Sunday Salad Samplers Archives

April 26, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers #1 Foraging the City Salad


Eden started us off with a simple, delicious salad. She named it "Foraging the City Salad" or "Palma and Jerry's Salad". Such an honor!
Here is her recipe:

Some greens - use your favorite or a combination of favorite greens

Blood Oranges - at least two or three if they are small

Berries - yellow or red raspberries when available

Dried Cranberries - because I had some and love them

Crumbled cheese - Feta (I used blue)

Roasted candied pecans

Croutons, if you wish

I couldn't find blood oranges this late in the season, so I used Cara Cara oranges. they weren't very pink, but the salad was delicious! I used some of my new lemon balsamic as dressing.


May 3, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Black Bean Salad


Judy's choice of salad is a hearty, colorful and festive dish, perfect for Cinco de Mayo, or any time during warm weather. I left Brad a huge bowl to enjoy while I am at a weekend conference in San Diego.


Black Bean Salad

2 cups dried black beans

cover dry beans with 2 inches of water, and allow to soak overnight; drain soaking liquid, cover with fresh water, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook (1 – 2 hrs) until beans are tender. Do NOT salt the water – it can cause the beans to toughen. Rinse and drain beans well, to get rid of all the black/grey liquid, which can discolor the salad.

Note – if you prefer, you can substitute 4 – 16. oz cans of cooked black beans; just rinse and drain thoroughly as above.

While beans are cooking, also cook

1 – ½ to 2 cups long grain rice, brown rice, or an "8 grain" mixture of rice/grain that you can get from some stores, following package directions..

Cool beans and grain.

Dice some combination of the following:-- try to dice all veggetables uniformly to a size similar to the size of the black beans for best appearance:

Red onions (maybe 1 whole one)
Garlic, minced or crushed (up to 12 cloves more or less)
Bell peppers. I like to use 3 colors to brighten up the salad.
Jalapeno - 2 or 3 depending on heat you like, minced
Corn, canned, frozen or fresh as you like maybe a cup or so (suggestion – use the roasted corn from Trader Joe’s for an extra layer of flavor).
Optional addition --green beans or zucchini

Toss all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

Then add Cumin-lime vinaigrette:
Olive oil (about 1/2 cup)
lime zest
lime juice (about 1/4 cup)
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon or so of mustard
garlic (maybe 6 or so cloves)
cumin and or chili powder (1-2 teaspoons to taste)
adjust these ingredients as needed to balance the flavors.
Optional: stir in fresh chopped cilantro.

Garnish with cilantro.

May 10, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers #3: Asparagus, Pea and Arugula Salad


Amy's choice was a refreshing combination. It had a clean and balanced taste, and the nuts and cheese really brought out the flavors of the veggies. The only change I made was using sugar snap peas instead of regular peas, because I had an over-abundance of them in my fridge. I also used toasted pistachios. Thanks, Amy!


Raw Asparagus, Pea, and Arugula Salad

For the dressing--put these ingredients in the food processor, and whirl to combine. Taste and adjust to your liking.

* 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar, rice-wine vinegar, or other delicate, slightly sweet vinegar
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 1 shallot, minced
* 1/4 cup hazelnut, toasted walnut, or pistachio oil (or just increase the olive oil--but a nut oil adds a lot of flavor)
* 1/4 cup light-tasting olive oil
* Salt--a pinch
* Pepper--a few grinds

1 lb fat asparagus
2 cups garden peas; or frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 lb arugula (about 6 cups)
1 cup toasted walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, or other nuts
a chunk of good parmesan cheese

Snap off just the really woody bottom end of the asparagus. Since you'll be peeling the stems, you can use more than usual. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the stems all the way up, stopping just at the tips. (this step will make the stalks much more tender and juicy!) Cut off the tips, and blanch the tips for 2 minutes. Slice the stems on the diagonal in one-inch diagonal slices. Put the arugula in a bowl, and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat. In another bowl, combine the asparagus tips, cut-up stems, and the peas. Toss this mixture with dressing as well. Place a serving of the arugula on each salad plate. Top arugula with a portion of the vegetables. Shave large slices of the parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler, and add to the salads. Sprinkle on nuts, and serve.

May 17, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers #4: Thai Chicken Salad


Jerry gave us this week's simple and delicious salad with veggies in a Thai dressing and marinated chicken. The chicken was spicy and the dressing hot and limey. It was a nice change from all of our usual salads! Thanks, Jerry.


Thai Chicken Salad

For the chicken:

4 roasted chicken breasts
½ tsp chopped galangal (can substitute with ginger)
Juice of two limes
1 ½ tsp minced bird’s eye chilies (or 1 tsp chili paste such as sambel oelek)
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 kaffir lime laves – centre rib removed, cut in a chiffonade
¾ tsp fish sauce

Shred the chicken breast.
Mix all of the dressing ingredients.
Toss the shredded chicken with the dressing. Adjust the seasonings – there should be a balance of hot, sour, and salt. To adjust seasonings in Thai food follow these rough guidelines . . . if it is too sweet add more fish sauce . . . too salty add more sugar . . . not tangy enough - add more lime juice . . . not hot enough - add more chili or some sambel oelek

For the salad base:

2 T fish sauce
2 T palm sugar – (can substitute with regular or brown sugar)
¼ cup lime juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 bird’s eye chilies, minced
1 bunch watercress, trimmed
8 Napa cabbage leaves cut in a chiffonade
16 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup blanched green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
½ bunch cilantro, leaves trimmed and coarsely chopped
½ bunch mint, leaves trimmed and cut in a chiffonade

½ cup roasted peanuts (non-salted) or cashews, chopped

Mix the fish sauce through to chilies in a jar. Stir/shake well to dissolve sugar. Taste for seasonings). Store it in the refrigerator overnight so the flavours come together.
Mix together the watercress through mint in a large bowl.
Toss with dressing.

To serve:
Divide the vegetable mixture amongst 4 plates.
Add the chicken on top of the vegetable mixture.
Sprinkle with chopped, roasted nuts. You can also add some cilantro to garnish.

May 24, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers #5:Tuna Salad Nicoise


Debrah's suggestion of a grilled tuna salad was a perfect hot weather outdoor meal.
Everything was cooked on the grill, and I made the classic dressing to brush on the tuna steaks and the veggies.

Classic Dressing: (put all ingredients into a jar, cover and shake)
1/4 Red wine vinegar
2 small or one large shallot (minced finely)
4 T. olive oil (or toasted walnut or hazelnut oil)
½ t. anchovy paste (optional)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 t. whole grain mustard
pinch of thyme

For my salad, I used grilled asparagus, yellow and red peppers, fennel, and a hard boiled egg. Quick and easy. Thanks, Debrah!


May 31, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers #6:


I decided to veer off the path of this week's suggested "Fajita Salad with Creamy Cilantro Sauce". The idea of a fajita salad sounded good, but by the time this picky eater deleted the beans, tomatoes, olives and changed the cilantro to basil, it would not even be close to the recipe. Instead I made Kim's original thought for which recipe she might use: Cashew Chicken Salad with Mandarin Oranges" from Cooking Light.


3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
3 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted cashews
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.

Nutritional Information
Calories:300 (30% from fat)
Fat:10.1g (sat 2.6g,mono 4g,poly 2.2g)

The salad was delicious. I followed the recipe, except I forgot to buy the bean sprouts. The dressing was tangy, and it was an easy light summer meal on a 104 degree day. Perfect!


June 7, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers # 7: Roasted Corn & Wild Rice Salad

Deborah chose this wonderful salad of wild rice, roasted corn, veggies and a sweet, fruity dressing just in time for me to serve it at two different events this week! I made a large bowl for my intern luncheon on Wednesday, and took all the leftovers to a pot luck party Friday night. Perfect! Thanks, Deborah! I loved the blend of flavors, and didn't need to substitute even one ingredient!

I must admit, I have never eaten wild rice before. I had never eaten brown rice until I made the Cinco de Mayo salad. I don't even buy regular rice. I buy BAGS of Italian rice for risotto, but never any other kind. You have broadened my horizons.


Deborah says,

"The recipe is very easy. It keeps well and freezes well. You can serve it both chilled or at room temperature. Great for picnics where you don't want to worry about spoilage.

1 package - uncooked wild rice. (the original recipe called for wild rice blend, but I prefer the stronger flavors of only wild rice.)
2 cups - frozen roasted corn nibblets (I use Trader Joes)
1 cup - finely chopped celery
3/4 cup - shredded carrot
3/4 cup - Craisins
2/3 cup - toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup - finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup - raspberry vinegar
1 tbs - olive oil
1 tbs - low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp - grated orange peel
1/2 tsp - pepper

Cook rice according to package directions: omit salt and fat. Cool.
Combine rice, corn and all other ingredients in a bowl; stir well; chill overnight to blend flavors.
Serve cold from fridge or bring to room temp if you prefer. (I like room temp., Dan likes cold)

This makes a pretty big batch, so you might want to halve it."

June 14, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers # 8: Shrimp Salad


Jan's simple and good shrimp salad was the salad of the week. Make it several hours before serving, (or the day before) letting the flavors get friendly in the fridge. I deleted the catsup and red peppers, but added chopped red onion at Brad's request. We used fresh shrimp with Old Bay and fresh tarragon to season. It was a delicious dinner with fruit and some freshly baked asiago bread from the farmer's market!


Shrimp Salad

1 pound extra large shrimp (16-20)fresh, wild if you can find them.
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
¼ cup mayo
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, tarragon or parsley.
1 large stalk celery chopped
¼ large red pepper chopped
salt and pepper

Steam the shrimp for about 5 minutes in water with Old Bay.
When cool enough to handle, remove shells and chop into about 5 or 6
pieces per shrimp.
Mix the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss in the chopped shrimp and chill.

Serve over a bed of lettuce of your choice.


June 21, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers # 9: Grilled Romaine Salad


We LOVED this week's salad from Cindy! The dressing is tangy and lemony, and the flavor of the romaine charred with olive oil is delicious! Glad there is plenty of dressing to have this a couple more times before our trip! My only change was to replace the tomatoes with some crumbled blue cheese. Thanks, Cindy!

2 heads romaine lettuce
Extra-virgin olive oil
Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette, recipe below
Chopped tomatoes
Homemade croutons, if desired

Preheat grill to med-high.
Rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Cut the 2 heads in half lengthwise. Brush surface wtih olive oil and grill about 4 to 5 minutes total, turning occasionally. Place each wedge on a salad plate and drizzle with Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette. With a vegetable peeler, shave some pieces from a wedge of Reggiano-Parmigiano over each salad. Top with chopped tomatoes and homemade croutons and serve.

1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons anchovy paste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients in a pint jar with a lid. Secure the lid, then shake to blend. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.


June 28, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers #10:Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon Pesto


Marcia chose this week's Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon pesto. This was my last meal at home before beginning our adventure. I really liked the fresh taste of the tarragon-parsley pesto, and will make it again. Quick, easy way to use grilled chicken. As I had just cleaned out the fridge before leaving for Italy, there were no radishes, cucumbers, or bread...just the basics!

Makes 4 servings


1/4 cup (packed) fresh tarragon leaves plus 2 teaspoons chopped
1/4 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 tablespoons pine nuts, divided
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
2 teaspoons chopped shallot
6 tablespoons (or more) olive oil, divided, plus additional for brushing
4 boneless chicken breast halves
4 1/2-inch-thick slices country-style French or sourdough bread
1 5-ounce package mixed baby greens
1 cup thinly sliced radishes (from 1 large bunch)
1 cup thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers (about 1 1/2)


Place 1/4 cup tarragon leaves, parsley, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and shallot in mini processor; chop coarsely. With machine running, gradually add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil by teaspoonfuls to thin, if necessary.

Whisk 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon, remaining 4 teaspoons lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons oil in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush chicken breasts on both sides with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until grill marks form, skin is crisp, and chicken is cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; let rest 5 minutes. Using clean brush, brush both sides of bread with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until dark-brown grill marks appear on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Place greens, radishes, and cucumbers in large bowl. Toss with dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among 4 plates.

Cut grilled chicken breasts crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange 1 sliced chicken breast atop salad on each plate. Spoon tarragon pesto over chicken. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts over salads. Serve with grilled bread slices.


August 16, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers # 17: Southern Mustard Potato Salad

Sandi chose this week's delicious potato salad. I skipped the relish, but kept the rest of the recipe the same. We loved the tang of the mustard and the addition of the hard boiled eggs. I used red potatoes.


Sandi says:
"I know there are as many recipes for potato salad as there are kinds of potatoes. This is a recipe that is a combination of a southern potato salad and a german mustard potato salad. It is a favorite for us!"

Southern Mustard Potato Salad
1-2 pounds potatoes
4-5 hard boiled eggs
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup pickle relish
3 Tbs spicy mustard
1/2 cup mayo
Clean potatoes then boil them whole. Once tender, 15-20 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool. Dice onion and celery. Dice potatoes into large chunks.
In another bowl whisk together mayo, mustard and pickle relish. Add kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir all ingredients together. Finally, peel and slice the hard boiled eggs and stir those in as well. Serve warm or cold.

August 23, 2009

Sunday Salad Samplers # 18: Tortellini Salad

Here is this week's wonderful recipe from Ida for Tortellini Salad:

1 lb or a little bit more Fresh or frozen tortellini or a Barilla bag of dry tortellini
Boil as per package instructions and set aside.Don't overboil them! COOL them down a bit. (I used fresh tricolored).

In a very very large bowl mix together:

1 container of pearl or small sized fresh mozzarella balls

16 oz jar of Julienne cut Calif sundried tomatoes in oil ( I use 3/4 of the jar)plus the oil! Just pour the oil into the bowl.

4 cloves garlic chopped superfine
1 large bunch Italian parsley chopped fine
1 jar black dried olives in oil pitted and sliced ( this takes a while)
16 oz jar (or larger from costco) Marinated Artichokes cut into pieces ( i think mine was 24oz)
1 jar marinated red peppers cut in strips if you want ( I stopped adding them)
S/P and some extra virgin olive oil

Now that you've mixed the above ingredients well Add cooked tortellini a few scoops at a time mixing well. Cover bowl with glad wrap and refrigerate overnite as it taste even better the following day after the flavors blend together. Serve at room temp! I served mine with grilled shrimp.

My version is quite simple: tortellini, fresh grape tomatoes, garlic, mozzarella balls, lots of fresh basil, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and some red chili flakes:


March 23, 2010

Sunday Brunch at Island Palms

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