Showing posts with label Lettuce. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lettuce. Show all posts

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Asian Kale Salad with Strawberries and Apricots

Plated Kale Fruit Salad
Fiesta of Color and Flavor

Recipe by Robin

Kale is trending, plus we get some every week in our CSA share lately. I must confess it is not our favorite vegetable. We’ve tried all the usual recipes: ginger garlic kale, Portuguese soup, bean & bacon soup, Italian braised kale, and massaged kale salad.  We’ve created some more unusual dishes: shrimp braised with kale and carrot, mushroom, and kale stir-fry. With kale’s popularity these days, I asked myself, what have I never seen done with it? Kale with fruit came immediately to mind, possibly inspired by early ripe apricots on my counter. And so, I was off to explore the non-intuitive combination of tough, cruciferous kale with sweet, squishy fruits.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Polish Egg Salad: Salatka z Jaj

Plate full of Polish egg salad on Leaf Lettuce
Egg Salad, Polish Style

Recipe Adapted from Polish Cooking

Growing up in a Polish family in a small New England town full of other Poles, I took Polish cuisine for granted. My grandmother and her sisters working together for days to make hundreds of pierogies or scores of nut rolls and poppyseed rolls, my mom whipping up galumkis (stuffed cabbage), my Bopcha’s freshly-made chrusciki (angel wings), potluck tables laden with egg, potato, and beet dishes; these were my world. How soon after we moved away recipes and traditions were forgotten as the cooks aged and died. But memories live on, as I seek to recreate and record these recipes from the past. A new thrift store cookbook and a surplus of Easter eggs inspired me to delve into my Polish cooking heritage.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Basque Tossed Salad

Large Platter of Basque Salad
Basque Salad: Beautiful and Delicious

Recipe adapted from Cuba Cocina!

This recipe comes from a 1994 Cuban inspired cookbook written by Joyce LaFray, an American who lived for many years in Miami, then traveled to Cuba to gather recipes. According to the cookbook, this recipe was brought to Cuba by Spanish-Basque ancestors. A quick web search shows that, unlike Greek salad, “Basque salad” has no standard ingredients, likely due to the complexity and diversity of Basque culture. This Spanish Basque salad combines produce grown in the fertile Ebro Valley with traditional Spanish olives and capers. Lighter than many Basque salads, it makes a colorful and elegant presentation for luncheon or late night sustenance.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Strawberry and Spring Vegetable Salad

Bowl of Salad with Napkin and Fork
First Salad Attempt: Made with Chopped Nuts while Intoxicated

Recipe by Robin

In a way, creating recipes is like reinventing the wheel. Somewhere, sometime, someone has put together a dish similar to what you’re creating. It might have even been you, especially if you belong to a CSA farm and get similar veggies for weeks at a time from a local farm. And so it is with strawberries in salad. I’ve combined them with spinach, Parmesan and pine nuts, with radicchio, butter lettuce, and feta, and simplest of all with arugula and goat cheese. And yet a bounty of mixed spring lettuce from our DIY square foot garden plus 5 pints of strawberries and some basil from our CSA inspired me to make yet another strawberry salad.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Salade Nicoise Californian with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette

Two Bowls of Salade Nicoise Heaped with Veggies and Fish and Eggs
All This and Romaine Too

Recipe inspired by the Lunch Box

Oddly enough, American versions of Salade Nicoise have evolved so much that they’re no longer Nicoise. Readers who are versant in French (I’m not) know that Nicoise means from Nice, the largest city on the French Riviera. In Nice, Salade Nicoise always contains local Cailletier olives, cured in a salty olive oil brine. The original recipe that I altered, like many American recipes, contains no olives at all. So I needed to add some high quality, salty, oily olives.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Dressing

Two bowls of salad with dressing on the side
Celebrating Strawberry Season

Recipe by Robin

Happy first full day of summer (for those of us in the northern hemisphere)! Hope you enjoyed your solstice yesterday.

I love serendipity. What’s not to love when you get the right answer without even knowing the question? I’d wanted to make a strawberry salad for some time, since Live Earth Farm, our CSA, is renowned for its strawberries. I wanted salty feta cheese and a variety of bitter and neutral greens to contrast with the sweet flavor of the strawberries. The spinach and arugula that were on our list to receive last week seemed perfect. However, life is not always predictable, especially when dealing with small scale local farming and Mother Nature.  Oh, the irony of having an actual use for the promised arugula (which my husband says tastes like dirt), and not having it in the fridge. And yet, digging a little deeper (literally, in the vegetable drawer), I found a reasonable substitute from past weeks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Green Salad with Oranges and Fresh Orange Dressing

Salad Bowl with Orange Salad
Winning Combo: Oranges and Greens

Recipe by Robin

It’s the end of orange season in California, and I’ve been trying all month to make a citrus glaze for chicken. My husband calls this “successive approximation” of a recipe. After several trials with “nearly delicious” results, I thought of a simpler orange idea: a salad with orange slices and orange dressing, inspired by the huge heads of red leaf lettuce we’ve been getting from our CSA.