Friday, June 24, 2011

Artichoke and Asparagus Salad

This recipe is from my local paper, the Daily Herald.

Artichoke and Asparagus Salad

2 bunches asparagus, bottoms trimmed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
Two 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set a large bowl of ice water next to the stove.

Place the asparagus in the boiling water and blanch until bright green and just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to the ice water to cool and stop the cooking. Drain well.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, lemon zest, thyme and oil.

Gently toss the drained asparagus spears and the artichoke hearts in the dressing. Serve sprinkled with the feta cheese.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mom's Fruit Salad

This salad is great all year round. It is the fruit salad I remember as a child. When my mom was a girl she had this salad with canned or bottled fruit. In those days fresh fruit during the Winter was nonexistent. It's nice to be able to mix and match now.

Mom's Fruit Salad

This version includes:

mandarin oranges
sour cream

Consider adding:
raspberries, pears, peaches, banana, etc.

Basically, you can use any type of fruit you choose. If you do use canned or bottled fruit be sure and drain it first. Marshmallows add a touch of sweetness, and juice from the cut pineapple sweetens up the sour cream. No other sugar is needed.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thai-Style Peanut-Cabbage Salad

This is a fantastic summer salad. I love that it has a slight Thai-flavored "kick", and I'm always a fan of peanuts and fresh basil. The recipe comes from Relish Magazine, and you can print it here.

Thai-Style Peanut-Cabbage Salad

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T water
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 T soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
2 T peanut oil
1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 lb. blanched green beans
4 cups baby spinach
2 cups slivered green cabbage
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, slivered (I diced mine.)
2/3 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped basil or mint (optional)
1 1-ounce package roasted vegetable chips or sweet potato chips, lightly crushed

To make the dressing, combine brown sugar, water, garlic, and pepper flakes in a jar with a lid. Add remaining dressing ingredients. Shake well.

To make the salad, toss together all salad ingredients except peanuts, basil or mint and vegetable chips. Immediately before serving, drizzle about 2/3 of the dressing over the salad. Toss well. Sprinkle with roasted peanuts, herbs and vegetable chips. Pass remaining dressing at the table. Serves 4-6.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cucumbers in Rice Vinegar

This is the simplest of side dishes and one my mom made often when I was growing up. She used regular white vinegar, though, until my grandmother introduced us to rice vinegar. We like the Marukan brand the best and always the seasoned variety.

Cucumbers in Rice Vinegar

cucumbers (peeled and sliced)
rice vinegar
dill (fresh or dried)

We often add thinly sliced rings of sweet onions as well. So delicious!