Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salad. Show all posts

Late Summer Green Bean Salad with Feta, Cranberries, and Walnuts

As we enter the last hurrah of summer around here, a bumper crop of lovely green beans are making their showy appearance at our local farmers market. Sure there are the standard beans, glorious in their plump greenness, but there are also the more unusual varieties arriving onto the scene. The deep purple, almost midnight black numbers. Broad beans that are flecked with a red that mysteriously disappears once cooked. The fashionably thin French selections. All delightful and unique in their own way.

Mix any combination of these beauties with brain boosting walnuts along with the tang of feta and the sweetness of dried cranberries and you have the beginning of an enchanting late summer side salad. For our vegan friends, skip the feta. An inspired raw version can be created by shredding the uncooked beans, switching out lemon juice for the balsamic and Dijon, omitting the cheese and leaving the walnuts in all their raw glory. 

Thrive Short Order | Swift Chicken and Gorgonzola Salad

If you haven't noticed lately, I'm on a fast and furious theme concerning food. With the weather glorious and a long list of life priorities in hand, I am just not in the mood to be fussing with elaborate recipes. I know this will change once the temperature drops and we spend more time indoors. For now, simplicity is the key. I also realize that quite a few working mothers absolutely demand meals that do not require hours in the kitchen (at least during the week).

Although a breeze to toss together, this summer salad is far from humdrum. The pungency of the gorgonzola offsets the slight sweetness of the honey-lime vinaigrette. And the lightness of the cucumbers is a nice compliment to the chicken. But don't be fooled - this salad packs enough protein and heartiness to qualify as a main course. Garnish with sliced avocado and a few toasted almonds to make it more so. Remember to enjoy the end result in the spirit of the Slow Food movement - always savor your meals with good company. An outdoor picnic is my favorite.

Shaved Beet and Pecorino Salad with Apricots

I wanted to publish this recipe during spring as this is the best time to cleanse the liver and beets are a fantastic vegetable for this purpose. However, life had gotten the better of me and I am just now able to share this post. And really, the mighty liver can always use support in the form of good nutrition. If you choose a super-healthy vegan version, shaved fennel or jicama would be a nice substitute for the pecorino.

The focus here is color, but not hastily mixed. Care and attention is needed to lightly grace the marinated beets with the apricots, pecorino and green onions so the colors remain pure for each element. Also, as with most things in life, fresh is best so do not allow this salad to sit long. Enjoy!

4 medium red beets, peeled
1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 green onions, 1/4 inch diagonal slice
1oz pecorino cheese, shaved
3 semi-firm apricots, quartered wedges

Using a wide vegetable peeler or a mandolin, shave beets into paper thin slices and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add beets and toss. Transfer seasoned beets to serving plate and arrange apricots across the top.

Lightly sprinkle the beets and apricots with shaved Pecorino and sliced green onions.

Generously serves two.

Italian Spring Tabbouleh

As spring is beginning to peek through the final days of our brisk Montana winter, fantasies of light, cleansing salads come into the forefront. Even though it is a little early season-wise for tomatoes and cucumbers, one can find a good, local hydroponic heirloom tomato in this neck of the woods with a bit of persistence. And fresh basil to boot.

For those of you unfamiliar with quinoa, think Peruvian superfood. An excellent source of vegetarian protein, this grain is difficult to match. Quinoa makes a fantastic substitute for couscous or cracked wheat, which is shown in the recipe below. Enjoy!

3 cups cooked quinoa*
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 heirloom tomatoes, medium chop
1 English cucumber, medium chop

Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, basil, and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Add cooked quinoa, tomatoes, and cucumber. Toss gently and serve.

*Rinse quinoa before cooking to remove any bitter oils present.