Tag Archives: salad

Summer Crunch Salad with Creamy Avocado and Herb Dressing

Once upon a time, there was cream, or sour cream, or at least plain yogurt. But in recent months, as we started eating more plant-based meals and those ingredients grew sparser in my fridge, I wistfully said goodbye to creamy, luscious sauces.20130510-185010.jpgI was a fool! As you probably know, and I have now learned, it turns out that creamy vegan sauces require only selecting the right ingredients–like in this walnut sauce, this creamy sweet corn sauce, this tahini sauce–and I haven’t even tried the cashew cream trick yet.

Today’s herb-packed, lemony avocado dressing takes five minutes to make, and tastes like an indulgence of a much greater magnitude. Pour it over a crisp summer salad, and you’ll never miss buttermilk dressing again.20130510-185308.jpgHelp me out, readers: What other tricks am I missing for creating decadent, creamy, whole-foods, plant-based deliciousness?

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Winter Salad with Oranges and Oil-Cured Olives

I always find a brightly-colored salad to be uplifting in wintertime.  Lettuce may not be not a winter crop, but I like to overlook that fact and focus instead on salad as an opportunity to let winter citrus shine.  And at this time of year fresh herbs are starting to peek up in the garden, which is a perfect excuse to supplement your salad greens with generous handfuls of parsley.  The play of flavors and textures here—sweet, salty, bitter, crisp—will brighten any winter day.Green Salad with Oranges and Olives Continue reading

Green Salad with Roasted Winter Squash and Apple

It’s high time for a salad around here.

I came home from our trip to a fridge full of winter squash, and I’ve been roasting my way through it ever since. One batch I quite liked was a sugar pie pumpkin drizzled with olive oil, maple syrup, and ancho chile powder, roasted in wedges until caramelized and sticky.The leftovers went into a green salad the next day–really, any roasted winter squash chunks would have been good–with thin slices of sweet, crisp apple and red onion. A grainy mustard vinaigrette with honey fit the sweet-savory-sweet-savory pattern nicely. Hello, lunch for a sunny autumn day.

Green Salad with Roasted Winter Squash and Apple: Nestle a pile of roasted squash chunks into a bed greens. Scatter thin slices of apple and red onion around the squash. (A little sharp cheddar cheese wouldn’t be bad, either.) Dress with a honey-mustard vinaigrette (I like equal parts olive oil, white vinegar, grainy mustard, and honey).

Road Food, or, Quinoa Salad with Crunchy Veggies and Avocado

What food do you take travelling?  Airport and roadside offerings are universally dire, as far as I can tell, so we usually try to think ahead and pack food to sustain our family on travel days.

Today was a travel day.  We’ve been in California, visiting my family (including my 98-year-old grandfather), soaking up sunshine.  We headed home tonight on a late flight with three sleepy children, a suitcase full of new crop walnuts, and this salad. Continue reading

Savoy Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts

Today J picked the apples from our three backyard trees.  It’s been a good year for the apples, and box after box came inside.  Red, crisp, sweet.  Hundreds of apples.  The big girls posed proudly for a photo in front of the pile.  The baby held an apple in each hand and seriously applied herself to the task of trading off bites.

Our plan to make applesauce all day went out the window, the boxes went to the cool basement, and now every time I go downstairs the sweet smell of fall wraps around me.  One day soon we’ll be making a year’s worth of applesauce, but today we settled for a enjoying just a taste of the season’s bounty in our salad. Continue reading

Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums

I have been having a bit of a love affair with this salad this summer.We met casually, in a friend’s back yard.  I couldn’t stay away from it, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Our friends came to the Dinner in White and I casually mentioned that they might bring this salad, you know, if they wanted.  They did.  I sat next to it at the table.

It’s been on my mind ever since. Today, by some stroke of luck, J was working from home, the baby was napping, and the older girls weren’t home yet.  We took full advantage of that rare quiet moment together.  By grilling a bunch of curly kale and having this salad for lunch.

I’m sorry I’ve kept it from you for so long, but it’s not too late.  Clear your calendar of any other rendezvous you’ve planned.  You too will fall in love with this salad this weekend. Continue reading

Green Salad with Watermelon, Feta, and Mint

A friend sent me an urgent email the other day.

“Make this salad,” he instructed.“I like that salad,” I told him.  “But have you tried this one?”

He re-sent the original link.  I saw his point, and went out to buy a watermelon.

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Raw Broccoli Salad with Raisins and Walnuts

So here’s a nice secret that I’ll tell you more about tomorrow:  I haven’t cooked a thing all week.  We arrived home late tonight after lucking out both with the ferry times and the three sleeping children in the car.  Smooth sailing of the figurative sort, which we appreciated tonight almost as much as we appreciated the placid waters when we were out canoeing in the lake this morning with a literal boatload of our kids and our friends and their kids.  A lovely ending to a lovely week.  And not only because I didn’t have to cook.

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Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

It’s easy to get into a salad rut when summer is doing its thing in the garden and salad-making is so easy.  Greens, veggies, vinaigrette, boom, salad.  But a salad can be so much more, and just a few moments of effort invested in a good dressing can go a long way toward spicing things up.

I am not the maker-of-vinaigrette in our family (thank you, J!), so on the rare occasions when the salad dressing is my job I tend to branch out, if only a little, from the standard oil-vinegar-mustard combination.  Continue reading

Kale and Avocado Salad with Black Garlic (or Roasted Garlic) Vinaigrette

When I moved to LA in the late ’90s, I was pretty sure of two things.  First, that I was going to love graduate school.  And second, that I–born and raised in Northern California–would hate living in LA.  But life has that funny way of playing tricks on you sometimes, and of course the opposite was true.

About LA: I liked the 72 and sunny, of course, and I liked riding my bike to the beach and the farmers market.  I liked breakfasts on Venice Beach and the late-night city scene and did I mention the 72 and sunny?  But what I loved most about living in LA was my roommate.

Having a good friend means a lot in a new place, and I lucked out when I connected with my roommate through the school’s matching system.  She picked me, she later said, because I said I wanted to find an apartment with a balcony so I could have an herb garden.  Ours flourished in the three years we lived together, and I was so sad to say goodbye to her when I left my roommate and that apartment to move to Seattle.

But life has that funny way of playing tricks on you sometimes, and now she lives in Seattle too.  We went shopping for seeds and starts this spring for our respective gardens, and when we had lunch last week she brought me a gorgeous bag of newly-picked kale from her back yard.  Old friends, tender new greens, both so nice to have around.

A kale salad was in order, of course.  Some creamy avocado, some toasted almonds for crunch.  I gave that fermented black garlic one last chance and blended it into a vinaigrette.  Last time I baked it and I thought maybe I had destroyed its magic properties with the heat–but no, its flavor simply isn’t that dramatic.  So you can save yourself $3.50 and substitute half a head of roasted garlic for the black garlic if you prefer. Continue reading Kale and Avocado Salad with Black Garlic (or Roasted Garlic) Vinaigrette (click for recipe)