Category Archives: Salad

Spinach Avocado Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and Fried Egg, Recipe

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You had me at Bacon Vinaigrette…

I was looking for a salad to make for a Saturday lunch and thought this was perfect. Indulgently rich and salty and yet it is a salad so it gives the impression of being healthy. Yes, sneaky deliciousness.

The bacon vinaigrette was delicious and everything worked really well together. The only thing I will do differently the next time is cook the bacon a little longer as, although it looked very cooked and brown while frying it, it got soft and a lighter in color once it had been made into a dressing. This is a keeper – how great would it be as part of a brunch?

I’ve posted the recipe below the photo for your pleasure!

Spinach Avocado Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and Fried Egg
From the Tastespotting Blog

makes 4 salads (yeah right)

Ingredients
4 very large handfuls of baby spinach, washed and completely dried
1 large or 2 medium/small avocados, peeled and sliced
Bacon Vinaigrette (see below)
4 eggs, cooked sunny side up
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
In each salad bowl or plate, place a large handful of spinach. Divide and arrange avocado slices on one side, then fried egg. Drizzle generously with Bacon Vinaigrette and hit with fresh cracked black pepper.

Bacon Vinaigrette
makes about 1 cup

Ingredients
6-8 slices of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used grapeseed)
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon each)

Directions
Heat cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until cooked through but still soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and cook until garlic is fragrant (but doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through), about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and drain off as much of the bacon grease as you can.

Pour the cooked bacon, garlic and shallots in a bowl. Whisk in vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Mixed Baby Greens with Maple Dressing, Cranberries and Apples, Recipe

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I only recently discovered how delicious salads, with homemade dressing, can be so was happy to serve one up as a starter for my recent dinner party. The entree, Fish Mollee, was on the heavier side so wanted something light but not boring. I also wanted to sneak some fruit in there as I’ve been lacking in my fruit intake lately. Enter Mixes Baby Greens with Cranberries, Apples, and Goat Cheese with Maple Dressing. It was easy (especially as you can make the dressing earlier and refrigerate until ready to use), quick, and delicious.

The dressing is quite garlicky, be warned, but it actually offsets the sweetness of the cranberries apples, and maple really nicely. By the end of the salad I couldn’t taste the garlic anymore but I am sure that’s just because my whole mouth tasted like it. I’d definitely make this again whether for a party or as a quick weekday dinner.

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Mixed Baby Greens with Maple Dressing, Cranberries and Apples

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T maple syrup
Kosher salt
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into thin strips
1 T fresh lemon juice
8 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1. Make the maple dressing: Whisk together the oil, garlic, vinegar and maple syrup until well combined. Add kosher salt to taste. (I usually need 3-4 generous pinches, tasting after each addition.)

2. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice to prevent browning.

3. In a large bowl, combine the baby greens, apples, cranberries and half the pecans. Toss the greens with maple dressing to taste and divide among serving dishes. Top each dish with remaining pecans and goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4-6

Provençal Chicken Salad with Roasted Peppers and Artichokes, Recipe

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We outgrew our office space years ago so anytime we hire a new employee it’s like playing tetris trying to figure out where to put people. Our newest addition was squeezed into Alicia and my current office which turned out to be a great fit (while it lasts as we are moving next week)! Maeve quickly caught on that Alicia and I are obsessed with food and with my recent salad obsession she brought in a beautiful salad themed cookbook, Raising the Bar, for us to thumb through. I photocopied a few recipes and here’s the first I tried which is definitely share-worthy and worth a repeat. Can’t get enough of salads these days!

Provençal Chicken Salad with Roasted Peppers and Artichokes
From Raising the Salad Bar

Ingredients
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 can (14 ounces)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt & pepper
1 roasted bell pepper, cut into strips
3 tablespoons minced parsley
4 cups mixed baby lettuce greens, washed and dried

Dijon-Herb Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper

Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let rest until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain tomatoes and mince them. Rinse the artichoke hearts and cut into quarters, then pat dry wit paper towels.

Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove tenderloins from the chicken breast and pound the chicken to an even thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Oil the grill and either grill or pan fry the chicken 4 or 5 minutes on each side until just cooked. When cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2-inch wide strips.

I’m a large bowl, combine the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, and parsley.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk all of he dressing ingredients; season with salt and pepper. Before serving, whisk dressing again and combine with the chicken salad.

To serve, place baby greens on a platter and top with the chicken salad or serve on individual plates the vinaigrette from the salad will seep through to flavor the greens below.

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Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Recipe

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Superfood! Just that term alone gets me giddy about all the super I am putting into my body. When I first pulled this recipe I didn’t necessarily think it would taste super, I pulled it because of the nutritional benefits of all the ingredients. But! It actually tasted delicious as well. I modified the original recipe a bit… I omitting pomegranate seeds as I couldn’t find pomegranates at the store but feel free to add them. I also halved the olive oil as I didn’t think a whopping 6 tbsps is really necessary.

This is a great Monday night salad to try to undo a lot of the weekend damage.

Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted From Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled and segments chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1.5 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
2 lemons, juiced (need 1/4 cup juice)
2 garlic cloves, microplaned or finely minced
dash of sweetener (agave nectar, stevia or white sugar)
salt & pepper
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake to combine. Or, add lemon juice, garlic, sweetener, salt and pepper into a small bowl and whisk in oil.

Combine cooled quinoa with red onion, orange segments, avocado, beans, corn, cilantro, salt and pepper. Pour Lemon Vinaigrette over the salad and stir to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Fall Salad with Roasted Pears and Blue Cheese, Recipe

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I’m on a salad kick! Who would have thought in the middle of a New England winter to boot? Well, its almost Springlike here in Boston so that might explain it…

Here’s another good one I have found, I’m loving the roasted pears and hope you do too. Make sure you get good blue cheese, nothing will ruin a dish quicker than a cheap and smelly blue.

Fall Salad with Roasted Pears and Blue Cheese
From Confections of a Modern Bride (Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics)

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3 ripe but firm red Anjou pears
juice of 3 lemons
3 oz coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup apple juice
3 Tbsp Port
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups of Arugula (or your favorite salad greens)
Black pepper
Salt

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375.
Peel the pears and cut in half length-wise. Use a melon baller to remove the cores and seeds. Cut a small slice away from the rounded side of each pair to keep it steady when filling and baking. Toss the pears with lemon juices and arrange them core side up in a baking dish.
Toss the blue cheese, cranberries, and walnuts together and divide among the pears. Combine apple juice, port, and brown sugar, whisking together until sugar dissolves. Drizzle over and around the pears. Bake the pears, basting every 5-10 minutes with the apple-port mixture, until tender (about 40 minutes in my oven). Remove and let cool to warm or room temp.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the basting liquid. Toss with the arugula and divide among 6 plates. Top each salad with a pear half, season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette, Recipe

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I’ve never been a a creative salad 20120123-215353.jpgperson, always reverting to the standard restaurant side salad of iceberg lettuce, julienned carrots, celery and bottled vinaigrette dressing. Sometimes I would get crazy and add cherry tomatoes. Quite boring really. Last summer I discovered beets so I really branched out and made salads with beets, goat cheese, pecans and, again, bottle vinaigrettes. That was as adventurous as it would get.

Then I discovered this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette. I wasn’t too sure of the vinaigrette as I was making it as it tasted very tart but once it was on the salad it came together beautifully.

This salad is delicious, and not at all boring. It’s a meal, a side, a snack. It’s warm, sweet, crunchy, tangy, and salty. It’s easy but good enough for company (thanks for being my taste tester, Alyssa!). A fantastic winter salad that is sure to break you out of your salad rut as it did for me.

Never again will you see me shaking that store bought salad dressing. NEVER! Well, maybe sometimes but not as often…

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
From Ina Garten

Ingredients
1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.