Salad Recipes

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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 and 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

Light the grill.

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 it to be the consistency of a thin mayonnaise. Taste and add salt and pepper and more oil if necessary.

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!

Accidental Locavore Spotted RomaineMy 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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A New Take on an Old Classic – The Wedge Salad

by Anne Maxfield on July 16, 2015

Accidental Locavore Cabbage WedgeThe Accidental Locavore came across this new idea for the classic iceburg wedge. This wedge is cabbage and it’s sweet and delicious, roasted or grilled. Make the dressing ahead of time and refrigerate for up to a week, if you like. Serves 4:

Accidental Locavore Blue Cheese Dressing MakingsFor the dressing:

  • ½ cup (about 3.5 oz) crumbled blue cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
  • Salt and pepper

Accidental Locavore Cabbage Wedge PrepFor the salad:

  • 6 to 8 thin slices pastrami (2 to 3 oz.)
  • 1 small head (2 to 3 lb.) green cabbage, outer leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup canola or other neutral oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 to 10 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives

Make the dressing: In a small bowl, mash the blue cheese with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, buttermilk, lemon juice, Sriracha, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.

Make the salad: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Lay the pastrami flat on a small foil-lined baking sheet and roast until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel, cool, then crumble into about 1” pieces.

Accidental Locavore Pastrami ShredsCut the cabbage into 4 wedges through the root end, leaving some of the core intact on each piece so the wedges don’t fall apart. On a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, coat the cabbage wedges with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the wedges on a flat side and roast until browned on the bottom, about 20 minutes. (Don’t worry if the outer leaves begin to burn.) Flip each wedge and continue roasting until the second side is browned as well, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Accidental Locavore Grilled CabbageSpread about a tablespoon of the blue cheese dressing on each of four serving plates. Place a cabbage wedge on top and drizzle with more of the remaining dressing. Scatter the pastrami, tomatoes and chives over the wedges and garnish with the tomatoes. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I probably came late to the table on roasting/grilling leafy greens, and am trying to make up for lost time. I did roast the cabbage in the oven, and then stuck it on the grill to give it a little more flavor. It was delicious – the cabbage was a little warm and sweet from the roasting. It’s a good blue cheese dressing and if you want to spice it up more, just add some more Sriracha. The pastrami was good mixed with the dressing because of the spices coating it, but bacon would be a fine substitute. If you were short on buttermilk, some plain yogurt or sour cream would work, just taste it before adding too much. Give it a try and let me know what you think, ok?

 

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Chile Cherry Tomato Salad

by Anne Maxfield on May 28, 2015

Accidental Locavore Chili TomatoesThe Accidental Locavore first saw this salad being made years ago on Martha Stewart. The film producer Ismail Merchant was showing Martha how to put it together. What made it particularly memorable was watching Martha struggling to control herself as Ismail was literally pouring on the cayenne. In her recipe, his quarter cup got cut down to a quarter teaspoon. Either way, it’s a great use for a box of cherry tomatoes – good now and better in August! Serves 4:

  • 30 cherry tomatoes, halved, or 12 small tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 Serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste

In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix the parsley and chile pepper with the tomatoes. Let sit for twenty minutes. Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, mustard, olive oil and salt together in a small bowl. Dress the tomatoes, toss, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I’ve made this salad a few times – it’s great when you have a plethora of cherry tomatoes. Frank thought this batch had a little too much mustard (and although it pains me to say so, he was probably right). Even if your tomatoes aren’t wonderful, the spice and lemon make up for less than stellar fruit. I recently served it with my favorite Indian chicken, as we were a little shy on vegetables that evening and I had a couple of boxes of cherry tomatoes. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, go easy on the Serrano and cayenne and add as much or as little as you’d like. Cilantro is a nice addition or replacement for the parsley and if you don’t have a freezer full of chilies (like I do), just add more cayenne.

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Ottolenghi’s Tomato Salad

by Anne Maxfield on September 4, 2014

Accidental Locavore Ottlenghi Tomato SaladSometimes, looking at the availability of good ingredients, you wonder about the timing of cookbooks. The Accidental Locavore tried to get a reviewer’s copy of the upcoming Plenty More (due out in October) and was turned down. Luckily, Bon Appetit ran a few recipes from the book and this tomato salad caught my eye. I roasted the lemons ahead of time (on a cool evening), so they were ready to go and this came together quickly:

  • 1 lemon, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ pound mixed cherry tomatoes, or small heirlooms quartered
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large

Preheat oven to 325°. Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of boiling water 2 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain and pat dry.

Accidental Locavore Sliced LemonsToss lemon slices with sage, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until lemons are dry and starting to brown about 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk pomegranate molasses, allspice, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add lemons, tomatoes, onion, parsley, and mint. Toss gently; season with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy!

My verdict: A great change from tomatoes and mozzarella, it’s light and refreshing, with a nice tang from the lemons and pomegranate molasses and it might be the easiest salad dressing on the planet! My pomegranate molasses will be getting a lot more use from now on – it was great with the tomatoes and mint. I also really liked the roasted lemon slices and saved some to toss in with my usual lunch salad. Next time, I’ll roast a couple of lemons at the same time and keep them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge for future use – they’d be good with a chicken too. Mint would also go well if you didn’t have any sage. My husband thought the lemon slices would be better cut in half, but I liked them as is.

And I’d still love to see a reviewer’s copy of the book…

 

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