Parsley Pasta Salad With Chickpeas

If you like real tabbouleh, I think you will love this. The parsley is the star. This was just going to be Saturday lunch and a way to use up a half bag of the TJ’s grilled veg, so of course I have no knolled ingredients or process photos to include. But, this was yummy enough to warrant a share – so forgive me.

This is hearty, and fresh, and makes for a filling lunch. You could add some tuna to boost it up, if you wanted. Or just serve it as a side to some rotissimat chicken you picked up on the way home.
If you are lucky enough to be able to eat cheese, some chunks of feta in this would push it into the orgiastically good zone.

Try this – I am totally loving it, and I think you will, too.

Parsley Pasta Salad With Chickpeas in Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette
Salad Ingredients
½ pound rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and peeled
1 small bunch ruffled parsley, chopped coarsely. (About 2.5-3c.)
12 ish pitted kalamata olives, sliced laterally in half
1/2 small white onion, diced
1.5-2c chopped grilled vegetables (I used ½ bag of the Trader Joe’s misto alla griglia – it is red bells, eggplant and zucchini.)
Garlic Dijon Vinaigrette
3 fat cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
A ton of freshly ground black pepper.

Directions:
Ok, while the water is boiling for your pasta, make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together everything but the oil, then drizzle and whisk it in last until you have a nice emulsion. Pour half of the dressing into a medium-sized microwave safe bowl. This dressing is really intense, do not panic. Once is mixed with everything it will mellow out.
Peel the chickpeas, put them in the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Microwave for one minute, stir and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, chop your vegetable and layer them on top of the dressing in the bowl (but do not mix!) and put that in the fridge to wait for the last step.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it and then immediately put the hot pasta in the bowl with the chick peas and give it a stir.
Once the pea/pasta mixture has cooled to room temperature, toss it with the rest of the ingredients and it is ready to eat. Or, stick it back in the fridge. Because you coated the beans and pasta with that super-strong dressing while they were hot, you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to enjoy this. It is ready right now.

This makes 4 meal-sized portions, or 8-10 sides.

Nutritional Info
for the meal size, verywell.com says each serving has:

927 cal
38.7g fat
123.8g carbs (fiber 21.9g, sugar 12.5g)
29g protein
Plus – 110% Vitamin A, 93% vitamin C and 56% Iron.

Crunchy Green Bean Salad

GreenBean2Med
Originally I was calling this post: Blanched Green Bean Salad; or, that didn’t exactly turn out….

We went to Willcox yesterday, in our annual pilgrimage to farm country. Loaded up on fresh peaches, squash, eggplant, roasted green chile and of course the green beans. I was blanching them this morning, munching on one and thought – hey, this would be yummy in a salad besides salade niçoise.
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I was extremely disappointed when I first put it together – even himself was not enthused. It just tasted like raw green beans and dijon mustard. Yuck. I was so sad – I mean, come on! Green beans, bacon, onion, almonds – what could possibly go wrong??

GreenBean3Med
But the next day? It was pretty yummy. Only thing is, leave green beans in a acidic solution like that vinaigrette and they lose that pretty green in the pictures and become a more olive green, less fresh, appetizing color so I feel as if my pictures are false advertising now.

So…..make this the day before you intend to eat it; perhaps if your garden is drowning you in green beans.
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Whisk together:
1 tsp. bacon fat
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp canola oil
½ tsp celery seed
2 Tbsp. sugar
¼ c. rice vinegar
Stir in:
2 c. freshly blanched green beans, cut in bite-sized pieces
1 celery stalk, thinly chopped
2 Tbps. thin sliced white or red onion
1/4 c. almond slivers
1/4 c. minced parsley
1 slice cooked bacon, chopped

Make the day before. Serves 2-4.
Bon apétit!

Shaved Squash Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinagrette

ShavedSquash3
I’m ready for something light. The comfort foods of cooler weather just seem heavy and unappetizing now that the days are longer and the sun is shining. Well, that plus the candy fest that seems to run from St. Valentine’s day through Easter. Ugh. No more sugar. Please.
ShavedSquash1
Shaved squash is all the foodie rage of late, and at first I thought, “uh – no.” But then I tried it. I must confess, it’s tasty. It is actually tender-crisp, mild, and ever so slightly sweet. And with some lemon? YUM! So today’s salad is a super light, marvelously crunchy concoction – it would be great as a big lunch salad, or as a side to some grilled chicken, fish, or tofu.
ShavedSquash5
There is so much crunchiness going on – the tender crisp of the squash, the moist snap of the celery, the toasted earthy crunch of the toasted walnuts. Combined with the freshness of parsley and lemon, and the tangy creaminess of some fresh goat cheese and you are going to be so happy you made this!
ShavedSquash3

Shaved Squash Salad with Lemon Shallot Vinagrette
Serves 2 as a side, or one for lunch
Ingredients:
1 c. walnuts, toasted
1 thin zucchini, shaved in to strips.
2 stalks celery, sliced thin at an angle
½ shallot, minced
2 oz. chèvre
¼ c parsley, minced
Zest & juice of half lemon (about 2 Tbsp. juice)
¼ c. (or so) good olive oil
salt & pepper
For the walnuts:
These must be toasted. Heat the oven to 400*. Put the walnut halves on a baking sheet. Put it in the hot oven, and turn the heat off. Remove from the oven after 5 minutes (you should smell toasty nuts.) If they don’t smell toasty, leave them a few minutes more. Let them cool.
For the dressing:
Combine lemon juice, zest, mustard and shallot in a bowl. Whisk these with some salt & pepper until homogenous. Then, whisk in the olive oil just until it emulsifies.
For the salad:
Plate this just before eating it. Arrange the celery, then the squash, parsley,nuts and use a spoon to make little dollops of goat cheese. This might look pretty done Cobb-style with each ingredient in its own row, but I haven’t tried that. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!

Orange Vinaigrette … …. and figs

This dressing! I want to drink it! Those figs! They’re like candy!

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Is this post about the dressing, or the figs? I honestly cannot decide so we’re going to say it is about summer.

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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.

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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.

OrangeVinaigrette2Cmed
Can you find the special treat I did when I sat down to lunch after taking the pictures? Oy.

My goodness, but this was delicious.
Ingredients
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.)
Instructions
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.
Notes
Need to see the whisk/emulsify technique? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdhpIZqUAJ4
By Karen Maginnis
serves 14
calories 114
fat 11g
cholesterol 0mg
sodium 6mg
carbs 5g
-fiber 0g
-sugars 4g
protein 0g

Red Wine Shallot Vinaigrette

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….)

Red wine vinegar, dijon, minced shallot and black pepper.
Red wine vinegar, dijon, minced shallot and black pepper.

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.

mincy mince mince
mincy mince mince

 

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.

Seriously wish you could smell this right now...
Seriously wish you could smell this right now…

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.
Ingredients
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.
Instructions
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.
Notes
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.

Servings 24
Calories 28
Fat 28 g
Sodium 47 mg
Carbs 0 g
Protein 0 g

Carrot Salad with Ginger Clementine Vinaigrette

A carrot recipe! Just in time for Easter! 

Shredded carrot salad is my favorite – remember the one grandma used to make with mayonnaise and raisins?  Me, too.  This one is a little lighter, with some asian ingredients. 

Carrots, sesame, ginger. Yum.
Carrots, sesame, ginger. Yum.

 

 CarrotSaladSteps

This is pretty quick….as long as you have a Cuisinart.

Clementine Ginger Dressing

 This recipe makes a whole batch of dressing – it’s really good on a crispy lettuce salad with some chicken, or in a shredded broccoli salad.CarrotSalad3C

 

Carrot Salad with Clementine Ginger Vinaigrette
Serves 8
Light, crunchy salad - perfect with a sandwich or barbecue.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
188 calories
11 g
0 g
16 g
1 g
2 g
80 g
101 g
7 g
0 g
14 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
80g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 188
Calories from Fat 141
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
25%
Saturated Fat 2g
8%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 101mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
127%
Vitamin C
14%
Calcium
4%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Salad
  1. 5 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  2. 1 Tbsp. toasted white sesame seeds
  3. 1 Tbsp. toasted black sesame seeds
  4. 1/4 c. Clementine Ginger Vinaigrette
For the Dressing
  1. 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  2. 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  3. 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  4. 1/4 c. clementine juice (the juice of one)
  5. 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  6. 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  7. 1/4 c. sweetener (honey, agave syrup, corn syrup)
  8. 1/3 to 1/2 c. canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
For the dressing
  1. Mix everything but the oil in a bowl until homogenous. Then, slowly stream in and whisk in the oil until the dressing is emulsified.
  2. This makes about two cups of dressing - so if you only want enough for the salad, cut it in 1/4.
For the salad
  1. Toss everything together. Serve immediately. Will keep in the fridge for a couple days - after that, they carrots start to get soft.
beta
calories
188
fat
16g
protein
1g
carbs
11g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/
CarrotSalad3C

Roasted Greenbeans with Hazelnut Shallot Dressing

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”.

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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.

The Mr. DeMille shot.
The Mr. DeMille shot.

 

Roasted Greenbeans with Hazelnut Shallot Vinaigrette
Serves 6
A new way to eat your green vegetables.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
132 calories
3 g
0 g
14 g
0 g
1 g
24 g
6 g
2 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132
Calories from Fat 121
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
21%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 6mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
3%
Calcium
0%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the roasting part
  1. 1# fresh greenbeans, washed and trimmed
  2. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  3. S&P
For the dressing
  1. 1 Tbsp. minced shallots
  2. 1 Tbsp. sugar
  3. 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  4. 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  5. 2 Tbsp. toasted hazelnut oil
  6. 2 Tbsp. canola oil (or, you could subsitute a good olive oil for these two. I just got a bottle of the nut oil for Christmas and want to use it up.)
For the final dish
  1. 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  2. 1/4 chopped toasted hazelnuts
  3. thinly sliced shallot rings for garnish
To roast the green beans
  1. Heat oven to 425*.
  2. Toss the beans in the olive oil.
  3. Spread even on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
  4. Sprinkle w/ S&P.
  5. Bake 10 minutes.
  6. Turn them, flip the tray positions and bake them about 5 more minutes.
For the dressing
  1. Whisk the sugar, vinegar and shallots until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Whisk in the mustard and S&P.
  3. While still whisking, drizzle in the oil until an emulsion is reached. You may not use all the oil.
To assemble
  1. Toss the still-warm beans with the vinagrette and half the parsley in a big bowl. Garnish with the rest of the parsley, the nuts and shallot rings.
beta
calories
132
fat
14g
protein
0g
carbs
3g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

 

 

Roasted Beet, Chèvre & Escarole Salad with Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette

 BEsalad2MED

Creamy goat cheese, earthy sweet beets and crunchy bitter escarole topped with a strong vinaigrette is one of my favorite salads.

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First up – the beets.  Peeled, cut into 8ths. Mixed with some olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper and herbes de Provence.

BEbake3I 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.

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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.

Vinaigrette

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!

BEsalad1MED

 

Leftover Steak Salad with Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette

SteakSaladSmoToEasy-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.

ingredients olive oil, vinegar, garlic, canned tomatoes and liquid smoke
sheesh – shop at TJ’s much?
Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette
Serves 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
87 calories
2 g
0 g
9 g
0 g
1 g
24 g
15 g
1 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 87
Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 15mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 2g
1%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 c. peeled canned tomatoes (diced, whole, whichever), drained.
  2. 1/4 c. white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
  3. 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and pressed)
  5. 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
  6. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  7. S&P
Instructions
  1. In to the blender or food processor they all go. Purée til smooth.
beta
calories
87
fat
9g
protein
0g
carbs
2g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

 

 

Some for now, some for the freezer
Some for now, some for the freezer

It keeps a couple months in the freezer, and possibly more than a week in fridge – but I can’t vouch for that because it’s never lasted that long in our house.

Bon appétit.