Trader Joe’s gets what they call “champagne grapes” this time of year. They’re gorgeous, tight bunches of teensy, super-sweet and seedless gems. I just couldn’t get them out of my mind this week, thinking of them in a variation of a Waldorf salad. Turned out pretty tasty. I’m losing the light this evening, and alas have but one semi-decent image.
Perhaps losing the light foreshadows the coming end to summer. Well, we’re going to enjoy our no-cook late summer supper, and hope you try it, too.
Tarragon Chicken Salad
Chicken salad with tarragon, mini grapes, pecans and avocado.
Ah, my love affair with summertime mediterranean flavors continues. This week, it’s a quick and easy chickpea salad. This is best the day after it is made, to allow those peas to soak up the dressing. You can wait and add the parsley just before serving, if you like.
Yeah, it’s hot. But it’s also bountiful produce season – with all the fantastic salad combinations that brings.
This is a six pieces of simple salad – some herbs, olive oil, lemon juice and diced cucumber, onion and tomato. Quick stir and you’re off to the picnic, park or pool. Those gorgeous herbs and cuke are from Caravan Market, of course!
This one’s easy – give it a shot! Fortify it with some gorgeous oil-packed ventresco tuna, or a good feta and make it a meal.
Do you go through phases where you just want to eat the same thing all the time? This may surprise you, but I am currently fixated on carrots. Specifically shredded carrots. My friend Karen introduced me to this one fantastic Lao/Thai dish a long time ago – green papaya salad. It is scrumptious, and was the inspiration for Carrot Salad #2.
This was quick and easy. Now I just wish I had some sticky rice.
For the carrots and the jicama, I used that blue doodad in the pic above – I got it for a couple bucks at the asian market. It shreds – but the shreds are triangular in the cross section, and you can make them as long as you want – a longer carrot or stroke of the tool makes a longer shred. It’s pretty cool – I was totally stoked when Karen told me about that puppy. Oh, and this recipe has fish sauce. You could leave it out, but you’ll be sad. You don’t taste the fish, promise, unless you’re like a super sniffer or pregnant or otherwise olfactorily enhanced. And, I totally cheated on the dressing and just used some sweet chili sauce with the lime juice and fish sauce.
Shredded Carrot, Cucumber & Jicama Salad
Crunchy and fast - delicious with grilled chicken kebabs.
This month’s MOM bounty was green beans. And romas. But we’ll save them for another post. I blanched and froze a ton of those beans, and they were still staring at me. And I started to wonder how they’d taste roasted. The answer is “pretty good”.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. I liked it best room temperature, and it was really good the next day. You could really chop this and toss it with some quinoa or orzo and have a lovely salad, too.
Roasted Greenbeans with Hazelnut Shallot Vinaigrette
Not much of a post this week – just a quick snapshot and link.
Chopped romaine with blanched petit green beans, roasted hazelnuts, cubed leftover roast chicken breast and some chèvre. Tied together beautifully with this blueberry vinaigrette (although I added a tsp. of toasted hazelnut oil)
Creamy goat cheese, earthy sweet beets and crunchy bitter escarole topped with a strong vinaigrette is one of my favorite salads.
First up – the beets. Peeled, cut into 8ths. Mixed with some olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper and herbes de Provence.
I roasted them for 45-60 minutes at 375, with a parchment hat. That probably has a technical chef name for it, but I don’t know what that is. I still had to check halfway through and add some water. (When are they done? They’re like potatoes – test ’em with a fork.) When they’re done, they’re hard to resist – little earthy bites of candy.
While they cooled, I made the dressing: Mix a teaspoon of good dijon mustard, a pressed garlic clove, salt, pepper and a 1/2tsp of sugar with 1/4 c. good balsamic vinegar. Then, slowly drizzle in about 1/2c. good olive oil until you get a nice thick emulsion.
Alrighty, salad time! I chopped up the escarole and sliced some medallions of chèvre. Next come those cooled beets and a drizzle of dressing and it’s time to eat! This is also really good with some added hard boiled eggs, or chicken. We’ve even skipped the goat cheese and used cubes of the apricot stilton from Trader Joe’s. Deelish!
Easy-peasy leftovers: some romaine heart wedges, some sliced onion & leftover steak topped with a mix of corn, black beans and poblano chilis (also known as this– hey, it says “easy”, go ahead and chop your veg if you’re feeling it), topped with my second all-time favorite salad dressing: Smokey Tomato.
We used to have a bargain chain grocery in town called Sunflower. They had this awesome house-brand smokey tomato salad dressing that was only $1.99 a bottle – $1.79 if you caught a sale. Then, they were purchased by Sprouts, and the house brand went away. It was replaced with Drew’s Smokey Tomato. Which is freakin’ delicious – but it goes for $3.49 a bottle. I just can’t pay that much for salad dressing. So….the interwebs helped me research the ingredients, and few tries led to a pretty close approximation.