cut down on carbs and to eat more healthily in general.
My husband and I are trying out the South Beach Diet, which is a low sugar and carb regimen. The first phase is pretty strict, but that doesn’t limit my ability to cook delicious food.
Today’s lunch was quick to prepare and pretty dang delicious. I love me some smoked salmon, but that stuff is expensive. I wanted to make a dish that had the flavor of smoked salmon, but was a little easier on the pocketbook.
This salad recipe is chock full of nutrients and with the use of smoked paprika, it fulfilled my craving for smoked salmon. I purchased my canned salmon at Costco, but if you’re lucky to have an Alaska fisherman friend, you could certainly make this with fresh-cooked salmon!
Smokey salmon lettuce wraps — A South Beach Diet phase 1 recipe
Makes about 6 wraps
Continue reading Salmon salad lettuce wraps
Yes, I just used “grilled” to describe salad. I made grilled casear salad last night before our steak dinner and not only was it tasty, but it delighted my guests that I put the lettuce on the grill. I used whole heads of romaine lettuce cut down the middle. The char added an extra dimension of flavor to the salad and didn’t compromise the texture at all.
This recipe is from Cook’s Country Magazine. I particularly like it because it doesn’t call for raw eggs. I recommend using romaine from Costco because they’re not loose leaf like what I was finding at the grocery store.
Ingredients for dressing:
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 anchovy fillets
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
For the salad:
Two romaine hearts, halved lengthwise through the cores
1 baguette, sliced on the bias into 12 slices
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1/4 cup parmesan
Combine the lemon and garlic and let marinate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add to a blender the mayo, cheese, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, anchovies, salt and pepper. Toss in the lemon juice and garlic and process for about 30 seconds. While blender is still running, slowly add the olive oil. Place in the fridge till you’re ready to grill.
Heat the grill to super hot. Brush your “croutons” with olive oil on both sides and toast on the grill. Scrub the cut garlic clove on the toasts and set aside. Prepare your romaine hearts by painting dressing on the cut sides. Place cut side down on grill for 1-2 minutes till you see grill marks.
Serve with croutons and remaining dressing. Top with parmesan cheese.