Posts Tagged ‘salad’

kale and apple salad

kale and apple salad

When my kids ask me what’s for dinner and I tell them kale and apple salad is on the menu, they actually do a little dance. Crazy, right? I still can’t believe how much they love this salad. It is ridiculously simple and super healthy too. Doesn’t get better than that.

kale and apple salad

I think the appeal might have something to do with how I cut the kale. Big leaves of kale make your salad tough and chewy. But thin, noodle-y strips of kale make a light and crunchy salad. To do this, strip the kale leaves off the thick ribs and roll them into a long bundle (if it’s easier to handle, make two bundles). Cutting perpendicular to the bundle, with your sharpest knife, cut the kale into thin strips.

kale and apple salad

A grated apple and some vinegar-y dressing is all that is needed to finish this salad off.  I like my dressing to be almost equal parts vinegar and oil, which might sound a little strong, but works with a mild vinegar. Rice wine vinegar is my favorite, but either white wine or apple cider vinegar would work too. The vinegar also breaks down the kale a bit. It helps to massage the kale after you mix it with the dressing. I feel like a fool every time I do it, but don’t skip this step.  Massage your kale! Everyone needs a little love.

kale and apple salad

kale and apple salad

for the salad

  • one bunch kale
  • one tart apple (I like pink lady apples)

for the dressing

  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper


Mix up your dressing in a medium-sized bowl. Cut your kale in thin strips. Mix the kale with the dressing. Massage your kale! Grate an apple on top. Mix and serve. You can make the salad ahead of time, but don’t mix the apple in until right before you serve it. Enjoy!


salad for dinner

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.



slow roasted salmon

slow roasted salmon

Here in the Midwest the weather this fall has been a little ridiculous: hot one day, freezing the next, perfect for a while, and then humid? in fall, really? Dinner planning got rather difficult. I would start something warm and stew-y in the chilly morning and would be sweating while I was eating it in the evening. Not all that pleasant.

But then I made this beautiful slow roasted salmon recipe from Suzanne Goin’s book Sunday Supers at Lucques. Now I adapted it to my let’s hurry up and get dinner on the table attitude because Suzanne’s recipes are all day, three course affairs, but I think the salmon is still super delicious. It’s warm, but light at the same time–just right for when the weather can’t figure out what season it is.

slow roasted salmon

with roasted beet and potato salad

heavily adapted from Sunday Supers at Lucques

for the salmon

  • a side of salmon, skin on, about 2 lbs (I used coho salmon and it was a bit cheaper)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons minced tarragon
  • 1 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper

for the salad

  • 1 lb small potatoes
  • 1 lb beets (various colors if possible)
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • salad greens (arugula is nice, but any lettuce is fine)

for the mustard vinaigrette

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


Roast the vegetables first: heat your oven to 400 degrees F and roast the potatoes and beets whole for 30 minutes or until a knife pierces them easily. In a small bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the mustard vinaigrette. When the beets are warm slip off the skin and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Cut the potatoes similarly and pour the vinaigrette over both. Toss carefully as the beets can color everything bright purple!

Right after the vegetables come out of the oven turn it down to 250 degrees F. Mix everything for the salmon (except the salmon) in a small bowl. You should have a thick lemony, herby paste.  Place the salmon, skin side down, on a parchment lined pan. Rub the paste on the salmon.  Put the salmon in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Because we are cooking it so slowly, the salmon will not change color much.  To test if it is done, peek between the flakes with a fork.  If it doesn’t separate into flakes, it’s not ready yet.

When you are ready to serve the salad gently toss the salad greens with the warm potatoes and beets.  Squeeze a bit of lemon over the hot salmon and put everything on the table.