Passion Fruit Salad Dressing

Native to the subtropical regions of South America, passion fruit are the size and shape of a large egg. It’s loaded with about 300 small black seeded that are edible. Passion fruit have a complex taste somewhat like guava. It’s a little tropical, sweet, tart, and citrusy all at once. Don’t be turned off by the skin of the passion fruit; when ripe, it will become brittle and wrinkled.

Use this sweet-tart salad dressing on salad of baby spinach and strawberries, or a salad of greens, roasted pear slices, and blue cheese crumbles.

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 passion fruit
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

METHOD:

Cut the passion fruit in half and scrape the pulp and seeds into a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, cook fruit pulp, stirring, until it almost comes to a boil, then remove from heat.

Strain the pulp through a fine sieve or colander and discard the seeds. Allow the juice to cool.

In a blender jar, place the cooled passion fruit juice, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, honey and salt and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Store the salad dressing in the refrigerator for up to one week. Stir or shake before using.

SOURCE: Adapted from recipe by Marian Blazes, The Spruce

Romaine, Fennel, and Clementine Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

This recipe is similar to the delightful salad served at Magic Pan crepe restaurants that were popular during the 80s. In our version, we have added fresh fennel bulb which adds a delectable crunch to the salad and we’ve replaced the canned mandarin oranges with fresh seedless clementine segments.

INGREDIENTS:

Salad
1/4 cup slivered almonds
4 green onions, chopped (white and green leaves)
1/2 cup fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional but nice)

1 medium head romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into bite sized pieces (or salad mix of your choice)
1 cup fresh clementine segments, removing any white fibrous parts

Dressing
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon tarragon, dried
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup white tarragon vinegar
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Toast almonds in skillet over low heat, shaking constantly, until golden brown (about 5 minutes). Set aside.

Place salad greens, green onions, fennel, and clementine segments in large mixing bowl.

For the dressing, place all ingredients in blender and process until creamy and emulsified.

Pour enough salad dressing over salad greens to lightly coat lettuce greens and toss gently. Plate on chilled salad plates and garnish with toasted almonds. Store any remaining dressing in refrigerator.

YIELD: Serves 4

Sesame Green Beans

The Hmong name for long beans is taao-hia-chao. Long beans taste similar to the North American green bean. You can substitute them for any recipe calling for green beans. This climbing bean can grow up to 12 feet long, but most of them at the farmers market will be about 20 inches long. When picking look for firm, smooth, dark green beans. Keep them in a loose plastic bag in the crisper.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. long green beans, trimmed into 3 or 4-inch lengths
1/4 cup tahini
1⁄4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
Toasted sesame seeds or finely chopped peanuts for garnish, if desired

METHOD:

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain beans and immediately submerge beans into large bowl of ice water until chilled. Drain and dry beans. Place beans in large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a small food processor or blender, add tahini, soy sauce and sugar and blend until smooth. Pour sesame paste into small bowl. Whisk in rice vinegar, scallions, and minced ginger. Pour dressing over beans and toss to coat. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds (or peanuts), if desired.

Cucumber and Snap Pea Salad

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 English cucumber, sliced
3/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved

METHOD:
Whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, caraway seed, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the cucumber and snap peas. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

SOURCE: Recipe by Dawn Perry

Spring Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Rhubarb Vinaigrette

Roasted red and golden beetsINGREDIENTS

1/2 lb. finely chopped rhubarb
2 cups water
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. beets, peeled and cut into small wedges*
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 ounces crumbled soft goat cheese
1/3 cup chopped pistachios
Microgreens for garnish (optional)

METHOD:

Rhubarb Vinaigrette:
In a saucepan, combine rhubarb, water, wine, honey, and vinegar.

Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until rhubarb is soft and begins to break down, about 10 minutes.

Place a wire-mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour rhubarb mixture into the strainer, pressing solids to extract liquid. Discard solids. Place strained liquid in a clean saucepan. Return to heat and cook, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl. Stir in shallot, 2 teaspoons of the thyme and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Prepare Beets:
In a large stockpot with a tight-fitting lid, place steamer basket and add water to just below steamer basket. Bring water to a boil. Place beets in steamer basket. Reduce heat, cover pan, and cook beets until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer beets to a plate; refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Assembly:
Whisk olive oil into rhubarb mixture. Add beets and toss gently to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with crumbled goat cheese, pistachios, and remaining 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves. If desired, add a small handful of microgreens for extra color and nutrition.

*Use a mixture of golden and red beets for a colorful presentation.

SOURCE: Adapted from recipe at Health.com

Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

This summery dressing is delightful with a mixed green salad.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups basil leaves (about 1 large bunch)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
1 large clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

In a blender jar, whirl the basil, oil, vinegar, and garlic until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

YIELD: Makes about 1 cup dressing

Green Garlic Vinaigrette

Green garlic adds a delicate garlic flavor and vibrant spring green color to this dressing. Use this vinaigrette to dress microgreens or spring lettuce greens, or drizzle it over grilled chicken or fish.

INGREDIENTS:

2 green garlic stalks, cleaned, trimmed and minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the minced green garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, mustard, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. (Alternately, place all ingredients in a covered jar and shake vigorously.)

Dressing can be stored and refrigerated, but will lose its vibrant green color.

The Original Caesar Salad

CaesarSalad

There are a few variations of this salad, and many stories as to its origin. The story that is generally accepted in the restaurant world is that Caesar Cardini invented the recipe “on the fly” once when the restaurant was packed and he was out of some ingredients. Using ingredients he had on hand in the pantry along with the salad base, and he then prepared the salad at tableside with great flair. Cardini family legend has it that Caesar did not put in anchovy as he didn’t like them. Supposedly, anchovies were added later by a relative.

The salad traditionally is made with smaller whole Romaine leaves from closer to the center of the head, and the leaves were picked up or cut with knife and fork. I make the dressing without egg yolk because I am lazy. However, you can substitute mayonnaise for the egg yolk. Yolk or mayonnaise really does make a much richer dressing that coats the leaves beautifully, but the flavor is still quite good without them.

INGREDIENTS:
Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
3-4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
½ large lemon, juiced  (about 2-3 tablespoons)
8-12 ounces olive oil (you may need more or less)

Salad:
2 heads romaine lettuce, whole pale inner leaves only, or one whole head, damaged outer leaves removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 – 3 cups croutons, 1/2 to 3/4 inch square, preferably homemade
3/4 – 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD:

For the Dressing:

Make dressing in a bowl large enough to hold all the lettuce. Rub a large bowl firmly with a clove of garlic so you can see oils left behind and the garlic starts to disintegrate. Do this with the second clove as well. It is okay if small bits of garlic left behind.

Add the mustard to the bowl, then add the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. Stir to mix.

Add the lemon juice, and whisk vigorously. Add salt and pepper and whisk. Whisk in the oil slowly in a thin, steady stream, whisking all the while. Add enough oil so the dressing is quite thick. Taste for balance. If it is too sharp, add a little more oil.

To Assemble Salad:

Add the lettuce to the dressing and carefully mix so the leaves are evenly coated with dressing.

Add the croutons and toss.

Sprinkle evenly with the cheese, reserving a little for garnishing plates. Toss gently, and serve on plates. Top each salad with a little more cheese. Add fresh ground pepper if desired.

YIELD: Serves 4

Chef’s Tips and Variations:

  • If you wish to use egg yolk, use a single yolk for the above ingredients. If you are concerned about salmonella or eating raw egg yolks, boil the egg for 2 minutes and then place it in cold water until cool enough to handle the egg. Break the egg into your hand and separate the white from the yolk. Discard the white and add the yolk to the dressing bowl. Do this before adding the lemon juice, and whisk well to incorporate the flavors. Proceed as directed above, but keep in mind you will need less oil to thicken the dressing-perhaps as little as 6 ounces. Taste to determine.
  • If you want a thick version like you get with egg yolk but don’t want to fuss as much, you can substitute 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise for the yolk, following the instructions for the egg yolk version above.
  • If you want to do the anchovy version, I recommend you use anchovy paste for uniformity. 1 teaspoon of paste or 4 fillets of anchovy should do it for this recipe. Add the paste with the mustard, or if using fillets, add them before the mustard and use a fork to smash the fillets to a paste in the bowl. Proceed as above.
  • If you use egg yolk, use the dressing within the hour. The mayo version will keep a couple days the refrigerator.

Lemon-Ginger Salad Dressing

This dressing adds sparkle to leafy winter greens with its delightful fresh flavor — try it with kale or mixed lettuce salads. It’s also delicious drizzled over steamed asparagus or broccoli.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
1 teaspoon hot Chinese or Dijon mustard

METHOD:

Place all ingredients in a jar with tight fitting lid. Shake jar vigorously until dressing begins to emulsify. Cover and chill.

YIELD: Makes 1 1/2 cups

Kale Salad with Mango, Avocado, and Hazelnuts

We love this salad all year round, but we think the winter kale is much sweeter. The tangy citrus salad dressing also helps to tenderize the kale. This can easily be an entree salad served with a piece of smoked or poached salmon on the side. The ‘add ins’ are quite versatile too — no nuts? Use toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower kernels. In the winter, cranberries or pomegranate seeds can replace the mango.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large bunch Lacinato (“dinosaur”) kale
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (mild), divided
Juice of one Meyer lemon, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Himalayan salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey or coconut nectar*
1 clove garlic, minced very finely

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch hot pepper flakes
1 large mango, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes*
1 large avocado, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 small shallot, thinly sliced (optional)

1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, roughly chopped OR raw sunflower seeds

METHOD:

Rinse and dry the kale leaves. Trim off the center ribs. Stack and slice the kale leaves into 1/4″ wide ribbons and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the bowl with the kale, along with the juice of 1/2 lemon and the salt. Using your hands, squeeze and massage the kale for three minutes, until it has wilted considerably.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, honey (or coconut nectar), minced garlic, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

Add diced mango, avocado, and chopped hazelnuts to the kale. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently mix.

VARIATION:
When mangoes are not in season, use 1/2 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained.

*Coconut Nectar is available locally at New Leaf Market and Shopper’s Corner.

SOURCE: Adapted from recipe by Chef Marianne Larsen.