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Sunday Salad Samplers Archives

April 26, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #1 - FORAGING THE CITY SALAD (OR GREEN SALAD WITH BLOOD ORANGES)

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It's now Spring, and time to move away from the weekly endeavor of making soups. It is now onto salads. Today begins the first week of our new Spring/Summer Endeavor- Sunday Salad Samplers.

This week our recipe was chosen by Eden of My Blog: Wanderings and Wonderings. Her choice is a lovely green salad with a variety of fruits. Eden posted this on her blog recently, and we all thought the salad looked so good and fresh that we were happy she chose it. The reason it is named "Foraging the City Salad" is because it can be quite a challenge to find blood oranges. I was not successful. I did find Cara Cara oranges, which also have a nice pink color and are very sweet.

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May 3, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK # 2 - BLACK BEAN SALAD

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Time for the second week of Salad Samplers. This week our recipe was chosen by Judy. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, she chose a recipe for a Latin flavored Black Bean Salad. This recipe was given to her by a former co-worker who is also a caterer, and she said the instructions begin "It's not a recipe fixed in stone...", so quantities and ingredients are flexible.

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May 10, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #3 - RAW ASPARAGUS, PEA, AND ARUGULA SALAD

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Another Sunday, another salad. This week's salad was chosen by Amy of Amy's Travel Blog-Destination Anywhere. She chose a delicious spring salad containing asparagus and peas. It was unusual in that the stems of the asparagus were raw. I really loved the salad. The crunchiness of the raw asparagus, the saltiness of the Parmesan cheese, and the earthyness of the toasted nuts. The salad was very quick to put together and I will be making it again in the future I am sure.

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May 17, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #4 - THAI CHICKEN SALAD

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This week our salad was chosen by Jerry of Jerry's Rants, Musings, and Recipes. He chose Thai Chicken Salad. The recipe was modified from one he learned to make at a cooking class he took. If you like the flavors of Thai cooking, you'll love this recipe. You get that citrusy tang from the lime, the saltiness from fish sauce, and the heat from chilie peppers. It was easy to put together, and the leftovers will probably taste even better tomorrow when the flavors have had a chance to meld. Thanks Jerry for the recipe!

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May 24, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #5 - GRILLED TUNA SALAD NICOISE

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This week our salad was chosen by Debrah. She chose Grilled Tuna Salad Nicoise. I love Nicoise salad, so I was happy with this choice.

But...it was Saturday evening, and my husband was out of town. I was feeling very lazy, and didn't want to drive to the store for ingredients. So I decided that I would make this salad only with things that were in my refrigerator or freezer. The salad was wonderful, but I did change it quite a bit. But I have no doubt that if you follow Debrah's recipe below, it will be just as good if not better.

I rarely allow myselt to go to the store and buy fish. We just have too much in our freezer. So I knew that the first substitution I would make would be to use salmon instead of tuna. I just rubbed it with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and grilled it. I have substituted salmon for tuna many times when making a nicoise salad. Then I had to decide what other ingredients I could use. I am watering a neighbor's garden while she is out of town, and I had access to her greenhouse while she was gone. So I cut fresh lettuce for the base of my salad. I didn't have any green beans or asparagus, but I had recieved 2 artichokes in my CSA shipment this week. So I cut out the hearts, drowned them in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and herbs de province, put them in a covered pan, and baked at 375 degrees until tender. My other components were boiled new potatoes, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, and mixed olives. Then it was time for the vinegrette. I knew I would make the classic version, as I just wouldn't consider it a nicoise salad with an asian version (see recipe below). But as I started to make it, I realized I was out of anchovy paste. So I added a little fish sauce, since I heard that was made from anchovies. It worked perfectly.

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May 31, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #6 - FAJITA SALAD WITH CREAMY CILANTRO LIME DRESSING

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This week it was Kim's turn to choose the salad. She had a little trouble deciding on which to choose-would it be a Cashew Chicken Salad with Mandarin Oranges, or a Chicken Ceasar Salad? In the end, she chose a Fajita Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing.

This salad tasted really good, and was low-fat also. A great combination. I followed the recipe, except I sauteed the onions and red peppers in the skillet before I cooked the chicken, and since my husband doesn't like cilantro I made two versions of the dressing-one with cilantro, and one with chives.

If you're looking for a quick healthy salad with lots of bold flavors, give this one a try.

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June 7, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #7 - ROASTED CORN AND WILD RICE SALAD

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Time for another great salad. This week's salad was chosen by Deborah of Old Shoes, New Trip.. She chose a salad that she found on the internet years ago. It's a wonderful Roasted Corn and Wild Rice Salad. My husband and I both loved this salad. It's very healthy-it is full of fiber with the wild rice and vegetables, and only has 1 tablespoon of oil in the entire bowl. It's also very flavorful, and it makes a very large bowl so it would be great to take to a get-together or if it's just for two of you, you'll have leftovers for the week.

The original recipe calls for wild rice blend, but Deborah suggests using 1 package of wild rice. I forgot to purchase this at the store, but knew I had some at home. I wasn't sure the quantity of rice 1 package makes, so I just guessed. I used 3/4 cup wild rice and 1/4 cup wild rice blend. A couple of other subsitutes I made-I used plain frozen corn, as I've never been able to find frozen roasted corn here in Alaska. I chopped my carrots instead of grating them (I was lazy), and lastly, I used strawberry vinegar instead of raspberry vinegar, as that's what I had on hand.

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June 16, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #8 - SHRIMP SALAD

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Okay, it's not Sunday, and for those of you who checked, I didn't post a Sunday Salad Samplers recipe this past Sunday. I still wasn't up to standing long enough to cook. But I'm back to being able to stand for a short while, and so I'm back to cooking.

This week our salad was chosen by Jan of Keep Your Feet in the Street. She chose a Shrimp Salad, which she said was simple, summery, and good. She was right. The hardest thing about making this salad was peeling the shrimp. And I got lucky with the shrimp. My husband came back Sunday night from a weekend out fishing, and with two pulls of the shrimp pots, got 5 gallons each time. 10 gallons of shrimp is a lot for 1 weekend out. Most went in the freezer, but I was sure to save enough for this salad. Enjoy.

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June 21, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK # 9 - GRILLED ROMAINE SALAD WITH CITRUS CEASAR VINAIGRETTE

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It's time for another Sunday Salad Samplers, and this week I was the lucky one who got to choose what we would make. I chose a Grilled Romaine Salad with Citrus Ceasar Vinaigrette. I got the original recipe off of Epicurious.com, but have adapted it a little for my tastes. This is one of my favorite salads. You grill romaine lettuce for a short period of time, and it gives the edges a nice smokey flavor. Then it's topped with a tangy citrus vinegrette and topped with chopped tomatoes, home-made croutons, and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. It can't get much better than that. I encourage you to use the anchovy paste in the dressing. You can cut back the quantity if you don't like a strong anchovy flavor, but it really does add another dimension to the dressing that you won't have otherwise. The tubes of anchovy paste work really well. I also make one change to the recipe. I substitute part of the olive oil with a lemon-infused olive oil. It just makes it more tangy and lemony.

I served my salad with grilled halibut. I put it on a piece of foil, and spread it with a topping made of maui onion mustard, lemon juice, capers, and a little olive oil. Top with salt and pepper and grill. Be sure and don't overcook it, or it will be really dry.

Give this salad a try. I think you'll really enjoy it.

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June 28, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #10 - GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD WITH TARRAGON PESTO

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This week our salad was chosen by Marcia. As she was deciding what salad to choose, she received her copy of the April Bon Appetit in the mail and on the cover was a salad-Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon Pesto. She decided to choose it as her salad.

This salad is very tasty. Make a tarragon pesto, which is very flavorful and unusual. Toss greens, radishes and cucumbers with a lemon vinegrette. Grill chicken and bread. Place on plate.

I made 2 changes to this recipe, one which you've probably already noticed in the photos. Instead of chicken, I used Sockeye(red) salmon that my husband caught when we were out camping this weekend. The other change I made was to add about 1 teaspoon dijon mustard to the vinegrette.

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July 5, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS - WEEK #11 - WATERMELON SALAD

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This week's salad was brought to us by Nancy. Nancy said she chose a Watermelon Salad because it's 4th of July weekend. But she couldn't decide which recipe to choose, so she gave us 3 different recipes and allowed us to choose the version we wanted.

I have seen a lot of recipes for Watermelon and Feta salads, and for some reason, I just couldn't imagine them tasting good. I only eat watermelon by itself, or at the most in a basic fruit salad. But I was determined to try this salad, and boy, am I glad I did. It is really good! I do think the key is to use a red onion that's not too stong (or soak it in some lime juice first to make it more mild). The combination of the sweet watermelon, the salty feta and olives and the earthiness of the red onion is really a winner.

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July 12, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS #12 - CEVICHE

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It's hard to believe we're into our third month of salads. Today's salad was chosen by Candi and it was perfect for the warm weather we've been having. She chose Ceviche. Normally, Ceviche uses fish/shellfish that is "cooked" in lime juice. But this recipe was a little different in that the fish and shrimp were poached in a liquid first. This is a nice choice for someone who is hesitant about eating "raw" fish.

The recipe was adapted from a recipe from Ageless Face, Ageless Mind by Nicholas Perricone. It's a very easy recipe to make, and can handle lots of adaptations. Try this for a light entree for a tasty appetizer.

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July 19, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #13 - ISRAELI SALAD

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This week's salad was chosen by Terry. She chose a recipe from a cookbook that I've had for many years-Molly Katzen's book, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Terry first ate this salad while in Israel, and said they eat salads like this a lot for breakfast. I'm not sure that I was too thrilled to make this salad. I just couldn't imagine a salad with pickles in it. Well, I made it and LOVED IT! It's so fresh-tasting. I followed the recipe except I used a red pepper instead of green, and I didn't measure anything. I also minced everything by hand instead of using a food processor. I topped mine with some plain yogurt. My husband really liked this salad also, and he doesn't care for olives or pickles.

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August 2, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #14 - THAI BEEF SALAD

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Okay, I'm a week behind on this one. Might be the first time all season that I've been so behind. Today is supposed to be Palma's Tropical Rice Salad. I'll post on that in the next couple of todays. So today, it's the salad for last week.

The recipe was chosen by Maria. Here's her description of the recipe: "This salad is one of the favorites in restaurants and home kitchens alike in Bangkok and Central Thailand. This version was given to me by my niece Isabel who for many years assisted her Thai mom in Atlanta-area restaurants."

I followed the recipe as written, with a few minor changes. I added a little sugar to the dressing. I also forgot to add the Thai chilis to my salad, but I had added garlic-chili sauce to the dressing also so it was very spicy. I also used sweet onion instead of red onion.

I loved this salad. It is so flavorful, and very healthy as long as you use a cut of beef that isn't too fatty. The dressing has no oil in it, but you don't miss it at all. You can also substitute shrimp for the beef.

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August 4, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #15 - TROPICAL RICE SALAD

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We're almost at an end to our salad-making, and wouldn't you know this is the time I get behind. This salad was our chosen salad for last Sunday. It was created by Palma. For those of you who don't know, Palma is a fabulous cook. She came up with this recipe while looking for a salad for a tropical-themed wedding shower.

The salad is really flavorful. I followed the directions with only a couple of changes-I used a mixed rice blend(brown, wild, etc.) instead of the white rice called for, and used orange bell pepper instead of red. Great with grilled fish or chicken. Thanks Palma.

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August 9, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #16 - COUSCOUS SALAD

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We're almost at the end. Only 2 more salads to go after today. And I think I've really liked every single salad we've made. And I haven't tired of making salads. But I guess eventually all things have to come to an end...but not yet! This week, Annie chose our salad, and picked a recipe for a Couscous salad. Here's what she says about the recipe: "I found this recipe on the McCormick spice website after a friend brought me a big bag of cinnamon from Vietnam and I started looking for savory recipes to use it in. The recipe was created by Suzanne Goins from the Los Angeles restaurant Luques. I use whole wheat couscous and sometimes substitute dried apricots for the dates. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Vietnamese cinnamon is pretty strong so if you're using regular cinnamon, you might want to use a little bit more. This is a great party/potluck recipe (it keeps and travels well)."

This salad was very good, and can make a meal by itself. I ate it warm and cold, and enjoyed it both ways. The sweet from the dates, contrasting with the savory from the onions, is really good.

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August 16, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #17 - SOUTHERN MUSTARD POTATO SALAD

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Only one more week left of making salads. I'm going to miss that. This week, Sandi of Whistlestop Cafe chose our recipe. She chose a good, old-fashioned potato salad. I followed the recipe except I didn't have spicy mustard so I used Dijon, and I didn't really measure the ingredients, just threw them together. Loved it! I don't make potato salad often, and when I do, I wonder why I don't make it more often. I served mine with a halibut with a lemon caper sauce on top. Perfect.

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August 23, 2009

SUNDAY SALAD SAMPLERS WEEK #18 - TORTELLINI SALAD

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I guess all good things must eventually come to an end. This is the last week for our Sunday Salad Samplers. We've made 18 salads, and I've loved every one of them.

This weeks salad was chosen by Ida. She said she's been making this salad for years, and it makes a large batch, so it's good for parties or buffets. It's a recipe that you can adapt to your likes/dislikes, or to fit what ingredients you have on hand.

I used 2 different fresh tortellinis in mine. One was spinach with cheese, the other was filled with chicken and proscuitto. I used feta cheese instead of mozzarella, and instead of the sundried tomatoes, garlic, black olives, marinated artichokes, and marinated red peppers, I used a couple of mixed things from the olive bar at Safeway. The mixtures contained marinated artichokes, black olives, hot peppers and pickled garlic. This salad was really good. Flavorful and colorful. You can add shrimp or chicken to it for a complete meal, or serve it as a side dish. I served mine as a side to salmon salad sandwiches.

We're taking a week off, then we begin our next cooking adventure-Sunday Small Bites. This will be a little diffferent than we've done in the past. Each week, someone will chose an ingredient. We all make an appetizer with that ingredient (and it has to be one we've never made before) then post on our blog. All of us will have different appetizers, which will give us a lot of new recipes to try for ourselves in the future.

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