Salad Recipes

Ribbon Salad

by Anne Maxfield on June 12, 2014

Accidental Locavore Sliced SaladNow that we’re finally moving into warmer weather, the Accidental Locavore was idly looking for main-course salad ideas, just in case we should get bored by salad Niçoise. I saw this on Smitten Kitchen and it looked interesting. Having some iceberg lettuce on hand added impetus. I made the whole amount of dressing (which she says feeds 6), but scaled down everything else as I was just feeding myself. This is quick and none of the ingredients need cooking.

Accidental Locavore Oregano VinagretteOregano dressing

  • 4 cloves garlic, run through a garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano (preferably Sicilian, if you can find it)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (use the good stuff here)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)

Salad

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into paper-thin rings
  • 1/2 pound provolone, sliced 1/8-inch thick then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 1/2 pound salami, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thick then cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 4 pickled pepperoncini, sliced into rings
  • 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts, in ½” pieces
  • ½ cup pitted olives
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, halved, cored, and cut in 1/2-inch ribbons
  • 1 head radicchio, halved, cored and cut in 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano for garnish (optional)

Make the dressing: In a small bowl or jar mix the garlic, oregano, salt and ground pepper together to make a rough paste. Add the lemon juice, vinegar and mustard, if using. Mix with a fork. allowing the salt to dissolve, then add the oil and whisk with a fork until well combined. The dressing should be thick with garlic and oregano

Assemble the salad: Using the iceberg and radicchio as a base, top with the chickpeas, onions, provolone, salami, pepperoncini, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and olives. Top with the dressing and toss to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste, add the dried oregano as a garnish, serve and enjoy.

Accidental Locavore Salad to GoMy verdict: I made it as a composed salad and just dressed the lettuce, but that was mostly so it would photograph well. The dressing had way too much garlic and too much salt, so the next time I would probably cut the garlic down to two average-sized cloves and add more if needed. This was a good base salad to play with. Since I was home alone, the red onions were left out (and considering the excess of garlic, that was a smart move) and replaced with marinated artichoke hearts and olives, both of which were great. Also left out, the radicchio, since there wasn’t any in the house. Because I didn’t toss it all together, in the first few bites I got a lot of pepperoncini and found it gave everything a vaguely unpleasant taste.

The next day, I made a travel version for the train and added about another tablespoon of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and oregano to the leftover dressing. The salt was fine and the garlic, while strong, was under control. We’ve got lots of odds and ends of various salamis, which could easily get sliced up for this.  So use this as a guide to building your own incredible salad.

 

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Accidental Locavore Grilled RomaineStart your summer grilling off in a great way! This is an easy Caesar salad, made better by a few minutes on the grill and has become part of the Accidental Locavore’s summer repertoire. This is really easy and if you want to make it even easier, you can use your favorite bottled dressing (but don’t, the dressing is easy an super-delicious!). This started out from a recipe in the NY Times, but then I skipped half the steps…

  • 3 anchovies
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 egg yolk (I used a jumbo egg, if you have smaller ones, you might want 2)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (use a good quality oil)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, quartered the long way and gently washed
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Step 1
Light the grill.
Step 2
In the work bowl of a small food processor (I use a Cuisinart mini-chopper) put the mustard, egg yolk, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Process until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of the oil and process until well combined. Add the rest of the oil, again processing until smooth. You want to to be the consistency of a thin mayonnaise. Taste and add salt and pepper and more oil if necessary.
Step 3
With a pastry brush, brush the romaine quarters with the dressing on all sides, making sure to get it between the leaves. Lightly grill the lettuce on all sides, about 15 seconds on the back (leaf side) and 20-25 seconds on each side, until it starts to brown. Brush with the remaining dressing, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, cover and grill for about 30 seconds until the cheese has started to melt (you want to cook the leafy side (the back) a little less than the sides, so that when you put the cheese on to melt you’re not burning it). Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: this was a surprising hit! Recently, there have been lots of recipes for grilling salad, but I was a little skeptical…who needs to cook lettuce, when it’s so good cold and crispy? We made this for friends for dinner and it was so good, we went back out, bought more romaine and made it the next day for lunch. There is something so good about the warm, almost charred outsides and the cool, crispy interior. Definitely worth a try! Surprisingly, for someone who doesn’t like anchovies, I usually find myself adding more to the dressing. You could toss on some croutons, but you probably won’t miss them. Also, now that we make this a lot, we generally just sprinkle the Parmesan on top when we serve it.

 

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Celery Root Remoulade Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on October 3, 2013

Accidental Locavore Celery RootOne of the Accidental Locavore’s favorite salads, not easily found outside of France, is celery root remoulade. It may be that it’s a little difficult to find celery root and it’s definitely not going to rank high in the lists of attractive vegetables (which may be why it’s not easy to find – we like attractive, perfect produce), so when my CSA had celery root last week I snatched it up! Here’s how I made my remoulade.  (Make the dressing first as the celery root will tend to discolor.)

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 knobs of celery root, peeled and grated (see below for peeling and grating ideas)

Accidental Locavore Celery Root RemouladeIn a medium bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, lemon juice and capers. Add the celery root, mix until well coated with the dressing, taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: So good, took me right back to Paris! I used the grater disk on my food processor to grate the celery root, but you could use a grater or mandoline. To peel the root, cut off the top and bottom and peel the sides with a very sharp peeler (something I don’t own) or a paring knife. I remember the celeriac remoulade in France having capers, so I tossed some in, that’s up to you. And as always, homemade mayo is easy and makes the dish. If anyone has a recommendation for a really good vegetable peeler, please let me know. I have a drawerful of crappy ones.

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Being Lazy: Basil Dressing for Tomato Salad

by Anne Maxfield on September 19, 2013

Accidental Locavore Tomato Salad With Basil DressingIf you’re on your own for dinner, do you cook for yourself? The Accidental Locavore does to a certain extent. It gives me the opportunity to try some things out, or to eat exactly what I want, but sometimes, you just want to keep it simple. I made this dressing from a recipe from the Perfect Pantry with all intentions of making the BLT salad it was to go on. However, a bowl of tomatoes kept staring at me and the idea of cooking bacon just seemed like work (yeah, it’s just cooking bacon, but…), so a dollop or two of this dressing on some great tomatoes was the perfect accompaniment to a simple grilled lamb chop. This makes about ¾ cup:

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (any kind is fine)
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (to make 2-3 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Accidental Locavore Basil DressingIn a small blender, mini-food processor or with a stick blender, combine all the ingredients, until everything is well mixed and the dressing is a pale green. If it’s too thick, add a little water to thin it out. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: As I said before, laziness prevented me from going the whole BLT salad route. The extent of my labor (after making the dressing) was to cut a couple of good heirloom tomatoes into ½” wedges and tossed them with a couple of tablespoons of the dressing. I also added about a teaspoon of Maldon salt to the tomatoes, as I thought they needed more salt (but my husband will tell you I’m a salt fanatic). I also “cheated” and used my own homemade mayo and yogurt and homegrown basil, so it doesn’t get much better than that, right? This would be a great dressing in the middle of February, when you can get decent basil but nothing else. Some of it on some nice lettuce, or even an iceberg wedge with bacon, would give you hope for summer!

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