All posts filed under: Salads

Prawns and Pancetta Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Many years ago when The Man and I first started dating, we bought a funny little cookbook called “Will Cook For Sex: A Guy’s Guide to Cooking” by Rocky Fino.  It was an impulse buy. The author just happened to be doing a book signing at the time and we liked his spiel.  The recipes are very simple and straight-forward–and as the title suggests, written for a guy who wants to…impress the ladies, if you know what I mean!   Now that I think about it, it was the first cookbook purchase of our relationship! We don’t use this cookbook much anymore, mostly because our cooking skills have advanced and we have collected so many other cookbooks throughout the years; but this adapted recipe made its way into our regular rotation and we make it fairly often.   I used pancetta in this salad, because of course, pancetta makes everything taste betta! I know, completely corny, but pancetta just adds so much flavor!  Now, if you’re concerned about the added fat and calories, allow me …

Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad with Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

We are now halfway through the summer and the bulk of our summer vegetables have completed their season.  As much as I hated to admit it, the time had come to put part of the garden out of its misery.  We cut down almost all of the tomato plants, leaving only the green zebra and the yellow pear to finish out their yield.  Recently I learned on our local NPR program, Desert Bloom that by cutting the tomatoes almost all the way down and mulching them,  we may get a second round of tomatoes in September.  So, that’s what we did this morning and boy, was I sentimental about it!  I’m going to pause  now for a moment of reflection on our first real summer crop and a remembrance of the herbs that perished during the heatwave:  Purple Sage, English Thyme, French Thyme, Biergarten Sage, Greek Oregano. They served us well and died spectacularly–seriously, they turned white and disintegrated!  115 degrees will do that to tender herbs! Reminiscing on how pretty everything was just 6 weeks …

Grill-fried Chicken Wings with Tomato Salad

I bet you’re wondering what “grill-fried” chicken wings are.  Well, it was an experiment that went very right, and although I don’t normally blog my weekday meals, this one was particularly pleasing and I thought I’d share it with you.  The idea for these wings came from a pizza place that was in business here for a very short time, called Anthony’s Wood Fired Pizza. It was one of our favorite pizza places and we would go there more often for their wings than for the pizza.  The wings were simply well-seasoned with lots of garlic and topped with a mound of caramelized onions.  They weren’t bathed in sauce and there wasn’t any dipping sauce.  They were perfect just as they were.  The restaurant closed down a few years ago, but I still make these garlicky chicken wings topped with caramelized onions to this day.  I usually make the wings in a 425 degree convection oven, which makes them crispy and golden, but with this continuing heat wave, you couldn’t pay me to turn my …

Kale and Mint Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing and Spatchcocked Chicken

Many times I’ve had kale salads that just weren’t up to snuff.  They were very pretty, but the texture and flavor was somehow lacking, and eating it made me feel as if I were doing some sort of penance for a wrongdoing in a former life.  Don’t get me wrong, I love kale! I saute it; I put it in quiche; but sometimes a raw kale salad can be a little challenging–oh, the constant chewing!  Last week I received this recipe via email and had to try it that day! I was initially drawn to it because I already had almost all of the ingredients in the pantry, except for one: pomegranate molasses, and had to substitute regular molasses for it.  It wasn’t quite a substitution, because pomegranate molasses has a unique sour/sweet flavor that I really couldn’t replicate using ingredients I had on-hand.  That’s not to say it wasn’t delicious, because it was, but I was anxious to know what it would taste like with the original ingredient.  So, on a tip from a friend, …

Grilled Scallops with Cannellini Beans and Salsa Verde

After many weeks fraught with anticipation and often disappointment, we were finally able to grow one full-sized zucchini!  Now, to those of you who are out there, baskets fully laden with summer squash, hauling all your abundance to the neighbors: don’t laugh at my one, single zucchini.  Well,  used to be one–we ate it with a quickness the other night alongside a salad of greens, cannellini beans and grilled scallops, and you know what? It was delicious; and we knew where it came from and it was free of pesticides.  There are a few more zucchinis forming on the vine now, so once again, I have high hopes that we’ll get some more soon!  Until then, I guess we’ll have to figure out something else to eat! One large zucchini! Provenance known! I’d like to share another amazing, intensely flavored sauce with you that is incredible alongside seafood, called “salsa verde”. Salsa Verde an Italian sauce made from a base of parsley, garlic, capers, anchovies, olive oil and bread.  The recipe is adapted from the …

Epic Lentil Salad

Memorial Day Weekend is over and we are back on the healthy eating train.  We kind of pigged out this weekend.  We ate red meat; deep-fried things; things made with boatloads of butter.  We ate All The Things.  So, I took an extra day off and with the goal of setting things to rights, I made this salad.  I was inspired by a photo I saw posted on the internet of someone’s lunch at Los Angeles restaurant.  I thought to myself: This salad is perfect.  This salad is epic.  It is so epic that it might just be The One Salad.  The salad that would undo the nutritional damage of a holiday weekend in one meal.  Ok, maybe it didn’t do all that, but it certainly made us feel way more virtuous than where we were late Monday night.  My salad contained lentils, chickpeas, asparagus, orange and yellow bell pepper, jicama, carrots and tomatoes, but the beauty of it is that you can use whatever vegetables you want! A few months ago I happened to …

Farro Tabbouleh Salad with a side of Margarita!

Parsley and mint are growing exceptionally well in the garden right now and the parsley was starting to get overgrown; so, I wanted to make a dish that allowed me to use it before it flowered.  I find that once it gets to that stage, the flavor is very pungent and I like it a little on the milder side.  Tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern salad that is traditionally made with bulgur wheat, chopped parsley and mint, but I wanted to try it using farro, which I have dubbed my Favorite Whole Grain of 2013. The cooked texture of farro reminds me of barley–it’s a little chewy and nutty, and it’s great in salads or cooked into soups.  I’ve even seen it made into a risotto, or, “farrotto”, more accurately.  I usually cook it in chicken or vegetable stock, which gives it even more flavor.  This was a very simple, healthy salad and can be made vegan by simply using vegetable stock or water to cook the grains in.  Let me just say that …