Category Archives: salads
I’ve served this arugula salad with pistachios countless times over the last month. For a catering event I headed, for friends at dinner time, for family at dinnertime, for lunch with a friend, while visiting Calistoga, and others. It’s a hit 100% of the time and it’s very filling.
Arugula Salad with Pistachio Dust Recipe
8-10 cups baby or wild arugula
3 oz parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated
1/2 C raw hulled pistachios, ground in coffee grinder or mashed with mallette into dust, crumbs, and chunks
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh cracked pepper
Whisk the lemon juice with olive oil–use 2x more olive oil than lemon juice. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss arugula in the dressing. Toss arugula in parmasean, then in pistachio. Serve!
Paired with a quick asparagus appetizer, this Green Garlic Soup and Fennel-Barley Salad made a wonderful vegetarian 3-course meal. I made this for an old roommate who came to visit last night; were stuffed but happy and feeling good. Our fourth course was chocolate-covered honey cake with sliced mango.
Green Garlic Soup Recipe
~1lb green garlic, sliced roughly
2 T butter or olive oil
1/2 C dry sherry
1 large turnip, roasted or boiled
3-4 cups spinach
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt & pepper
In a soup pan, warm the oil or butter over medium high heat. Add the green garlic, cooking until nearly tender and beginning to color. Add the sherry and cook 3-4 minutes until no brash smell remains. Add salt, and the broth, and bring to a simmer. Add the turnip and the spinach, cooking 1-2 minutes more. Puree in a high powered blender or by another method, being sure to go in batches if needed to avoid a mess. Adjust the seasoning, adding some sherry or wine vinegar if needed. Serve with delicious croutons and garlic chives on top.
Fennel Barley Salad Recipe (with roast radishes and flageolet beans)
1.5 C cooked pearled barley
1/2 head fennel, sliced very thinly
1 C flageolet beans, cooked, or other salad bean
9-12 stem on mix of easter egg radishes, french radishes, or petite turnips, roasted whole and sliced in half
3-4 C mixed tender salad greens
3-4 T Fennel Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing
2 T olive oil
On high heat, fry the cooked barley in olive oil until grains separate easily and everything is warm. Add the fennel for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and add the radish mixture and beans to the pan. Toss well. In a large bowl, dress the salad greens generously in dressing. Add the warm barley mixture and toss. Serve!
Fennel-Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing Recipe
1 T dijon
1/4 C fennel fronds
Juice of 1/2 large orange
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1 T honey
1 T olive or sunflower oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
Blend all ingredients very well. Stores for up to a week in the refrigerator.
A beautiful and simple lunch or light dinner, these roasted spring root vegetables are pleasing to the eye and are the perfect summary of the spring bounty that is now my CSA/farm shipment.
Simply find the best spring veggies you can, cut them in fairly even sizes, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper (or add some herbs de provence if you like), and roast them 25-40 minutes at 400 degrees on some foil (for easy clean up). Save them cold to toss into salads for the coming days or feast on them then; serve them as an appetizer with friends over on a large platter and cocktail forks. It’s a pleaser.
Use things like: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Chiogga Beets, Rutabaga, Celery Root
Leave the stems on (they are edible! and save those radish & turnip greens for a sautee, a quiche, or a pesto) but trim off any broken or decrepit parts of the stem and use a vegetable sponge to scrub the dirt from the tops and sides. Don’t peel the carrots, just scrub the dirt off. You can also roast everything whole and slice them in half afterwards for brighter centers, but you may need to separate a few trays by size of the objects to ensure even cooking.
Lavender Chicken on the Grill with Tangerine-dressed Raw Summer Vegetables
Chicken & Poultry Rub
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thick
2 tsp dry rosemary
2 tsp lavender
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 medium zucchini
1 yellow patty pan squash
2 C baby kale (or other hearty salad green, or blanched mature chopped kale)
Juice of 1/2 orange (about 2-4 Tbsp)
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
Chop your zucchini julienne (matchsticks) and use a mandolin on your patty pan squash to create discs. Set aside.
Grind all spices in a coffee grinder or with a mortar & pestle and dress your pounded chicken generously. Use olive oil spray to briefly coat each side, or alternatively, rub with olive oil prior to applying spice rub. Get your grill ready.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together and toss your kale in it, placing it in warmed salad bowls. In the remaining dressing, toss the summer squash and place 2/3rds of it on top of the kale, gently mixing in avocado slices.
When chicken is done cooking on the grill (or in a cast iron in a pan with a lid, or however you’d like to do it!), slice in 2 inch pieces and layer with remaining squash and avocado in bowls.
It’s probably been five weeks since I posted here. I’ve been cooking plenty, but it’s been of the utilitarian type–meals my friends would (and sometimes are) still delighted to join in on, but that I’ve either posted before, or that I didn’t plate well, or that we were in a hurry to eat. That’s the true life behind a food blog–very little of what is produced makes it on here.
I’ve made Tutto Mare (for my man’s parents while they visited for three weeks in my house–another reason I’ve been absent), eggplant parmasean (without frying the eggplant but with a stick of butter in the sauce), flank steak with chimichurri sauce (for which I already owe you a recipe–noted!), cookies, Chinese desserts involving potatoes and ginger, pesto, and a million other things. Between the house guests and my day job and my latest quest to drink only disgusting green purees of things, there’s not much time to write or much worth writing about.
Now about generous friends. Usually when I post to Red Blossom Tea I’m talking about P. This time I’m talking about his sister Alice–I owe her big time. Every time I drop into the shop she seems to have some treat to share with me, we talk cheese, we talk travel, we talk food and wine. I took the visiting pseudo-in-laws to the shop and came home with a gigantic bag of washed, ready to use, beautiful mature arugula which I’ve put to several uses over the last two weeks–yes, it’s lasted two weeks and still looks gorgeous!
I’ve made arugula pesto, added it to one of my disgusting green smoothies, mixed it into bruschetta, blanched it and served it with eggs poached in tomato sauce, and even used it in this thai cucumber salad recipe. Thanks Alice!
This is why I haven’t been posting. While writing this enry, I drank this green smoothie of apples, carrots, spinach and a dash of whole lemon and tried really hard to pretend it was baked french toast with mascarpone cream.
Thai Cucumber Salad
Serves 4-6 with possible leftovers as a side
2 medium cucumbers, preferably unwaxed persians
1/4 red onion
1 large watermelon radish or other radish totaling the size of a small peach
1/2 C arugula, chopped
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 C seasoned rice vinegar
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt
Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt and microwave for 30 seconds, stir to combine. Set aside.
Prepare your cucumber- if waxed/thick skinned, trim the ends, and peel most of the skin off leaving bright green behind, cut in half and remove the seeds with a spoon from each side. If using edible peel, simply remove ends and cut in half, removing seeds. Using a mandolin or a very patient hand, slice into 1/8th inch thick slices. Place in a serving bowl. Next, slice 1/8th or thinner slices of red onion using the mandolin. Peel off any tough outer layers before doing so. Add to cucumber bowl. Peel the watermelon radish (no need to peel other types), cut in half, and slice thinly with the mandolin.
Toss everything with the vinegar mixture, add sesame seeds and arugula at the end. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to two weeks, so long as everything is coated in vinegar. Makes a quick refrigerator pickle that is tasty right away or later on. You can also store in jars with more vinegar up to a couple months if refrigerated.