Tagged: salad

let’s talk about salad

spud salad with green beans and mustard // batch-22

Let’s talk about salad. Not lettuce-y salad. Because, come on. Who has the time or refrigerator space to store a bunch of rinsed, lettuce? I’m talking about salads that aren’t strictly salad-y. Fake salads. Faux salads. Falads? No. No, let’s not go there.

lemony quinoa-millet salad // batch-22

My favorite kind of salad is the kind that I can eat now or later. The kind of salad I can make a big batch of when I’m feeling feisty and then not have to eat it all at once. The kind of salad that gets better after a night or two in the fridge (leftovers are a girl’s best friend. Never let anyone tell you otherwise).

black bean and corn salad // batch-22

I’m talking about bean salad. Salad with crunchy red onions that pickle up in balsamic dressing. I’m talking about sweet corn salad with mustard heat and tangy dressing.

I’m talking about lemony grain salad with crisp veggies.

carrot salad // batch-22

I’m talking about warm carrot salad that’s smokey and spicy and just as delicious served cold. And don’t forget about the carby pasta and potato salads.

Salads are not made of lettuce alone, friends. That’s a life lesson from me to you.

black bean & corn salad

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Friends, it is hot out. It’s so hot that I haven’t worn pants in days and proper shoes (as opposed to sandals) feel like torture. There are three AC units in my tiny apartment, but even they are not meeting our cooling needs. If I could camp out in the freezer I totally would.

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Turning on the oven? Yeah. That’s not happening anytime soon. Our gas stove and I are in a fight and won’t kiss and make up until this heatwave breaks. So, what’s a hungry gal to do for dinner?

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Black bean & corn salad, friends. Say it with me! It’s sweet and tangy, filling, and suitable for eating on it’s own or spooned over salad. You could aslo serve it with rice BUT PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD USE A RICE COOKER SO THAT YOU DON’T HEAT UP YOUR APARTMENT.

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Sorry, this weather is making me a little crazy. I’ll just be over here eating salad in front of the open freezer. Don’t mind me.

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Black Bean & Corn Salad

makes 2-4 servings

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can yellow corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion. thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and mustard poder. Add beans, corn, onion and bell pepper. Mix to combine. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, allowing flavors to fully combine. Serve cold.

Carrot Salad

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Do you follow @RealCarrotFacts on Twitter? It is, perhaps, one of the oddest and amusing joke accounts out here. Here are a few gems:

“Sometime if someone talks to you but you dont want to talk to him you can close your eyes and pretend to be a carrot”

“Life is a carrot then you die”

“If you keep a carrot in your shoe everywhere you go, then you [sic] never alone”Image

Quality, quality stuff.

I think the folks behind @RealCarrotFacts would dig this recipe. It’s carrot-based. And also quite delicious.

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I love a good salad recipe in the summer, or any time of year, really. But a super simple salad that’s easily adaptable? Yeah, that’s the stuff of summer dreams.

I tempered cumin and paprika in hot oil and stirred in a dash of garlic and, later, parsley. But you could easily take it in a sweeter direction with cinnamon and raisins. Or stir in a creamy mixture or lemon and tahini. Delicious.

Here’s a real carrot fact for you: carrots make an amazing salad base. Image

Carrot Salad

(Adapted from multiple sources)

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add minced garlic, cumin, and paprika. Stir and add the carrot ribbons. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the ribbons are soft. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley.

Serve warm or chilled.

asparagus pesto pasta salad

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

Basil is…not my favorite herb.  To me, there is nothing worse than taking a bite of what I thought was a benign spinach salad, only to chomp down on an unexpected basil leaf. I can take or leave a basil-infused herbal cocktail, but a dessert is not a dessert if it contains even the subtle suggestion of herbs (I’m looking at you, artisan ice cream makers).

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

Maybe my palate is underdeveloped or unsophisticated, but I firmly believe there is a time and a place for basil: pasta, pizza, and, of course, pesto.

But even pesto can go basil-free if it wants. Okay, if I want). Spinach and kale are common substitutes, but Roommate H told me that her dad sometimes uses blanched asparagus. What?! Vegetable enthusiast that I am, I knew I had to try it.

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

I was not disappointed (to say the least).

This pesto tastes green. Green like springtime, picnics, farmer’s markets, and the promise of summer. I couldn’t resist folding it into a seasonally inspired pasta salad: sweet peas, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and tart lemon.

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

I hope spring has sprung in your corner of the world. It’s finally here in New York (I think).

Here’s hoping I didn’t just jinx it.

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side

For the pesto:

  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into two-inch pieces (ends trimmed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons raw pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta salad:

  • 8 oz pasta (I used gluten-free fusilli)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cook pasta in boiling water until  al dente. Strain, set in a large bowl or pot,  and allow to cool completely.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for one minute, drain, and set aside. Combine asparagus, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Drizzle olive oil into the processor with the motor running. Blend until smooth.

Add peas and sun-dried tomatoes to the pasta. Spoon pesto over top and mix to combine. Drizzle with lemon juice and either chill or serve at room temperature.

spud salad with green beans and mustard

I have a confession. I rarely eat cold potato salad, even though that’s the way the good lord (ahem, Julia Child) surely intended.

Now, don’t freak out. I’m not talking about the potato salad of your youth – mushy, eggy, slathered in mayonnaise. (I’m firmly in the anti-mayo camp.) I’m talking about flavorful, savory, tangy potato salad. With vinegar. And sometimes mustard. Or, in this case, both.

   

This spud salad would almost undoubtedly be even better chilled. The onions would pickle in the balsamic, the potatoes would soak up the tart flavors of the garlic and mustard. But, I can never stand to let it wait around that long.

I. Must. Eat. It. Immediately.

So warm potato salad it is.

Cheers.

Spud Salad With Green Beans and Mustard

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds new potatoes
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Boil rinsed/scrubbed potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove strings from green beans and chop. Blanch green beans in the potato pot during the last 2-3 minutes of boiling.

Whisk together oil, vinegar and mustard. Drain potatoes and beans in a colander, and move to a large mixing bowl. Add chopped scallions and toss with prepared dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm or chill in the fridge.

Lemony Quinoa-Millet salad

My general food philosophy is as follows:

  1. Everything tastes better with balsamic vinegar
  2. More salt is never really a bad life choice
  3. Avoid going to the grocery store at all costs; creative substations are your best friends
  4. If you can add more vegetables into a pot or dish, do it

This last tenant, in particular, leads me to bastarde a lot of cultural dishes. Take this taboule. Traditionally, tomatoes are the sole representatives of the vegetable constituency in this dich, which is a little upsetting given that tomatoes aren’t even vegetables. They’re fruits.

But I digress. I managed to find a recipe that called for peppers as well as tomatoes. But that just wasn’t enough for me. Nope, I added green onions and cucumbers because I can’t leave well enough alone. If there had been any carrots in the fridge, I would have grated a few into the mix (see #3).

The result was fresh and crunchy, lemony and bright. Springtime in your mouth.  Given that there may be more vegetable than grain in this “grain salad,” I couldn’t  bring myself to call it a proper taboule. But, whatever. Next time: with carrots!

Lemony Quinoa-Millet Salad

Adapted from Vegetarian: 100 Everyday Recipes

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup millet, cooked
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 16 black olives
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix millet and quinoa together in a large bowl. Add copped vegetables, herbs, and olives, and combine. In a separate bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together. Pour the dressing over the grains and vegetables. Toss to combine and serve.

Three Bean Salad With Blackberry Balsamic Dressing

My roommate works late hours. The kind of hours that result in not cooking anything for days on end. And I use the term “cooking” loosely here. Microwaving would completely qualify in this instance.

One night lives on in infamy in Apartment 20: The Night of The Bean Sandwich.

As in, she slapped some canned beans on some bread and called it a meal. There may have been some lettuce or other vegetation involved, but that does not make it any less upsetting.

Bean sandwich, not OK. Bean salad, totally fine. And this bean salad? It’s amazing. Ironically, I adapted my roommate’s recipe.

Celery, broccoli, and red onion for crunch. Garbanzo, kidney, and black beans for earthiness. Blackberry-infused balsamic vinegar for extreme deliciousness.

Whoever declared beets to be nature’s candy was wrong. This salad is nature’s candy, or would be if it occurred in nature.

Serve it over quinoa, mix it into a salad, spoon it straight into your mouth, or toss it onto a slice of toast for an upscale bean sandwich. You can’t lose.

THREE BEAN SALAD WITH BLACKBERRY BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Makes an obscene amount of bean salad, 6+ cups

  • 2 cups black beans
  • 2 cups garbonzo beans
  • 2 cups red kidney beans
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2-3 heads brocoli, florets only
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup blackberry infused balsamic vingar, or regular balsamic vinegar with sugar to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • raw almonds for garnish

Chop brocoli into florets and blanch in boiling water, set aside to cool. Dice onions and celery, combine with cooled brocoli and beans in a large bowl

Whisk oil and vinegar in a small bowl, pour dressing over the salad and mix well.

Before serving, garnish with raw almonds.