Category: Salad Recipes

Classic Potato Salad

It was recently Victoria Day weekend in Canada and Memorial Day weekend in the US, or as most people observe them: the unofficial beginning of summer. And what is more summery than picnics and backyard grilling? Not much. I made a huge batch of this potato salad this last weekend for our first dinner party/BBQ in our new house. Just a couple of our best friends and their kids, but it was a lively gathering and the weather was perfection. This Classic Potato Salad hearkens back to the nostalgia of picnics and checkered blankets, of big metal coolers and jugs of tart lemonade. It’s as old school as it gets and we like it that way. If you like a potato salad that’s not so creamy and less traditional, try my Balsamic Potato Salad instead, but if you’re craving that Classic Potato Salad combination of egg, dill and and creamy dressing, this is the one.

This is absolutely a simple recipe and it comes together quickly, the cooling of the boiled potatoes being the longest part. Everything else is a quick chop, stir and toss. Make sure that you do have the time to properly chill it and that if you’re taking it for a potluck or picnic, which I absolutely suggest you do because it’s a crowdpleaser and this recipe makes a lot, be sure you’re keeping it cool as it sits out and is served. No one wants to tangle with potato salad that’s been sitting in the sun. (more…)

End of Summer Salad

This one’s a quickie … both a quick post and  a quick salad to make (it will disappear just as quickly). I was trying to think of a poetic analogy for this salad, a winsome bit of prose for you, and here is the best that I came up with:

This end of summer salad is like the last slow song at a high school dance. It’s your last chance to be in this moment, a culmination of everything you knew was already there, just waiting for you to step off the wall, set down your punch and complete the scene. A last crescendo of summer on a plate before the fantasy ends.

 

 End of Summer Salad

2 medium zucchini (courgettes), juliened

2 C fresh corn kernels

1 C concord grapes

2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

3 or four sundried/ovendried tomatoes, rehydrated in some warm water and juliened

a large handful of mixed fresh basil and parsley, torn or chopped.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste.

 

Succotash Salad with Whole Lemon Vinaigrette

You’re likely sick of hearing how to use up this summer’s tomatoes. I’m sorry to go on and on, but tomato recipes are not only perfectly fitting considering what gardens and farmers’ markets are bursting with but around here they are basically a necessity! Rob went wild with his tomato growing and let’s just say that the yield has been impressive. The way I see it, winter is terrible for tomatoes, even hot house ones aren’t the same as the virtuous, pure flavoured ones of summer. By the time winter rolls around we will be either sick of tomatoes or we’ll be cracking open the jars of bruschetta, passata, cherry toms packed in olive oil, and ketchup that were borne of the necessity to deal with a wicked backyard crop. (more…)

Avocado and Orange Salad with Toasted Sesame Dressing

This weekend feels like summer. Blue sky, warm breeze, and a vaguely familiar glowing orb in the sky. Vancouver is exquisite in the the summer; it completely redeems itself for what feels like endless months of rain and perpetual grey. These golden days make it the right kind of weekend for afternoons at the park or beach and drinks on a patio in the evening, either your own or at your favourite watering hole. Everything feels fresh and people on the street can’t help but smile – it’s like we’re all experiencing a shared endorphin boost and we’re all high on vitamin D. Amazing what a little sunshine can do.

This salad feels like Vancouver in summertime to me with it’s vibrancy, freshness and Asian inspiration. I think I was really craving sushi when I first made it and even though you can certainly toss it all together and sprinkle on the sesame seeds, my preference is to dip the pieces in the dressing as you would sushi into soy and then touch the saucy bites down into the toasty seeds. Chopsticks optional. It’s a riff on a salad that we had occasionally as I was growing up that was just avocado and yellow grapefruit tossed together with a bit of olive oil. This version takes our taste buds a bit further East and plays more on the sweet/savoury balance and the beauty of the mysterious umami.

Supreming the orange might seem like more work than necessary, but cleanly removing all the pith and membranes leaves you nothing but the juicy pure capsules of orange flavour (or sub in grapefruit or pomelo with the same technique). If you’re new to supreming citrus, the ever-helpful folks at Bon Appetit can show you how, here. It’s not hard, I promise. I struggle more with forgetting to watch the sesame seeds and letting them burn.

Okay, it’s time to crack a cold drink and get back outside to soak up some more sun! Enjoy your weekend!

Avocado and Orange Salad with Toasted Sesame Dressing

this is enough to serve 2 people as a starter

3 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted until golden in a dry pan

1 ripe avocado pitted and cut into chunks

1 large navel orange, trimmed of all rind and pith, sectioned and cut into chunks

½ an English cucumber, chopped

½ C roasted cashews

ground pepper to taste

Assemble the avocado, orange, cucumber and cashews on 2 chilled plates. Toast the sesame seeds and set aside.

For the dressing:

the juice of a lime

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp olive oil

½ tsp agave or honey

Whisk all ingredients. Pour into a shallow dish to dip the salad into piece by piece, or pour over right before serving.

Sprinkle the dressed salad with the toasted sesame seeds, or if you’re dipping the pieces, dip them in dressing, then seeds.

Lentil Salad

As soon as spring strikes, I start to think about summer. I begin to look forward to the smell of sunscreen on hot skin, evenings filled with the smells of barbeques and fresh cut grass, the quenching tartness of my favourite lemonade and the sense of freedom that comes with the summer months. Between now and then there are a multitude of sensory delights that come with spring that should not be overlooked: local strawberries, longer evenings, cherry blossoms, getting our hands in the warm soil of the garden – the experiences are endless.  (more…)