Archives for category: Salads

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Happy Monday! I’m very pleased to introduce Lauren Salkeld, guest blogger for this week’s post. As a senior editor at Epicurious.com, Lauren develops, tests, and edits recipes, and writes about various cooking techniques, from making homemade marshmallows to deep-frying a turkey. You can follow her on Instagram (laurensalkeld79) and Twitter (@laurensalkeld). I’m thrilled she’s contributed this delicious yet easy-to-make recipe, combining some of my favorite ingredients. 

This farro and kale salad came about when I was creating a menu for a friend’s baby shower. I love grain salads because they can be made in advance—some even taste better on the second day—and can be served at room temperature, which are two really important things when you’re the only person cooking for a party, which for me is often the case.

Grain salads are also really flexible, so you can add in whatever ingredients you picked up at the farmers’ market, or the ones you happen to be really into at the moment. I’ve developed a bit of formula for mine, which goes something like this: grain + green + veggie or fruit + cheese + nut or seed. And I typically add some kind of homemade pesto or a shallot, olive oil, and lemon juice dressing like the one used here. This version is great as leftovers, and I bring it to work for lunch all the time, but you may want to leave the crispy shallots and walnuts on the side until you’re ready to eat, because otherwise they can get a little soggy.

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Farro and Kale Salad with Roasted Grapes, Crispy Shallots, and Ricotta Salata

Makes 4 servings

1 ½ cups red seedless grapes
6 tablespoons olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 extra-large shallot
Juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch Lacinato kale, ribs removed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cooked farro, at room temperature
About 5 ounces crumbled ricotta salata or feta
½ cup walnuts, toasted (optional)
Preheat the oven to 250°F.

In a baking dish, combine the grapes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until slightly shriveled, about 1 hour. Let cool.

Peel the shallot and slice it crosswise into rounds. Remove the first 2 or 3 large outer rings of each round and set them aside. Mince the rest of the shallot (the smaller inner rings).

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the minced shallot and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Once cool, add the lemon juice and whisk to combine.

Place the kale in a large serving bowl, add the lemon juice-shallot-olive oil mixture and use your hands to massage it into the kale.

Place the flour in a small bowl. Add the reserved shallot rings and toss to coat the shallot rings in flour. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Working in batches, shake any excess flour off the shallot rings then fry them in the hot oil, flipping once, until just crispy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer as fried to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Fluff the farro with a fork then add it, along with the grapes and ricotta salata or feta, to the kale and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top the salad with the crispy shallots and toasted walnuts, if using, and serve.


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It’s no secret: I am possibly cooking my way through the entirety of Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem. I’ve blogged about a couple of the recipes here—Lentils with Broiled Eggplant and Preserved Lemons; and from his earlier book Plenty, Hummus & Ful, Caramelized Garlic Tart. This month’s Recipe Lab at the New York Times is even focusing on Jerusalem and soliciting fan favorites. I’ve been meaning to write in.

I was flipping through Jerusalem the other day before shopping at the food co-op. I had almost settled on the Helbeh—a honey-soaked, fenugreek-infused cake—when I remembered the outside temperature (97 F) and how much I have been avoiding the oven. I stumbled next on a recipe for Spiced Chickpeas and Fresh Vegetable Salad, a gorgeous mélange of crisp vegetables that are all currently in season, accompanied by chickpeas coated in spices then quickly fried in olive oil. Served with greek yogurt it seemed like the only other thing I’d like to eat in this heat other than cold watermelon. (Check out Bittman’s Watermelon All Day Long in this weekend’s Times’ Magazine.)

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You need to get a head start on this the night before by soaking 1/2 cup chickpeas in cold water with a pinch of baking soda. The next day, as the chickpeas are cooking, you can assemble the rest of the salad. I improvised and bought what looked best at both the co-op and the farmer’s market—crunch Kirby cucumbers, local radishes, an assortment of cherry tomatoes from Hepworth Farms, purple scallions, cilantro, and parsley. It’s that time of year in the Northeast when you can’t really go wrong in the produce department if you stick to buying locally.

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I’d love to serve the salad as brunch for friends, along with some good pita and homemade hummus. To the salad you could add a salty cheese like feta; or maybe even watermelon!

Spiced Chickpeas and Summer Vegetable Salad

1/2 c dried chickpeas
1 tsp baking soda
2 small cucumbers
2 medium or large tomatoes, or a small basket of cherry tomatoes
1/2 pound of radishes
1 red pepper, seeded, with white pith removed
1 small or 1/2 large red onion, peeled
1/2 cup scallions (green or purple), chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
6 tbsp olive oil
grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp vinegar (such as sherry, champagne, or combo white and balsmic)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
Yogurt (optional)
salt and black pepper

Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in plenty of cold water with a pinch of baking soda. (In this hot weather I put them in the fridge overnight.) When you’re ready to cook them the next day, drain and transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with water (about twice the amount, in volume, as the chickpeas) and bring to a boil, cooking on high for up to an hour. Mine were thoroughly cooked in 30 minutes. Skim off the white foam as needed during cooking. Drain and set aside.

Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and red pepper into small (roughly 1/2-inch chunks, and place in a bowl. Add the chopped scallions, parsley, and cucumber. Mix together.

To make the dressing, combine 5 tbsp of the olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, vinegar, and sugar in a jar and shake well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Mix together the cardamom, allspice, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt. Spread out over a plate, then toss the cooked chickpeas in the spice mixture. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan and add the chickpeas, cooking for 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Divide the salad onto plates and serve with the warm chickpeas and a dollop of yogurt.

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Yesterday the rains came. But in a very springy, misty, pleasant kind of way, where the light outside is still bright. I was hard at work but something about the sight and sound and smells propelled me into my kitchen.

Having been away this weekend where I wasn’t able to do any cooking, or healthy eating for that matter, I came home craving my kitchen, my food—greens, grains, avocados, spice. I’ve also been doing a spring cleaning of sorts, drinking gingery-spicy fresh juices, eating mostly vegetarian, and back on Chinese herbs for my allergies. (But don’t worry, I throw in the occasional pork taco or tiramisu for good measure.)

Recently, I started skimming Eat Right For Your Type, written by naturopathic doctor Peter D’Adamo. As a B positive, I’m advised to eat venison, rabbit, goat, and mutton for my protein, and avoid chicken as it contains a blood type B agglutinating lectin. Also on the avoid list for B’s: sesame seeds, peanuts, corn, tomatoes, lentils, buckwheat, and wheat. I’m not sure how much stock I put into this but would be curious to try it at some point and see how it affects my blood sugar levels and energy.

Blood type B’s are somewhat uncommon among white U.S.’ers and Europeans, and today are mostly clustered in India, northern China, and Korea. The blood type originated in the cold climates of the Himalayan mountain region and may have mutated from blood type A in eastern Africa as a response to climatic change many, many centuries ago.

Back to lunch…So I’m grappling with some big work deadlines, and this usually means lunch on the go, or no lunch at all. But yesterday I spent a bit of time getting reacquainted with my kitchen by making this rice salad. It’s basically brown rice that’s mixed with raw spinach (which wilts when combined with the warm rice), toasted walnuts, basil, and goat cheese with a homemade raspberry vinaigrette.

You could do any number of variations on this (channeling Mark Bittman)—wild rice instead of brown; arugula or lamb’s quarters in place of spinach; toasted pecans or hazelnuts instead of walnuts; blue cheese or shaved parmesan instead of goat; and a lemon or balsamic dressing in place of raspberry. I also think tempeh could be a fine addition and boost the protein if you’re so inclined. So could mutton, of course.

This salad is light and springy, perfect for lunch, and as far as I know, approved for us B’s.

Rice Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

2 c cooked rice (about 1 c dry rice)
Bunch of spinach, cleaned and trimmed
1/2 c toasted walnuts
1 c raspberries
1/2 c olive oil
Splash red wine vinegar
Fresh lemon juice
Handful of basil, roughly chopped
4 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

When the rice is finished cooking, transfer to a large bowl and add the spinach, to wilt, and the toasted walnuts.

In a blender or food processor, combine 1/2 c of the raspberries, the olive oil, vinegar, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and some salt and pepper, and blend until smooth. Add the desired amount (I used all of it) to the rice mixture and stir will. Before serving add the basil, goat cheese, and remaining raspberries, cut in halves, and salt and pepper to taste.

Photo below from my dining room window, courtesy Instagram, of yesterday’s springy rain. Oh, and Remedy was featured this weekend in the New York Times T magazine in a piece about up-and-coming “foodieodicals!”

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