This adventure all began because I asked my lovely husband to pick up some sliced roast beast for sammiches at The Costco. When he got home, I realized we didn’t have any horseradish. Now, to most households that is probably meaningless. But, at ours, we have to have horseradish on a roast beast sammich. Anything less is uncivilized. So, no horseradish. But, hey! I do have wasabi in the fridge – maybe I’ll make some wasabi mayo. Then the work week happened. I started to have guilt about making my low-carb man have a sammich. I started to think about that roast beast in cute little rolls on a salad. Plus, I had some gorgeous avoschmados. Mmmmmm. Wasabi vinaigrette! Our Google overlords proved it had been done, and that was all she wrote.
It turned out fantastic. Truly an outstanding salad. Totally making this again. As I was eating, it helped me figure something out. I love sushi. But I hate raw fish. This little salad adventure made me realize what, exactly, made me like sushi. It’s a combination of flavors – the creamy beauty of ripe avocado, the salty soy sauce, the piercing wasabi, the sweet crispness of ginger, and the crunchy nuttiness of sesame. Ok, flavors and ironically, textures. (Since I hate the texture of raw fish.) All the interwebs used this kind of dressing on a seared ahi salad. Living in the desert, I save the seared ahi for our trips to San Diego. Plus, this is much less expensive. I also think cubed firm silken tofu would be awesome on this salad if you’re not in to the whole beef thing.
What a fantastic dinner, with a gorgeous bowl of miso soup. (Wait. What? You don’t know how to make miso? Ya gotta be kiddin’ me! Easiest soup EVER. Seriously – do this, too!
2 Tbsp prepared wasabi
1/2 c rice wine vinegar
¼ c low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
½ tsp. sugar or honey
About 1 c. lightly flavored oil
Put everything in the blender (or your smoothie maker) and pulse a few times
This is a rip off of a Turkish recipe that I came across in a Pinterest link/interwebs rabbit hole at the beginning of the summer that I cannot find again. (Shouldapinnedit).
Charred eggplant and red pepper are chopped, mixed with parsley, garlic confit, olive oil and lemon juice.
This is really best served room temperature or ever so slightly warm.
Gorgeous with mezze, or alone with some warm pita, or as side with roast chicken or kebabs.
2 med eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
6-8 cloves of garlic
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 pignon nuts
1/2 c. parsley
Fire roast or broil the eggplant and the red pepper, turning until all sides are blackened.
While those are cooking, put the olive oil and the garlic in small sauce pan on very low heat.
Cook until the garlic is soft. It should not brown.
When the veg are blackened all over, put on a plate and cover with a bowl to loosen the skins.
Peel and coarsely chop the eggplant and the pepper.
Coarsely chop the confited garlic, and the parsley
Mix everything in a bowl and season with s&p to taste.
This dressing! I want to drink it! Those figs! They’re like candy!
Is this post about the dressing, or the figs? I honestly cannot decide so we’re going to say it is about summer.
Trader Joe’s had these fun striped figs last night, so of course we had to get them. Because cute food. When I woke up this morning, I was thinking about a spinach salad I had planned for the blog, one with an orange vinaigrette, and those figs just matched perfectly.
This dressing is saturated in orange flavor goodness. It is delightful, and would be good on any spring green salad, or grilled chicken, or asparagus, or…well you get the idea. Make this. It’s delicious. It’ll easily keep in the fridge up to a week. I wouldn’t go longer because of the parsley.
My goodness, but this was delicious.
zest of an entire navel orange (about 1Tb)
juice of the orange (about 1/4c)
¼ c. cider or rice vinegar (or enough to bring juice up to ½ c)
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp minced shallot
2 Tbsp minced parsley
2/3 – 1 c. mild oil (canola, light olive, etc.)
Whisk together everything but the oil. Then, slowly drizzle in the oil while still whisking until it emulsifies.
Add or subtract honey depending on your preference. Use the rice vinegar if you like things a little less zippy.
Need to see the whisk/emulsify technique? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdhpIZqUAJ4
By Karen Maginnis
So….I may or may not have purchased one of those spiral slicers.
This week it’s another cucumber salad, this time with salty sesame flavor. Yum!
It’s ok to make the sauce ahead of time, but you should really toss it together and then eat it right away. It’s best when the cukes are super crisp as opposed to marinated. It seems like a lot of ingredients, but it’s not super hard: some rice vineger, mirin, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil along with some minced ginger, a dash of white miso and some black and white sesame seeds.
Garnish with some pickled (unsweetened) ginger, and away we rock and roll.
I thought this would actually be awesome with some cubed avocados and some tuna, but haven’t played with that yet.
Hope you enjoy it!
For the sauce
1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. mirin
1 tsp. minced ginger (I used a Dorot cube)
1/2 tsp. white miso
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. each white and black sesame seeds
For the salad
1/2 english cucumber, sliced on a spiral slicer**
For the garnish
Pickled, unsweetened ginger (those red sticks)
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
Pour the sauce over the cucumber.
Garnish with the red ginger.
**If you don’t do the spiral bit, 1/8″ thick half-moons will do just dandy.
Fat 4 g
Sodium 103 mg
Carbs 2 g
Protein 1 g
My current obsessions: pimentón dulce ahumado and Costco’s pesto genovese.
So, you know when you have big plans? I envisioned this blog post. We would grill some chicken and veg on Friday night, then Saturday I was going to chop up the leftovers to make a salad with a smoked paprika dressing. Only I forgot we need propane for the grill. Then when we were out Friday afternoon, we were by the MexiChicken, which is one of my most favorite places to eat. So…….we had a very late lunch at 5, and never actually got around to having dinner.
Saturday comes. Blog post plans are shot. But I will not be denied this salad dressing I’ve been tasting in my dreams. I got out the Cuisinart panino press and grilled up the stuffs. Kinda kills the point of using up leftovers, but this is all about that dressing, so we will just have to put on our big girl panties and deal with it.
Himself thought the garlic was quite strong. I love garlic, so I told him he was a pussy. (Feel the love, people.) But, if you have delicate sensibilities, you might want to start with one clove. (Always add –vs- can’t take away and all that jazz.)
Please forgive the lack of food styling. This was Saturday lunch, as opposed to prettified just for pictures. So, I am putting cobb salad photo styling on my list of skills to perfect.
Give this a whirl. (Ha! See what I did there?) It’s freaking delicious.
For the dressing
¼ c plain yogurt (we use the lactose free kind)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2Tb red wine vinegar
1 – 2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tsp pimentón ahumado dulce (the real deal, from Spain. No cheapo crap. You’ll taste the difference.)
½ tsp oregano or thyme or a mix
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp mayo
dash worsteshire sauce
Put all the dressing ingredients in the blender and mix. Arrange the salad ingredients, and dress.
This is awesome on a salad with grilled chicken, or steak slices, or shrimps. Especially if there’s avocado involved..
Fat 10 g
Sodium 30 mg
Carbs 6 g
Protein 1 g
My father’s family is from a tiny, tiny town in Ohio. Often in the summer, we would go “back east” to visit. My paternal grandparents were wound pretty tight; I never felt comfortable when I was there. But my Grandmother Charlotte always made two things that stuck in my mind: cucumber salad, and huge soft lemon sugar cookies. Those are my favorite memories of those trips; well, those and fireflies. Being from the desert, fireflies have always fascinated me. As far as the victuals, to this day I’ve not found the equivalent for the cookies but I have for the cukes! Thank you, interwebs.
This is simple. And quick. And so very yummy and cool, and great with summery foods like picnics and barbecues. It pays to make a big batch; it will keep in the fridge for at least a week. Unless you live with me; then it’s two days, tops.
The only thing is, you really do need a mandoline for this. Unless you’ve been to chef school and have the mad knife skills to slice a cucumber in to wafer thin slices.
I really hope you try this one. It’s tangy, sweet, savory and crunchy.
For the marinade
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. white vinegar
For the salad
1/2 English cucumber, washed and sliced wafer-thin on a mandoline
1/4 Sweet white onion like a Vidalia or a Maui Sweet, sliced wafer-thin on a mandoline
1 Tbsp. dried dill weed, or 2 Tbsp. minced fresh.
Put the marinade ingredients in a sauce pan or in a microwave-safe bowl. Bring to an almost boil, until the sugar is dissolved and set aside to cool.
While the marinade is cooling, wash and slice the veg.
In a tall, wide-mouthed container, put a single layer of cukes, a single layer of onion and sprinkle of dill.
Continue until all the stuff is in the jar.
By this time, the marinade should be about room temp. Pour it over the ingredients in the jar.
If you can contain yourself, these are best eaten after a day.
You can also make this with crème fraîche instead of the marinade. Just mix it all together. Nerms.
Fat 0 g
Sodium 5 mg
Carbs 28 g
Protein 0 g
Could you hear me squeal all the way to your house on Saturday? That would be when I saw the blood oranges had arrived at Sprouts. I just love their color. Of course I had to wander around the produce department after that, looking for something to make with them. The avocados looked amazing, and that sealed the deal.
This is a delicate salad, with very subtle flavor. Make sure your avocado is absolutely prime.
This is rich and smooth with the lovely anise crunch of the fennel. I liked it best after it had sat for about an hour, to let that nice heat from the jalapeno really soak in. We have some left, and I am on my way to the store to get some shrimp to grill and serve with rest. Dang I wish I’d thought of that first.
Are you ready to taste summer? I am. I have found myself daydreaming about the bounty to come – piles and piles of tomatoes and squash and melon. And the salads. Oh, the salads. I find myself rejecting recipes of late if they involve turning on the oven. Mind you, it’s not super hot yet. Not at all. It’s just that I’m ready.
So it’s safe to say the baking tornado of the last few months at The Yum are at an end. Which left me, well, idea-less for a post. After much guilt, I gave myself permission to say fuck all and go out for the day. Stop #1 – Za’atar for a falafel breakfast. I fucking love that place. Hopped over to Caravan while waiting for my order, and he had these gorgeous crates of mint and dill and cucumbers and eggplant and lemons and ……aaaaaah. I had to have some.
Those, some olives, some fig jam and sesame candies for Himself and away I went.
When I saw the watermelon in the fridge as I was putting things away, I knew what to make. And then immediately consume.
This is fast, and should be served and eaten immediately. I even got to feel all fancy-pants when I rolled the dill up in the mint leaves for a quick chiffonade. (Thank you, Sarah Moulton and FoodTV!) This baby is all about the fresh and crunch. Mmmmmm. Chompa-chomp-chomp.
You could totally add some cubed feta and a wedge of bread and call this summer supper (just leave out the salt if you do). I inhaled mine as a snack. Couldn’t even wait to grill some chicken or something to eat with it.
Come on, Summer. This just has me wanting you more.
2 c. watermelon in ½” dice
1 c. jicama in ½” dice
1 c. cucumber in ½” wedges
1 thin slice red onion, separated in to rings
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of white balsamic or wine vinegar
Four or five fresh mint leaves and a thumb-sized sprig of fresh dill, chiffonaded
Dash of S&P
Toss together and eat.
Fat 1 g
Sodium 6 mg
Carbs 20 g
Protein 2 g
Another carrot salad in time for Easter. Hmm…..maybe if this happens again next year, we’ll have a real pattern.
Anywho….got this bag of pretty carrots at TJ’s to cook with the brisket for Saint Pat’s. Only thing is, the red ones lose the red when cooked and just look normal. So, a cold recipe would keep the prettiness.
That was the first time we’ve had carrots in the house since himself had to change his diet – they are on the verbotten list, along with peas and bananas. But I digress.
Hey, Mikey! He liked it. I went easy on the hot pepper at first; when I added more Himself was disappointed that he could taste the curry less. Sigh. Your tongue can only process so much data at a time.
Give this a whirl. If you don’t have curry paste lying about, use powder. It’ll still be yummy.
For the salad
3 carrots, peeled then shaved in to strips
½ shallot, cut in to thin rings
¼ c. craisins or currants or sultanas
¼ c. pistachio meats
For the sauce
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. dijon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger root
1 tsp. curry paste
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
3-4 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
Use your veg peeler to shave the carrots. Cut the carrots in half across the middle first, or you will wind up with a papardelle like salad.
Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk together the sauce in another bowl.
Dress the salad right before serving.
Fat 5 g
Sodium 44 mg
Carbs 23 g
Protein 2 g
So, this week I’m making what every French child knows how to make by the age of 8. (Right before they start smoking and after they’ve been drinking wine, of course….)
Why do we all buy salad dressings? Sometimes when I’m on auto pilot at the grocery and find myself reaching for a bottle, I stop to think, “you idiot.”
Seriously – is there anything easier? Make it at home – control what’s in it.
Why not try making your own? Fresh, easy, delicious; and you probably already have all the ingredients and don’t even know it. Play with the ingredients, too – leave out the shallot, add tarragon. Or leave in the shallot and add parsley and thyme. Or cracked green peppercorns. Whatever. Just play with your food.
This is a big batch – fills a whole bottle from Cost Plus. Feel free to halve or quarter it, or double and give some to the neighbors…..
And, I whisked it – but of course later remembered this great tip from Cooks Illustrated – just put everything in a jar with a lid and shake it til it’s emulsified. Remember those Good Seasons italian dressing cruets when we were kids? Like that…..
Try it! Share how it turned out.
¾ c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
3 Tbsp. dijon mustard
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1.5 – 2 c. good oil.
In a large bowl, or blender, or 4-cup measuring cup, whisk together everything but the oil.
While you’re still whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil until you get an emulsion. (It will thicken, and become dull instead of shiny.)
Keeps in the fridge for at least a week.
Play with the ingredients, too – leave out the shallot, add tarragon. Or leave in the shallot and parsley and thyme. Or cracked green peppercorns.
For the oil, I like to go half plain veg oil and half extra virgin olive oil. I think going all olive overpowers this. Save that for the balsamic vinaigrettes – they can handle it.
Serving size is 2Tbsp – or 1oz.
Fat 28 g
Sodium 47 mg
Carbs 0 g
Protein 0 g