subscribe: Posts | Comments

Salads

0 comments

Favorite Lemony Salad Dressing

Greek Salad

Kale, Broccolini, Avocado & Grape Salad

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Salad

Papaya-Cucumber Salad

Radish Salad

Tabouli

Seared Ahi Salad with Wasabi-Ginger Vinaigrette

Spicy Shrimp Salad

Spinach Salad with Mango Lime Puree

> Scroll down for all recipes


Kale, Broccolini, Avocado & Grape Salad

0 comments

Time: 5-10 minutes to prepare dressing, 30+ minutes to soften kale, and approximately 30-45 minutes to prepare and serve salad.

Serves: 8 – 10

Inspired by: This was my attempt at closely replicating a unique and delicious salad I had at the Prado Restaurant at the Montelucia Resort in Phoenix. It was served with a crispy piece of salmon over the top.

Salad Dressing: I recommend using my Favorite Lemony Salad Dressing

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8-16 handfuls of chopped kale (any kind, perhaps a mix of Russian Red and Dinosaur)
  • 1-2 bunches broccolini (approximately 2 cups once cut into pieces)
  • 3 avocados, cut into small chunks 
  • 2 cups grapes halved
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ½ – 1 cup aged Manchego or other hard salty cheese

Preparation:

  • Cut out the main vein of each kale leaf, and chop into 1 inch pieces or thin strips.
  • Massage some of the salad dressing (lemon juice/olive oil base) into the kale for 2-3 minutes to break it down and soften it – at least 30 minutes ahead but up to a day ahead. 
  • Cut just the tops off of the broccolini so it’s in small, tender, easy to eat pieces (you can also use some of the thinner/tender stems cut into 1 inch length for crunch). Blanch quickly (30 seconds), rinse with cold water, drain.
  • Toast the almonds in a pan over the stove or in a toaster oven until they are lightly browned.
  • Cut grapes in half – should yield about 2 cups after being cut.
  • When ready to serve, toss the kale, broccolini, grapes and ½ of the grated cheese with enough dressing to coat well.
  • Cut the avocado and gently toss separately in lemon juice or some dressing.
  • Lay the salad into a large shallow dish and top with the avocado, toasted almonds and remainder of the cheese.


Favorite Lemony Salad Dressing

0 comments

Time: 5-10 minutes

Inspired by: Lemon is one of my favorite flavors, and I think a lemon-based (versus vinegar-based) dressing is a much better pairing with wine. Since we drink wine with most dinners, this is our “almost daily” dressing.

Ingredients:

  • Juice of two lemons (Meyer lemons recommended)
  • Olive oil – approximately 1/2 of the quantity of lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • A squirt of Dijon mustard – this Annie’s Horseradish mustard in the picture has been perfect
  • A pinch of salt and pepper

Preparation:

  • Mix the above ingredients and shake well. We combine the ingredients in a small bowl, funnel them into a bottle and shake well before using. This bottle was a gift from a very sweet family member and we love it.
  • Between uses we keep in the refrigerator. If you take it out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before using, the hardened olive oil will soften. You can also put in the microwave if necessary for a few seconds to warm it.

Seared Ahi Salad with Wasabi-Ginger Vinaigrette

0 comments

Time: 20-30 minutes

Serves: 2-4

Inspired by: My Armenian “sister” Michelle Babayan, who is a phenomenal personal chef and caterer. Michelle’s Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna) salad with a creamy wasabi dressing is to die for, and the 18 spice blend she uses to coat the Ahi before searing is amazing with fabulous flavors to bring out the flavors of the fish without being spicy hot and overwhelming the fish.  I love her spice blend on the Ahi and have now found that I love mine too!  When I use mine, I use it more like a rub – because it’s much spicier than hers. I like it to add beautiful flavor, but not overwhelm the fish. What’s interesting is that when I use my blend, I find that it tastes a lot different than when I use it in other dishes. It’s very chameleon-like! I really love both spices with this salad. This is one of my favorite meals.

 

Ingredients – Dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons wasabi (I get it freshly prepared at the sushi counter at whole foods)
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients – Salad:

  • 1 pound sushi grade or searing grade Ahi tuna
  • 4 tablespoons Michelle’s 18 spice blend or 1-2 tablespoons Spice it Up …by Karen™
  • Mixed greens or watercress
  • Papaya or mango – cut into small pieces
  • English cucumber – sliced
  • Red radish – sliced (optional)
  • Red pepper – sliced (optional)

Preparation:

  • Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a shaker.
  • Put the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Rub olive oil on the Ahi and coat it with the 18 spice blend, or give it a good rub with my spice blend.
  • Heat a skillet to sear the fish (a cast iron skillet is best as it gets very hot) – add a tablespoon of olive oil, and then sear just a couple of minutes on each side – it should get crispy on the outside but not cooked through.
  • Slice the Ahi quickly so it doesn’t continue to cook – 1/4 to 1/8 inch slices.
  • Toss the salad with the dressing (but reserve a bit of it).
  • Lay the Ahi over the salad and then drizzle it some dressing over it.

Notes: I also love charred red pepper in the salad – especially when I want a warmer salad. You can cook that on one side of the skillet and the fish on the other  – but start it about 5 minutes before the fish. Spread that over the top of the salad along with the Ahi.

 

Wine Suggestions: My favorite with this salad is a California Pinot Noir or a Red Burgundy. I’ve also had it with a light Chinon that was really yummy. I’ve also found that when using my spice blend, it’s really nice with a slightly bigger red such as a Grenache/Syrah or a Rioja.

 


Spicy Shrimp Salad

0 comments

Spicy Shrimp Salad

Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2 – 4

Inspired by: I love salad. I love pan fried or grilled shrimp. I love spice! This just happened one night and is something we now make fairly often. It’s not a recipe that needs documenting, other than having it here it helps me think of something to make when my brain has turned off for the day! I don’t keep a lot of extra food in the house, but salad stuff and a bag of shrimp in the freezer are the most common to have around. This one is using my super fast and easy spicy pan fried shrimp recipe, but I love this with spicy grilled shrimp as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shrimp (cleaned and with or without the shells – the shells actually have nutritional benefit and they are yummy to nibble on cooked this way!)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons Spice it Up …by Karen™
  • Use any salad ingredients you’d like – these are just suggestions below:
  • 4-8 cups spinach or torn romaine leaves (you could add some parsley leaves as well)
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1/2 english cucumber
  • 1/2 cup diced mango or papaya or tomato

Preparation:

  • Put your salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lime juice. Then add a bit of the spice (to your liking) and toss again.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet or sauté pan and add the shrimp. Sprinkle with the spice (any amount to your liking – a small amount goes a pretty long way) and cook for about 2 minutes on each side. If you are including red bell peppers or other vegetables that you like cooked or hot – you can add them to the skillet as well. You might even want to start cooking them about 8-10 minutes before the shrimp if you like them charred (my favorite).
  • Top the salad with your pan fried shrimp and vegetables and serve.

Wine Suggestions: I love not having vinegar in salads – it is always more wine-friendly. This salad is fabulous with anything from a light red to a spicy or medium-bodied red. Our favorites are California Pinot Noir (especially if we add the papaya or mango because California wines tend to have much riper fruit than a Red Burgundy from France and will pair better with the sweeter flavors), or a Grenache-based blend from Southern Rhone or Spain, or even Bordeaux blend with a good portion of Merlot so that it is soft and not too tannic. If you prefer white, try a slightly off-dry white such as a Condrieu or Riesling or Chenin Blanc.


Radish Salad

0 comments

Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 8

Inspired by: I like the crunch and spiciness of radishes. This is a salad I’ve started to make more often because it has a fabulous combination of spicy and sweet with the acid of the dressing and goes well with just about any other combination of fish and vegetables that we enjoy.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 handfuls of Arugula and/or other peppery greens
  • 2 cups radish sprouts
  • 4-8 radishes sliced 1/8″ thick
  • Nectarine or pear sliced into 1/8″ thick pieces
  • Persian cucumber (optional) sliced into 1/8″ thick pieces
  • Toasted almond slices

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove crushed garlic (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

  • Mix the salad dressing ingredients in a shaker. I like the simplicity of this lemon dressing for this salad.
  • Toss the greens with the dressing first.
  • Add the radish, fruit, cucumber and toss well.
  • Top off with the radish sprouts and toasted almonds.

 


« Previous Entries