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Posts Tagged ‘salad recipes’

Greek Salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas Better together? Sometimes marriages work and sometimes they don’t. But magic occurs when two entities come together and bring out the best in each other. That is exactly what happens in the case of this Greek Salad. In actuality it is composed of two distinct salads, each possessing the substance and flavors to stand alone. The orzo component is light and refreshing with hints of lemon and oregano. By comparison, the black-eyed peas component brings in a certain earthiness with its flavors of tomatoes and parsley. Combining all components together creates a more interesting flavor-complex. This marriage definitely works.

Greek salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas
Paul Grimes and Shelley Wiseman, Gourmet (August 2008)

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup orzo
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced (1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and diced (1 cup)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, slivered
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped romaine
1/2 pound feta, crumbled (1 cup)
4-8 peperoncini
Salt and freshly ground pepper

EQUIPMENT: 4 (16-ounce) wide jars or container with lids
ACCOMPANIMENT: pita chips

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well.

2. Toss black-eyed peas, tomato, and parsley with vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Marinate, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toss together orzo, remaining tablespoon oil, cucumber, olives, onion, lemon zest and juice, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

4. Divide black-eyed pea mixture (with juices) among jars and layer orzo salad, romaine, and feta on top. Add 1 or 2 peperoncini to each jar.

Cooks’ note: Assembled jars can be chilled up to 6 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I only had Meyer lemons on hand and the results were wonderful.
2. I chopped a few small springs of basil from my garden and added it to the orzo mixture. I loved the added flavor it brought to the salad.
3. If you don’t want to serve the salad in jars, try layering the components in a clear glass salad bowl.
4. For a vegan version, leave off the feta cheese.

Enjoy!

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Quinoa and Apple Salad with Curry Dressing If you are looking for a salad that is a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, a little bit crunchy, and quite a bit healthy, look no more. Serve this easy-to-make salad year-round. But with the abundance of freshly-harvested apples here in North America, the best time to serve this salad will be in the fall. With flavor powerhouses such as curry, honey, lemon, and mint you wouldn’t expect this salad to be so mild and delicately balanced. On the nutritional side, this salad’s no slouch either. Per serving, as provided on the recipe’s original site, it contains: 304 calories, 14 gr fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 38 g carbs, 154 mg sodium, 8 g protein, and 5 g fiber. Good for you and great tasting – that’s what I call a win-win recipe!

Quinoa and Apple Salad with Curry Dressing
Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, Volume 2

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup white quinoa
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dried currants
1 small McIntosh apple, cut into 1/8-inch-thick wedges.
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop nuts.

2. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve; drain. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir quinoa; cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until quinoa is tender but still chewy, about 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork; let cool.

3. Whisk together honey, shallot, curry powder, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl. Season with pepper. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until dressing is emulsified. Add quinoa, currants, apple, mint, and nuts; toss well.

4. Garnish with mint.

Serves 4

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Here’s a time-saving tip: I roast different varieties of nuts (almonds, walnuts, and pecans) in bulk and after they’ve cooled, I put them in separate airtight bags and store them in the freezer. When needed, I just reach into the freezer and remove the required amount. Except for chopping the nuts, I was all but done with step 1.

2. The amount of curry specified results in a very mild curry flavor. For those of you who prefer a more distinct curry flavor, more curry powder can be added in step 3.

3. I couldn’t find a McIntosh apple, so I used a Honey Crisp. I cut the apple into 1/8-inch thick slices and cut those slices in half crosswise. I felt the whole slices would be too large in proportion to the rest of the ingredients. Thanks to the lemon juice in the dressing, the apples do not turn brown in this salad, even when refrigerated overnight.

4. The recipe just doesn’t taste as good without the mint leaves. It makes a difference – the cool mint flavor balances the slight spiciness of the curry very well.

5. I served the quinoa salad on a bed of baby spinach and arugula leaves. Next time I think I will make a double batch of the dressing and toss a little bit of it with the greens just prior to plating. The dressing will help the other salad ingredients cling to the leaves better.

Enjoy!

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Kachumbari Salad: A Kenyan Tomato Salad Sweet vine-ripened tomatoes, the gems of summer, make the perfect base for salads. From Kenya comes this recipe that pairs tomatoes with red onions, cilantro, chile, and lime juice. Visually attractive and packed with flavor, this salad is the perfect side dish for summer entertaining. Tonight, those incredible flavors will marry beautifully with the fish tacos I’m serving!

Kachumbari Salad
Share: The Cookbook that Celebrates Our Common Humanity

INGREDIENTS
1 lb firm and ripe tomatoes, sliced or diced
1-1½ red onions, very thinly sliced
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 chile, sliced (optional)
1-2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Place the tomatoes into a medium salad bowl with the onions. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

2. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir in the chile, if using. Season and gradually add the lemon or lime juice to taste.

Serves 4

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. One pound of tomatoes is approximately 2.5 large tomatoes. For this recipe I used about two pounds of assorted tomatoes (cherry, heirloom, and beefsteak).

2. I cut the cherry tomatoes in half from top to bottom, but the larger tomatoes, I sliced crosswise into rounds.

3. Because I sliced them into rounds, I gently mixed the salad in a large pan instead of a bowl. This salad is attractive when arranged on a platter.

4. I used half of a red onion instead of a whole one and I’m glad I did. Even with this reduced amount, there were a lot of onions in this salad.

5. Here are some tips from Craig Kielburger, the contributor of this recipe to the cookbook: If you prefer a milder onion flavor, rinse the onion slices in hot salty water before putting them in the salad. This will ensure the onion is less harsh on the palate. Squeeze the lemon or lime juice into the salad just before serving to avoid sogginess. If the tomato and onion are chopped more finely, this recipe also works well as a homemade salsa.

6. The chile is optional, but its heat adds a nice flavor dimension to the salad.

ENJOY!

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Sonoma Chicken Salad Too hot to cook? Make this classic chicken salad from Whole Foods Market, but keep cool by using store-bought rotisserie chickens instead of baking your own. The description of this salad in the Whole Foods Market Cookbook says it all: “The tender chicken breast, crunchy pecans, and the juicy bursting of sweet grapes with each bite are hard to top. Poppy seeds help orchestrate flavors and textures into one of the best chicken salads you will ever find.” I “Whole-heartedly” agree!

Sonoma Chicken Salad
The Whole Foods Market Cookbook

INGREDIENTS
The Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
5 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste.

The Salad:
2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted
2 cups red seedless grapes
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS
To Prepare the Dressing:
1. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, and salt and pepper.
2. Reserve the dressing in the refrigerator.
3. This step may be done 2 days prior to preparing the salad.

To Prepare the Salad:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Place the chicken breasts in one layer in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water. Cover the dish with foil, and bake the chicken breasts for 25 minutes, until cooked completely through.
3. Remove the chicken breasts from the pan, cool slightly at room temperature, and then completely chill, lightly covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator.
4. When the breasts are cold, dice them into bite-size pieces, and transfer the pieces to a large bowl.
5. Combine the chicken with the pecans, grapes, celery, and dressing.

Serves 6

LINNELL’S NOTES:
1. Toasting the pecans are a must to bring out their crunch and flavor. Avoid heating up the oven and the house just to toast small amount of nuts. I buy large bags of pecans, walnuts, and almonds at Costco and toast them in the oven all at the same time, each variety on its own tray. After they cool down, I put them in an air-tight containers and freeze them for future use.

2. I doubled the recipe and used the chicken breasts and thighs from two store-bought rotisserie chickens. Believe me, you’ll want to double the recipe, so that you don’t have to cook the next day. This salad makes tasty leftovers!

3. I served the salad on a bed of fresh lettuce greens, but according to the cookbook, it also “makes a great sandwich” and is “delicious when stuffed inside a melon half for brunch or dinner.”

ENJOY!

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Cavatappi withSpinach, Beans, and Asiago Cheese

Part green salad and part pasta salad, but all parts delicious and fresh! Pair this Italian-influenced salad with rustic artisan bread for a quick and healthy meatless supper or throw it together for easy entertaining. With only nine simple ingredients, this salad is big on taste and big on convenience.

Cavatappi With Spinach, Beans, and Asiago Cheese
The Best of Cooking Light

Ingredients:
8 cups coarsely chopped spinach
4 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 6 ounces uncooked spiral-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Directions:
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Cavatappi is also known as cellentani, spirali or tortiglione.
2. Maybe I packed too much chopped spinach into each cup while measuring it out, but this made much more than 4 servings.
3. I thinly shaved the Asiago instead of shredding it.
4. In a side note, the recipe states, “The warm cavatappi slightly wilts the spinach and softens the cheese during tossing.”

Enjoy!

Update (6/24/13): I made this salad again, but with some substitutions and additions.  I used cavatelli instead of cavatappi and replaced the regular olive oil with Meyer lemon infused olive oil. Cherry tomatoes, fresh off the vine, were sliced in half and added to the salad along with some toasted pine nuts. Very nice!

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Young Hummingbird Feeding

Photo by Linnell Chang

There’s quite a buzz around the water cooler these days, except in this case the water cooler is a hummingbird feeder. With their fuzzy-looking baby feathers and miniscule stature, young hummingbirds buzz around the feeder competing for food. Some of them are so small that they cannot stand on the perch to feed. If they did, they would be unable to reach the nectar. Most of the adult hummingbirds tolerate the young birds and some even feed simultaneously with the little ones. But like the human species, greed also exists in the bird world and some of the older birds bully and chase away the young ones. Watching the hummingbirds interact reminds me of all the times I told my children, “Please set a good example and share.”

#1 – Mosaic Marvels

Mosaic art by Laura Rendlen

Winters Beauty by artist Laura Rendlen

After viewing the incredible art at the Vatican several years ago, I left with a greater appreciation for the pain-staking art of mosaics. Mosaics may be an ancient art form, but they’re just as beautiful now in modern art installations. I’d like to share with you these 10 stunning examples of modern-day mosaic art.

#2 – Frisée or Mâche?
In my last post, I wrote about growing my own lettuce and serving a very fresh salad for dinner. Also growing in my yard are arugula, kale, and chard. Not bad for a container gardener with a brown thumb! With a variety of salad greens available for us to grow in our yards, buy at markets, or eat in restaurants, it can be difficult to tell them apart. Here’s a Visual Guide to Salad Greens, courtesy of Epicurious, to help you identify them, learn about their characteristics, and link to recipes using them.

#3 – More Great Ideas
Storing wrapping paper Some of the ideas in Even More Simple Ideas that Are Borderline Genius have been around the block a couple of times. However, there are a several of them that had me thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” I particularly like the idea of using wired shelving to hold rolls of wrapping paper vertically. Check out these ideas, because maybe there’s one that will make your life easier.

#4 – Furoshiki
Furoshiki are Japanese wrapping cloths. They serve to transport, protect, and/or decorate. Since Furoshiki are reusable, they prevent product waste, especially in the case of wrapping paper and bags. There are different ways to tie Furoshiki, depending on an item’s shape and size. Click here to learn about Furoshiki wrapping techniques.

#5 – Shared Words, Shared Worlds
I share this poem, written by Arab-American poet, songwriter, and novelist Naomi Shihab Nye, with the hope that you will share it with others. Its message is clear: that there’s so much good in a little kindness and that living in a “shared world” is a much better world.

Shared Words, Shared Worlds
–by Naomi Shihab Nye

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,

I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
Questions.

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

Have a great weekend!

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Fall Fruit Salad

“Healthy” and “holiday” are words rarely used together, especially when describing food. Trying to plan healthy meals during the holidays can be quite a struggle, right? Well, not necessarily. This past Thanksgiving, I served my family a visually appealing, texturally satisfying, and heart-healthy salad. Not only did this salad splendidly highlight fall fruit, such as persimmons, Asian pears, pomegranates, and ruby grapefruit, it was served with a delicate, FAT-FREE, slightly sweet and slightly tart salad dressing! This salad has it all: gorgeous to look at, easy to prepare, and a delight to eat!

Fall Fruit Salad
Recipe from November 1995 issue of Sunset Magazine

Ingredients:
1 to 2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons (1/2 lb. each)
2 ruby grapefruit (1 lb. each)
1 Asian pear (about 3/4 lb.)
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 to 3 cups frisée, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup pomegranate seed
Salt

Directions:
1. In a 6- to 8-inch frying pan over medium heat, frequently stir pine nuts until pale gold, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour from pan.

2. Rinse persimmons, then trim off and discard leaf tops. Slice persimmons crosswise into thin rounds.

3. With a knife, cut peel and white membrane from grapefruit. Holding fruit over a bowl, cut between segments and inner membrane to release fruit into bowl. Also squeeze juice from membrane into bowl, then discard membrane.

4. Rinse pear and discard stem. Cut fruit crosswise into thin rounds, right through center seeds. Coat pear slices with grapefruit juice.

5. Mix 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice (reserve remainder for other uses) with lime juice, rice vinegar, and honey.

6. Line a salad bowl or individual plates with the frisée. Arrange pieces of persimmon, pear, grapefruit on the greens; sprinkle fruit with pomegranate seed and pine nuts, then moisten with the grapefruit-lime dressing. Add salt to taste.

Serves 6

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Fuyu persimmons are the round, squat persimmons that can be eaten while they are firm, unlike the elongated and pointed Hachiya persimmons, which must be eaten only after the fruit has ripened to a soft and somewhat squishy state.

2. Besides a light sprinkling of salt, I also sprinkled some fresh ground pepper on each plated salad.

3. Keep an eye on the pine nuts while toasting them. They contain a high level of oil, so they will burn quickly!

4. My family is not a big fan of frisée, so I substituted fresh green curly-leafed lettuce.

5. It is easier to peel the grapefruit, if you first cut off the top and the bottom peel. This will give you a flat surface when you stand the grapefruit on the cutting board.

ENJOY!

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The famous Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto recently lost 40 pounds in three months. How did Morimoto manage to lose so much weight? In a Food Network Magazine interview he said that he cut calories, took walks, sweat as much as he could, limited his alcohol intake, and had his wife do the cooking at home. High-protein tofu was a big part of his new diet. His wife Keiko’s easy recipe for Mashed Tofu and Spinach Salad combines great-for-you tofu with good-for-you spinach. It’s a winning recipe that would make Popeye proud!

Mashed Tofu and Spinach Salad (Shira-Ae)
Recipe by Masaharu Morimoto

Ingredients:
One 14-ounce package firm tofu
Kosher salt
8 cups spinach leaves
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1½ teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Drain the tofu and wrap in paper towels to absorb excess water. Puree in a food processor until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Cook the spinach in the boiling water until wilted, about 2 minutes, then drain and plunge it into the ice water. Drain and squeeze out the excess water.

3. Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium-low heat, tossing, until golden, about 3 minutes. Cool, then grind in a spice grinder. Stir the ground seeds, sugar, mirin, soy sauce and spinach into the tofu. Season with salt.

Serves 2.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Please note that this recipe only serves 2 people. 8 cups of spinach leaves cooks down to nothing, especially since you squeeze it out after cooking it. I cooked 9 cups of spinach leaves, but after looking at the tofu-spinach ratio, I probably should have cooked 10 cups.

2. One cup of cooked unsalted spinach already has 126 mg of salt in it, so I did not add the full teaspoon of salt at the end. I only added a pinch of salt.

3. I make life easier by purchasing containers of pre-roasted sesame seeds at Asian markets. I keep these seeds in my freezer until they are needed.

4. Adding a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes would give this recipe a little kick.

Enjoy!

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Quinoa is a super food all year round, but it shines especially in summer salads. Take an average spinach and mushroom salad and make it more nutritious and more substantial by adding quinoa to it. And by adding omega-3-rich walnuts, this salad goes from healthy to heart healthy!

Quinoa, Spinach and Mushroom Salad
Recipe by Martha Rose Schulman, author of “The Very Best Recipes for Health”

Salad Ingredients:
3/4 cup quinoa
1¼ cups water
Salt to taste
1 bag baby spinach, rinsed and dried, or 1/2 bunch spinach, stemmed, washed and dried
6 white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (1/4 cup, optional)

Dressing Ingredients:
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, puréed
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
Freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1. Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse several times with cold water. Place in a medium saucepan with 1¼ cups water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes, until the grains display a threadlike spiral and the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, remove the lid and place a dishtowel over the pan, then return the lid to the pan and let sit for 10 minutes or longer undisturbed. Transfer to a salad bowl and fluff with forks. Allow to cool.

2. Add the spinach, mushrooms, walnuts, parsley and optional cheese to the bowl.

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the salad just before serving.

Yields: 6 servings

Advance Preparation: You can assemble the salad up to a day ahead, but don’t toss with the dressing until shortly before serving.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. I could not find sherry vinegar in the grocery store, so I used champagne vinegar that I already had at home.

2. I used 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Meyer lemon olive oil in the salad dressing.

3. For added flavor, I simmered the quinoa in chicken broth instead of water. Because the broth contains salt, I added no additional salt to the cooking water.

4. Strict vegetarians can choose to omit the feta cheese.

ENJOY!

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A dinner outing with friends to a new market/deli restaurant provided me with memories of a salad that I couldn’t forget and inspired me to try making it at home. Picture half of a romaine heart sprinkled with fresh bay shrimp, bits of juicy, red, ripe tomatoes, chopped hard boiled eggs, crisp pieces of bacon, and drizzled with homemade Thousand Island dressing. It’s nothing fancy or anything original, but this salad shines on many counts. In a sense, it’s a delicious combination of a wedge salad and a chopped salad, but only better. Romaine lettuce is more nutritious than iceberg lettuce and the flat surfaces of halved romaine hearts are superior for holding toppings over a wedge. The toppings are also reminiscent of ingredients found in a chopped salad. It’s a versatile salad that can be prepared ahead of time and is beautifully served preassembled on a platter or on individual salad plates. For a larger group, this salad can be arranged as an appetizing salad bar. If you’re going the salad bar route, offer more than one salad dressing. For your convenience, I’ve included recipes for both Thousand Island and Creamy Blue Cheese dressings.

Shrimp and Romaine Heart Salad
Recipe by Linnell

Ingredients for Salad:
Romaine hearts (1/2 per person)
Hard boiled eggs, chopped
Bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
Ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Fresh Bay Shrimp, rinsed and patted dry
Salad dressing (recipes for Thousand Island Dressing and Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing below)

Directions:
1. Cut romaine hearts in half lengthwise. Cut off bottoms of stems close to the ends (you want to keep as many leaves attached as possible). Cut off top leaves, so that all hearts are the same length. These tops can be washed and saved for another salad.

2. Carefully place two romaine halves at a time in a salad spinner filled with water. Let sit a bit, pour out water and spin dry.
3. Place romaine halves, cut side down, in an airtight square or rectangular container with paper towels lining the bottom. Add more romaine halves until bottom of container is covered. Cover with another paper towel and then the lid. If storing many romaine halves and the container is deep, place a layer of paper towels over the first layer of romaine halves, add more romaine halves, again cut side down on top of paper towels. Repeat this layering process until all romaine halves are carefully stored. Store container in the refrigerator.
4. Prepare salad dressing(s) and refrigerate.
5. Prepare toppings and refrigerate those that need refrigeration.
6. To plate salad, either place one romaine half on a salad plate, sprinkle toppings over it, and drizzle with salad dressing or arrange all romaine halves on a large platter and sprinkle with toppings and dressing. For a salad bar, place romaine hearts on a platter and place toppings and dressings in small bowls.

Thousand Island Dressing
Recipe from Food.com

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon finely minced white onions
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 dash black pepper

Directions:
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well.
2. Place dressing in a covered container and refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally, so that the sugar dissolves and the flavors blend.

Makes 5 servings

Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
Recipe by Rachel Ray

Ingredients:
6 ounces (about 1/3 pound) double cream blue veined cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
2 pinches ground cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. Mash softened cheese with fork in a bowl.
2. Whisk in the cream and sour cream onto cheese, the consistency should be smooth with an occasional small bit of blue.
3. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne pepper. Refrigerate.

Makes 4 servings

Linnell’s Notes:
1. At a recent party I hosted, I served this salad as a salad bar. Not knowing everyone’s likes and dislikes, I felt it was better to let my guests add their own toppings. About one hour before my guests arrived, I removed the romaine halves form the storage container and arranged them on a platter. I also spooned the toppings and both salad dressings into small bowls. All were covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until serving time.

2. Do not limit yourself to the toppings listed above. Substitute ingredients to suit your own taste and incorporate seasonal items. For example, use fresh crab meat instead of shrimp, or if fresh corn is in season, by all means use some fresh sweet corn kernels as a topping, etc.

3. I did not add very much salt to the blue cheese dressing because the cheese was already on the salty side.

Enjoy!

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