Category: Salads

Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

I served this Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with a Sherry Wine Vinaigrette for dinner the other night and my girlfriend Lynn loved it. She had never had raw escarole before.

Blue cheese goes nicely with the bitterness of escarole, it adds a salty creaminess, the cranberries a little tartness, and the crunchy walnuts add more crunch. The tangy vinaigrette brings it all together. While there’s lots going on in this salad, it’s very simple to make.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this salad is an excellent way to start or accompany your menu. The refreshing crispy escarole with a coating of the zesty dressing is a great foil for all those rich and tasty traditional Thanksgiving sides.

Vinaigrette

A simple mix of olive oil, Sherry wine vinegar, Dijon, shallots, salt and pepper.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Use two tablespoons minced shallot  for this dressing. If the shallot is large, mince only half.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Place the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad

Thoroughly wash the escarole, it grows in a sandy soil.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Spin dry and stack the greens and slice across the leaves.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Place the sliced escarole in a salad bowl. Shake the vinaigrette and drizzle the greens with just enough dressing to coat the salad but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

Sprinkle the top of the salad with the nuts, cheese, and cranberries. I like to add the toppings last because they always fall to the bottom of the bowl. Sitting on top of the dressed salad makes a lovely presentation.

Escarole & Blue Cheese Salad

 

Print

Escarole and Blue Cheese Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

A tangy, crunchy salad that’s quick and easy to make.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 small minced shallot, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Salad
1 head escarole, chopped
1 cup whole toasted walnuts, chopped
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

Vinaigrette

Two tablespoons minced shallot is enough for this dressing. If the shallot is large, mince only half.

Place the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake well. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Salad

Thoroughly wash the escarole, it grows in a sandy soil. Spin dry and stack the greens and slice across the leaves.

Place the sliced escarole in a salad bowl

Shake the vinaigrette and drizzle the greens with just enough dressing to coat the salad but not pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Sprinkle the top of the salad with the nuts, cheese, and cranberries.

I like to add the toppings last because they always fall to the bottom of the bowl. Sitting on top of the dressed salad makes a lovely presentation.

Keywords: salad, vinaigrette, escarole salad, escarole salad with blue cheese, escarole salad with blue cheese and walnuts, dried cranberries, sherry wine vinaigrette

Corn and Black Bean Salad

Corn and Black Bean Salad in a bowl

When my husband came home from the store over Labor Day weekend, he said Terry, the produce manager at the Village Market, told him this was probably the last weekend for corn. I’m always shocked how quickly corn season passes. I hadn’t even made my Corn and Black Bean Salad yet!

This salad comes together easily. The only ingredient that is cooked is the corn and even that is optional. I either steam it on the stovetop or grill it.

Prepare the Corn

To steam the corn, fill a large saucepan with a couple of inches of cold water and a tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, add the corn, and cook for 5 minutes.

To grill the corn, preheat the grill to high. Brush a little olive oil on the corn, set on the hot grill, reduce the heat a bit, and cook for 5 minutes, turning the ears 3 times.

Let the corn cool for 5 or 10 minutes for easier handling and then cut off the kernels with a sharp knife.

Corn and Black Bean Salad prepped ingredients

Finish the Salad

Pop those kernels into a medium serving bowl along with the black beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, but be sure to hold back of couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad, salt, and lime juice. Toss to combine thoroughly.

I like the salad to sit at least an hour to let the flavors meld, so I omit the avocado until just before serving to prevent it from oxidizing. The oxygen in the air reacts with the avocado flesh and turns it brown. Nothing unhealthy about it, just not eye appealing. You can also make the salad the day before without the avocado. Take the salad out of the fridge a good 30 minutes before serving to warm a little.

Corn and Black Bean Salad with avocado

Lots of flavors and textures in the Corn and Black Bean Salad and it goes with everything – burgers, kabobs, chicken, fish, beef, pork, or seafood, and it’s vegan/vegetarian!

Happy Labor Day!

Print

Corn and Black Bean Salad

This salad comes together easily. The only ingredient that is cooked is the corn and even that is optional. Steam it, grill it, our use it au naturel. It’s colorful, tasty, and the only side dish you need for a meal.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish

Ingredients

6 ears corn
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Kirby cucumber, diced, or about ¼ cup cucumber, remove seeds if bitter
¼ red onion, small dice
1 jalapeno, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small bunch cilantro chopped, reserving a couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 avocado

Instructions

To steam the corn, fill a large saucepan with a couple of inches of cold water and a tablespoon of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, add the corn, and cook for 5 minutes.

To grill the corn, preheat the grill to high. Brush a little olive oil on the corn, set on the hot grill, reduce the heat a bit, and cook for 5 minutes, turning the ears 3 times.

Let the corn cool for 5 or 10 minutes for easier handling and then cut off the kernels with a sharp knife.

Pop those kernels in a medium serving bowl along with the black beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, but be sure to hold back of couple of tablespoons for garnishing the salad, salt, and lime juice. Toss to combine thoroughly.

Notes

I like the salad to sit at least an hour to let the flavors meld, so I omit the avocado until just before serving to prevent it from oxidizing. The oxygen in the air reacts with the avocado flesh and turns it brown. Nothing unhealthy about it, just not eye appealing. You can also make the salad the day before without the avocado. Take the salad out of the fridge a good 30 minutes before serving to warm a little.

Keywords: summer salad, salad, black bean salad, corn salad, black beans, corn, side dish, gluten-free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, summer recipe

Roasted Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend made up of sumac, thyme, white sesame seeds and salt. Sumac is slightly tart and reminiscent of lemon. This is a great spice to use on chicken, fish or pork and here’s a recipe for Roasted Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Salad.

Optimize your time by using these tips. Start the quinoa while you prepare and cook the chicken. Let the quinoa sit and cool a bit. Move on to the dressing, which you should make in a bowl large enough to hold all the quinoa salad ingredients. Prepare the vegetables, add to the dressing, and thoroughly combine. Let sit at room temperature until the chicken is done.

The salad can be made ahead and refrigerated; let sit out of the refrigerator 45 minutes before serving to warm up a bit. Give it a stir occasionally to even out the temperature.

Roast, grill or sauté the chicken and add the lime juice as soon as the chicken is done cooking, which allows the juices to absorb, adding a nice tanginess. Avoid adding the juice to the raw chicken to save a step; the flavor dissipates in the heat.

I chose red quinoa, black quinoa is good too, because it adds color to the dish. This grain has a slightly firm texture and nutty flavor and is a nice change from rice or orzo. A green lettuce leaf adds a splash of green and crunch on the plate and the cilantro complements the all the flavors nicely.

This Roasted Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Salad makes a great lunch or dinner.

Coming next week, recipes Spelt Flatbread and Roasted Spiced Carrot Puree. Great accompaniment for this dish – spread the carrot puree over the flatbread and top with crumbled feta cheese, crushed pistachios and a drizzle of cilantro oil.

flatbread

Watch the Roasted Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Salad Video Here

 

Print

Roasted Za’atar Chicken and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend made up of sumac, thyme, white sesame seeds and salt. Sumac has a slight tartness to it, reminiscent of lemon. The chicken can be roasted, grilled or pan sautéed. Adding the lime juice as soon as the chicken is done cooking allows the juices to be absorbed while the chicken rests. I chose red or black quinoa for the color it adds to the dish.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions
  • Category: Salads

Ingredients

Quinoa

1 cup red quinoa

¼ teaspoon coarse salt

 

Chicken

4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup Za’atar seasoning

3 tablespoons minced cloves garlic (about 6 medium cloves)

2 teaspoons coarse salt

20 turns of the pepper mill

zest of one lime

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Dressing

1 container (7 ounces) Greek yogurt, such as Fage

3 tablespoons tahini

zest of one lime

2 tablespoons lime juice

½ teaspoon coarse salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

Quinoa Salad

3 cups cooked black or red quinoa (see recipe above)

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup shredded carrot (about 1 large carrot)

1 cup cucumber cut into ½ inch cubes

1 bunch scallions (light green tops included), trimmed, rinsed and thinly sliced on the bias

½ teaspoon coarse salt

GARNISH                          

6 large butter lettuce or Romaine leaves

Cilantro leaves

Instructions

For the Quinoa

Bring 2 cups cold water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan with a cover.

Stir in the quinoa, lower the heat to a simmer and cook covered for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the little green sprouts are showing.

Cool.

For the Chicken

Combine the coconut oil, za’atar, garlic, salt and pepper.

Lay the chicken on a flat surface and cover with plastic wrap. Pound the thicker ends with a meat pounder or a heavy frying pan to an even thickness.

Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken and place on a baking sheet.

Place the seasoned chicken in the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Time may vary depending on the size of each breast.

Combine the lime zest and juice.

NOTE: While the chicken roasts, prepare the dressing and salad.

Remove the chicken from the oven and immediately douse with the lime juice on all sides. Let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Cut on the bias into ½-inch slices. Leave on the pan with the juices until ready to plate.

For the Dressing

Whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lime zest and juice, salt and cayenne in a large bowl.

FOR THE QUINOA SALAD

Add the quinoa, tomatoes, cilantro, carrot, scallions and salt to the dressing and stir to combine.

Place one lettuce on a plate and fill with a cup of the quinoa salad.

Lay a few slices of the chicken next to or over the top of the salad. Drizzle a little of the pan juice over the chicken and top with a few cilantro leaves.

Notes

Start the quinoa while you prepare the chicken. Let the quinoa cool a bit off the stovetop. Move on to the dressing, which you should make in a bowl large enough to hold all the salad ingredients. Prepare the vegetables, add to the dressing, and thoroughly combine. Let sit at room temperature until the chicken is done.

 

 

Tri-Color Salad with Balsamic Viniagrette

cheese crisps

Complex salads are tossed salads that have more than one ingredient. A great example is the classic Italian Tri-Color Salad, which uses three peppery lettuces: arugula, radicchio and Belgian endive. Pair with a balsamic vinaigrette; the sweetness of the balsamic is a delicious foil for the bitterness of the lettuce.

cheese crisps

Oftentimes this salad is topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese. I thought it would be nice to share a little twist on that — Parmesan crisps!

Use 2 tablespoons grated aged cheese, such as Parmesan or Asiago, per person. Drop onto a lined baking pan and use the back of the spoon to spread into a circle. Finish with a little freshly grated black pepper, if desired. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool and add to salad or a bread basket.

cheese crisps

Watch the Tri-Color Salad Video here.

Print

Tri-Color Salad with Balsamic Viniagrette

Here’s a classic Italian salad using arugula, radicchio and endive with a balsamic vinaigrette. Special bonus – cheese crisp recipe included.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

Cheese Crisps

½ cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
freshly ground pepper, optional

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons good balsamic vinegar
1 smashed clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Tri-Color Salad
2 cups arugula
1 cup chopped radicchio
1 cup sliced endive
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Garnish
Shaved aged cheese, such as Asiago or Parmesan or a cheese crisp

 

Instructions

Cheese Crisps

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with silicon or parchment paper

Drop 2 tablespoonfuls of grated cheese onto the lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Spread the cheese into a circle. Sprinkle with a little freshly ground pepper, optional.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Place the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a sealed jar. Let sit, refrigerated, for at lease 30 minutes. Can be made a day in advance.

Remove the garlic before using.

Tri-Color Salad

Place the arugula, radicchio and endive in a salad bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and a couple of turns of the peppermill.

Remove the garlic from the vinaigrette, reseal the jar and shake well. Pour sparingly over the greens and toss.

Garnish with shaved aged cheese, such as Asiago or Parmesan, or cheese crisps.

Notes

Use just enough vinaigrette to coat the lettuce, but not pool at the bottom of the bowl. Save leftover vinaigrette up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

 

Black Bean and Barley Salad

Black Bean and Barley Salad

We are doing a series of video releases over the next 100 days or so. Today we’re featuring a Black Bean and Barley Salad.

Cold salads are a welcome addition to the summer table. They are made ahead and served cold or at room temperature. I’m always looking for different ways to use fresh corn. The season is so short and canned or frozen corn is no comparison to the freshly picked cob. So, in addition to eating corn off the cob, I put it in lots of salads. It’s great in mashed avocadoes. Creamed corn, gently simmered in shallots and cream with some fresh tarragon is also another great way to use corn. And, of course, don’t forget corn chowder!

Black Bean and Barley Salad

Try this quick and easy Black Bean and Barley Salad. Make a double portion – leftovers are great!

Watch the Video Here:

 

Print

Black Bean and Barley Salad

Black Bean and Barley Salad

A quick and easy summer salad – perfect for picnics and barbecues.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 10-12 servings
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

  • Vinaigrette
    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Salad
    2 ears corn kernels
  • 3 cups cooked barley (1 cup dry pearl barley)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (any color you like)
  • ¾ cup minced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 avocadoes, cut into bite-size cubes

Instructions

  1. Vinaigrette
  2.  Combine the oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a covered jar and shake or in a small bowl and whisk.
  3. Salad
  4. Either steam, roast or grill the corn. Let cool a bit and then remove the kernels, scrapping the cob with the knife blade to remove the corn milk, too.
  5. Combine the corn, barley, beans, pepper, onion, jalapeno, avocado and cilantro in a large serving bowl.
  6. Shake or whisk the dressing, pour over the salad and toss.
  7. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

To cook the barley, fill a medium saucepan with 6 cups cold water and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Bring to a boil and stir in the barley. Once the water returns to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minute, or until tender. Drain and cool a little before adding to the salad.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup

 

Cobb Salad

Composed Salad

Cobb salad is delicious for an afternoon luncheon or for a warm weather dinner.

Watch the Cobb Salad Video Here.

Check out our How To Sauté Chicken Breasts  and the “Finger Test” videos.

A Cobb salad is a composed salad. The ingredients are presented in rows, rather than tossed, for an eye-appealing presentation. Pour dressing over everything and serve!

Composed Salad

The presentation creates a lovely balance of color, texture and flavors.

Composed Salad

The salad originated at the Brown Derby in LA, supposedly put together late in the evening at the end of service using what was left in the kitchen.

Composed Salad

This is a quick and easy meal to make ahead; dress at the last minute for a light and refreshing lunch or dinner.

 

Print

Cobb Salad

Cobb salad is a composed salad, which simply means the ingredients are not tossed together but laid out in a colorful and eye appealing way. Quick and easy recipe for lunch or dinner

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: One-Dish Meal/Salad

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup chopped chives

1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

¼ teaspoon coarse salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Salad

6 cups chopped lettuce (Romaine, Bibb, watercress)

20 cherry tomatoes, halved

4 slices cooked and coarsely chopped bacon

1 pound cooked whole boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 hard boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise

2 Hass avocado, peeled and sliced crosswise

4 ounces blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

Vinaigrette

Combine the oil, vinegar, chives, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar. Close tightly and shake well.

Salad

Strew the lettuce across the bottom of a large platter.

Arrange each ingredient in a row.

Pour dressing over everything and serve.

 

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

A wilted salad is typically an unappealing one, with old, brown leaves. An intentionally wilted spinach salad, however, gently “cooks” the leaves with a warm vinaigrette and is delightful to the eye and palette.

I prefer baby spinach in general, because it requires less work. The stems are delicate, edible and usually less sandy than their mature counterpart. Mature spinach needs a thorough wash and rinse and the tough stems have to be removed. A tedious job.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

The best way to cook bacon is in a cold pan to prevent sticking and browns evenly. Place the bacon in the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

The bacon, scallions and vinegar release aromas that are smoky, savory and tangy all at once. For added texture, don’t hesitate to add toasted or seasoned nuts for an added crunch.

Watch the Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Video Here

Print

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

A wilted spinach salad gently “cooks” the leaves with a warm vinaigrette and is delightful to the eye and palette.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions
  • Category: Salads

Ingredients

Bacon Vinaigrette

2 slices bacon, diced
4 sliced scallions, green tops included
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
a pinch of coarse salt
a few cranks on the pepper mill

Spinach Salad

6 cups baby spinach
2 cups, about 6 ounces, button mushrooms, washed, woody stems removed and thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced red onions, rinsed and dried
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

Bacon Vinaigrette

Place the bacon in a cold pan over medium-high heat and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the scallion and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk.

Spinach Salad

Place the spinach, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes in a salad bowl.

Whisk the hot dressing one more time and pour over the salad.

Toss and top with the blue cheese.

Notes

Use as much olive to the bacon fat to make 1/4 cup.

The best way to cook bacon is in a cold pan to prevent sticking and browns evenly. Place the bacon in the pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

 

Roasted Beet Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

I love beets, but this is another food my husband won’t eat. For some reason, he doesn’t like spring vegetables: asparagus, beets, peas, sugar snap peas and snow peas. Roasted beet salad with sherry wine vinaigrette is quick and easy to make. Eat it by itself or toss into salads.

Golden Beet

Spring vegetables are transition vegetables from the hearty winter gourds and root vegetables that bring a welcome lightness and color to the table after a long, cold, snowy winter. They reflect the rebirth of nature and, of course, they’re all delicious! Except to him.

Beets, are small and the greens are plentiful in spring. As the season continues, the beet bulb grows bigger and, fortunately, they are pretty frost resistant making them a year-round staple.

Roasted Beets

Candy Cane Beet

Roast and peel the beets, cut into any shape you like: slices, quarters or cubes. Watch our video on roasting beets and sautéing beet greens here.

Prepare the vinaigrette, coat the beets generously and marinate in the refrigerator at least four hours or overnight. The beets keep up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator and are best served at room temperature.

This recipe for beet salad includes peppery arugula, and chunks of warm goat cheese. Add some toasted nuts, such as pistachio or walnuts for a little texture.

Beet and goat cheese

Watch our Roasted Beet Salad Video Here

 

Print

Roasted Beet Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrett

Roasted Beet Salad with Sherry Wine Vinaigrette

Roasted beet salad with sherry wine vinaigrette is quick and easy to make. Warm some goat cheese, toss arugula and beets together and add dollops of the warm cheese.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Yield: 2/3 cup vinaigrette
  • Category: Salad, Salad Dressing & Vinaigrettes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  • a couple of cranks on the pepper mill
  • 4 roasted beets cut into slices, cubes

Instructions

  1. Combine the oils, vinegar, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper in a covered jar and shake or whisk in a bowl.
  2. Pour generously over beets and let marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight. Best served at room temperature.

Notes

Warm some goat cheese, toss arugula and beets together and add dollops of the warm cheese.

 

Simple Salad with French Vinaigrette

French Vinaigrette

A simple salad uses one vegetable, such as lettuce, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, or roasted beets and is dressed with a vinaigrette or creamy salad dressing. This simple salad with French vinaigrettes uses Romaine lettuce and the vinaigrette is made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, chopped shallots and a few minced fresh herbs.

Vinaigrette Ratios

A simple rule of thumb for a basic vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid, such vinegar or citrus juice, salt and pepper.

French Vinaigrette

Want a tangier dressing? Use 4 parts oil to 2 parts acid, salt and pepper.

Dress up the vinaigrette by adding minced garlic, shallots, fresh or dried herbs, spices, tomato paste and/or grated cheese, such as Asiago or Parmesan.

French Vinaigrette

Food Safety Tip:

Make small batches when using fresh aromatics, such as garlic, shallots or herbs. The bacteria in dirt is anaerobic, meaning it survives in oxygen-free environments like vinaigrettes or salad dressings. Keep in the refrigerator only for up to five days.

Use the dressing sparingly – just enough to coat the vegetable and nothing pooling in the bottom of the bowl.

French Vinaigrette

Watch the Simple Salad with French Vinaigrette Video Here:
Print

Simple Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

True French vinaigrette isn’t creamy, orange or sweet. This is a classic recipe, made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, chopped shallots and a few minced fresh herbs. Use at least three herbs, such as parsley, thyme and tarragon.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1/4 cup
  • Category: Salad, Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
a few turns of the pepper mill
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon and thyme

Instructions

  1. Place the oil, vinegar, shallots, mustard, salt and pepper in a covered container, such as a Mason jar. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Add the fresh herbs, shake and pour over 4 cups shredded lettuce.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6 portions

 

 

Loose Leaf Lettuce

ose Leaf Lettuce

I’m a big fan of loose leaf lettuce such as green and red leaf lettuce with their curly edges and the dark green flat leaf Romaine.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-9-58-51-am

These greens are versatile. Use them to line platters or bowls. All three are perfect on sandwiches, they’re crispy and cover the sandwich edge to edge. And, of course they make delicious salads.

To clean, remove the core by slicing the end off. As you get to the center, slice away the inner core. Place the loose leaves in a large bowl of cold water and gently swish to remove dirt and/or bugs. Swish the red leaf lettuce gently, it’s more fragile than green leaf and Romaine. Drain, and rinse again. The lettuce is clean when no grit remains on the bottom of the bowl.

Spin dry and lay flat in one layer across a length of paper towel. The residual water on the lettuce is absorbed by the paper. The water is necessary to keep the lettuce crisp but if it remains on the leaves, the lettuce rots quickly.

Green leaf and Romaine last 7-10 days when cleaned and stored properly, especially the ones purchased at the farmer’s market, which are so fresh. Red leaf lettuce is fragile and should be used within 3-4 days.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-10-00-00-am

These greens stand up well to vinegar-based dressings and creamy dressings. Romaine is the lettuce typically used in the classic Caesar salad. Use whole hearts of Romaine drizzled with a creamy dressing for a different presentation.

Watch the Video on Loose Leaf Lettuce Here

 

Tight Head Lettuces: Cleaning & Storing

Cleaning and Storage

Farmer’s markets are still providing an abundant supply of lettuces. In this upcoming video series, we look at lots of different kinds of lettuces and how to clean and store them. We start with tight head lettuce. These lettuces grow in the shape of a ball with tightly bound leaves. Outer leaves that are wimpy or bruised, pull away and discard. Give a quick rinse and you’re good to go.

Iceberg Lettuce

dscn5990

Let’s start with the ubiquitous Iceberg lettuce. This was the only lettuce available when I was a kid. We had it in every salad and on sandwiches. It’s not a bad lettuce, just a little boring in comparison to so many others that have more flavor and color.

Iceberg has a light green exterior color and is almost white at the center. The flavor is mild, which makes it such a perfect host for rich, creamy dressings like Blue Cheese or Thousand Island, a classic steakhouse salad with crumbled bacon bites!

Steakhouse salad

Radicchio

dscn5991

Radicchio is a bitter Italian lettuce that is primarily red with white veins. It is crisp, crunchy and can be served cold or grilled. I like to chop the leaves and serve along with arugula and endive, also known as a Tri-Color Salad. These three lettuces are bitter and a balsamic vinaigrette is most commonly served as the sweetness of the balsamic complements the bitterness of the leaves.

Belgian Endive

Belgian Endive

I’ve included Belgian Endive in this group. The leaves are tightly bound and cleaning and storing are the same as for Iceberg and Radicchio. The Belgian endive is a delicate lettuce with pale leaves from growing underground. The edges of the leaves begin to brown quickly. Buy and use within a day or two. It’s another bitter lettuce and can be used in salads or as a vehicle for a spread, such as chicken salad or a blue cheese spread, for hor d’oeuvres. In the video we discuss using the leaves whole or chopped.

Storage

To store tight head lettuces, place a damp paper towel in the bottom of a plastic container or sealable plastic bag and place the cleaned lettuce on top. Remove the air and seal. The Iceberg and Radicchio will last a good week. The Endive should be used within a day or two.

Watch the Tight Head Lettuces video here.

 

 

 

Four Bean Salad

Four Bean Salad

Four Bean Salad is a standard summer dish from my childhood. It’s typically made with three beans, canned green and wax beans and kidney beans, I add chickpeas to make that fourth bean. I also like to make this when the fresh beans are available in the summer. So nice to have that fresh flavor and a little texture in the green and wax beens from a quick blanch.

To start, bring a large saucepot filled with cold water and a heaping tablespoon of Kosher salt to a boil. Trim and halve the beans.

Four Bean Salad

Plunge the beans into the boiling water and cook for three minutes. Remove the beans with a long-handled mesh strainer and plunge them into an ice bath. The beans retain a bit of a crunch, which makes for a nice texture in the salad.

Four Bean Salad

Drain and thoroughly rinse a can each of kidney beans and chickpeas. Drain the string beans. The beans are a bit moist and the excess water dilutes the vinaigrette; place some paper towels in the bottom of a two-quart serving bowl and dump in the string beans. Add some paper towel and cover with the kidney beans and chickpeas. It’s only water on the beans, the towels can be dried and repurposed.

Four Bean Salad

Slice the onion lengthwise into thin strips. If it’s a strong onion, don’t worry, the vinaigrette mellows the onion nicely.

Whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.

Remove the paper towels leaving the beans in the bowl, add the onion and toss with the vinaigrette.

Four Bean Salad

Refrigerate for at least two hours, occasionally tossing to marinate all the beans. The salad can be made a day in advance, even though the dressing is slightly acidic it won’t turn the green beans that awful gray-green color.

This is a great side dish, but don’t hesitate to have a bowlful for lunch!

Print

Four Bean Salad

Four Bean Salad

This salad can be made a day in advance, even though the dressing is slightly acidic it won’t turn the green beans that awful gray-green color. Eat as a side or as your main dish!

  • Prep Time: 3p mins
  • Cook Time: 3 mins
  • Total Time: 23 mins
  • Yield: 2 quarts
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

  • Bean Salad
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans or haricots verts
  • 1 1/2 cups wax beans
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, lengthwise (about 1/2 of a small onion)
  • 1/4 cup plus one tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. BeanSalad
  2. Trim the beans and cut in half. Bring a pot of salted cold water to a boil, add the beans to the boiling water and cook for three minutes.
  3. Remove the beans with a long-handled mesh strainer into an ice-water bath.
  4. Drain the beans and place on paper towel to dry along with the kidney beans and chickpeas.
  5. Vinaigrette
  6. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.
  7. Put the beans and onion in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
  8. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours, tossing on occasion to marinate all the beans and onion.