salad for dinner

July 10th, 2012

salad for dinner by Jeanne Kelley

It hasn’t been as godawful hot here like it was last week, but still it’s hot. Dinnertime is of course the hottest part of the day, which makes for a very crabby cook. I’ve tried to make myself a little easier to be around by making cold salads pretty much every day for dinner. This book, obviously, has helped.

nicoise salad

Salad for Dinner,by Jeanne Kelley, is not a vegetarian cookbook, though it may sound like one. One chapter of the book is dedicated to meat free salads, but the rest are focused on seafood, fish, poultry, and meat. The salads are substantial, inventive, simple, and really just beautiful. She has some classics in the book, like salade nicoise. My nicoise salad (above) is actually not at all like the one in the book–which has artichokes and peppers and a delicious sounding anchovy vinaigrette–but hers is not very much like the classic salad anyway.

thai beef salad

Some salad seem to be an idea of a dinner turned into a salad: Vietnamese pork meatball banh mi salad, spicy sriracha buffalo chicken salad. And some salads are beautiful, seasonal ingredients that come together to make a perfect salad: Oregon summer grilled chicken salad (with peaches and blackberries). The book is a fantastic resource for different kinds of salad greens, dressings, lists of make-ahead salads, and how to make up your own salad for dinner. I may have checked the book out from the library, but it will be on my shelf for good soon enough.

three salads

I’m going to leave you with a salad recipe that isn’t from the book at all, rather from another excellent cookbook, River Cottage Everyday. This salad was so damn simple and good I had to share.

Fresh Peas and Ricotta salad

adapted from river cottage everyday by hugh fearnley-whittingstall

  • 1 lb peas (fresh if you can get them)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (again, the fresh stuff is so much better)
  • 3 or 4 green onions thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • a herb (thyme is nice or basil or mint or even tarragon, but not all of them together)

Cook the peas in salted water. Rinse them in cold water until they’ve cooled off. Mix with onions and herbs.  Pour a few big glugs of olive oil and squeeze about a 1/2 lemon on top. Make sure everything is coated and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Gently mix in the ricotta and serve. If you want to make this into a meal, some chicken would not be out of place.



Posted in food/recipes, library.

9 Responses to salad for dinner

  1. Georgine says:

    I actually “stole” this book from my sister. I love it and use it about 3 times a week. We had the farro and bacon salad last night. I like the salad dressings. It is a great book!

  2. I love the River Cottage books! Especially the Bread Handbook…lovely, simplicity at its very finest. I will have to look into this new book, thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Thea | mon ami says:

    I just got this book from the library myself and am grumbling that it’s due back tomorrow! We had the tostado salad this week (with some added leftover chicken and rice) and will definitely make it again for the dressing alone.

    Your salads look amazing and are inspiring some ideas for tonight’s dinner!

  4. Sascha says:

    Ahhh. I need the laugh right now. Tonight I made a spaghetti sauce that was thick and rich and all about winter time and The Chef asked me what planet I was on. We haven’t been experiencing the kind of heat most people have since we are Central Coast California but it is funny that on the menu for tonight was a cool Chinese chicken salad but I opted for the uncomfortable dish.

  5. Donna says:

    What a great idea! I love mixed salads, I really need to start doing this because I have so many days when I don’t want to cook and it’s just me and boys while the Hubby’s at work. Salads would work great!

  6. molly says:

    so… do your children eat salads?

    we are working on salads. but oh, the hill is steep and flippin’ long. two things touching still freaks them out, beyond measure. well, except peanut butter and chocolate. that’s okay. but not a salad.

    • meg says:

      molly, they do but only if I don’t mix the salad up. That is why all the ingredients are separate in most of my dinner pictures. My youngest is picky as hell so we give him a set number of items he has to choose then they can be on a plate and of course Not! Touching!!

  7. marne says:

    I love a good salad, and I’ve been in a rut lately, I think I need that book. Why are there only (crazy expensive) used copies available even though it was just published this year? Strange. I just requested it from the library, but with 24 holds, I don’t think I’ll get it before next summer :(

    I am going to try the pea salad, in the meantime!

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