Posts tagged ‘salads’
If it wasn’t obvious already, I sort of fell out of the habit of blogging. Work got busy, I got married…I could blame those things, but basically I just stopped doing it! I don’t feel guilty about it (though I do miss it!), nor will I make any specific promises as to my renewed commitment to blogging regularly or anything. All I really know at this point is that I still cook, I still like to preserve a record of recipes we’ve tried and enjoyed, and I felt like blogging about this recipe.
We’re always on the lookout for good lunch salads, particularly ones with a nice balance of greens and grains as well as some tasty mix-ins. When I came across the idea of this salad on Serious Eats, I couldn’t help but lust after the concept, though we made a couple little changes in the execution. We’ve been pleased enough with the result that it’s joined our repertoire!
Rather at the last minute, we decided we needed some coleslaw on the fourth of July (to go with our pulled pork). I didn’t have a go-to recipe at the time, so it was back to the internet research table for me. And here’s the thing I’ve realized about slaws– you can pretty much make a slaw with anything you want, as long as you start with a good base for the dressing.
You want a standard slaw? Creamy dressing + red/green cabbage + carrots. A slightly less traditional coleslaw? Try adding some julienned jicama or celeriac, or finely sliced sugar snap peas or bell peppers. Like onions? I like to julienne red onions and chop green onions, so you could choose one of those, or use sweet or yellow onions. You want some kick? Throw in a minced jalapeno or some horseradish. Something sweet? Use honey mustard, or add sliced or julienned apples. Something unexpected? Throw in some bleu cheese crumbles. Want to go asian with it? Quick edit the dressing by subbing oil for the mayo, rice vinegar for the cider vinegar, soy for the mustard, then add a splash of sesame oil and you’re golden. And of course you could use savoy or napa cabbage instead of or in addition to regular cabbage. See? Choose your own adventure, as long as you have the dressing blueprint to bring it together.
I seem to be on a bit of a condiment kick these days! This week I finally got around to making horseradish from scratch, which had been on my to-try list for quite awhile. I actually already bought and wasted a horseradish root once a few weeks back, but my desire for potato salad with horseradish (scroll to the bottom if you’re in it for the potato salad only!) on the Fourth of July was strong enough to send me to the store for a second root.
I initially had a little trouble motivating myself to take the time (and dirty the food processor) to make something I could buy at the store in a little jar all ready to go. But now that I’ve tried preparing horseradish myself, I have to say that making your own is fun! I totally wouldn’t judge anyone for buying it pre-prepared, and for general purposes I will still be keeping a store-bought jar on hand, but I’ve also learned that it’s really quite quick to make, it tastes fresh, and it packs a real punch (although of course you get to dilute it at your discretion when you cook with it if you don’t want it too spicy). And it keeps for about a month in the fridge so you’ll have time to use it up in all kinds of tasty preparations– I’m including recipes below for how to prepare the root and how to make a delicious creamy horseradish sauce with it (great on sandwiches, steak, or pork), as well as the recipe for my current favorite potato salad with a horsey kick. If you’ve never tried using homemade horseradish in your cooking, I encourage you to give it a try! But of course, if you are not in possession of a horseradish root or inclined to whip out the food processor, both the creamy horseradish sauce and the potato salad can be made with store-bought horseradish. I hope that either way, some horseradish might make its way onto your menu this holiday weekend! Happy Fourth of July!
We eat a lot of salads around here, but every time we make one for dinner I have to fight the part of me that thinks its kind of a cop-out of a meal. I mean, I totally love salads, but I kind of feel like it doesn’t count as cooking unless there is some kind of twist or extra component that beefs it up to entree level, like shiitakes and bacon, chicken and asparagus, or a really great homemade dressing. Plus, if we don’t toss is some tasty bonus ingredients, we always end up needing an after dinner snack an hour after dinner.
We’ve had a whole lot of lettuce and greens laying around for the past week, but with the hubbub of the last couple of weeks of school I really haven’t felt like cooking at all. Like, not even a bare-bones, lettuce and bottled dressing salad to go with our take-out pizza. But finally, with greens amundo getting wasted in the fridge, I decided I really had to make a salad, so we went all out and make an add-ins heavy classic, the cobb salad, with a couple of delicious twists.
This week we’ve gone middle eastern (well, westernized middle eastern perhaps) for kitchen firsts to fill in a real gap in my culinary repertoire. That’s right everybody, I have never made falafels before (let alone awesome baked ones). Some of you may consider this a sin, but I was slow to discover the need for a good falafel recipe because I used to think they tasted like sawdust balls. But after eating some really good ones as street food in France and then discovering some even tastier versions of them around here, I’ve finally warmed to the crispy savory deliciousness and come to appreciate the opportunity they provide to eat a really satisfying meatless (nay, vegan!) meal.
Even after I discovered that eating falafels was not so bad, they remained on my no-cook list for quite awhile because I was skeptical about making them myself, what with the trouble and questionable healthfulness of frying the little guys up. Then about a year ago I came across this recipe for baked falafels, and I stored the smart-sounding idea in the back recesses of my mental recipe-log, until this week when we finally made them! And now that I’ve tried them, I can’t believe I waited so long.
A few weeks ago when spring was just around the corner, we went on an entree salad kick so severe that I could not keep up with blogging all the ones we tried; if I had, you the blog-readers would probably have written this off as a rabbit food blog and gone elsewhere! I posted our best-of-the-best, but then in an effort to space out my salad ramblings I waited on some others, and now suddenly its weeks later and I’ve all but moved on, except that I can’t get this one out of my mind! It arose from a desire to do something new with the beloved pea shoots, and made use of some beautiful local shiitakes we had picked up, and while I’m not sure the salad was meaty enough to make a meal all-in-itself, I will definitely be making this again as a fresh, jazzed-up accompaniment to a light meal.
The recent springy, even summery weather seems to be leaving me craving light, fresh dinners. We went through a salad-for-every-meal stage, and then a ravenous farmers market stage, and now I’ve come to a place where it gets to be dinner time and all I really want is a sammich; gimme two pieces of bread with some goop in the middle, and I’ll happily chomp away with the early evening sun streaming in and a drink in my hand.
However, as a person who likes to cook (and as a person with an interest in bloggables), I do feel like if I’m going to bend meal-rules and eat a sandwich for dinner, it had better be something interesting that requires at least a smidge of something resembling cooking (but not too much cooking, since it is just a sandwich after all). Regular ol tuna salad or grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches are just fine at lunch or for a snack, but for dinner I require at least a little something different from my sandwiches. So, when I stumbled upon the ideas for Italian Chicken Salad and Mediterranean Tuna Salad, I threw them onto our weekly meal plan and we ended up moving our schedule around so we could eat them sooner.