All posts tagged salad

  • pomegranate walnut tabbouleh

    pomegranate tabbouli parsley walnuts

    My CSA share this week included a monstrous pile of parsley. Half of it was frozen into ice cubes for future soups, some of it went into a frittata, a handful was stirred into a tomato sauce that was served with polenta, but I wanted to make sure the rest of it a chance to shine on its own. I set out to make tabbouleh, but things did not go according to plan once I went shopping. I passed on the tomatoes for a gorgeous pomegranate and bulgur was nowhere to be found, so I went home and made something that wasn’t quite authentic tabbouleh, but sort of  a transition into fall tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a Lebanese salad, made primarily with parsley and a handful of mint, with flecks of bulgur (cracked wheat), chopped tomatoes, and coated with a lemon and olive oil dressing that begs to be sopped up with copious amounts of bread. It’s not uncommon to see tabbouleh recipes that use couscous, quinoa, or millet instead of bulgur, but I used crushed walnuts here. Since discovering pomegranate and walnut stew a few years ago, I’ve learned that pomegranates and walnuts make a great pair.

    This makes a good side dish to just about any Middle Eastern meal, but it’s especially delicious with a little tahini sauce or hummus rolled up in a piece of flat bread. I’d say this serves 6 to 8 as a side dish, but I keep sneaking into the kitchen several times a day to take bites out of it straight from the container, so who knows. It’s almost gone and I’m already itching to make another batch.

    Pomegranate Walnut Tabbouleh
    Note: to avoid soggy tabbouleh, let the parsley and mint dry before chopping. This can be done with a strainer and paper towels, but a salad spinner will be your best friend here.

    2 cups flat leaf parsley, chopped
    1/4 cup mint, chopped
    1/2 red onion, diced
    seeds (arils) of one pomegranate
    1/3 cup walnuts, crushed
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon sumac
    1/8 teaspoon allspice
    salt and pepper, to taste

    Chop the parsley, mint, and onions with your sharpest knife. De-seed pomegranate. Place the walnuts in a mortar and crush them with a pestle (or give them a whirl in your food processor). Juice lemon. In a large bowl, mix together the parsley, mint, pomegranate, walnuts, olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, sumac, allspice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper until fully incorporated. Give the mixture a taste and add more lemon juice and salt, if necessary. Serve with your favorite Middle Eastern dish or as part of a mezze. Delicious both at room temperature and cold.

    Serves about 6-8 as a side

  • green salad

    greens salad with avocado and egg

    It was just one of those days where nothing sounds as good as a big plate of greens. Handfuls of greens, fresh herbs, chunks of avocado, crisp cucumbers, crunchy pistachios, a hard boiled egg on the side because why not, and just enough of the simplest of dressings to lightly coat it all. This is exactly what I was missing all winter. My kitchen is looking a lot like this these days:

    Green things! And a mess of other stuff.

    Welcome to my life without a salad spinner. I discovered how great salad spinners were last summer when we were living with my dad. I’d pick some kale, arugula, or romaine from the garden, wash, spin, and eat. It was glorious. I’m holding out until we move though, so there will be one less thing to pack. In the meantime, I’ll keep eating salads like this and my kitchen will remain a battlefield of greens.

    Green Salad

    For the salad:
    a few handful of greens (I used baby kale and a “spicy salad” mix)
    2 tablespoons chopped herbs (I used basil and parsley)
    half of an avocado, cubed
    1/2 cucumber, chopped (or 1 Persian cucumber)
    2 tablespoons of pistachios, chopped
    hard boiled egg

    For the dressing:
    a squeeze of lemon
    a teaspoon of olive oil
    salt & pepper, to taste
    red pepper flakes, to taste

    In a small bowl, mix together the dressing. Give it a taste and adjust lemon and salt, if needed. In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together and mix in the dressing until everything is thoroughly coated. If you’re feeling lazy (like I was!), layer all the ingredients in a bowl or plate. Drizzle the dressing on top and crack some more pepper. Serve with a hard boiled egg on the side.

    Serves 1

  • curried chicken salad

    curried chicken salad with sprouts and pickled carrots

    A couple weeks ago, I went on a mission to procure the smallest jar of mayonnaise I could find. Why bother buying a big jar I’ll never finish before moving? Turns out, want to eat every and anything related mayonnaise related. I’ve been whipping up tons of egg salad, loading up on mayonnaise whenever I make sandwiches, have a strong hankering for salad olivieh (Persian potato salad) that I can’t seem to shake, and I recently made a giant batch of this curried chicken salad. Looks like I’m going to need more mayonnaise. And lots of it.

    This recipe originally hails from Cooking With Trader Joe’s cookbook. The cookbook got a lot of lovin’ from me, but was either sold or donated before we left San Francisco, so I’m not sure how closely this recipe matches the original. Sweet and savory with a nice crunch from the radishes, it’s an ideal summer lunch. I used chicken breast here, but feel free to use thighs or cut down on cooking time with a cooked rotisserie chicken. Eat as is, or serve in a wrap with lettuce or spouts and some pickles.

    Curried Chicken Salad
    (inspired by Cooking With Trader Joe’s)

    For the salad:
    2 pounds chicken, cooked and diced into bite-sized pieces
    2 cups red seedless grapes
    1/2 cup cashews, chopped
    1 cup red onion, chopped
    1 cup radishes, chopped
    2 tablespoons curry powder
    salt & pepper, to taste
    cayenne pepper, to taste
    1 cup mayonnaise
    1 tablespoon hot mustard
    1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
    2 tablespoons of water

    For the wraps:
    10 flat or pita breads
    3-4 cups of sprouts and/or lettuce

    Prepare chicken depending on the type of cut. Once cooked or if using a rotisserie chicken, dig in and dice and shred to your liking. Toss the chicken in a giant bowl and add the grapes, cashews, red onion, radishes, curry powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, mayonnaise, mustard, cilantro and mix thoroughly. If the mixture is looking too thick, add about two tablespoons and mix again. Give the mixture a taste test and add some more salt and pepper if necessary.

    Tastes best at room temperature, but can be served warm or cold.

    If using in a wrap, toss a handful lettuce over the pita, pickles, top off with the curried chicken salad, wrap, and serve.

    Makes 10 wraps