Category Archives: salad dressing

Couscous and Butternut Squash Salad with Kale or Arugula –Perfect Autumn Salad

This salad always makes me think of the Fall, I suppose it’s due to the butternut squash . This salad would really be delicious anytime of the year and if you added a protein it would make a delicious dinner salad. I made this salad the other evening and it was just perfection on a plate. Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Fairly Healthy and you can keep it vegan without any dairy or add cheese for a delicious vegetarian salad .  It takes a bit of prep work but you can prep a few hours ahead and be done with it prior to the meal which is always a good thing in my book.

I prepped butternut squash and couscous and used baby arugula this time. I dressed the salad and let it sit , Kale is better when it’s soft and broken down so if you’re using Kale I suggest chopping it.  I love Kale but don’t want to feel like I’m eating my front lawn. It is delicious with kale or arugula or really any greens you prefer.

If you like a heavier dressed salad I would definitely double up the salad dressing. Or just pour a little over it and leave extra for individual dressing.

This is what I did. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb . butternut squash – 1 package of pre-cut squash and then I cut into small 1/2 inch cubes

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper – to taste

1 cup dry Pearl Couscous , cook in water according to package directions

app. 2 cups chopped Kale Leaves or Arugula is also a great choice if you’re not a kale fan or really 2 cups of any kind of greens you like.

1/3-1/2  cup dried cherries–you can use craisins, raisins, cranberries whatever dried fruit you like -if you like less use 1/3 cup I tend to use more

1/3-1/2  cup chopped walnuts–same as above and you can obviously omit if you don’t like or use chopped pecans or other nuts

*app. 2 oz. crumbled goat or feta cheese if you’d like– I like the creaminess that goat cheese delivers so I use it over feta in this but use whichever you prefer

Orange Vinaigrette Dressing:

2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice –this is a must

pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the salad:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and cut butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes.

Spread the butternut squash out in an even layer on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray add 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil to squash to coat, sprinkle a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to the squash .  Bake for 15 minutes then flip squash over (as best you can) Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the squash is tender and slightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer back to the large mixing bowl. Depending on your oven the squash could take a little longer to cook, you just want it soft enough that it’s cooked through and a little browned up

Couscous: buy pearled Israeli Couscous –available everywhere Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil add 1 cup Couscous a sprinkle of salt and return to a boil . Reduce heat and simmer covered till tender about 15 minutes.

To make the vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients, (orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and pinch of salt and pepper to taste. I used all of the vinaigrette and it was very lightly dressed and rather tasty. If you prefer more dressing on the side , double the recipe.

Add cooked couscous, kale, cherries, walnuts, goat cheese* and vinaigrette,  toss to combine. Taste for Salt and Pepper after all combined.img_2936img_2933img_2929img_2928

Serve Warm, or refrigerate and this will keep for app. 3 days in fridge.

It’s a very light salad dressing so the kale absorbs it and it will keep nicely in fridge.

Summer Salad–Farm Fresh Farro

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I am always on the search for some new vegetarian recipes to try out.  The inspiration for this salad came from some beautiful radishes from the farmers market and some fresh sugar snap peas. During the summer months with all the beautiful fresh vegetables available it’s super easy to throw together these salads. The fresh parmesan pieces give it the extra kick and salt it needs, use as much or as little as you like. I prefer pearled farro for this recipe.

*original recipe from Jessica Seinfeld website Do it Delicious

Ingredients:

1 cup pearled farro

1 cup sugar snap peas

4 large radishes

2 scallions

1/4 cup mint leaves loosely packed

1/4 cup parmesan pieces

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Follow directions on the box of farro or fill a saucepan to about an inch from the top. Bring to a boil, and add the farro and cook until tender but still chewy, about 10 minutes. Drain in a strainer and run under cold water to cool down. Drain out excess water and let sit while you prep the rest of the salad.

Wash the snap peas and radishes. Remove the stems from the snap peas, cut them crosswise into 1/2″ pieces and add to a medium bowl. Trim the stems off the radishes and remove the root ends. Slice the radishes in half , then slice crosswise into thin half moons. Add the radishes to the bowl. Trim the ends of the scallions, wash and then slice the white and light green parts of the scallions into small rounds. Add to the bowl. Tear the mint leaves and add to the bowl. Take the parmesan and crumble into the bowl, you can use your hands or a knife to crumble parmesan. Add the cooled farro to the bowl.

Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to the bowl. Taste for seasonings. Mix and allow to sit for a bit before serving. I made ahead and stored in fridge. I removed before serving for a while to bring to room temperature.

 

Chopped Vegetable Salad

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRenderI was having a dinner party and thought this would be a perfect addition to my menu. It contained fresh  vegetables and a salad all in one! Perfect side dish served right along with dinner. Of course you can add a protein and make this the meal which would be ever so perfect. Perfection in a bowl. This is what I did and what veggies I used, feel free to use the vegetables you would love. These were the quantities that worked perfectly though. I won’t lie it took some prep for this and a good idea would be to chop a lot of the veggies ahead of time and have them ready. Avocado and lettuce must be added right before serving though. Dressing and veggies can be made ahead of time .

*I served as a side dish and it was generous for about 6 -8 servings , if you’re using for a main probably 4-6.

*Original Recipe from O Magazine–I made a few changes

Ingredients:

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 garlic clove–minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt plus a little more to taste at the end

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste at the end

1/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil

Salad:

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces — about 1/2″

2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces

3 ears of corn, cut kernels off cobs

1/2 pint small cherry or grape tomatoes cut in 1/2

2 ribs celery, cut into small pieces , about 1/2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into small pieces , also about 1/2″ size

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1 head romaine , chopped

1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, garlic, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Lastly, whisk in the oil slowly. Set aside.

When water comes to a boil, add cut up green beans and carrots to boiling water and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add corn and cook a couple of minutes more. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water, let veggies completely cool down. I let them sit till they were completely cool. Give vinaigrette a quick whisk, and add veggies to the bowl. Add in the tomatoes, celery , bell pepper and onion and toss well. Set aside and let marinate for at least 1/2 hour. I probably let it sit in marinade for about an hour.

Right before serving, add chopped romaine, avocado and parmesan . Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. Toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately.

Watermelom Cucumber Salad–Perfect Summer Salad

This is a most delicious salad and a departure from the usual fare of lettuces etc. Sweet and Savory and very refreshing . Simple to pull together and easy to make. Of course you can substitute or add other items if you’d like such as olives, arugula , basil etc. This is how I did it and we all totally enjoyed it!!! The salad is a rather loose recipe and can be adapted very easily to other ingredients and your own particular tastes.

It really is the perfect Summer Salad. The saltiness of the feta and the sweetness of the watermelon make for a perfect summer salad.

Ingredients:

1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1″cubes or melon balls.

1 shallot finely chopped

1 chunk of Feta Cheese– I like to cut my feta cubed but crumbled could work as well. Feta is usually a greek style cheese made with sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. I prefer a block even though I know crumbled is more convenient. The block is usually sold in a brine and that will keep the feta moist and crumbles tend to be dryer. They all taste good though so buy what you prefer. I often buy Bulgarian Feta which is rather firm and cuts and crumbles easily. Look for it. Also French Feta sometimes–check out the assortment in the cheese section of your market. And of course Greek Feta is probably the most preferred. Salty and tangy the way feta should be. Cut or Crumble your choice.

4 Tbsp. Torn Fresh Mint — more for garnish –I love Mint but some people really don’t you can substitute Basil or nothing if you’d lke

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 persian cucumbers — I buy the small ones and cut into small cubes

1/4 red onion sliced thinly

1/3 cup Pistachio Nuts — I chop them gently — obviously no shells –you can omit this all together if you don’t like them for a nut free salad

 

Vinaigrette:

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

3 small cloves Garlic–finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 Teaspoon dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a small bowl whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Directions:

Combine the watermelon,1 finely chopped shallot, and mint in a large bowl with the 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil . Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and toss to combine. Transfer to fridge and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Remove from fridge and add the cubed feta, cucumbers, red onion slices and pistachios. Toss to combine. I transferred to a serving platter , drizzled with the vinaigrette and served with extra pistachios and extra mint. 

You’ll want to use a slotted spoon for serving.

 

 

 

Summer Corn Salad with Feta

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I am flat on my ass after having partial knee replacement surgery . I have plenty of free time to peruse through my own blog and re post some really wonderful summer time recipes. This is a delicious and easy one which sometimes gets overlooked because I always make my Fresh Corn Salad but this is a bit different because it has Feta Cheese and some thinly sliced radishes. I suggest you try both of these wonderful recipes — super easy and super delicious for summertime cooking at it’s finest.

. This is what I did. You might want to check out my other wonderful corn salad which is titled Fresh Corn Salad it’s a little different and might be more to your liking. I like both just fine and I think you will too! There are so very many variations of corn salad out there and especially in the summer when the corn is so fresh and delicious.

Ingredients:

4 cups of fresh corn ( it’s so amazing in the summer) I actually used 6 ears of corn –boiled it for 3 mins and plunged into an ice bath to stop cooking. I did it the night before because it’s just easier that way

1/3 cup of fresh cilantro chopped–if you don’t like cilantro you can omit it, but it packs a  lots of flavor–just saying…..

3 Tablespoons Lime Juice –I used my juicer because this is a lot of squeezing. Or buy the fresh lime juice in those little green bottles. (see photo) but nothing beats fresh in my book

1- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, I used 1 . Feta was plenty salty here. You might want to add more, you can taste as you go.

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil–Extra Virgin is the way to go

1 cup thinly sliced radishes — they are amazing this time of year but if you hate them you can substitute with a little red onion or scallion. I love radishes and I love the pop of color and crunch they provide

1 cup cherry tomatoes–sliced in 1/2 or into 1/4’s

1/2 cup crumbled Feta— I used a 6oz. container

Directions:

Cut corn off cobs–I know it’s work but it’s worth it and mix the corn with all ingredients adding cheese last. Yum!!! refrigerate and take out before you’re eating and let sit at room temperature.  I put salad together early in the morning and refrigerated all day. You can make it and serve it right away  but it will be better after flavors marinate a bit. I still cannot believe that I forgot to put this wonderful side dish out!!!!!!! It happens to the best of us.

Enjoy!

Avocado Salad with Corn and Tomatoes –Fresh and Delicious

DSCN0190 DSCN0195 DSCN0194 DSCN0199It’ s June so let’s break out all the delicious summer food. This is a most 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.

Farro Salad

I made this last night combining my recipe which is on my blog “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.  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 2019 or anytime.

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

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

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.

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, dash of kosher salt , 2 bay leaves 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

Lobster Cobb Salad and Honey Lime Vinaigrette

This is a delicious, tart salad dressing.  The flavors are perfect together it’s the perfect combination of tart and sweet. I served this lobster salad with baby greens, beets, lobster, corn, chopped eggs, tomatoes,  bacon (on the side) and, of course, avocado.  I bought the lobster (already cooked) You can purchase at your local fish store and specialty stores.  I cooked and  cut up beets, made some hard-boiled eggs and cut up tomatoes along with other ingredients.  I will put all the other ingredients in little bowls and let everyone choose what they like . I set up a make your own salad bar. So those who are vegetarian pick their ingredients and everyone is happy.

This is a wonderful addition to any brunch/lunch– Mother’s Day or Father’s Day and a wonderful cold entree salad as well for dinner.

Happy Mother’s Day from my kitchen to yours.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (1 small lime)

1/2 cup olive oil

kosher salt (approx. 1/4 teaspoon, maybe a bit more)

freshly ground black pepper

*you may want to double .  This will make approx. 1/2 cup salad dressing

Directions:

Whisk the vinegar, honey and lime juice together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Salad:

You can feel free to add and subtract ingredients:

I use any type of greens –usually Romaine and a dark green mixture of greens

I used corn, beets, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, avocados, and bacon. Sometimes I use shredded cheese or blue cheese (even though I really don’t like blue cheese at all) and black or green olives cut up are delicious in here as well. And feel free to substitute chicken for the lobster and add and subtract whatever you’d like.

When I serve for brunch I put all the ingredients in separate little bowls and let everyone choose their favorite ingredients. Dressing on the side–of course.

I made it like this just for us for dinner without all the sides. this was the only picture I had since I forgot to photograph it when I made it the last time. For just 2 or 4 people you can do it like this in a large bowl.

Roast Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing – Weeknight Salad

DSCN0069photoI was in the mood for something light for dinner and wanted to make a dressing with buttermilk and mustard. I picked up a roast chicken because I was very pressed for time, but didn’t want to eat a plain roast chicken from the market. I grabbed some beautiful romaine, but I know this would be perfectly awesome with kale,  Joel is not big on kale and prefers romaine. Next time I make this I am using chopped kale, preferably baby kale. In any event I used romaine, took the skin off the chicken and shredded it with my hands. Just used romaine, tomatoes, chicken and dressing. Next time out I add avocado for sure, doubt Joel will eat it but I am putting in avocado. This is an awesome lunchtime salad and so easy to pull together for a light dinner meal and mix in whatever other veggies you’d like.  Dressing is killer and only 3 Tablespoons of Buttermilk! This is also awesome if you have leftover chicken and don’t know what to do with it. The inspiration for this salad and dressing comes from a blog I follow,  124 Park. Part of being a part of the blog culture I am exposed to some really wonderful blogs , I just wish I had the time to read all of them.

This dressing should be good for at least 4 servings. Feel free to double it.

Ingredients:

Buttermilk Dressing:

1 clove garlic

1 egg yolk ( let egg sit out at room temperature) just not really cold

3 tablespoons of buttermilk ( lowfat is fine)

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1/4  teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill (you can always add more salt if you would like)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

*feel free to double

Combine all ingredients except for olive oil in the blender including salt and pepper . Keeping blender on , add olive oil from the top in a slow stream until well incorporated.

Put salad greens, avocado , chicken and any other vegetables you’d like in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix salad adding dressing as needed.

Spicy Caesar Salad Dressing

I love a good Caesar Salad and I love spicy and this dressing was a perfect combo of Caesar and Spicy. All made in the Food Processor what can be easier?

You can put it over traditional Romaine or on shaved Brussels — perfection. If you put on Brussels you can let it sit for a while longer because it will soften the brussels. If you’re putting on Romaine toss and serve.

My photos are with Shaved Brussels

 

Enjoy and follow me on instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Mayo

1 1/2 Tablespoons Anchovy Paste–instead of anchovies is sort of perfection in a tube

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard–heaping

1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 lemons, zested and juiced

1 clove garlic

1/2 fresh Jalapeno Pepper

3 large egg yolks at room temperature

3/4 cup good Olive Oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Pinch Kosher Salt

Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper

I used 2 heads Romaine and had dressing left over. If using Shaved Brussels 2 lbs. for whole recipe. Save extra dressing in a bell jar in the fridge for a few days.

If you’d like you can make croutons or buy them and add to your salad

Directions:

In a Food Processor–pulse together the mayonnaise, anchovy paste, Dijon, Worcestershire Sauce, Cayenne Pepper, Lemon zest and juice, garlic and Jalapeno . Add the egg yolks and blend. While machine is running, slowly add the olive oil to ensure the dressing is emulsified. If you just drizzle in through the feed tube it’s perfect. Add the cheese and give it another pulse or two.

Done — dressing can be made ahead of time and will keep for at least 3 days in the refrigerator.