Spicy Lime Cilantro Slaw

My husband and I tried a new Mexican restaurant in town, Tortilla Bar, and everything was great, but I was really excited to replicate the delicious cabbage slaw they served, since I always am looking for better ideas in using my veggies. So, I’m sure this isn’t exactly their recipe, but this is what I came up with, and I’m excited to eat it all summer long!

Spicy Lime Cilantro Slaw

1 small head of cabbage, sliced thinly (purple cabbage looks striking, but green cabbage works as well)
1-2  jalapeno peppers, sliced thinly in rings (seeds and ribs removed, if you want less heat)
2 limes, both the zest and the juice
1/2 c. olive oil
1 handful of cilantro, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the cabbage and the jalapeno in a serving bowl. Grate the zest of two limes on top of the cabbage and toss.

In another bowl, whisk the juice of the two limes with the olive oil. Add the cilantro and the salt and pepper to taste. Combine thoroughly then dress the cabbage. Toss and enjoy!

Summer Avocado Dressing

I was trying to remember a Jamie Oliver Green God Dressing the other day, and this is what I came up with. We have liked it so much, I think we’ve made it 5 times in the last couple weeks. Forgive my a-little-bit-inaccurate measurements; I have mostly eye-balled the amounts, and when I’ve gone back to measure, it hasn’t quite been the same. I also took a picture of this, but I can’t seem to make it look appealing. I’ll keep trying.

Summer Avocado Dressing

Place in a blender:

1 avocado, pitted and skinned
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, smashed (or 2, if you like:)
3 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed from stems
3 sprigs fresh mint, stems removed
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and de-seeded (or a dash of cayenne pepper)
1 t. salt (approximately)

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. If desired, you can thin with water. Terrific on lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers! We’ve been known to eat it by the spoonful, too.

Great Potato Salad

This recipe, from May 2012’s Gourmetmagazine, is one my new favorite potato salad. It’s reminds me of my grandma’s, and since I don’t have her recipe, I’m really happy to have this. Definitely worth trying if you don’t have a tried-and-true recipe you love.

Gourmet’s Image

Great Potato Salad

  • 2 3/4 lbs. medium red-skinned potatoes, peeled (about 8)
  • 1 1/4 t. kosher salt plus more
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. sweet pickle juice from jar
  • 8-10 sweet-pickle chips
  • 1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper plus more
  • 5 large hard-boiled egg yolks
  • 2 T. chopped red onion
  • 2 T. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Paprika

Place potatoes in a large pot. Add water to cover by 2″, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 20-30 minutes. Drain. Place potatoes in a large bowl and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, pickle juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a small bowl for dressing.

Using a large wooden spoon, coarsely smash potatoes, leaving some larger pieces mixed with some well-mashed pieces.

Add dressing and egg yolks to potatoes and toss to coat, coarsely smashing egg yolks. Add onion and parsley; gently mix to incorporate. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Divide potato salad among small paper cups or bowls; dust with paprika. Top each serving with a pickle chip.

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

I improvised a little for a luncheon get-together last week, and came up with a new salad that is wonderfully colorful and seemed nutritionally loaded

A bright salad for spring and summer!

(as far as my knowledge of nutrition goes:). It’s also vegetarian and vegan.  I based it off of a recipe from epicurious, although the end result is quite a bit different. So, this is for Sara particularly, but if something doesn’t seem right, let me know! This is how I remember it going . . .

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1/2 t. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 t. salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1 c. black beans, cooked and drained (or from a can)
  • 1 c. chopped peeled mango
  • 1 medium tomato, cored and chopped into 1/4″ cubes
  • 1 sweet pepper (orange or yellow look particularly great), seeded, deveined, and chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 large handful of cilantro, stems removed, roughly chopped

Cook quinoa in medium pot of boiling salted water over medium heat until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain well; cool. Transfer to medium bowl. [My quinoa gets really clumpy when I cook it this way, so instead, I boil it for 10 minutes, then I put it in a fine mesh steamer, and steam it for 10 minutes more. It turns out light and fluffy this way. I also always rinse it 3xs before cooking it, which was the excellent advice of my friend Maryann. Rinsing it ensures the quinoa’s not bitter.]

Meanwhile, whisk oil and next 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with more salt (if desired) and pepper.

Add chopped mango, black beans, tomato,  green onions, pepper, 1/2 the cilantro and 1/4 cup dressing to quinoa; toss to coat. Garnish with remaining cilantro and drizzle with remaining dressing; serve. Stores well for 2 days in an airtight container, refrigerated.

Serves 4-6.

Sesame-Lemon Cucumber Salad

Cucumber sesame saladI’ve been trying to find a recipe for a cucumber salad that is reminiscent of Asian cucumbers salads I’ve had at restaurants, and this is it. It’s not too sweet, and the sesame flavors really shine through. It also comes together easily. It comes from the Best American Side Dishes (America’s Test Kitchen), and makes great use of cucumbers, if you have a prolific plant. Note that you have to drain the cucumbers before making the salad, so start this dish at least 70 minutes before serving. Or, just start it at the beginning of your meal prep and let it rest however long you have time!

Sesame-Lemon Cucumber Salad

3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, sliced, salted, and drained (See instructions below)
1 T. salt (used to drain the cucumbers)
1/4  c. rice vinegar
1 T. juice from 1 lemon
2 T. toasted sesame oil
2 t. sugar
1/8 t. dried red pepper flakes plus more to taste
1 T. sesame seeds, toasted in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 minutes.

1. DRAIN CUCUMBERS: Peel each cucumber and halve lengthwise. Use a small spoon to remove the seeds and surrounding liquid from each cucumber half. Place the cucumber halves flat-side down on a work surface and slice them on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Toss the cucumbers and salt (1 T.) in a colander set in a bowl. Place a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag filled with water on top of the cucumbers to weigh them down and force out the liquid. Drain for at least an hour, and up to 3 hours.

2. Whisk all of the ingredients except the cucumbers in a medium bowl. Add the drained cucumbers; toss to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Green Salad with Honeyed Pinenuts

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted, but with reunions, weddings, and a flood in our house, I just haven’t gotten to the

I took this picture the time I had added peaches

computer much. But, I have a handful of recipes I have loved this summer, so here’s the first one. I’ve made this salad four times in the last month, and I’m loving it! I make lots of changes according to what I have on hand (thanks to Bountiful Baskets, too), so I’ve actually never used arugula and endive, just lots of other lettuces. I’ve also added peaches, which I liked.  So, feel free to substitute, and I’m sure you’ll still end up with a wonderful salad. Enjoy! FYI, this recipe comes from the 2009 Food and Wine Annual. And it was awarded as a staff favorite

Green Salad with Honeyed Pinenuts

1/2 c. pinenuts (can substitute walnuts or pecans if pinenuts are wildly overpriced, like they are here)
2 T. + 2 t. honey (clover is best)
1 1/2 T. cider vinegar
2 t. whole grain mustard
1/2 t. dijon mustard
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper
4 oz. baby arugula (I’ve been using romaine and baby bibbs)
2 Belgian endives (haven’t tried yet, but I’m sure they add)
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (I’ve been using Costco’s goat cheese, which is milder and more to my taste)

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat the parhment with cooking spray. In a nonstick skillet, combine the pine nuts with 2 T. of the honey. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring until the nuts are golden and coated with honey, about 4 minutes. Pour the nuts and honey onto the baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread the nuts in an even layer; let cool.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 t. of honey with the vinegar and the mustards. Gradually whisk in the oil, season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the endives and blue cheese. Break the honeyed pine nuts into small pieces and add them to the salad [the candy is on the pliable side–the honey doesn’t get hot enough to become a brittle]. Add the dressing, toss to coat, and serve at once.

Jicama Chopped Salad with Salsa Verde Dressing

I was looking on epicurious for good recipes with jicama, and I found this recipe. It looked great, and it has received rave reviews. I made it three times that week (using the entire large jicama). This salad is flavorful, unique, and really nice for a summer day! Without the avocado, it also can hold up two days–nice if you need to make something a day early. 

Jicama Chopped Salad with Salsa Verde Dressing

For dressing:

  • 3 tomatillos, husked, quartered
  • 1/3 cup (lightly packed) cilantro
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño chili
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

For salad:

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped green cabbage
  • 3/4 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled jicama
  • 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, diced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Corn tortilla chips (optional)

Puree first 5 ingredients in blender. Pour into medium bowl. Whisk in oil, then green onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix all remaining ingredients except chips in bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Serve with chips, if desired.

Lemon Basil Orzo Salad

This has become my go-to spring/summer pasta salad that I could (and sometimes do) inhale straight from the bowl in its entirety. So very refreshing and simple.

1 pound orzo pasta, cooked and rinsed with cold water
2 14-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed
2 large tomatoes, diced (or more, per your preference)
2/3 – 1 cup feta cheese
8 scallions, chopped

Combine all but the feta, set aside.

Lemon Vinaigrette: (Not sure what happened to the spacing here – or how to change it?)
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

4-6 cloves garlic, minced

24+ good-size fresh basil leaves, minced

1 – 2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Mix vinaigrette and toss over salad. Chill for at least a couple of hours. Add crumbled feta prior to serving. Enjoy!

Cabbage Slaw with Ginger and Almonds (and no mayo)

Almond Ginger SlawI found this recipe in an Everyday Food, and I have a lot of cabbage, so I’ve made it a few times, with a little tweaking. It’s good–and different for the summer potluck fare. I’ve left the cilantro, peppers, and almonds on the top, because I think it looks more striking than combining it. In this photo, I substituted the red pepper for grated carrots, just because I had carrots on hand. This slaw would also be great swapping the almonds for peanuts! This is really a summer favorite.

Cabbage Slaw with Ginger and Almonds

  • 4 T. rice-wine vinegar
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (2 inches long), peeled and grated
  • 6 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium cabbage, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeds and ribs removed), thinly sliced (or celery, or other crunchy vegetable)
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, ginger, and oils until dressing is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, cilantro, and peanuts. Add dressing to taste, and toss to combine. Serve.

Pan-Roasted Pear Salad

I’m obsessed with this salad lately. Maybe Rex can pipe in whether or not it’s as terrific as I think it is, but I’m really in love with it. If you start the recipe before cooking the rest of your meal, the pears will have sufficient time to cool before serving. The recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen’s 2009 Annual.

Pan-Roasted Pear Salad

3 ripe but firm pears, quartered and cored (the flesh at the neck of the pear should give slightly when pressed)
2 1/2 t. sugar
salt and pepper
2 t. olive oil, plus 2 T.
4 T. balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 head of green leaf lettuce, washed and torn
2 small bunches of watercress (or frisee or radichio, or just more lettuce), washed, dried and stemmed
4 oz. parmesan cheese, shaved into slices with a vegetable peeler (or blue cheese or goat cheese)
3/4 c. toasted pecans (or walnuts or almonds)

1. Toss the pears, 2 t. sugar, 1/4 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper in a medium bowl. Heat the 2 t. oil in  a large skillet over med.-high heat until jus smoking. Add the pears cut side down in a single layer and cook until golden brown, 2-4 minutes. Using a small spatula or fork, tip each pear onto its second cut side; continue to cook until the second side is light brown, 2-4 minutes longer. Turn off the heat, leave the skillet on the burner, and add 2 T. of vinegar; gently stir until the vinegar becomes glazy and coats the pears, about 30 seconds. Transfer the pears to a large plate and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Cut each pear crosswise into 1/2″ pieces.

2. Whisk the remaining 2 T. oil, remaining 2 T. vinegar, remaining 1/2 t. sugar, and shallot together in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce, watercress and cooled pears and toss. Divide among plates and top with cheese and nuts.