Mar 4, 2013

My Favorite Salads

From tropical to classic, these salad recipes are some of my favorites.

Salad Recipes:

Hearts of Palm Salad
Hearts of Palm Salad
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1 14-ounce can hearts of palm, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 avocado, quartered and thinly sliced
1 head of curly leaf lettuce or watercress
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

On a platter, arrange lettuce leaves, followed by the hearts of palm, tomato and avocado, overlapping the lettuce. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Makes 4 servings.

Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp
This salad is all about texture and the flavors of Southeast Asia where it is hugely popular. Green papaya salad is usually eaten with barbecue or grilled chicken and a portion of sticky rice. The dish is made from unripe green papaya, which has a firm white flesh and white seeds, and can sometime be hard to find. If you are going to make it, look for rock-hard dark green papaya without a trace of pink or yellow blush on the outside. Normally this salad is made with a lot of hot chilies, but I prefer it with just one chili in the dressing.

Green Papaya Salad
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Ingredients for dressing:
2 large garlic cloves, forced through a garlic press
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably nuoc mam)
1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 small thin fresh red or green Asian chili (1 to 2 inches long) or serrano chili, or to taste, seeded and chopped fine (wear rubber gloves)

Ingredients for salad:
1/2 pound small shrimp, shelled
3/4 pound green papaya, peeled, seeded, and shredded, or julienned into 2-3 inch strips 1/8 inch thick, preferably in a food processor (about 3 cups)
1 carrot, julienned the same size as the green papaya
1/2 cup cut long beans - 1 1/2-inch-long segments (or substitute with regular green beans)
1 tomato, cut into bite-size wedges; or 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, no stems, washed well and spun dry
4 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
mint or Thai basil sprigs for garnish

In a large bowl whisk together dressing ingredients until sugar is dissolved, set aside.

In a small saucepan of boiling salted water cook shrimp 45 seconds to 1 minute, or until cooked through. In a colander drain shrimp and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Halve shrimp horizontally. Add shrimp, papaya, carrot, beans, tomatoes, and cilantro to dressing, tossing well. Salad may be made 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. Serve salad sprinkled with chopped peanuts, garnish with a sprig of mint and Thai basil. Makes 4-6 servings. Note: It is important to julienne the papaya, carrots and long beans as thin as possible, otherwise this salad can be a challenge on your jaws.

Asian Coleslaw
This is a simple Asian cole slaw recipe that is so good as a side dish for so many Asian recipes, like with ribs or chicken. It's also wonderful in a grilled mahi-mahi fish sandwich or fish tacos.

Ingredients for the Asian coleslaw:
5 cups Chinese or napa cabbage (1 1/4 pounds), thinly sliced with ribs removed
3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup red bell pepper, small dice

Ingredients for the dressing:
1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil or olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
red pepper flakes, to your taste (optional)

3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds for garnish (black sesame seeds make a nice contrast)

Combine the cabbage, carrots, green onions, cilantro, and red bell pepper in a large bowl. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds just before serving. Makes 6 servings.

The NEW Classic Iceberg Wedge Salad 
with Chunky Blue Cheese/Dill Dressing
The NEW Classic Iceberg Wedge Salad
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3 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 2 tablespoons of dried dill
1 cup (4 ounces) good blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh chives, or scallions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Iceberg lettuce, quartered
Cherry Tomatoes cut in half, for garnish

In a small mixing bowl, combine milk, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, and dill. Add half the blue cheese and mix together, using the backside of a spoon to mash the blue cheese into the mixture. Some chunks of blue cheese should remain. Add the chives, or scallions, and season with salt and pepper, stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Cut the cold iceberg lettuce into quarters. Place a wedge of the lettuce in the center of the cold plate and generously spoon the chunky blue cheese dressing over the wedge of lettuce, sprinkled with the other half of the crumbled blue cheese and the cherry tomato halves. Serve with a cold knife and fork. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing, enough for 4 salads.

Note: If you like the dressing a little thinner, simply add a little more milk and stir.

Hearts of Romaine with
Cream of Avocado Salad Dressing

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 heads romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed and the hearts cut in half lengthwise

In a food processor, combine the first nine ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Serve over romaine hearts. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 2 cups, plenty for 4 servings.

Fresh Fruit Salad 
with Sweet Ginger Dressing
Ingredients for salad: 
a mixture of sliced fresh fruit (mango, papaya, orange slices, bananas, pears, etc., whatever is in season) on a bed of watercress, or other salad greens that you like.

Ingredients for dressing:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger root
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
3 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, vinegar, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Serve over your favorite salad greens with fresh fruit. Makes 2 1/3 cups of dressing, enough for 6-8 salads.

Limu Salad
The Hawaiian word for seaweed is "Limu". Limu salad is easy to make but you will have to find the ingredients. It is a combination of flavors and textures creating a delicious mixed Asian main course or side dish, and is a very common and well-liked potluck salad here in Hawaii.

Limu Salad
Click on photo to enlarge
Ingredients for salad:
1 (16 ounce) package of linguini, break in 1/2, cooked according to package directions, drained
6 ounces seasoned taegu (Korean spicy codfish found in Asian markets)
2 Japanese cucumbers, sliced lengthwise, then sliced into thin half circles
16 ounces imitation crab (surimi), pulled apart into strings
8 ounces seasoned Ocean Salad (Ocean Salad is a seaweed salad that is flavored with sesame oil, it can be found in the refrigerated section of many grocery stores or in Asian markets)

Ingredients for dressing:
You won't need all of this sweet and savory dressing, but it is great to keep in your refrigerator for other salads.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted, crushed

thinly sliced green onions at an angle
1 (1.9 ounce) bottle nori furikake (a sesame/nori seasoning found in Asian markets)

In a mixing bowl or jar, mix dressing ingredients, and refrigerate. In another bowl; combine linguine with taegu, cucumbers, crabmeat and ocean salad, refrigerate until ready to serve. when ready to serve, toss salad with dressing, as needed. Garnish with green onion and furikake. Serves 8-10.

Papaya Salad with Watercress 
and Toasted Macadamia Nuts 
with Papaya Dressing
Ingredients for salad:
1 firm-ripe papaya (10 to 12 oz), halved lengthwise (save 2 tablespoons of the seeds)
1 large bunch of watercress, enough for 4 salads
chopped toasted macadamia nuts

Ingredients for dressing:
2 tablespoons chopped papaya seeds taken from the fresh papaya listed above
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Scrape seeds from papaya and coarsely chop enough seeds to measure 2 tablespoons. Discard remaining seeds, then peel papaya halves and slice. Press ginger in a fine-mesh sieve or a garlic press into a small bowl to extract juice (about 1 teaspoon), discarding pulp. Whisk in chopped papaya seeds, onion, tarragon, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Divide watercress and papaya slices among 4 plates and drizzle with dressing and top with chopped toasted macadamia nuts. Makes 4 servings.

Glass Noodle Salad
Glass (or "cellophane") noodles are very different than other noodles, they are thin and as transparent as the name suggests. Healthier than wheat noodles, glass noodles are made from mung bean starch, which makes them gluten-free and a source of iron, calcium, and fiber.

Ingredients for Vietnamese dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 lime, juiced
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Ingredients for salad:
8 ounces cooked small shrimp
6 ounces glass noodles
4 ounces sugar snap peas
4 ounces bean sprouts
3 scallions, sliced at an angle in thin circles
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, to garnish

To make the Vietnamese dressing, simply mix all the ingredients together. The dressing will keep very well in a jar in the refrigerator for at least a week. To make the salad, marinate the shrimp in 1/2 cup of the dressing for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the noodles in warm water for 15 minutes to soften them. Once re-hydrated, drain them. Snip the glass noodles into smaller sections with scissors, if desired. Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the drained noodles to the boiling water. Cook the noodles for 30 seconds to one minute to the desired textured. Drain the glass noodles immediately and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and avoid mushiness in the glass noodles. Put the sugar snaps and bean sprouts into a colander and pour boiling water over them. Rinse with cold water and drain. In a large bowl, mix the marinated shrimp with the drained noodles, scallions, sugar snaps, and bean sprouts. Dress with 2 tablespoons more of the dressing; add more dressing, to taste, if desired. Sprinkle over the chopped cilantro and toss everything together before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Pineapple Slaw
Ingredients for slaw:
4 cups cabbage (shredded)
4 slices fresh pineapple (diced)
1 cup carrots (shredded)
1/2 cup apple (chopped)
2 tablespoons green bell pepper (chopped)
2 tablespoons red bell pepper (chopped)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine vegetables in a bowl. In smaller bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in the vinegar, then pour over slaw mix. Sprinkle with black pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Makes 4 servings.

My Classic Caesar Salad
While this recipe is not Hawaiian, I have served this salad to many of my friends here on Moloka’i and they always ask for more. For a variation, try slicing surimi or cooked shrimp over the top with black olives, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

8 (1/2-inch thick) slices French bread
3 large cloves garlic, minced
8 anchovies, rinsed to remove oil and salt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
black pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons blue cheese*
16 cups 1-inch pieces romaine lettuce (2 large heads)
1 soft-cooked 'coddled' egg, boiled only 1 1/4 minutes
mayonnaise to taste
2 - 8 ounce packages of Okuhara brand surimi (imitation crab legs) cut into thirds
1 can of pitted black olives left whole
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place bread on sheet pan; bake 6 minutes to dry. Halve one garlic clove; rub on one side of bread slices. Cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes; return to pan. Bake 8 minutes more to toast. Or use already made croutons.

In a food processor, add minced garlic cloves; add rinsed anchovies and finely chop. Add mustard, Worcestershire, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, pepper, grated Parmesan, blue cheese and egg; process until smooth and thick. Now double the amount by adding Best mayonnaise and blend together. Add a little of the dressing at a time and mix with the dressing. Continue adding the mayonnaise until the salad is perfect to your taste. Now serve dressed lettuce to the salad bowls and garnish the top with bread cubes, pieces of surimi and black olives. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and serve.

This dressing will keep in refrigerator for days. In a bowl, toss lettuce and about 1/2 of the dressing. Top with croutons and remaining Parmesan cheese. Taste before serving. Makes 8 servings.

*Note: I use the best blue cheese I can find for this recipe (Point Reyes Original Blue, usually available at Moloka'i Wines & Spirits).

Dixie Salad 
with Honey French Dressing
When I was only 6 years old, my father had a restaurant with a German chef. He prepared a salad called a Dixie Salad, probably because the restaurant was in the state of Georgia. I loved it and have been making it all of my life. It's kind of a strange combination of things, but it tastes really good.

Ingredients for salad:
1 firm head of iceberg lettuce
2 cups of cooked fresh corn off the cob, or frozen
2 cups of Honey French dressing (recipe follows)
2 ripe tomatoes
chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Ingredients for Honey French Dressing:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salad oil (I use canola oil)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon onion powder, or minced fresh onion
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, or minced fresh garlic

To make the dressing, mix all ingredients in a small bowl, or in a blender. Chill before using. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Remove any wilted outer leaves from the iceberg lettuce, then trim the stem of the lettuce. Cut the head of lettuce into 4 wedges, and put onto salad plates. Pour 1/2 cup of corn over each wedge of lettuce. Cut the tomatoes into bit-sized pieces and place around each plate. Pour the dressing over each plate and garnish with chopped parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Panzanella - Italian Bread Salad
There are many variations for this rustic Tuscan Italian bread salad, but basically the bread, tomatoes, and basil are the stars here. You'll need a good, dense loaf of bread that is at least a day old! Other options are to add capers, olives, roasted red bell peppers, mozzarella cheese, anchovies, etc.

"Panzanella" - Italian Bread Salad
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5 ripe Roma tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small Japanese cucumber, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, very finely minced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces with your hands
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 thick slices of stale country style Italian bread, or French baguette, torn into bite-size pieces.

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic and basil. Drizzle with the 1/2 cup olive oil and the 2 tablespoons vinegar and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Place half of the bread in a wide, shallow bowl. Spoon half of the tomato mixture over the bread. Layer the remaining bread on top and then the remaining tomato mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or until serving time. Just before serving, toss the salad and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. At this point the bread should have assorbed the juice from the tomatoes and be all moist. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.

Tuna/Bean Salad
This little rustic salad is a great way to use canned tuna. The combination of tuna, white beans and arugula tastes really good together, and is good for you.

1 can (15- to 15 1/2-ounce) cannellini or great northern white beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, halved
1 can (6-ounce) tuna in olive oil, drain; reserve oil
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups torn arugula leaves

In a bowl, combine beans, red onion, tuna, tomatoes, olives, parsley, 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, tossing gently to combine. Stir in arugula and serve with toasted pita bread. Makes 4 servings.

Beet Carpaccio Salad
3 golden and/or red beets (about 12 ounces)
2 pears, peeled and thinly sliced
1 or 2 handfuls watercress, baby spinach or micro-greens
chives, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or pistachio nuts
1/3 cup Italian gorganzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Special equipment needed: mandolin

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Wrap the beets tightly in foil. Roast them directly on the oven rack for 45 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a knife. Unwrap, cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until completely chilled. (The beets can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.); Carefully trim and peel the beets. Using a mandolin, set at 1/8-inch thickness, or a very sharp knife, cut the beets into paper-thin rounds. Mix vinegar and olive oil and sprinkle over beets, toss gently so as not to break the beets. Arrange the beet slices overlapping on a large platter.

Thinly slice pears and lay down in petals on top of beet slices.

Place a nest of watercress, or other greens of your choice, in the center of the platter and sprinkle with scissor-cut chives, nuts or seeds and crumbled gorganzola cheese. Drizzle greens with more vinegar and olive oil (to taste). Season everything with salt and pepper (to taste). Makes 4 servings.

Note: Beets can be cooked in a microwave oven. Put scrubbed beets into microwave-safe dish, cover with parchment paper and cook on high until beets are easily pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Keep covered until cool enough to handle. Peel and slice.

The Best Potato Salad
I love a classic potato salad, served the day after it is made. The flavors meld and the salad has a chance to get nice and cold in the refrigerator. I've found that Yukon Gold potatoes are much better to use than russets or new potatoes. Take my word for it, this is the 'best' potato salad, but then everyone has their favorite.

5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (better than new potatoes)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
4 ribs of celery, cut into small pieces
1/2 to 3/4 cup red or green onion
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped Italian parsley
2 1/2 cups Best Foods mayonnaise
1/4 cup yellow mustard (or to taste)
5 gherkin pickles, chopped fine

Cut potatoes in half and place in a large pot. fill with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. While potatoes are hot, peel and coarsely chop into large chunks and place in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with vinegar, salt and pepper and toss. Let stand and come to room temperature. Meanwhile, boil the eggs. Put them in a pan and cover with water. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Turn off heat, cover. Leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water until eggs are cold. Peel and slice. Add to bowl with potatoes, then add the rest of the ingredients and gently mix. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper or more mustard if you prefer. Best if made a day ahead. Makes 6-8 servings.

Wakame, Cucumber & Carrot Salad
Wakame is a tasteless sea vegetable (seaweed) from Japan, which can be bought in small bags in the Asian section of your grocery store. This seaweed salad combines cucumber, carrots, with a savory sweet dressing that is topped with gomashio seasoning for a delightfully different Japanese side dish.

1/2 ounce dried wakame (one-quarter of 2.1-oz. pkg., or 3 to 5 strips)
3 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced (I leave stripes of peeling)
2 large carrots, peeled and matchstick-julienned
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/8 cup honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
3 tablespoons gomashio seasoning (a blend of toasted sesame seeds and sea salt)

Place wakame in large bowl, and cover with warm water. Soak 10 minutes, then drain in colander, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Cut wakame into thin slices, and place in bowl.

Peel cucumbers and cut into thin slices, leaving seeds. Peel and cut carrot into thin matchsticks. Add both to wakame.

Whisk together vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and soy sauce in small bowl. Stir in red onion and red pepper flakes (if using). Mix vinegar mixture into wakame mixture with your hands. Cover, and chill 15 minutes, or up to 2 hours. To serve: sprinkle with gomashio seasoning. Makes 8 to 10 servings. Note: If you can't find gomashio seasoning, just use toasted sesame seeds and a little salt if needed.

Sweet Memphis-Style Coleslaw
Chopped Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
with Sweet Memphis-Style Coleslaw

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I went to high school in Memphis, Tennessee, and loved Memphis-Style pulled pork sandwiches with sweet and tangy coleslaw piled high on top. This is how I remember the recipe.

1 large head green cabbage, cored and shredded (I sometimes use Napa cabbage)
2 medium-size carrots, peeled and grated
1 red bell pepper, cored seeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
2 cups prepared mayonnaise
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place shredded cabbage, carrots, red pepper and onion into a large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together all of the remaining ingredients. Pour over the vegetables and toss well to combine. Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours for the flavors to meld. Stir again before serving. Makes about 2 1/2 quarts of coleslaw.

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