Salad Recipes, Hints & Tips
Salads are a great way to get your five servings a day of fruits and vegetables. Loading a plain green salad with plenty of colorful vegetables such as bell peppers, celery, carrots and tomatoes ensure that it won't be boring either. But you don't have to stick with salad and vegetables to create a wonderful salad.
The term "salad" actually encompasses a wide range of dishes including vegetable salads, salads of pasta, legumes, fruits or grains. Antipastos, or mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood are a great way to add protein to your salad. In fact, salads can be either hot or cold; or a mixture of both. Given the wide range of options available when it comes to salads, they become a great option when serving lunch or dinner.
Vegetable Salad Recipes
Chino Chopped Vegetable Salad
In springtime and summer, when cooks enjoy their pick, literally, of the widest variety of wonderful produce, there's nothing I like better than starting dinner with a vegetable salad - or even enjoying a larger version as a lunchtime main course. Carrots, string beans, artichokes, celery, tomatoes, onions, corn and lettuces - I just can't get enough!
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 C. almond oil or safflower oil
Freshly ground white pepper
1 large or 2 medium fresh artichoke
1/2 C. diced carrots
1/2 C. diced green beans
1/2 C. diced red onion
1/2 C. diced radicchio
1/2 C. corn kernels, cut fresh from the cob
1/2 C. diced celery
1 small vine-ripened tomato
1 small ripe Hass-style avocado
4 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground white pepper
1 C. mixed baby greens of your choice
First, make the vinaigrette: In a mixing bowl, stir together the mustard and vinegar. Whisking continuously, slowly pour in the oils. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. For the salad, first prepare the artichokes. Starting at the broad base, break off the leaves by snapping them downward, working round and round until only a cone of tightly packed inner leaves remains halfway up from the base. With a sharp stainless-steel knife, cut off the top third to reveal the fibrous choke nestled inside the heart. With a sharp stainless-steel paring knife, peel off the remaining dark-green skin.
Then, with a small, sharp-edged spoon, dig out the choke to leave the C.-shaped heart. Cut the heart into 1/4-inch dice. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a mixing bowl with ice cubes and water. Put the artichoke, carrots and green beans in a wire sieve, lower into the boiling water, and cook until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes; then, plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well and add them to the artichokes, along with the diced onion, radicchio, corn and celery. Keep the water boiling and the ice water ready.
With the paring knife, core the tomato and score a shallow X in its skin. With the sieve, lower the tomato into the boiling water to loosen its skin, about 30 seconds, then remove it and plunge it into the ice water. Drain well. Peel off the skin. Cut the tomato in half, scoop out the seeds with your fingertip, and cut the tomato into 1/4-inch dice.
Add to the other vegetables. Halve, pit, peel and dice the avocado and add it to the vegetables. Briefly whisk the dressing again and add most of it to the vegetables, reserving a few tablespoons.
Toss well, sprinkle in the Parmesan, and toss again. Adjust the seasonings to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the greens with the reserved dressing, season to taste, and divide among 4 chilled salad plates. Mound the chopped salad on top and serve immediately.
Fruit Salad Recipes
A sweet poppy seed dressing brings it all together in this summery fruit salad.
2 pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
4 oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 papayas, peeled and sliced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 C. fresh berries, like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
1/2 C. poppy seed dressing (already prepared)
1/3 C. slivered almonds
Combine all fruit in a large bowl and drizzle dressing over top and toss. Sprinkle with slivered almonds.
Pasta Salad Recipes
Amazing Tortellini Salad
This is a light and refreshing salad that can be served as a side or main course. The balsamic vinegar gives it a sweet flavor.
1 lb. tortellini
1/4 C. broccoli florets, blanched
1/4 C. shredded carrots
1/4 C. black olives, sliced
1/2 C. cooked shredded chicken (optional)
1/2 small shallot, diced (optional)
1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. oil
1 Tbs. dried oregano
4 grinds black pepper
1 pinch salt
1 Tbs. onion powder
Combine dressing ingredients leaving oil for last. Set aside.
Cook tortellini in salted water about 4 minutes. Add broccoli and cook an additional 2 minutes or until tortellini is just under done or al dente. Drain and cold shock. Drain well and place in serving bowl. Add remaining ingredients and dressing. Toss to coat. Place in fridge, covered, about 15 minutes.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
Meat Salad Recipes
Fast Chicken Fajita Salad
Since this fajita salad eliminates the tortillas, this is a great alternative for those watching their carbs.
4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 C. onion, sliced
1/2 C. green pepper, sliced
3 C. dark leafy greens, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
2 Tbs. salsa
1/2 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce or lemon juice
1 dash garlic powder
1 Tbs. fat-free sour cream (optional)
Preheat non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sauté chicken in lemon juice or soy sauce (can use leftover chicken breast) until heated through. Increase heat to medium-high to high heat and add onions, peppers, and garlic powder. Allow vegetables to char slightly. Serve over bed of lettuce and top with salsa and fat-free sour cream (if desired).
Egg Salad Recipes
Lemon Dill Egg Salad
With a few more ingredients, this egg salad is truly delicious.
6 hard cooked eggs, chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 strips bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1/2 C. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. dried dill weed
3/4 C. reduced fat ranch salad dressing
Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 1 hour. Good with sliced tomatoes and lettuce leaves on a French roll.
Bean Salad Recipes
Shrimp and White Bean Salad with Creamy Lemon-Dill Dressing
This tasty salad is perfect for evenings when you're looking for a light meal that can be made quickly. It takes just over 30 minutes to make from scratch, or you can prep many of the ingredients in advance.
3 Tbs. reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 Tbs. plain fat-free yogurt
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, divided
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 C. chopped fennel bulb
1/3 C. julienne-cut carrot
1/4 C. thinly vertically sliced red onion
1 1/4 lb. cooked peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 15.5 oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. trimmed watercress (about 1 bunch)
Combine reduced-fat mayonnaise, yogurt, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, dill, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add fennel and next 4 ingredients (through beans); toss well to combine. Combine oil, watercress, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons juice, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.
Divide watercress mixture evenly among 4 plates; top each serving with 1 1/2 cups shrimp mixture.
Tip: For a flavor variation, try arugula and basil in place of watercress and dill. You can also substitute chopped rotisserie chicken for shrimp.
Potato Salad Recipes
Picnic Potato Salad with Ham and Peas
An easy recipe for potato salad with just enough bite in the dressing to be tastefully different, with the added twist of bacon, ham, and peas to add color and nutrition.
8 slices bacon
2 C. cubed ham
5 lb. all-purpose or Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed (peeling is optional)
1-2 C. frozen peas, fresh if you can get them (but not canned)
1 bottle Ranch-style salad dressing or to taste
Salt and white pepper to taste
Cook the bacon in a 12-inch skillet until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon, crumble into small pieces, and put about half in a large bowl, reserving the remainder. Cook the ham in the bacon fat until lightly browned. When cooked, add to the bacon and reserve. Boil the potato cubes in a large pot until soft. Drain well. Add drained potatoes to bowl with bacon and ham and blend in the salad dressing. Add the peas and salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Garnish with the remaining crumbled bacon.
Salad Recipes Hints & Videos
Product Review: O Olive Oil
Product Review: French's Mustard
Product Review: OXO Handheld Mandoline
Cuisinart MM-2M Mini Mate Chopper/Grinder
Apple Corer and Divider
Warm Salad of Asparagus and Artichoke from Chef Daniel Boulud