Archive for the ‘The Salad Bar’ Category

Fresh Field Pea and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Kids small hands are helpful for shelling peas!

Adapted from a Southern Living (August 2009) recipe.  We are getting fresh, still light green, black-eyed peas at our Farmers’ Market right now (as opposed to the dried ones you’ll get in the autumn).   This was a very satisfying, light summery way to use Southern Field Peas, with lovely textures and little cooking.

These peas have a range of color, the greener the fresher.


In the order below, place ingredients in a jar and shake well.

1 teaspoon lemon zest

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey mustard

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil (plus another few tablespoons for serving)

¾ teaspoon salt

several pinches chili powder

pepper to taste

1/3 cup good olive oil


2 cups fresh field peas

4 medium or 6 small heirloom tomatoes

several handfuls of micro greens

4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Add a generous amount of salt.  Add peas and boil for 8 – 10 minutes, until tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.  Toss with about 1/3 cup of dressing, to coat.

Cut ¼ inch tomato slices and arrange on salad plates.  Top with a small bunch of micro greens, then a dollop of peas.  Sprinkle goat cheese, bacon (if using), additional basil.  Drizzle with a bit more dressing and serve.

Printable version here:  Fresh Field Pea and Heirloom Tomato Salad



I adapted this from a “Green Goddess Salad” but I can’t find it now and I didn’t like that name.  This is a loosely measured salad, which means that you don’t need to stress about relative quantities.  But, as I learned the hard way, don’t go crazy with the substitutions (e.g. lime for lemon juice, yuck).

Super, cuz it’s got lots of high quality fats, proteins and vitamins.  It’s also got a great combo of tastes and textures.  To completely avoid cooking on a hot evening, cook the farro in the morning and let it sit in the fridge.  Let it come to room temp before using.

Anchovy Dressing:

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ small shallot, minced

juice from one lemon

2 big squirts Anchovy paste

big pinch of parsley leaves, minced

pinch sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Step one:  combine first three ingredients in a jar, shake, let sit for ten minutes.  Step two: add rest of ingredients and shake well.


2 handfuls of dinosaur/Tuscan kale leaves, preferably about 6” long

1 big handful of arugula, chopped

1 handful flat leafed parsley leaves, chopped

1 palmful minced mint leaves (or basil, or tarragon)

1 palmful minced chives

1 big handful cooked and shelled edamame

1 small cucumber, diced

2 cups cooked farro*

1 hard boiled egg, diced

½ avocado per person, diced

Make dressing step one.

Stem and chop the kale leaves.  Place in a large mixing bowl.  Spray or drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Massage the kale by gathering it into your fists and gently squeezing and rubbing until it has all darkened in color and begun to soften.  Add the rest of the ingredients except for the avocado and gently fold together (preferably with your hands).  Finish the dressing and drizzle it on sparingly, mixing it in gently and adding more to taste.  Serve with diced avocado on top, as well as additional parsley or a few crumbles of feta cheese or seeds or nuts of choice.

*Cooking Farro:

Combine 1 cup pearled farro with 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, until al dente.  Drain if necessary.  If not using pearled farro, add another ½ cup of water and cook 40 – 50 minutes.


From Melissa Clark’s COOK THIS NOW, I didn’t change it much at all (OK, I eliminated a few bowls along the way) and it was a big hit at our latest FCA.  My only suggestion: ours was beautiful with purple and orange carrots.  To keep such carrots’ color, don’t peel them, but scrub very well.  Then, roast them on separate pans so the colors don’t mix.

1 lb. carrots, scrubbed or peeled, and cut into ½ “ rounds

1 ½ tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons EVOO

salt & pepper

2 teaspoons honey

¼ cup sliced almonds

about 8 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry

1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt & pepper

more EVOO

Preheat the oven to 400.  Toss together carrots, 1 ½ tablespoons EVOO, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet, then spread out in one layer.  Roast, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, 2 teaspoons EVOO, 1 teaspoon water and a couple pinches of salt.  In a small baking pan, toss together almonds with 1 ½ teaspoons of the honey mixture and spread out evenly (though they will stick together a bit).

Once carrots have roasted for 25 minutes, pour the remaining honey mixture over them and toss to coat.  Roast carrots and almonds for another 5 – 7 minutes, until almonds are golden and carrots are tender.  Remove and cool completely.  (Can be done several hours ahead and stored at room temperature.)

For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Whisk in ¼ cup EVOO until fully incorporated.

In a large bowl, toss together the greens with half of the dressing.  Fold in carrots and almonds, drizzle on more dressing to taste and toss gently.

Printable version here:  HONEY ROASTED CARROT SALAD


Adapted from  I made this pretty much as directed, but my vegetables took much longer to roast than she suggested.  This was my first time cooking with farro, and it was easy enough and I love the chewy texture and earthy flavor of it.

2 cups farro, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons sea salt

5 cups water or stock

3 cups butternut squash, cut into ½” dice

1 large red onion, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

3 tablespoons EVOO

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup walnuts, deeply toasted

3 tablespoons toasted walnut oil or more EVOO

¼ cup goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine farro, salt and water or stock in a large, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender, 45 minutes to an hour (or half that amount if you are using a pearled version – check your package directions as well).  Check its doneness often; you want it nicely al dente, to retain its shape.  Remove from heat, drain excess water, and set aside.

Once farro is cooking, toss squash, onion and thyme with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a couple big pinches of salt on a rimmed baking sheet.  Arrange in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes.  Toss every 5 – 7 minutes to get browning on multiple sides.  Once squash is cooked through, remove from the oven.

In a large bowl gently toss farro with vegetables.  This can be made several hours ahead and left at room temperature (or refrigerate and then let come back to room temp before serving).  Just before serving, fold in nuts and goat cheese with walnut oil, or additional olive oil, adding salt and pepper as needed.



Adapted from  Hers had a few more things in it — cucumber and avocado — but I was worried about the avocado sitting without browning.  Also the herb she included was cilantro, with mint as an alternative, but I had nice parsley, which worked well.

1 clove garlic,

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup dried orzo pasta

8 – 10 medium asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1” pieces

1 medium head of broccoli cut into small trees, stems discarded

small handful of parsley, chopped

¼ cup EVOO

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 small cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/4” pieces

¼ cup feta, crumbled

Mash garlic with a large pinch of salt into a paste, with a mortar and pestle, or using the back of a large spoon and a cutting board.  Put garlic paste into a jar or small bowl, pour lemon juice over it, and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Salt generously and boil orzo per package directions, to al dente.  About one minute before orzo is done, stir in asparagus and broccoli.  Once water comes back to a full boil, check for doneness and then drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.

Whisk or shake olive oil into garlic and lemon juice to make dressing.  Toss pasta and vegetables with about half of the dressing, and set aside until ready to serve. This can be made several hours ahead and left at room temperature (or refrigerate and then let come back to room temp before serving).

Just before serving, fold in the rest of the ingredients, add more dressing as needed, and serve.



This is adapted from 101 Cookbooks, who adapted from a Melissa Clark recipe.  Make sure you use really fresh Tuscan (aka Dinosaur, Lacinato or Russian) Kale, not the curly-leaved kind.

Tip on washing Kale: Tear leaves from stems and put in large bowl of water.  Swish thoroughly, remove to colander.  Repeat until the water is clean.  For this recipe, I also recommend running through a salad spinner to dry the kale (when you sauté kale, you want it damp).

2 slices whole wheat country bread

1 bunch kale (see above), stems removed and washed well, then dried

1 – 4 cloves garlic (to your taste), chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup (plus more for serving) grated Pecorino (or other Parmesan) cheese

3 tablespoons (plus more) EVOO

3 tablespoons lemon juice

couple shakes – 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)


Toast bread and cool.  Tear into pieces and pulse in food processor until coarse crumbs.

Slice kale into very thin ribbons and place in a large bowl.

Using a mortar and pestle (or spoon against a cutting board) smush garlic with salt into a paste.  Transfer to a small bowl and add lemon juice.  Let macerate for about 10 minutes.  Then whisk in peppers.  Whisk in oil, pouring in a slow stream.  Whisk in cheese.  Pour half of dressing over kale and toss well (it is thick so you have to work to coat leaves) and add more as needed.  Let sit for about 15 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Printable version RAW TUSCAN KALE SALAD


This is from a class I took in NC at A Southern Season gourmet cooking store with Shellie Kark.  The class was all about cooking without heating up your kitchen too much.  I loved this idea for FCA, because she suggested that you make the bulgur salad, and set it out with bowls of toppings and the lettuce wrappers, and then let the guests fill and wrap their own.  It’s basically a tabouli, but the dressing gives it a unique taste that “pulls its own weight” in the meal, as Shellie says.


2 cups fine bulgur wheat

olive oil

2 cups boiling water

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped cucumber

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses OR balsamic glaze

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

¾ cup EVOO

salt and pepper

3 scallions, chopped fine

1/3 cup chopped mint

½ cup feta cheese

salt and pepper


toasted walnuts

chopped parsley

1 large head butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed, dried & chilled


Place chopped tomatoes and cucumbers in a sieve and set aside to drain off excess liquid.

Place bulgur in a medium metal bowl, lightly coat grains with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and stir in boiling water.  Cover (I use a large ceramic dinner plate) and set aside for 15 – 20 minutes.

Make vinaigrette: in a small bowl whisk together pomegranate molasses/balsamic glaze, lemon juice, and honey.  Slowly whisk in olive oil.  Season with S & P and set aside.

Gently combine drained tomatoes & cucumber with scallions, mint & feta in a large bowl.  Season with S & P and drizzle with some of the vinaigrette; stir to combine.  Stir in bulgur, adding more vinaigrette as needed, keeping the mixture somewhat dry.  Serve as suggested above.