Sunday, August 20, 2017

Antipasti Salad

I have always loved antipasti.  It almost feels like an adventure to me, navigating all of the different cheeses, olives, veggies, pickles, and other delicious snacks.  I often over-nibble and end up too full for my meal, so why not just make a meal out of antipasti?  Adding fresh, green romaine and crunchy, vibrant bell pepper to the traditional, flavorful, rich ingredients lightens up this salad for a satisfying lunch.  Enjoy!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups cannellini beans, drained and patted dry
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tsp minced fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 4-8 pickled pepperoncini
  • 1 14-oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
  • 16 whole kalamata olives
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella, patted dry and diced
  • 4 oz smoked provolone, cubed
  • 2-4 oz prosciutto, roughly chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded cannellini: combine the cannellini, red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Allow the cannellini to marinade for 20 minutes (or longer.) 
  2. Make the marinaded mushrooms: wipe the mushrooms clean and remove the stems.  Simmer the mushroom caps in water for 5 minutes or until tender; drain and pat the mushroom caps dry.  Combine the 2 tbsp oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, red onion, oregano, parsley, salt, peppercorns, and coriander seeds.  Add the mushroom caps and stir gently.  Allow the mushrooms to marinade for 20 minutes (or longer.) 
  3. Pack the salads: divide the cannellini and mushrooms evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the pepperoncini, artichokes, olives, cheeses, prosciutto, bell pepper, and romaine in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 1 can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry, for the home-cooked beans.  Substitute store-bought marinaded mushrooms from the olive bar at your local grocery store for the marinaded mushrooms.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is gluten- and nut-free as-is.  For a vegetarian salad, omit the prosciutto.  For a vegan salad, also substitute your favorite vegan cheese for the mozzarella and provolone.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

summer vacation

We're taking a break this week for summer vacation.  See you next week with two new salads!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Insalata Caprese

Despite the unusual growing season we are having in Minnesota this year, we are finally starting to get some tomatoes out of our garden (and loads of lettuce and basil!)  I can't think of a more fitting way to feature the season's freshest garden tomatoes than in a caprese salad - tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and greens simply dressed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Check lunch off the list this week with this fresh and flavorful salad!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4-8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 2 (or more) cups tomatoes, halved or roughly chopped (depending on size)
  • 1/2 c fresh basil leaves
  • 8 oz mixed baby greens

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Pack the salads: add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp vinegar to each of 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Season with salt and pepper.  Layer the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and mixed baby greens in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  2. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS:

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian, gluten-, and nut-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan mozzarella for the dairy mozzarella.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Grilled Halloumi and Cherry Salad

I may have been quoted recently saying, "I find it hard to get excited about a salad if it doesn't involve cheese."  Yeah ... I do love a good cheese.  However, I definitely had to go to the mat with this salad, as I had a helluva time figuring out how to grill the halloumi without melting or burning it. 

Here are my tips for grilling halloumi:
1. Leave the halloumi in the big brick you buy it in.  Cutting it thinner or cubing it prior to grilling will result in a melty mess.
2. Freeze the halloumi before grilling.  Again, this will help you avoid a melty mess.
3. Generously coat your halloumi with canola or another high smoke point oil prior to grilling.  
4. Preheat the grill as hot as you can, (Rob refers to this technique as "burying the needle") and keep the halloumi on the grill only long enough to get nice, toasty grill marks.
5. Let the halloumi cool before you dice it for the salad, for cleaner cubes.

I hope you find these tips helpful, and this salad delicious! 



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 c pearl barley
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 8 oz halloumi, grilled (or broiled) and diced
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups pitted, halved fresh sweet cherries
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stemmed and shredded
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded barley: bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the barley and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes.  Drain, and toss with the shallot, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Cool.
  2. Pack the salads: divide the barley evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer in the halloumi, cherry tomatoes, cherries, and chard.  Divide the almonds evenly between 4 2-oz jars or snack-size zip-top bags, one for each salad.  Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.  Top with almonds.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use pre-washed, bagged baby spinach in place of the chard.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute grilled or broiled tofu for the grilled halloumi.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute cooked, cooled quinoa for the barley.  For a nut-free salad, substitute toasted sunflower seeds for the sliced almonds.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tabouli

It's tabouli time!  The mint and parsley are going crazy in my herb garden, and farm-fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are starting to hit the co-ops and farmer's markets the city over.  (We've even harvested a few cherry tomatoes and one "Early Girl" from our own garden.)  Bulk up this summery staple with some cooked chickpeas and you've got yourself one healthy, refreshing lunch to enjoy all week long.


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup bulgur, cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2-4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves finely chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 5-10 ounces baby spinach

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the tabouli: combine the bulgur, chickpeas, cucumber tomato, green onion, parsley, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Fold the ingredients together until well-combined.  
  2. Pack the salads: divide the tabouli evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Divide the spinach evenly among the containers. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry, for the home-cooked chickpeas.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian/vegan and nut-free as-is.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute cooked, cooled quinoa for the bulgur.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Several summers ago, I practically lived on cucumber and tomato salads - freshly chopped cucumbers and tomatoes from the farmer's market, dressed simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then finished with a shower of feta.  This salad never seems to get old for me, although bulking it up with chickpeas, bell pepper, and romaine makes for a more satisfying lunch.  (You could pack a few wedges of pita on the side to soak up any remaining tomato juices, but you certainly don't have to.)  I hope this simple, satisfying salad becomes a regular at your house as well!


YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Greek seasoning
  • kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 4 oz feta, diced or crumbled
  • 1-2 c cherry tomatoes, halved, or 1-2 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 2-3 hearts of romaine, shredded

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the marinaded chickpeas: combine the chickpeas, vinegar, oil, Greek seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Allow the chickpeas to marinade for 20 minutes (or longer.)  
  2. Pack the salads: divide the chickpeas evenly among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the feta, tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumbers, and romaine in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Use 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry, for the home-cooked chickpeas.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian, gluten-, and nut-free as-is.  For a vegan salad, substitute your favorite vegan feta for the dairy feta, or double the quantity of chickpeas.

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Indonesian Vegetable Salad

This salad, based on a recipe from Real Simple, is a take on "lalab" - a raw vegetable salad typically served with chili paste; this version incorporates a few other Indonesian staples such as curry, peanut sauce, and tofu in place of the chili.  This fresh, colorful, flavorful, protein-packed salad makes for a filling, nutritious lunch - I hope you enjoy it!



YIELD: 4 quart-sized salads

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/3 c peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 14 oz extra-firm tofu, drained
  • cooking spray
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and shredded

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the peanut sauce: combine the peanut butter, water, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, curry paste, and salt in a pint-sized mason jar or other tall container.  Puree and emulsify the sauce using a handheld stick blender.  
  2. Make the tofu: combine the cornstarch, curry powder, and salt in a low bowl or on a plate.  Cut the tofu into 4 equal pieces, and dredge each piece in the cornstarch mixture.  Pan-fry, broil, or grill the tofu until browned.  Cool, and slice into 1/2-inch pieces
  3. Pack the salads: divide the peanut sauce among 4 tall quart-sized containers.  Layer the tofu, egg, carrot, green beans, bell pepper, cucumber, bean sprouts, and cabbage in the jars. Refrigerate until serving.
  4. Enjoy your salad: invert your salad onto a plate or into a bowl.
TIME-SAVING TIPS: Add 2 tsp curry paste to 1/2 cup of your favorite store-bought peanut sauce and substitute for the homemade peanut sauce.  Use bagged, pre-shredded coleslaw mix instead of the cabbage and carrot.

SPECIAL DIET SWAPS: This salad is vegetarian as-is.  For a vegan salad, omit the egg.  For a nut-free salad, substitute sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter.  For a gluten-free salad, substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce, and check to make sure your curry paste is labeled "gluten-free."

Food styling, photography, and infographics by Robert Campbell.