Salad


I think my favorite meal is not one dish in particular but a pot luck of cold salads.  That might be cheating if you asked me for my “one favorite dish”, but I just love the variety that ends up on your plate when you’re faced with several tables of other people’s cooking. 

Around here, potato salad seems to all be the same: mashed potatoes with the same mayonnaise-based sauce, garnished with sliced eggs and paprika.  It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s nice to have something different for a change, right? 

This salad is still mayonnaise-based but the mustard makes it spicy and the dill pickles and juice make it… “pickly”.  Yum. 

 

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cooked and diced

2 large eggs, hard boiled

1/2 bunch scallions, white & green parts

2 Tbsp. capers, drained

1 cup mayo

1/4 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup dill pickles, finely chopped

1/4 cup dill pickle juice

1/2 small red onion, minced

2 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley

Juice of 1/2 lemon

 

DIRECTIONS

1.  Cook potatoes and eggs

2.  Combine mayo, mustard, capers, onion, pickle, pickle juice, scallions, parsley, and lemon juice.  Stir well.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Peel egg and grate into mixture.  Roughly break up potatoes into mixture, stirring occasionally. 

4.  Garnish with scallions and capers.  Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil to serve. 

 

From here:  http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/06/tyler-florences-ultimate-potato-salad-recipe.html (originally from Tyler Florence’s cookbook, Tyler’s Ultimate)

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I’ve made this couscous salad twice now and it is delicious.  This recipe, like most couscous salads, could easily have the ingredient amounts adjusted to suit your tastes. 

This salad is good warm or cold. 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 package (10-oz) of couscous

1 tsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 lemon, juiced

4 oz. portobello mushrooms, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

1.  Place sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl with 1 cup of water and let sit for 30 minutes or until rehydrated.  Drain, reserving water, and chop. 

(* If you use the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, first use paper towel to soak up some of the oil.  For step 2, use a full 1 1/2 cup of water or broth.)

2.  In a saucepan, combine the reserved sun-dried tomato water with enough water to make 1 1/2 cups.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in the couscous and cover.  Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.  Gently fluff with a fork. 

(* If you are using loose/bulk couscous like I do, try a 1:1 ratio of water to couscous… so in this case, 1 1/2 cups couscous.  You might like it a little more watery but this is a good place to start).

3.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, and green onions.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender.  Mix in basil, cilantro, and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix in the mushrooms and continue cooking 3 to 5 minutes

(* I personally had to let it go longer to get the mushrooms cooked the way I like). 

Toss with the couscous to serve. 

 

From here:  http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Couscous-with-Mushrooms-and-Sun-Dried-Tomatoes/Detail.aspx

I am a sucker for a pasta salad, especially during the summer.

When this Spinach and Orzo Salad was posted at Simply Recipes, I was all over it. The ingredients are simple but create a Greek-style pasta salad that is unlike any salad I have made.

The first time I made this salad I stuck to the original recipe. Olives and feta are always a good combination and I love the fresh taste of the spinach. I have not used pine nuts much but I love the mild nutty flavor and slight crunch they add to this salad.

The second time I made this recipe, I didn’t think my guests would be as appreciative of black olives as I am so I roasted two red peppers instead.  The salad, pictured here, was still great. 

I think this recipe has flexibility and a lot of room for experimentation.

INGREDIENTS
8 oz. orzo pasta
Salt
1/4 c. pine nuts
6 oz. feta cheese, roughly crumbled
2 oz. Kalamata olives, pitted, and roughly chopped
4 oz. baby spinach
1/2 c. red onion, chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch dried basil
Pinch dried tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 
 
DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare the orzo pasta according to instructions on the box for al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool quickly.
2. Toast the pine nuts. Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add the pine nuts and stir occasionally until nuts are lightly browned. Be careful: they will burn if you are not watching them closely.
3. Process half of the spinach in a food processor or blender. Add one tablespoon of the olive oil. In a large serving bowl mix the spinach puree with the cooked orzo until the pasta is well coated. Roughly chop the rest of the spinach and gently mix with orzo along with red onion, feta cheese, pine nuts, and olives.
4. Combine the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, mustard, basil, and tarragon in a small jar (with a whisk) or bowl (by shaking). Pour over orzo spinach mixture and gently mix until well incorporated.
5. Chill for one hour before serving.