Spring Greens with Pecorino Romano and Toasted Walnuts

For the dressing:  Combine 1½ TBS sherry or tarragon vinegar, 1 garlic scape or clove of garlic finely chopped and ¼ tsp. salt.
-Whisk together and let stand for 15 minutes.
-Stir in 1 tsp Dijon mustard and 6 TBS of walnut/and or extra-virgin olive oil. 
For the greens:  Without undoing the rubber band, gently swish 1 bunch of arugula in some cold water, and then shake dry.  
-Beginning from the top of the bunch of arugula, cut ½ inch strips off until you reach the bottom 2 inches and then discard the stems.  
-Wash a head of butter lettuce and then spin the lettuce and the arugula dry in a salad spinner.  
-Chop a third of abunch of chives into thin slivers.  
-Put a tsp of butter in a small skillet over low heat.  
-Add ½ cup walnut halves and toast until golden brown, 2-4 minutes.  
-Coarsely grate ½ cup Pecorino Romano.
To assemble salad:  Toss the greens with the chopped chives, enough dressing to coat. 
-Heap the greens on individual serving plates and top with a generous sprinkle of cheese and some walnuts.

Salad Ideas

Blanch rainbow chard, then drain and shock in ice water. Squeeze it dry, chop it and toss it with toasted pine nuts, raisins, olive oil and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar. Capers are good, too.

Roast beets whole, then slice or cube and toss with a little chopped garlic (or a lot of roasted garlic), toasted walnuts, orange juice and olive oil.

Make a crisp grilled cheese sandwich, with good bread and not too much good cheese. Let it cool, then cut into croutons. Put them on anything, but especially tomato and basil salad. This you will do forever.

Peel beets and grate them in a food processor. Mix equal parts plain yogurt and tahini and toss with the beets along with lemon juice and za’atar (a mixture of toasted sesame seeds, dried green herbs and ground sumac; you can make it yourself using dried thyme).

Cold not-sesame noodles: Combine about a half-cup peanut butter with a tablespoon soy sauce and enough coconut milk to make the mixture creamy (about a half cup), along with garlic and chili flakes in a blender or food processor. Toss sauce with cooked and cooled noodles, a load of basil, and/or cilantro, and lime juice. Shredded carrots, raw peas and chives optional.

Sort of classic pasta salad: Pasta, artichoke hearts, sliced prosciutto or salami, chopped tomato. Dress with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar, perhaps with some mustard.

Cook short-grain white rice in watered-down coconut milk (be careful that it doesn’t burn) and a few cardamom pods. While warm, toss with peas (they can be raw if they’re fresh and tender), chopped cashews or pistachios, a pinch of chili flakes and chopped raw rainbow chard.

Toss cooked, cooled farro, wheat berries, barley or other chewy grain with chopped-up tomatoes. Add olive oil, lemon juice and thinly sliced romaine lettuce; toss again, with ricotta salata or feta.

Trim crusts if necessary from day-or-two-old bread (or even three-day-old bread), cube and marinate in black olive tapenade thinned with more olive oil. Add chopped capers and toss with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. (Anchovies optional.)

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce with Balsamic Vinegar and Baked Chevre Goat Cheese

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

-Coat a small baking pan with 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil.

-Place ¾ cup bread crumbs in a flat bowl.

-Place 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil into another small bowl.

-Cut 6 ounces very cold chevre goat cheese into 4 rounds.

-Dip each round into the oil and coat with the breadcrumbs.

-Transfer to the baking pan and proceed with the others.

-Bake until the rounds turn golden brown, about 8 minutes.

-Wash and dry a head of 1 head of red oak leaf lettuce.

For the dressing, whisk together the following:

1 TBS Balsamic vinegar

4 TBS walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil

Some salt and pepper.

-Drizzle the dressing over the greens and toss to coat.  

-Serve the salad on individual plates and top with a goat cheese round.

Red Cabbage Salad with Warm Pancetta-Balsamic Vinaigrette

-Place ¼ cup currants in small bowl.

-Heat 3 TBS Balsamic vinegar in saucepan over medium heat until hot (do not boil).

-Pour vinegar over currants; let soak until currants soften, 15 to 20 minutes.

-Thinly slice 6 cups red cabbage (about half a large cabbage).

-Place cabbage in large bowl; set aside.

-Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

-Finely chop 4 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon).

-Add pancetta to pan; sauté until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

-Put 1 clove of garlic through a press and stir into pancetta.

-Then stir in currant/vinegar mixture and add 1 TBS olive oil.

-Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

-Pour pancetta mixture over cabbage and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

-Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

-Coarsely chop ½ cup almonds.

-Toast in a skillet or toaster oven until lightly browned.

-Add the almonds to the cabbage and toss to blend.


Rainbow Chard Salad with Maple Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

Good, good looking and good for you!

-Finely chop 1 bunch of raw rainbow chard, stems and all.

-Put the chard in a large salad bowl.

-Then put ½ cup walnut halves to a heavy frying pan, add a splash of maple syrup (or a pinch of sugar) and a TBS of butter.

-Cook stirring often until just golden brown. Add to the chard mixture.

-Then add the following:

¼ cup dried cranberries or dried currents

A splash of olive oil

The juice and zest of 1 lime (or lemon)

1 finely chopped clove of garlic

A splash of maple syrup 

A pinch of salt.

-Mix together well.

-Top the salad with ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese and serve.


Green Bean, Radish and Smoked Turkey Salad

From Pearla Meyer’s Fresh From the Garden.

-Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. 

-Tip and tail 1 pound of green beans. Chop into 1-inch segments. 

-Cook until just tender, about 4-5 minutes. 

-Run the beans under cold water and then dry on a kitchen towel.

-In a large serving bowl combine the following:

2 TBS sherry vinegar

6 TBS olive oil

4 TBS sour cream or yogurt

A quarter of a finely chopped onion

-Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. 

-Thinly slice 1 bunch of radishes and add to the dressing along with the cooked beans.

-Toss well and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. 

-Then slice up about 6 ounces smoked turkey breast and some chives or parsley

-Fold into the salad and taste for salt.

-Serve the salad lightly chilled with slices of crusty French bread.

Beet Salad with Feta and Sunflower Seeds

-Using a box grater or a food processor fitted with a grating blade, shred the following

1 bunch of beets

1 bunch of carrots

-Zest 1 lemon and juice it.

-In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest with the following:

2 tsp white wine vinegar

¼ cup finely chopped dill or cilantro

2 TBS olive oil.

-Season with salt and pepper.

-Add shredded beet/carrot mixture to bowl and toss to coat.

-Right before serving, gently toss with

½ cup feta cheese

¼ cup sunflower seeds

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

-Cut the tops off of 1 bunch of beets and save for another use.

-Put a good amount of water in a steamer and steam for 20-25 minutes over medium high heat. (You can also use a pressure cooker, which will take 7 minutes instead.)

-When the beets are tender when poked with a sharp knife, drain and run under cold water.

-When cool enough to handle, slip the skins of the beets.

For the dressing:

-In a mason jar with a lid, add the following:

3 TBS walnut oil

3 TBS extra virgin olive oil

The juice of ½ a lemon

1/8 tsp salt and some freshly ground black pepper

-Cut the beets into wedges, then sprinkle with some of the dressing and toss.

-Toast ¼ cup walnut pieces in a toaster oven for 3 minutes (set the timer!) or brown them in a skillet.

-Tear 1 lettuce into small pieces.

-Gently wash and spin dry, then mound a little on each plate.

-Top with some of the beets and then the toasted walnuts.

-Crumble up about ¼ cup chevre style goat cheese and sprinkle on each salad.

-Dust with some finishing salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Arugula, Cherry and Goat Cheese Salad

-Leaving the rubber band on, cut 2 bunches of arugula into 3rds, discarding the last 1-3 inches of stem.

-Gently wash and spin dry.

-Toast ¼ cup pistachios or almonds and then chop when cool.

-Finely chop 1 tsp fresh dill.

-Halve and pit 16 Rainer Cherries.

-Combine the arugula, cherries, half the nuts and the dill in a large bowl.

-Whisk together the following:

1 TBS sherry vinegar

1 tsp Balsamic vinegar

3 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

-Gently toss with the salad.

-Arrange on a platter, sprinkle 2 ounces crumbled chevre goat cheese and remaining nuts over the top and serve.

Arugula Salad with Tomatoes and Shaved Fennel

-Whisk 2 TBS red wine vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil in a bowl until emulsified.

-Leaving the rubber band on, cut 1-2 bunches of arugula into thirds, discarding the stems.

-Wash and spin-dry the arugula.

-Plate the arugula.

-In a large bowl mix together the following:

3 slicing tomatoes, chopped into small dice.

½ pint Sungold cherry tomatoes, chopped in half.

½ a fennel bulb,shaved into very thin slices.

¼ cup pepperoncini,drained and chopped.

¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped.

-Drizzle with dressing; toss to combine and season with salt and pepper.

-Divide amongst the plates.

-Sprinkle with some crumbled feta cheese if desired.