Category Archives: Salad

Tomato and Watermelon Salad

IMG_2227With the last breath of summer upon us I made this salad and it was absolutely delicious, refreshing and sweet and salty all at the same time!

The only thing is I was so busy serving my dinner that I forgot to take a photo of it! You’ll have to trust me on this one. It’s super easy and you can cut everything up and get it all ready ahead of time and put it together when you’re ready to eat it.

You’ll want to make sure that the watermelon and tomatoes are nice and cold so leave them in the fridge till you’re ready to serve! I added thinly cut red onion for a bit of a bitter taste but if you hate the onion thing you can easily omit it. I only used 1/2 red onion because I liked the flavor. I also used Basil but if you’d like you can substitute Mint very easily. Play with it.

Happy End of Summer and Enjoy Labor Day Weekend and Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

I used small cherry tomatoes and used about 1 pint– I cut them in 1/2 , you can use any kind of tomatoes you like I would just cut them into small pieces about 1 -2 inch pieces

1 lb. seedless watermelon cut into small pieces about 1 -2 inches as well

red onion thinly sliced — I only used 1/2 red onion (read above)

1 teaspoon kosher salt plus a little more for sprinkling

Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar–I love the flavor of Sherry Vinegar and use it whenever I can –if no Sherry Vinegar substitute with White Balsamic Vinegar

1 cup crumbled Feta Cheese

Directions:

Combine the cubed watermelon and cut up tomatoes in a large Non-reactive bowl such as glass. Sprinkle with Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill. I put into the fridge while I prepared my dinner. I also added the red onion at this point.

Whisk together in a small bowl the oil and vinegar with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and a little more freshly ground black pepper to taste

Right before you’re serving take tomatoes and watermelon out of the fridge and add cheese to it, then the dressing and toss gently to combine. Let it sit for a few minutes and drain off the excess liquid because as it sat it got very liquidy. Serve with a slotted spoon.

That’s it! Totally Delicious and Refreshing!

Follow me @cookingwithcandi on Instagram

 

 

Champagne Vinaigrette and Kale/Brussels Salad

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Dressed Salad

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Ingredients

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View from Deck

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Joel’s Salad with lots of Parmesan Cheese–hey he ate it!

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This Champagne Vinaigrette appeared on my blog back in 2012. It’s really perfect on any kind of greens and this is the salad that I made along with it. I love Kale but I don’t like feeling like I’m eating the front lawn. I like my kale very finely chopped and massaged with dressing. I use my food processor to chop the kale and I dress the salad ahead of eating it and let it sit for a while so that the kale can absorb as much of the dressing as possible. This salad was really delicious and I know this is almost impossible to believe but I got Joel to eat some of it! The way I did that was to add a lot of parmesan cheese to his plate and he ate it.  Enjoy this dressing it is perfection in a bottle and good on almost anything you put it on.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi thanks and I’ll follow you back .

Happy End of Summer!

Champagne Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard (Maille makes a wonderful mustard)

1/3 cup Champagne Vinegar

1 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

1 teaspoon Honey

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt to taste app. 1/4 teaspoon to start

freshly ground black pepper , a few grinds of the mill to taste

Ingredients for the Salad:

1 bunch of Kale or a bag of washed and chopped kale , baby kale is great as well

1/2 lb. of Brussels Sprouts, washed and cut thinly–now you can buy brussels already sliced which makes prep super fast and easy!!!

*this is optional but it adds pretty color and some more crunch. 1/2 small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup of Grated Parmesan or Shaved Parmesan

1/2 cup of dried fruit, I used dried craisins, but raisins, cherries, any of them will do

1/2 cup pignoli nuts, I roast them in the oven for about 4 minutes till they get toasty. ( in oven at 350 degrees for about 4 mins.)

*add any seasonal fruits or vegetables or protein you may like,  this is just a basic salad idea.

Directions:

Using my blender I threw all vinaigrette ingredients  except for the olive oil which I slowly streamed in through the top of blender until dressing emulsified. Taste for Salt and Pepper and you’re good to go.

Wash and Dry the Kale, remove the stems and ribs and just use the leaves. Even better you can buy triple washed kale already chopped. I still put that through my processor because it’s not chopped enough for me.

In the food processor I chopped up kale slowly, you don’t want to over chop the kale either. As soon as it starts to break down I stopped and removed it and added more.  I do it in sections till it’s all chopped.

Slice Brussels very thinly into slices , they will fall apart as you slice and mix them into salad.  Add Brussels to Kale with all other salad ingredients except for Parmesan Cheese. I added cheese when I was ready to serve to individual plates.

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Raw Chopped Salad pre dressing

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Cauliflower, Orzo and Feta Salad

 

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Completed Salad

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Before I added the spinach

 

 

This is one of my most favorite salads of all time. The flavors meld together beautifully to make a most delicious salad. I highly recommend this salad if you’re just looking for something new to make for brunch, lunch or even dinner! I got this recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s Cookbook Cravings a few years back and it has gone into constant rotation ever since. Perfect for Meatless Monday!

I made cauliflower and orzo in the morning and put together ingredients as they cooled down. The cooling off of orzo and cauliflower was the only time-consuming event in making this recipe. You can refrigerate salad once cooled down, but I would bring it to room temperature prior to serving.

This salad was a side dish amongst many, it would serve 4-6 just as a salad. I had 11 people and it was one of many side dishes for a luncheon I was making. This one gets a  big thumbs up! If you were making this as a salad I would say it would serve 4-6 very nicely.

If you want to add a protein like chicken this would make a most perfect dinner salad. Or just eat it veggie style! Nothing bad here!

Ingredients:

Cauliflower and Orzo Prep

1 head cauliflower broken into small florets, any color cauliflower will do and purple would be beautiful if you can find it

4 Tablespoons olive oil

3 minced cloves of fresh garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup orzo pasta

Dressing and the rest of the salad

3 Tablespoons olive oil

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

2/3 cup dried cherries

4 cups baby spinach

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl toss the cauliflower with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the fresh garlic, the salt and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until softened and the edges of cauliflower start to brown up. ( not burned) I did it for 25 minutes. Set cauliflower aside and let it completely cool down.

Cook orzo according to box directions, I cooked for a minute less so it would be more al dente ( just a bit undercooked ) Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, drain well and while draining toss in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil right in the colander.

In a big bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.

I allowed about an hour for complete cool down of cauliflower and orzo and added to bowl with dressing along with onion , feta, and cherries . Toss well until completely coated with dressing. Throw in the spinach and toss again till spinach is incorporated. Taste for Salt and Pepper and adjust seasonings to your liking. I added a sprinkle of black  pepper but no more salt.

Enjoy — this was totally delicious.

 

Middle Eastern Salad

This salad appeals to me on so many levels. Firstly I love Middle Eastern food , I love raw salads, I love the freshness that is going on in this salad and did I mention that it’s super easy with very obtainable ingredients.

I served with toasted pita bread cut into small triangles.

Ingredients:

5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

2 pints of small grape /cherry tomatoes or any tomatoes that you want to use. You can use up to 1 lb. of fresh cut up tomatoes

1 hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise , seeded and 1/2 inch diced

1 can 12 to 16 oz. size of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup cut up fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice — you may need up to 4 small lemons or 2 very large ones. I use my juicer for this.

1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic — app. 3 cloves

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste– start with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 tsp. pepper– you’ll taste for additional salt and pepper at the end.

1/2 cup good olive oil

8 oz. good feta cheese, buy a chunk and dice it up

Toasted Pita Bread for serving

Directions:

Place the scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, drained chickpeas, parsley , mint, and basil in a large salad bowl and toss to combine.

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, garlic 2 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil in a steady stream till it emulsifies. Pour the dressing over the salad tossing gently to coat all the vegetables. Add in the feta, sprinkle with salt and pepper *if necessary. Serve the salad alongside the toasted pita.

Yum!

 

Basic Corn Salad

This is the time of the year when corn is at its sweetest and readily available all over. There are times I buy fresh corn but don’t feel like serving it on the cob, even though it is perfectly delicious this way. This corn salad is a suggestion for you as a side dish with very little ingredients and pretty much all corn. I like to serve as a side dish in the summer because it can be made ahead and served at room temperature.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and keep on Cooking with Candi.

Ingredients:

5-6 ears of corn , schucked

1/2 cup small diced red onion

3 Tablespoons cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons good olive oil

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt – you can always add more salt after you finish and taste for salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper the same applies for the pepper as for the salt

app. 1/2 cup cut up fresh basil leaves–use as much or as little as you like –it adds wonderful flavor

Directions:

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the corn for app. 3 minutes (just to let go of the starchiness) Drain and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. When the corn cools down , cut the kernels off the cob , cutting close to the cob to get the whole kernel. I use a bundt pan to catch all the kernels.

Toss the corn kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

How simple and easy is this?IMG_5739

Broccoli Salad–no cooking involved here

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Brocccoli Slaw with same dressing

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Original Broccoli Recipe made with whole florets

My kitchen is under renovation so I am not cooking at this very moment but that doesn’t mean you all aren’t cooking. This is totally delicious and definitely easy and worth a try. And no cooking involved!!!

I had this broccoli salad at a friend’s house and completely fell in love with it. It was so delicious.  Mind you I don’t even love raw broccoli , I usually prefer it cooked. This was really good and I even broke my own rule and made a new recipe for company. It is so simple to make and ingredients are easily obtainable.   No fuss and no muss here.

I put it together in the morning but you can definitely put together the night before. I would suggest making it at least 8 hours ahead of time so broccoli softens and soaks up some of the delicious marinade. Mix bowl throughout the day .  I left it out for 2 hours before serving to bring it to room temperature. It’s a great summer salad that you can make ahead of time and doesn’t require any cooking!

I also made it with broccoli slaw ( you can shred yourself or buy bags already made) Pre-made broccoli slaw is available almost everywhere now. If using the slaw I would use 3- 12 oz. bags . Just keep mixing it and make ahead so it can absorb, it was equally as yummy. I put photos of both salads on here.

Great recipe for those of you who don’t want to turn on the oven!!!!

Ingredients:

1 Large Bunch of Broccoli, broken up into florets

1/2 cup Red Grapes, I sliced them in half

1 cup chopped celery

1 bunch of scallions greens and whites only , sliced thinly

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise ( you can use light but not fat-free please)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice , I used the juice of one small lemon.

Directions:

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the salad.

In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, sugar and lemon juice.

When dressing comes together and has a nice consistency pour over the broccoli give it a good mix and refrigerate. Give it a few mixes during the day and that’s it!

 

Raw Corn Salad

I found this recipe on one of my favorite food sites– Food 52 and I had to make this amazing corn salad which is absolutely no cooking at all. What could be better? The corn in the summer is so amazing and all of the other ingredients are readily available and  super easy to make.

I made a few changes from the original on Food52 but check out their site it’s worthwhile. www.food52

Ingredients:

4-5 ears of fresh corn shucked– I happen to have bought 5 ears of corn so I used all 5 don’t use less than 4

1 pint of small tomatoes–plum, cherry or whatever — halved

4 oz. of good feta cheese crumbled

1 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1 can of Cannellini beans –or black beans or whatever kind of beans you prefer –rinse and drain before adding

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

4-6 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Lime–halved

Directions:

Cut the corn off the cobs. Try to get as close to the cob as possible. This can be a messy process so I use a bundt pan and place cob in the hole of the bundt pan and cut down so almost all of the kernels fall in the pan.

Then in a nice size bowl I put the corn, sliced tomatoes, crumbled feta, herbs, and I added the beans.

I added 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill– taste and add 4 Tablespoons of the Olive Oil and the juice of half a lime. Mix well and taste if it needs a little more oil you can add and if you think it needs more S and P you can add now as well. I didn’t add more salt and pepper because the feta is salty and 1/2 teaspoon was enough. You can also add a bit more lime juice if you’d like.IMG_1611

Mix well before serving and serve immediately at room temperature.

Delicious!

 

Farro Salad

IMG_5507This is a combination of two salads . My “Summer Salad-Farm Fresh Farro” and Charlie Bird’s Famous Farro Salad. My blog post was from a few years ago long before I ever saw Charlie Birds version. This is truly one of the most delicious salads I have ever eaten.  Please feel free to add veggies at your own discretion. It’s a loose recipe but this is what I did. This would make a great addition to any BBQ and perfect for Fathers Day 2018.

Special thanks to Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad @nytimes cooking site by Melissa Clark

cooking@nytimes.com – one of the best cooking sites I know

Ingredients:

1 cup Farro

1 cup apple cider

2 cups of water

2 teaspoons kosher salt, and more to your own liking

2 bay leaves

8 Tablespoons extra -virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice- I used 1 large lemon

app. 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese , I used a vegetable peeler but I do know you can buy Parmesan Cheese shaved this way ( time and mess saver)

app. 1/2 cup shelled Pistachios–I used salted pistachios and chopped them myself. You can use raw pistachios but they’re a tad tasteless. Just check for salt when salad is finished.

app. 2 cups Arugula

app. 1 cup torn Basil Leaves

app. 1 cup Mint leaves-cut up into smaller pieces

2 large radishes sliced thinly or rough chopped

Directions:

Farro:

In a medium saucepan, bring farro,  apple cider, bay leaves,  salt , and 2 cups of water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. If farro is cooked but there is still water I put in a colander/strainer and leave it till it cools down. If on the other hand the water evaporates before the farro is done, you’ll have to add a little more water. You can always strain it so no worries–but don’t overcook. Let farro cool down and discard the 2 bay leaves.

Salad:

In a salad bowl (large enough to fold in arugula and mix) whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice, I use a wire whisk, it’s an amazing kitchen tool. Add the cooled down farro, parmesan cheese and chopped pistachio nuts, mix well.

This salad base will sit for a few hours at room temperature. I made it that afternoon for that evening and never put it in fridge. Salad is always best at room temperature so if you do refrigerate, just bring to room temperature before serving.

Just before serving, fold in the arugula, herbs, radishes and taste for salt. If not salty enough sprinkle a little flaky sea salt or kosher salt. You’ll thank me for this recipe.IMG_1779IMG_1780

 

 

 

Crunchy Noodle Salad–with Ramen Noodles

This one I got from a neighbor in Colorado, and it’s become a staple in the Kolen household in the summer. But it’s great all the time! It’s the time of year when cold salads are abundant but this beauty is wonderful all year round.

Napa Noodle Salad

4 cups sliced Napa Cabbage ( I cheat and buy the cabbage in a bag. It’s not always Napa but sometimes I don’t feel like chopping.  if you buy the bag, it’s fine, just use 1 whole bag. It’s more than 4 cups but it’s fine, and if all you can find is the cole slaw kind it’s Ok too, it will just have some carrots and some purple cabbage.

5 green onions (scallions) sliced very thin (green parts only)

Mix cabbage and green onions and refrigerate for a few hours (at least 2). This gives it a chance to meld and wilt a bit.

2 packages of Ramen noodles (It doesn’t matter which flavor you buy b/c you should throw away the flavor pack )you won’t be needing it for this salad.

handful of sliced almonds

1/2 cup sesame seeds (available in the spice aisle)

1/4 cup butter

Take the noodles (hard crunchy ones) and put in a large plastic bag. Bang noodles with a mallet or your fist (fist is fine) and just crack them up. They’ll be easier to work with. Add the almonds and sesame seeds and brown all together in the butter.

Dressing

1/2 cup sugar ( I know, but I never said I cook DIET)

1/2 cup salad oil (plain old vegetable oil will do just fine)

1/4 cup vinegar (I use white rice vinegar, which is available in Asian section of supermarket or just wherever the vinegars are.)

1 Tbsp. soy sauce (low sodium always)

Toss all together and Serve

*cabbage and onions need to meld and wilt a bit, so make sure to give them at least 2 hours in the fridge. The hard noodles should stay a little crunchy. Don’t burn–just brown–the ingredients until the butter gets a bit bubbly; not burnt. Be careful. While you’re browning the noodles with the almonds and sesame seeds, move them around with a wooden spoon so it all gets buttery.

I know this is fattening, but isn’t everything fattening so yummy??? And you’re not eating the whole thing, so enjoy!!!

Of course you can double up this recipe, it’s just a whole lotta cabbage to toss! As a side dish, this is a nice amount as is.

Serves 4 – 6 as a side dish

Avocado Salad with Corn and Tomatoes –Fresh and Delicious

DSCN0190 DSCN0195 DSCN0194 DSCN0199Most perfect summer salad and it is a vegetarian delight . It is totally vegan. I am not a vegan but totally love this salad with all it’s fresh flavors . I had 2 beautiful ripe avocados on hand and all the ingredients for this yummy salad.  I had some fresh corn so I just brought the water to a boil threw it in and when it turned yellow took it out and threw it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.   Of course I love  jalapenos , use your own discretion and this would be amazing without as well but it was kick ass with them.  You can make the salad ahead and let juices meld but don’t add the avocados till you’re ready to serve.  You can give them a little squeeze of fresh lime juice so they won’t turn brown so fast.  I like to serve salad at room temperature, you just don’t get the flavors when it’s too cold. It will keep in fridge for a few days, but you’ll have to take out the leftover avocado since it will turn brown. I cut this salad in 1/2 for the 2 of us. This easily will serve 6 as a side. By the way Joel took a bite but too much healthy stuff going on in here for his liking, although he’s gotten better he’s not quite up to this yet, it’s OK because there was more for me with leftovers.

I was inspired for this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa recipe for Guacamole Salad. The corn was my idea.

Ingredients:

2 cobs of fresh corn ( cook and then shuck corn off the cob) if no fresh corn available use frozen . I use frozen when I have to and 1 small bag is usually sufficient. The frozen corn will defrost very quickly so just take it out and when you mix in with other ingredients it will start to completely thaw by the time you’re ready to serve. You want to serve at room temperature anyway.

1 pint grape tomatoes , halved

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced into small pieces ( app. 1/2 “)

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup small diced red onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded ( app. 2 small jalapenos) use at your own discretion . Remove Seeds

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( 2 limes)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Directions:

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Toss well. In the meanwhile cook the corn , bring water to a boil throw in for a few minutes to turn bright yellow, then I throw in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and lock in flavor and color. Then remove corn from cob. I let the salad sit for about an hour before adding avocados into the salad. Just fold avocados into the salad when you’re ready to serve. Check for seasoning and serve at room temperature.