Posts tagged ‘Salads’

September 12, 2011

Indian Carrot Salad

Indian food is not really on the top of my favorite foods list. I don’t know why, but I just never fell in love with curry. This recipe is definitely an exception for me. Jamie Oliver never fails to impress with his simple and beautiful recipes. I love the spicy lamb and sweet and crunchy carrots. We added some romaine lettuce to make this a meal instead of a starter. We also liked the addition of fruit (grapes from our fridge in this case) for some extra sweetness; green apple peeled like the carrot would be a great addition as well. Such a fresh salad with unique ingredients is a great way to mix things up. Is this one that you will try??


The grapes we added were some cool black seedless grapes, they looked like olives but obviously weren’t. This is a great dish when you are bored or in a dinner rut. The only other curry dish I really like is Jamaican Meat Pies from Molly O’Neil’s New York Cookbook also a great dish. Thanks for this one Jaime!


Indian Carrot Salad

Courtesy ‘Jamie at Home’ by Jamie Oliver

• 1 1/4 pounds good-quality coarsely ground lamb
• 2 teaspoons garam masala
• sea salt
• 1 pound carrots (mixed colors if possible), peeled
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• a small bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves picked
• a small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked

for the dressing
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 3 shallots or 1 small red onion, peeled
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 heaped teaspoon
• freshly grated ginger
• extra virgin olive oil


Heat a large frying pan and fry your ground lamb until all the fat comes out of it (you can remove some of the fat if there is a lot). Add the garam masala and a good pinch of salt and give it a stir. Keep frying until the meat is lovely and crispy.

Shave the carrots into long thin strips with a peeler or a mandolin slicer and keep them to one side.

Heat a small frying pan over a moderate heat and toast the cumin seeds for 30 seconds – they will start to smell nutty and gorgeous. You’re not trying to cook the seeds here, you’re just waking their flavors up a bit. Put them into a pestle and mortar and grind them up. Put the pan back on the heat and toast the sesame seeds until golden. Transfer them to a plate.

Slice your peeled shallots or onion wafer thin. As with all salads that contain onion, you don’t want to be coming across great big chunks! If you don’t feel confident about your knife skills, use the coarse side of a box grater instead. This will almost mush your onions to a purée, but at least you won’t come across any big bits. To make your dressing, put the lemon zest and juice into a bowl and add the shallots or onion, grated ginger, ground cumin and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together with about 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the carrots, add the cilantro and mint leaves, and mix it all together using your fingers. It’s important that you have a little taste to check whether the dressing needs more lemon juice, oil or seasoning.Divide the crispy lamb between four plates and put the dressed salad on top. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Served with naan bread, some yogurt and lemon halves, this makes a great snack!

August 6, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette

You will probably see a theme in our food habits in the later part of summer: anything grilled. We grill chicken every week and keep it around to be used in other recipes. It is a great way to keep the kitchen cool and the cooking times down. This recipe was inspired by the ladies at Big Girls Small Kitchen. I was running out of ideas of things to make (not to mention I had limited resources to work with) when I came across their Barley Salad post. Of course, I had no barley, but I did have chipotle and salad stuff; success! This turned out great and I used the dressing on a more basic side salad later in the week and it was still awesome. You could even use it as a marinade…something to try later! In this case, we had some grilled chicken already prepared and mixed some of the salad dressing with some Greek yogurt and tossed the chicken in it. If you are grilling the chicken fresh, you can use any marinade you like and just chop it as is. Let me know what you think!!


Grilled Chicken Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette
Adapted from
Big Girls Small Kitchen
Serves 4-6

Dressing Ingredients
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1-2 teaspoons adobo from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, plus a little chopped chipotle
2 teaspoons honey
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin

Salad Ingredients

2 chicken breasts

4-6 cups washed salad greens

1 tomato, diced
1 zucchini

1 cup corn kernels, cut from the cob or defrosted frozen

3 small carrots, sliced in rounds

½ avocado, diced
¼ cup shredded radishes
¼ cup fresh Basil and Mint leaves

Prepare the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and some of your favorite marinade (we usually use BBQ or teriyaki sauce). Slice the zucchini and sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Husk the corn. Grill the corn, chicken and zucchini and set aside to cool while the preparing the salad. The corn will take the longest, followed by the chicken and the zucchini will go quickly. When the corn is cool enough, cut the kernels off the cob of 2 ears of corn.

In a bowl, whisk together the shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, and adobo. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you go, until the dressing is emulsified. Stir in the cumin and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.

Combine the salad greens, zucchini, corn, tomato, avocado, radishes, and herbs in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing to combine (you may have some leftover).

Chop the chicken and top each salad with a good amount.

June 12, 2011

Steak Salad for Supper

A trip to the farmer’s market left us with piles of early lettuce, arugula, French radishes and tomatoes. Instead of spending $100 on each of us getting a nice Filet, we bought one ½ pound beef tenderloin filet for $12 at the “nice” store, since we are hardly going to cook it. The question was whether to grill the steak or pan fry. I wanted this to be almost raw, a quick sear on each side to make a crust, so I didn’t know if the (disappointing Jenn-Air) gas grill would get hot enough. So I pulled out my old trusty cast iron pan. I figured, searing hot, 2 minutes per side, to break down the fat and get a nice crust. And, frankly, it came out perfect.

Prep your salad by washing and drying your lettuce. Make salad dressing by combining 2 T. good olive oil plus 1 ½ t. sherry vinegar, a crushed clove of garlic and salt and pepper. Shake well and set aside until later. You can do all this ahead and chill while you take a nap after the Farmer’s market!

After your nap, cut up tomatoes, radishes, cabbage and measure your capers and shave the Parmesan. We like to lay all the ingredients out in our salad bowl.

Next, trim off the silver skin (that the expensive store left on). Crush some peppercorns, with the heavy cast iron pan. The heavy pan will keep the pepper from flying away! Preheat the pan until SUPERhot on high. Add 1 T. Canola Oil and spread around the pan. Cover the steak with the crushed pepper and some Celtic salt. Press onto the meat so it stays on. Put the steak in the pan fat side down (on its side) for 2 minutes. It will smoke, don’t worry, just turn on your fan. Flip and cook 2 minutes per side. Let steak rest for 5 minutes.

Toss salad. Slice steak against the grain and into super thin slices.

Add cooked steak to the top of the salad. YUM!


June 1, 2011

Great-Grandma’s German Potato Salad

This recipe is a long time family favorite from my great-grandma. She emigrated from Hungary in the early 1900’s with her mother and 8 siblings. With another family with 9 kids, they made the tough journey through Ellis Island to St. Louis to join the fathers who had already come to America to work. It really is quite the story with the 18 children all miraculously being well enough to make it through Ellis Island at the same time. Then on the train trip, the mothers got off the train to get some food for the children and the train left without them. None of them spoke English, but as always told in the family, “panicked mother is a universal language” and they were somehow reunited, and here we are four generations later. Anywho…back to the recipe!

According to my aunt, Great-Grandma always said if you are making this for children; add a little extra sugar to cut the tartness of the vinegar. I never liked traditional potato salad since I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise, but this was something I always looked forward to. I love the crunch the celery and onion added to the soft potatoes. Not to mention, bacon makes everything better! The sweet and sour dressing is a childhood memory that always brings back memories. I remember making it with my grandma and lots of us helping. Always such fun! It is a little time consuming, but worth the effort as it makes a large amount and keeps well. Let us know what you think!


“Grandma always used to make this for picnics with fried chicken. I remember when I was too little to like the potato salad, Grandma would leave a few boiled potatoes out for me, and sprinkle them with salt.”


German Potato Salad

10 Small Potatoes

1 Onion

2 Celery Sticks

2 t. Salt

5 Slices Bacon

½ c. Water

½ c. White Vinegar

4 T. Sugar

2 T. Flour

2 T. Parsley (finely chopped)

Boil potatoes for 45 min. Drain and allow to stand covered for 30 minutes. Chop the bacon, fry until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Pour off half the grease. Add to it water, vinegar and sugar. Thicken sauce with a slurry of the flour and a couple tablespoons of water. Finely chop the celery and onion. Slice the cooled potatoes and combine with vegetables and bacon in a LARGE bowl (trust me on this one). Pour the dressing over the potato mixture and mix gently, trying not to break up the potatoes too much. Add the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings. Can be served immediately while warm or made ahead and refrigerated.

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