Tag: Entree Salads

20 Main Dish Salads to Continue Your Healthy January Adventure

20 Main Dish Salads to Continue Your Healthy January Adventure

{print recipe for Kalamata Egg Salad with Charred Red Peppers}

If you’re not trying to get healthy this month, you might still want to read this week’s post featuring main dish salads.  Even if all you managed to accomplish was to clear out your entire cellar’s store of Pinot Noir but skipped every red, green, and silver Hershey’s kiss you encountered (and so didn’t gain an ounce in December), you could drum up interest in hefty, heart-warming and filling whole meal salads–if nothing else but to figure out what to do with leftover steak (leftover steak?!), those couple of lonely pork chops, an oh-so-sad single portion of salmon, one languishing chicken breast with wing attached, or perhaps only a drawer full of vegetables and cheese with little else to recommend them but a poached egg or two and maybe a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

Continue reading “20 Main Dish Salads to Continue Your Healthy January Adventure”

Friday Fish — Grilled Tuna Salad with Spicy Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

Friday Fish — Grilled Tuna Salad with Spicy Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

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I never pass the fish and seafood in the store without seeing if something’s on the fire sale.  $9 OFF a pound is a fire sale for fresh tuna.  It means they have to get rid of it that day, preferably immediately. I’m willing to eat that tuna. I’m happy to run home and cook it straight away.  This is a typically summer meal, but you can squeeze it in for Friday Fish this month if your’e dreaming.

We’re in the last week of Lent; Palm/Passion Sunday was last Sunday and that means Easter’s on its way.   I’m always amazing how Lent takes us from the dredges of winter to the cusp of spring, and sometimes mixes it all up in one day. Just about how my life sometimes goes, I think, and maybe yours, too.  Here’s Holy Monday and Tuesday’s  single post from my Lenten blog, Praying in Saint Paul and here’s Holy Wednesday’s.  You can check out the rest of the week’s posts by going to the upper left-hand corner of the black bar at the top and clicking on Sidebar or if CLASSIC is up, click on that and then click on Sidebar in the menu.

Anyway, here’s what I did with that sale tuna–and what you might do, too, on Good Friday if that’s part of your faith tradition. Otherwise, save it for that first warm day.  What I did was all dependent on what I had in the fridge and on the counter after a visit to the market …

grilled tuna salad with vegetables &
spicy lemon-basil vinaigrette
serves 4

The vegetables for this salad are grilled (inside or out), but could also be oven-roasted for 20-30 minutes or so at 400 degrees F.  No matter how you cook it, you’re eating quickly and happily.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds or lengthwise into1/4″ thick slices
  • 2  3/4-inch slices of a very large yellow onion
  • 2 6-8 ounce thick tuna steaks
  • 1/2 cup each cherry tomatoes and boccocini (small mozzarella balls)–about 12 each
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup Nicoise or kalamata olives
  • Juice of half-lemon
  • Spicy Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Preheat indoor or outdoor grill over medium-high heat.  Brush eggplant, zucchini, and onion with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Grill about 8 minutes, turning once at mid-point.  Remove to a plate and set aside.  After a few minutes, slice into one-inch pieces.
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Brush tuna with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill 2 minutes on one side until there are dark grill marks; turn and grill other side about 2 minutes for medium rare – rare, depending on the thickness of the tuna. Cook another minute or two for medium-well.   Remove and let rest 1-2 minutes.  Cut into one-inch chunks.
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To a large bowl, add tomatoes and boccocini (small mozzarella balls), spinach, olives, and sliced eggplant, zucchini, and onions. Stir gently and drizzle with a bit of lemon juice; add tuna and stir again.  Drizzle with remainder of lemon juice and then generously with vinaigrette.  Divide between four pasta or shallow bowls, placing cherry tomatoes in one section, cheese in another, and so on. Garnish with olives and reserved basil julienne. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Cook’s Note 1. If you’ve a large enough grill, grill the vegetables and add the tuna during the last few minutes.  I made this on a big cast iron indoor grill that covers two burners (Lodge), but it still wasn’t big enough for everything. Add to that, I’m only an indoor griller and like things in manageable batches. I leave the big gas or charcoal grill to Dave or whomever I can lasso into firing it up.  2. If you’d like a bit heartier salad, stir in a 15-ounce can of drained cannellini beans (season first pepper and with a bit of the vinaigrette) along with the grilled vegetables.
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spicy lemon-basil vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • generous pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shallot or red onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons basil julienne, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, spices,  mustard, shallot, and two tablespoons basil.  Slowly add the olive oil, whisking all the while, until vinaigrette is well mixed and emulsified.  Taste and adjust seasonings. (Rest of basil is for garnish)

Wine:  Go American and drink a great big California Chardonnay or an Oregon Pinot Noir.
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Note:  Recipe previously posted on this blog August, 2013.
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Sing a new song; make a new salad,
Alyce
Friday Fish — Crab Cakes on Fresh Greens with Lemon Vinaigrette

Friday Fish — Crab Cakes on Fresh Greens with Lemon Vinaigrette

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Upcoming Cooking Classes 3rd+4th Thursdays of April, May, and June, 2015,  5-8pm at Shouse Appliance, Colorado Springs, Colorado. $55 adults; $30 kids.  $5 discount for cash/checks.  Includes French Night, Make a Great Pizza+ Salad at Home, Kids make dinner/dessert, Spring Brunch (Master quiche/homemade sausage!) Can’t wait to cook with you. Click here for list and sign-up info:  

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During the past two weeks of Lent (if you’re interested, read my Lenten blog here), we’ve gone from cold/snow to 75F/sunnyIMG_2360, then back to 40F with nasty freezing rain.  While we have about one gray day a year, it’s here as I write today.  My good friend Roberta is visiting from the Twin Cities and I know she came for spring sunshine walksIMG_2362 with our puppies.  Instead she’s practicing her Bach on my piano in the living room and the dogs are in jail with wet feet from their fast foray out into the wetlands.

Even so, I’ve chosen a salad –-albeit a warm one–for Friday Fish and I’m a thief as I’ve stolen the idea for this Friday’s dinner from one of my favorite local restaurants– Marigold’s. Who knows from whence it originally came as there are a bunch of versions on the internet.  I don’t have the recipe from Marigold’s and have no idea how they make the salad except that it’s good.  My idea for any crab cake is lots of crab, not so much filler and a big lemony punch.  Cue this salad I figured out as I went along catch as catch can. Because I had it,  I served the salad with a cup of leftover Colcannon Soup from St. Patrick’s Day, along with a wedge of Irish Soda Bread. It’s pretty fine all on its own, though, or just with some biscuits. And butter. Try this:

CRAB CAKES ON FRESH GREENS WITH LEMON VINAIGRETTE

Serves 3-4 for a main course.  Serves 6 for a first course.

Crabcakes (Makes 6):  

  • 1 pound crabmeat–lump or claw-picked over for shells (in a 1# can, already cooked)
  • 8 Ritz crackers crushed finely*
  • 2 slices baguette crumbs (or other bread)*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 scallions minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
  • Several drops hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil

Mix all ingredients together well; taste and adjust seasoning.  Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet.  Form crab mixture first into 6 balls, patting together, and then into patties 3-4 inches in diameter. If mixture won’t form balls or patties, let sit a few minutes so that the crumbs absorb the moisture. You can even stick it in the fridge for 15 minutes if needed.  Carefully place in pan. Fry on one side 3-5 minutes until very brown; gently turn over and cook other side another few minutes until it, too, is well-browned.  Serve hot or warm on greens.

*If you have a food processor, you can throw the bread and crackers into it and process using the steel blade until you have very fine crumbs.

Prepare the greens

  • 6-8 cups arugula or other fresh greens
  • 3 radishes sliced very thinly
  • 4 small tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 lemons–1 cut in half and 1 quartered
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Spread greens on a large platter and scatter radishes along the perimeter.  Add tomatoes and quartered lemon to corners of dish.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Squeeze 1/2 lemon over all and drizzle with the first two tablespoons olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more olive oil if necessary.

Put the salad together

Top greens with hot or warm crab cakes. Add a little more lemon juice to each cake.  Serve immediately.

Optional Garnish:  Dab  a teaspoon of mayonnaise on each crab cake and garnish with a bit of chopped parsley, cilantro, dill, or scallions.

Cook’s Note:  You can make the crab cakes ahead ( even the night before), cool and chill them, and briefly warm in a buttered skillet before serving the salad.

{printable recipe}

Sing a new song,

Alyce

Friday Fish — Fish Taco Salad

Friday Fish — Fish Taco Salad

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My husband is nuts for fish tacos and, in an effort to provide a more fun Friday night meal, I made them a couple of weeks ago.  (I usually take Friday afternoons to create something gorgeous and time-consuming that requires a knife and fork to eat.) Fun to him means protein between big pieces of some sort of grainy holders or, alternately, anything that gets dipped or is spicy or is slathered in bacon and barbecue sauce.  These tacos were so good that I then made them at work and brought leftovers home. While leftovers from work aren’t typical, they are when the weather is as it’s been for the last week.

(below: look closely–Tucker’s watching a doe in our yard)

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Days of snow and cold drove us indoors where we were sustained by those leftovers followed by vats of barley soup I’d frozen ahead and no small amount of nightly red wine.  When the tortillas were gone, I made a salad we maybe liked better than the tacos.  Maybe.  If you’re eating fish on Fridays for Lent or if you’re just looking for a tasty healthy dinner, try this salad. Even if it’s as cold at your house as it’s been at mine. You’ll have room for dessert if you do! Continue reading “Friday Fish — Fish Taco Salad”