Category Archives: salad dressing

The basics: salad dressing- Mustard Vinaigrette and Caesar

Salad Dressing in the Cuisinart

Salad Dressings

While there are some amazingly delicious salad dressings out there these days I prefer to make my own. Sometimes you have to cave and go store bought but if you have a little extra time these are well worth a little extra effort.  It is so easy to make these salad dressings and the taste is so delicious and fresh. They will keep for a few days to a week in the fridge (Ball Jar or Good Seasons Cruet Jar; sold in almost every supermarket.)

For all of the dressing, I throw all the ingredients in a mini food processor, whole garlic and all

This one is my most favorite go-to dressing: 

 My Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing 

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh minced garlic (about two small cloves)

1 egg yolk (unless you’re spooked about raw egg, in which case you can omit and substitute with about a tablespoon of mayo. I always use egg.)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

First, I put the garlic in the processor, then add everything but the olive oil. Give it a good whirl, mixing all ingredients together. Then add olive oil slowly; it will emulsify and you can taste and add salt and pepper to taste and adjust the dijon to your liking. You may start with less and add. An option is to squeeze in a little lemon juice. I am pretty true to this recipe and it always rewards.

This is awesome over almost any greens.

Keep excess in fridge for about 3 or 4 days.

Caesar Salad Dressing 

Again I put all ingredients in mini or regular processor

2 cloves garlic

1 egg yolk

kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper

4-5 anchovies (I like it salty and use 5)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon (heaping) I like a lot Dijon Mustard

grated Parmesan cheese (fresh is always best)

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

First, I chop garlic then add anchovies to the processor, and mix together. Then add lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and egg yolk. I mix all together, and then slowly add olive oil in, mix together and taste for salt, because the anchovies and mustard give it a lot of salt and kick. You can always add more salt, but you can’t take it away. Add pepper.

For the Salad:

Pour dressing on about two heads of romaine. I’ve stretched it to 3 and I know they sell 3 heads in a bag–it’s a bit skimpy, but doable. Mix together and right before serving, add cheese; or let everyone do their own with a hand grater!

I buy Organic Romaine heads (3 in a package). I prefer organic.

Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad

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Actually this salad had some lettuce and brussels and apples and walnuts and parmigiana cheese!!!! A-mazingly delicious and super fresh tasting.

I found it on a blog site Once Upon a Chef and made a few changes to it but it was absolutely delicious. Easy ingredients and you can prep ahead and stick it in the fridge all dressed and ready to go. My kind of salad and one I will be making all winter long. The original recipe called for all brussels sprouts but I did 1/2 lettuce mix and 1/2 brussels. You can do whatever you’d like .

Dressing was fresh and sweet because of the honey. This would be amazing as a dinner salad with any protein added.

*salad should serve 4-6 as an appetizer size salad.

Enjoy! and follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

I used  about 1 12 ounce package of shredded Brussels Sprouts

app. 9 – 12 oz. of any lettuce you’d like I used a combo of different lettuces

1 large apple such as Honey Crisp

3 Tablespoons minced shallots, app. 1 large shallot

4 Tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil

4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

6 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped –to toast the walnuts –pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and set an oven rack in the middle position. Arrange the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. ( no need to spray or oil the pan) Bake, checking frequently until lightly toasted and fragrant (if you smell them you better remove them, they burn rather easily) set the timer for 4 minutes but they will probably take 6 minutes. Allow to cool and chop them up.

3/4 cup thinly sliced  Parmigiano-Reggiano — I use a peeler to slice cheese while it’s cold it’s easier to slice.

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the shredded Brussels Sprouts, lettuce, apple, vegetable oil, olive oil, shallots, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper; toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours to allow the sprouts to soften and the flavors to meld together.

When ready to serve, toss the walnuts and cheese with the salad. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary , then serve.

 

Champagne Vinaigrette and Kale/Brussels Salad

photo 1 (3)

Dressed Salad

photo 1 (6)

Ingredients

photo 3 (4)

View from Deck

photo 2 (4)

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

photo 1 (4)

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.

photo 5 (4)

Raw Chopped Salad pre dressing

photo 5 (3)

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.

 

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

 

 

 

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.

Champagne Vinaigrette and Kale/Brussels Salad

photo 1 (3)

Dressed Salad

photo 1 (6)

Ingredients

photo 2 (4)

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

photo 1 (4)

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. I will be making this salad for Father’s Day this year–it’s a winner.

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.

photo 5 (4)

Raw Chopped Salad pre dressing

photo 5 (3)

Couscous Salad, Real Mediterranean Style

It’s springtime so I am thinking of lighter food, and of course salads come to my mind. I make this recipe with couscous or quinoa. I have another recipe for quinoa on my website so I figured that I would make one with couscous this time, but feel free to use either one. The dressing has a definite Greek flavor. This dish is perfectly tasty and served with grilled fish or chicken you have a perfect meal. As far as salads go, this one is perfection. This is not an exact science; if you like a lot of tomatoes, add more. If there is another item here that you don’t like, feel free to substitute, and I’d love to hear what you did. I love to hear variations on my recipes. This is so quick and easy to assemble. Can definitely be made ahead of time.

Ingredients: 

Vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 /2 teaspoon dried oregano (if you like to use fresh, use 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste – I started with a 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the peppermill.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a good one)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk in the olive oil slowly. Adjust the salt and pepper and set aside.

Ingredients for Couscous:

Prepare 1  box (usually 10 – 12 ounces) couscous (or quinoa) according to the directions but use 1/4 less water than it calls for. For example, the Near East Couscous calls for 2 cups of water or broth so I would reduce by 1/2 cup. After cooking, allow to cool for a bit then stick in the fridge for about an hour. I usually cook my couscous in either chicken broth or vegetable broth for extra added flavor.

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half (I like a lot of tomatoes, so use more if you do too) I tend to like my tomatoes cut into smaller pieces but cut however you like just don’t leave whole

1 cup pitted black or Kalamata olives (I prefer Kalamata because they are saltier)

1 roasted red or orange pepper (you can use from jar) I just eyeballed from the jar, use as much as you’d like

1 cup garbanzo beans (drained from the can are fine)

6 ounces cubed feta cheese

1/4 cup sliced green onions or chopped red onion would work quite well here as well

* chopped cucumbers would be a nice addition as well, I didn’t use this time

In a large bowl, gently toss the couscous, tomato, pepper, olives, beans and feta. Add the dressing, transfer to a lovely serving bowl and there you go. This is so delicious and light, it’s a perfect side dish and a beautiful salad .