I am always challenging myself to make salads that have enough flavor in and of themselves that they don’t even need dressing. When you have a sad looking iceberg lettuce salad, the only thing that makes it actually taste good … Continue reading
When I was in New York a few months ago on a business trip, they brought in lunch for us from Birdbath Bakery. After one taste of this salad, I ignored every other option on the luncheon buffet and made my entire meal out of it. I was so madly in love, I had to find out how to make it!
So, I searched until I saw Marcus Samuelsson was also a fan of the very same salad and had created his own version of it. He’s almost exactly dead on with the flavors. The combination of the creamy cheese with the strong red onion flavors and the toasted hazelnuts is amazing. I don’t know how else to describe it. You just have to try it yourself.
I’ve made this recipe many times since and have introduced a few friends to the joy of raw kale as well. I hope you take the time to try this recipe and I’m sure you, too will become a fast fan.
I recommend serving it with the Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter from 101 Cookbooks I posted about recently. Also, you may want to make this a few hours in advance of serving it so the flavors have some time to meld together. Don’t worry, the raw kale is so… shall we say… ‘stout’… that it won’t wilt under the pressure of the dressing.
Raw Kale Salad with Hazelnuts, Gruyere and Red Onion
Serves 2. Recipe derived from Marcus Samuelsson
- 1 bunch kale, cut into ¼-inch strips horizontally, about 4 cups
- ¼ red onion, cut into 1/8-inch slices (a mandolin works well for this)
- ⅓ cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1 ounce Gruyere cheese, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to combine.
- Combine olive oil and vinegar together. Drizzle over the ingredients, and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss to combine, and serve.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with arugula. It has that perfectly peppery zing that really appeals to me and makes a great backdrop for a variety of other ingredients. My most recent uses are on my faux bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado sandwiches on wheat lavash and this poached egg salad (thanks to Alton Brown – I finally learned how to properly poach an egg!) The slightly runny egg yolk creates a natural, creamy dressing, adding a decadent warmth to the spicy arugula. It’s really fast and easy!
Arugula and poached egg salad
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp agave nectar
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 sheet whole wheat lavash, cut in half
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk mustard, agave nectar, and vinegar together. Add oil and whisk, combining well.
- Poach the eggs (see link above for excellent directions and tips)
- Toss arugula with dressing.
- Place half of the arugula over each lavash. Sprinkle goat cheese over each. Top with poached egg, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
I’ve been making this dressing for a while, mostly in my head and loving it. It’s fresh for spring and just overall tasty! It tastes especially good on butter lettuce with canned (or homecooked) beets – not pickled – and goat cheese. Maybe even some slivered almonds. I made this salad for some friends over the weekend and they were asking for the recipe. I usually do it all by “feel” and “taste”. But I did my best to capture it here. (and sorry, no pics)
Lemon Dill Vinaigrette
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 c fresh dill, chopped
- 1/2 shallot, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
Whisk together sugar and lemon juice until sugar dissolves. Whisk in dill, shallots, salt and pepper. Finally, whisk in olive oil. Drizzle over salad and toss or serve separately.
Inspired by a tofu salad I had a Trader Joe’s recently, I tried my hand at my own homemade version with a few tweaks to the flavor. I tried to make it somewhat Vietnamese Spring Roll-esq, so to speak. The result was a smashing success. I served it to a group of friends and they had nothing but raves. I have cravings for it on occasion. The flavors compliment each other so well.
I had a small dinner party at my house Saturday and we had a fabulous time. But, of course, the main highlights (for me anyway) were all the amazing flavors in the food. I thought I’d take a few minutes to share with you, my faithful readers.
If you don’t want to try all of them, there are two you MUST try: Tomato Olive Butter and the Strawberry Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese. Don’t ask questions. Just do it! (I even moved them to the top of the post so you could get to them easier.)
It’s so easy, it’s scary. And I have to ask myself, “Why didn’t I try it before?” I’m using it on all my salads lately. It was especially good on my fuji apple, blue cheese, candied pecan salad I made the other day. Light enough to let all the fabulous apple/cheese/pecan flavors shine through.
- 6 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Squeeze of Lemon Juice
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
Shake together. Eat on salad. It really is that simple.