Category Archives: Salads

Pomegranate and Candied Pecan Salad

The theme for the kosher link up this month is “Pomegranate” (see below!) I admit I was not quite sure what I would come up with2014-09-14 17.04.32 for a pomegranate dish, but being that I have not posted for quite some time I was determined to write a decent recipe featuring the pomegranate. I think I have accomplished my goal! This salad is sweet, savory and full of flavor. It is also super easy and versatile.

For those of you not familiar with this ruby red fruit I encourage you to try it out. There are many health benefits of eating pomegranates as they are rich in antioxidants. Nowadays, you can find the juice in any grocery store, usually in the produce section.  If you are eating the seeds as opposed to the juice there is much less sugar and more fiber. Some people do not like the thought of actually crunching on seeds, but I love to add different textures to my food. The other aspect that normally keeps people away from eating pomegranate seeds is the fact that they are not so easy to get out of the fruit. There are several ways to get them out. I gently squeeze and tap them out of the membrane once it is cut in half. There are actually you-tube videos on how to do this!

Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) is right around the corner. Pomegranates are often featured on the table during this holiday. This salad would be a lovely starter to a festival meal. It is also a really nice fall salad for any other day.

The ingredients are pretty basic, but you can really add whatever you like. If you are doing dairy, then crumbled goat cheese would be wonderful in this. To go along with the fall theme you could roast some butternut squash pieces and add them in as well. I love the butter lettuce because it is so tender, but you could also use romaine. Pecans are the epitome of fall which is why I picked them for this salad, but you could substitute any nut you like. The possibilities are endless! My favorite part of the salad is the different textures as well as the sweet and savory flavors. This will be one of my fall salad go-to’s in the future for sure!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Non stick cooking spray

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

5 – 6 oz pecan halves2014-09-14 16.59.03

1 pomegranate worth of seeds

1 head butter lettuce, washed and spun dry

1 can hearts of palm, drained, rinsed and chopped into rounds

4 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons pomegranate juice

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

In a microwave safe bowl heat up the water for one minute. If you do not have a microwave you can do this on the stove. You want the water to be hot, but not boiling. Add the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved and then add the pecans.  Coat the pecans with the sugar water.

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Coat a foil lined baking sheet with non stick cooking spray. Pour the pecans on to the sheet in one layer. Cook the pecans on the top oven rack until they are fragrant and toasted, about seven to eight minutes.   Remove from the oven to cool and set aside.

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To make the dressing pour the vinegar, pomegranate juice, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and ground pepper into a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.

Pom dressing

Place the butter lettuce in a large bowl or on individual plates.  Scatter the scallions, hearts of palm and pomegranate seeds over the lettuce. Add the cooled pecans and drizzle the dressing over the salad right before serving.

2014-09-14 17.03.01

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Edamame Salad

I want to start off by wishing everyone a happy new year!   ‘Tis the time for new year’s resolutions.  This year I made the same two resolutionsedamame salad 2 that I make every year – to loose weight and to eat healthy.  That is why my first posting of the year is a fabulous recipe that can help accomplish both of these goals.

This salad is colorful, delicious and good for you too!  It has lots of healthy veggies – red pepper (which has more vitamin C than an orange), lettuce, carrots and cucumber.  It also has protein with the edamame.  For those of you who are not familiar with edamame you really must try it.  I love it steamed or dry roasted as a snack or salad topper.  It is low in calories and fat, and provides lean protein as an added bonus.

Another great thing about this salad is that it is very easy and quick to prepare.  I use pre-washed lettuce as well as pre-shredded carrots to save on time.  You just have to do a little chopping, make a quick dressing and voila!  A pretty, healthy and delicious salad that is ready in no time.   This can be a nice starter salad or even a main course.  If you are serving it as a main course it would be great with some grilled chicken or salmon.  When you are trying to keep a new year’s resolution this is exactly the kind of food that can help you stick to it!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 0 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 6 servings

5 oz. bag of mixed salad greens (I like a sweet butter lettuce mix for this recipe)
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
1/2 red bell pepper, dicedIMG_0375
1/2 English cucumber, diced
4 scallions, chopped on a diagonal
1 cup shelled frozen edamame, defrosted
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Defrost the edamame (I usually defrost in the microwave for 2-3 minutes).

In a large bowl toss the lettuce, carrots, red pepper, cucumber and scallions. Pile the cooled edamame on top of the salad.

Combine the sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the sesame oil and sesame seeds and whisk some more. Slowly stream in the canola oil while whisking vigorously.

IMG_0376

Dress the salad right before serving.

edamame salad

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Carrot Slaw

In my previous post I mentioned that I was working on some summer time recipes.  This is one of them.  When the weather is hot slaw 4outside I love easy and no-cook recipes.  This is a nice dish to take on the go, for a picnic or outside party as it does not have any mayonnaise and can sit out for a while.

This recipe came about when I was really wanting salad one night, but was out of lettuce.  I did have a bag of grated carrots in the fridge. I started looking through my pantry, putting things into a bowl and Wallah!

 

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time:  0 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 8 servings

 

 

10 oz package of pre-shredded carrots

½ cup cashew nuts

½ cup dried cranberries

5 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper

 

 

Place the carrots, nuts, cranberries and scallions into a large bowl.

slaw raw

Dissolve the honey and salt into the vinegar in a smaller bowl.  Add the pepper and whisk in the canola oil.

slaw dressing 2

Add the dressing to the carrot mixture and mix well.

slaw 3

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Caesar Salad With Garlic Bread Croutons

Alas, my maternity leave has come to an end.  I have gone back to work (my day job) so now I figure it is time for me to start bloggingCesar Salad again.  I decided to make my return with the Kosher Link Up (see below).  This month the theme is croutons.  I would love to say that I have a really creative use for croutons in a recipe, but my recipe is for a traditional use for the little crouton – salad.  I have a FANTASTIC salad recipe with really delicious croutons.  I do not like most store bought croutons.  I find them to be overly salty and hard as rocks.  These have no sodium and you can make them as crisp as you like.  The reason I call the them “garlic bread croutons” is because this is actually how I  make garlic bread and just do not cook it as long.  I use both whole wheat and white bread only because I think it looks pretty. However, you can use any bread you would like.

My recipe is close to a traditional Caesar salad, but without the raw egg yolk.  Truthfully, I have made it with the egg and do not find there to be much of a difference.  Since that is the case I would rather leave it out and save on the calories and salmonella risk!  Yes, there are anchovies in it.  If you are really freaked out then you can leave them out, but I HIGHLY recommend that you try it!  It is not fishy at all!  Whenever someone sees me making the dressing they get nervous about the anchovies and I have to promise that they will never know they are there.  The trick is to really chop and work the anchovies into a paste with the fresh garlic and then incorporate the paste into the dressing.  They add a great flavor without the fishy taste.  Trust me, my husband and sister would not touch it if it were fishy at all and they are my biggest fans of this dish 🙂

I make this salad all the time because it is very easy and so, so good.  I am always getting requests for it so I am glad I will finally be able to share the recipe.  It is great as a starter salad or main course with a piece of grilled or blackened fish.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 – 15 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

4 slices bread (I use 2 whole wheat and 2 regular, but you can use all the same)

butter

2 large heads of romaine lettuce washed and dried (or 3 packages pre-washed)

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Juice of one large lemon

3 anchovy fillets

1 large garlic clove

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnish

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Lay all four slices of bread on a large plate or cutting board.  Butter one side of each piece of bread.  Sprinkle that side with garlic powder.  Cut the crusts off the bread and then cut them into bite size squares to make the croutons.  Place the croutons on a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (quick clean up).  Cook in the oven for  5 minutes, then toss and cook another 5-10 minutes until the croutons are crunchy.

Croutons2

Juice the lemon into a large bowl.  If you are not getting a lot of juice from the lemon use another one.   Finely mince the garlic clove.  Once chopped add the anchovy fillets on top of the garlic.  Continue to mince and chop the garlic and anchovy together until the two are integrated into a paste.

Anchovy Garlic

Add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and whisk together until everything is combined.  Pour the olive oil in a stream into the mixture while whisking until there is a thick dressing consistency.

Chop the lettuce and add it to the bowl with the dressing.  Toss until the lettuce is covered with dressing.  Add the croutons to the top and sprinkle with some additional Parmesan cheese.

Cesar Salad2



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Pasta Salad

Now that summer is in full swing you will probably see a lot of salad or slaw recipes from me.  When the temperature is hot outside I often do not feel like eating a heavy hot meal.  Since I love salads I tend to make and eat them all summer long.  There is also the added bonus of not needing to be in front of a hot stove for very long, or even at all.  Even though I have an air conditioned kitchen now (thank G-d) I do remember many years where that was not the case.  In the sweltering summer months you could not get me in front of the stove for an extended period of time,  even if you paid me.  I know there  are plenty of people out there like that now.

This is a really pretty and tasty dish.  Because it does not have mayonnaise it transports well and is great for parties and picnics where it does not need to be refrigerated.   It can be a side dish, lunch or even dinner with some shredded rotisserie chicken added in for protein.

You can feel free to be creative with this recipe.  It is really just a template.  You can add whatever veggies you like and take out anything you do not like.  My sister recently made this and added in a bell pepper and mushrooms.  If you do not like olives, take them out.  I use the tri color pasta because it looks pretty.  However, you could make this more healthful and use whole grain rotini instead.  I made this earlier this year for my son’s first birthday party.  It was a hit!  I know many people have a version of a pasta salad recipe.  I like this one because it is easy and tastes great!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 8 servings

1 (12 ounce) box of tri-color Rotini (can substitute whole grain)

1 stalk of celery (close to the heart), diced

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half

½ of a 9-10 ounce bottle of Spanish olives stuffed with pimentos, drained and cut in half

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 scallions finely chopped (or 1 large shallot)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking chop your vegetables and olives.  Place the vegetables in a large bowl.

Drain the pasta and allow to cool.

To make the dressing, place the vinegar, scallions, mustard, salt and pepper in a separate bowl.  Whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  Stream in the extra virgin olive oil while whisking vigorously until you have a dressing consistency.

Once the pasta is cool add it to the large bowl of vegetables and pour the dressing over everything.  Toss to combine all the ingredients. Can be served cold or at room temperature.

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Arugula, Feta, Apple and Walnut Salad

This salad is a mixture of so many tastes and textures it is like a party in your mouth! I love combining different types of flavors in my cookery as it makes every bite interesting.  In this recipe you have spicy arugula, salty feta, sweet cranberries, tart apple, and the sweet and sour dressing.  As for the textures you have the crisp apple, creamy feta, chewy dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts.    Eating is an experience for all of your senses and this recipe is a sensory delight.  For a salad you would be surprised by its depth of flavor.  It is also just really delicious!

Arugula is one of my all time favorite greens.  I use it often in salads even cook with it in my Arugula and Feta Omelet.  It is rich in vitamin C and low in calories.  I personally think the best part is its spicy flavor.  Nowadays it is easy to find pre-washed packages of arugula to make a quick, easy and tasty salads.  Of course you do not have to buy the arugula that is already washed.  I just think that it is a HUGE time saver to have that step already done for you.  One step I do not recommend skipping is toasting the walnuts.  It only takes a few minutes and trust me when I tell you, IT IS WELL WORTH IT.

This salad can be a lovely main meal or first course.  I have made this for guests and have always gotten rave reviews.  The dressing is one that I use for many salads and not just this one.  It is that good.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 0 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 8 servings

1 (5 ounce) bag of pre-washed baby arugula (preferably organic)
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 apple (whatever kind you like, I use Gala or McIntosh for this recipe), thinly sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

 

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.

In a large bowl add the arugula, dried cranberries, feta, sliced apples and cooled walnuts.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking until well combined.

Toss the dressing with the salad right before serving.

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Easy Coleslaw

There are a few things I like about this recipe.  First is that it takes about five minutes to make, second it tastes great and third leftovers taste even better (if you have any that is).  I never understood why people buy coleslaw from the supermarket when it is so easy to make.  The supermarket version is normally loaded with mayonnaise and has little flavor.

The big time saver on this recipe is the pre-shredded cabbage.  Of course you can shred your own.  However, I believe that time is money and I would rather spend a premium on the already shredded cabbage than take the time to shred it myself.  It is really not much more costly to buy it done for you already.  You can find a sack of cabbage for under two dollars.  The other time saver is that there are only a few ingredients.  I have seen several coleslaw recipes with a lot more ingredients than this.  When you taste this recipe you will know that they are not needed.

Whenever I make this, I get lots of compliments.  If I serve it to guests they are very impressed that I made it from scratch.  Little do they know how easy it is to make.  If you are making this for a crowd you can easily make it the day before you serve it which is nice.  My husband is a big fan of a New York style deli coleslaw and says mine is just as good as any deli he has ever been to.  That is a pretty big compliment coming from him.

This recipe is a flavorful side dish and does not have to just be made with burgers and hot dogs.  On a week night when I need to get dinner on the table quickly I can whip this up in no time.  I usually serve it as a side dish with different types of fish.  Whether it be fish sticks, grilled fish or pan fried it goes great!  It is also nice with grilled or barbeque chicken.  I do have other slaw recipes that I would love to share, but this one is a classic!

 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time:  0 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 8 servings

 

16 oz package of pre-shredded cabbage

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup mayonnaise (I use low fat)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon celery seed (optional)

 

Dissolve the sugar and salt into the vinegar in a large bowl.  Add the mayonnaise, pepper and celery seed.  Use either a whisk or fork to mix until there is a smooth dressing consistency.

Fold in shredded cabbage and mix well so that every piece is covered in dressing.

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