Classic Salad Nicoise

classic-salad-nicoise

Ingredients

  • VINAIGRETTE:
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • SALAD:
  • 2 ounces grilled or otherwise cooked tuna steaks* (8 each) or 2-3 cans of tuna
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and either halved or quartered
  • 10 inches small new red potatoes (each about 2 inches diameter, about 1 ¼ pounds total), each
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 mediums heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, leaves washed, dried, and torn into bite
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 8 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise
  • 1/4 cup niçoise olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)

The classic salad nicoise is a staple in the south of France, the Provence region. This is a composed salad made with tuna, baby new potatoes, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, green beans, and of course nicoise olives. You can use either canned tuna or slices of seared tuna steaks for this recipe. If you decide to go with canned, choose a high-quality brand (usually those from Spain are really good). I prefer tuna packed in olive oil as opposed to water because it is moist and has more flavor. Nicoise salad is a light and satisfying meal, perfect for any time of the day.

Directions:

  • Marinate tuna steaks in a little olive oil for an hour. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, or place on a hot grill. Cook the steaks 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  • Whisk lemon juice, oil, shallot, thyme, basil, oregano, and mustard in medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Bring potatoes and 4 quarts cold water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and cook until potatoes are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon (do not discard boiling water). Toss warm potatoes with 1/4 cup vinaigrette; set aside.
  • While potatoes are cooking, toss lettuce with 1/4 cup vinaigrette in large bowl until coated. Arrange bed of lettuce on a serving platter. Cut tuna into 1/2-inch thick slices, coat with vinaigrette. Mound tuna in center of lettuce. Toss tomatoes, red onion, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste in bowl; arrange tomato-onion mixture on the lettuce bed. Arrange reserved potatoes in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.
  • Return water to boil; add 1 tablespoon salt and green beans. Cook until tender but crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain beans, transfer to reserved ice water, and let stand until just cool, about 30 seconds; dry beans well. Toss beans, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste; arrange in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.
  • Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies (if using) in mounds on the lettuce bed. Drizzle eggs with remaining 2 tablespoons dressing, sprinkle entire salad with capers (if using), and serve immediately.

Curried Chicken Salad

Curried Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cooked chicken, cubed or 1 small can chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise (start w/ one tbsp and add more if needed)
  • craisins, dried cranberries
  • diced apple
  • chopped celery
  • toasted chopped pecans
  • Fresh spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

Curried chicken salad is the perfect picnic food. Cubed chicken breast is tossed with curry powder, mayonnaise, apple and a variety of dried fruits. You can serve this salad in lettuce cups (as pictured above) or in a piece of whole wheat pita. Curried chicken salad is a quick and easy dish that is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

Directions:

  • Combine all in a bowl.
  • Add as much fruit and veggies as you like.
  • Spoon chicken salad over a bed of fresh spinach.

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California Caprese Salad

California Caprese Salad

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces Smoked Mozzarella (double that if you are using 1 lb of tomatoes)
  • 1 pound .5 pound to 1 pound Roma tomatoes (depending on how much salad you want to make)
  • 10 eachs Basil leaves (you need one per salad you make so if you have 10 slices of
  • 6 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar (this is an estimate as you are just going to drizzle it over the top of the 2 wholes Avocados
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (about one tablespoon of each) I used ground

Directions:

  • First make sure your basil is washed and trimmed so you only have the leaf. Pat dry with a paper towel and set to the side. I like to try and practice mise en place which is French for “everything in place” It might make a little more work or an extra dirty dish or two but when everything is measured out, sliced up and ready to go then you just get to have fun and create! It keeps everything organized and will make it so that your cooking experience has a nice flow to it because everything is in place! Mise en Place!!
  • Next thing you need to do is slice up your cheese. You want it about .5″ thick. You want something sturdy enough to hold the tomato and avocado and thick enough to taste all the wonderful smokey flavor. But this is personal preference so if you find you like it thinner then by all means slice it that way!
  • Now slice up your Roma tomatoes the same thickness as your cheese, about 5″ to 1″ thick. Do the same thing with your avocados.
  • Place the cheese on a serving platter or plate. Place a tomato slice on top of each slice of cheese. Then top each tomato slice with a slice or chunk of avocado. Once this is done you want to do a sprinkle of salt and pepper over the top of your salads!
  • Once you have salt and peppered the salads it is time to top with a basil leaf. For the finale you are going to drizzle on some balsamic vinegar! My bottle did not do the drizzle I had hoped for so it was more of a dumping of vinegar! But that is ok I just tipped the plate into the sink to drain out an excess vinegar so if your drizzle experience does not go as planned c’est la vie!
  • To serve I toasted up a couple of pieces of French bread and cut them into bite size pieces and drizzled on a little Olive Oil and put those on a plate next to the California Caprese Salads. It was lovely having that toasted crusty bread to soak up the balsamic and complimented the Caprese very well! I hope you try my version on this classic salad and let me know what you think! I promise you are going to love it! To see step by step photos go to http://www.sweetsins2share.com/?p=1072

 

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American Taco Salad

American Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 head lettuce, shredded
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup cheese, grated
  • diced onions
  • 1 pkt Doritos, crushed
  • 1 pound hamburger, fried & crumbled
  • 1 4 ounce bottle French dressing

This taco salad is a totally American creation. Ground beef is placed on a bed of lettuce along with red kidney beans, tomatoes, cheese , onions and more before being tossed with French dressing and Doritos. If you are looking for a more authentic take on taco salad, swap out the French dressing for salsa with a dollop of sour cream and go for plain tortilla chips as opposed to Doritos. American taco salad is a fun dinner to have every once in awhile and will motivate your kids to eat their veggies.

Directions:

  • Gently toss above ingredients and pour 1 small bottle French dressing over all.

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Thai Cucumber Salad

Roasted Asparagus with Egg Salad

Roasted Asparagus with Egg Salad

Ingredients

  • 12 medium asparagus, spears, trimmed
  • 2 large egg, hard boiled and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons low fat feta cheese
  • ½ small avocado, chopped

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450.
  • Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, spread out asparagus and spray asparagus with cooking spray. Roast for 10 minutes until asparagus is crisp-tender.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and chill for 10 minutes.
  • Serve salad on top of asparagus.

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How to make Russian / Polish Salad

russian-polish-salad

Ingredients

  • 2 mediuam boiled/peeled potatoes
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 boiled carrots
  • 1 celery stalk (optional)
  • 1 apple (optional)
  • 2 sour dill pickles (optional)
  • 2 cups of green peas (fresh or canned)
  • 3 tablespoons of Polish mustard (available in Polish store)
  • 0.5 – 1 cup of mayonnaise (depending on taste)
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Dice up all the veggies/fruit into small cubes
  2. Add mustard, mayo, salt and pepper and mix together. There is no right amount for these ingredients and it all depends on taste. Some people like a lot of mayo, some like less. Also, pickles, celery and apple are optional and again, depend on taste. My mom sometimes adds ham to this recipe, although I personally like it better vegetarian.
  3. This salad is very versatile and tastes good with just about anything – meats, potatoes, pastas, perogies, even curries!

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Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad

Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Barilla Plus Penne Pasta with Flax
  • PESTO INGREDIENTS:
  • 9 ounces package of fresh spinach, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 10 Basil leaves or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup of nonfat plain yogurt
  • 4 cloves of garlic- add more if you love garlic
  • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (omit if you are watching your sodium)
  • 4 cloves of garlic- add more if you love garlic
  • VEGETABLES:
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes

Directions:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions in a 4-qt sauce pan. Drain and rinse under cold running water using a large colander.
  • Meanwhile, cut zucchini and squash in half lengthwise using a crinkle cutter; cut into ¼ inch thick slices. Put cherry tomatoes on a skewer; spray vegetables with cooking spray; add salt and pepper to taste. Grill until vegetables are tender and crisp for about 6 to 8 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling using tongs.
  • In a food processor add olive oil, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, spinach, basil, garlic, and seasonings. Blend until smooth and creamy for about one minute.
  • In a serving bowl add the cooked pasta, grilled vegetables, and spinach basil pesto and mix well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes: 16 cups total | Adult Serving size: 2 cups | Child serving size: 1 cup
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