Archive | Salad

Melon, Watermelon, Cucumber and Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad

When the temperature hits 90° or more, long-awaited local tomatoes start hitting the market. Under the shade of market pavilions, shoppers can take their pick of heirloom cherry tomatoes in a rainbow of colors bearing old-fashioned names like Super Snow White, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, and Honkin’ Big Black Cherry. Locally grown cucumbers, distinct from their supermarket cousins because they are not coated with wax, arrive in early summer. In our summer market salads, we like to experiment with the flavors of different cucumber varieties, like the round, yellow Lemon; the long, thin, pale Armenian; and the dark green, curling Serpent. A mix of tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon captures a wealth of summer tastes in a single dish.

Yield: 8–10 servings


  • ½ small seedless yellow or red watermelon, rind trimmed and flesh cut
  • into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cucumbers, peeled if the skin is thick or bitter and cut into ½-inch
  • cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pint heirloom green, black or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
  • Zest of 1 lime, removed in wide strips
  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon sea
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Grilled Quail Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Honey-Coffee Vinaigrette

Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons brewed espresso or double-strength regular coffee
  • ¼ cup aged Spanish sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 6 partially boned or bone-in quail, cleaned Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 to 6 cups frisée or curly endive or escarole chicory leaves, white and light green parts only
  • 2 cups wild or cultivated arugula or watercress, tough stems removed
  • About 1 tablespoon coffee beans, crushed, or cocoa nibs, for garnish


In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso, vinegar, honey, shallot, salt and pepper until the honey is well incorporated and the salt is fully dissolved. Gradually whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and continue to whisk until well emulsified. Reserve until needed.

Mix together … Read More

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Yield: 8 servings

This is a perfect summertime dish to start a lunch or dinner. The heat of the serrano chilies contrasts with the cool, refreshing melon and the mint, lime and salty prosciutto add interesting counterpoints.


  • 1⁄3 cup sugar or honey
  • ¼ cup white wine or water
  • 1 teaspoon seeded and minced serrano chilies or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon each finely diced red and yellow bell peppers
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
  • 2 large honeydew, cantaloupe, crane or other ripe melon
  • 8 fresh ripe figs, fanned
  • 8 paper-thin slices of prosciutto or other salumi of your choice
  • Garnish: Edible flower petals such as nasturtium, borage and or day lily, if desired


In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and wine over moderate heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chilies and peppers and cool. Stir in the lime juice and mint. Syrup can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Cut melons in half and remove seeds. Cut into decorative shapes and arrange attractively on chilled plates. Spoon chili syrup over melon and arrange figs and prosciutto, if using, attractively around. Sprinkle with … Read More

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Yield: 6 servings

This brings together 4 of the “basic flavors”: sweet, sour, salty and pepper. As with all recipes, adjust these elements to your own taste.


  • 1 medium sweet red or white onion, peeled, cut in ¼-inch slices and soaked in ice water for 30 minutes
  • Raspberry vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 1 bunch young watercress or other peppery greens such as arugula, woody stems discarded
  • 8 cups chilled, seeded watermelon; cut into 2-inch cubes (use both red and yellow watermelon, if available)
  • 6 large ripe fresh figs, fanned
  • 3 ounces or so drained firm feta, cut attractively Garnish: Mint springs


Drain onions, pat dry and separate into individual rings and pour vinaigrette over. Marinate onions for at least 30 minutes, refrigerated.


On chilled plates, arrange a bed of watercress and top with cubed watermelon. Arrange onions and figs attractively around and drizzle vinaigrette over. Place feta on top and garnish with mint sprigs. Serve immediately.


  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallots or white part of green onions
  • ¼ cup rice or cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup raspberry purée made from either fresh or IQF frozen berries
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2
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Yield: About 5 cups, serving 6–8

This is a great picnic or al fresco salad that is also delicious served on crostini and as a topping for almost any grilled or crisply fried fish or meat. I also love to toss this with cooked pasta, either hot or cold. I’m oven-roasting the eggplant here but you could also grill it, which would add a nice smoky flavor. I’m also using canned tomatoes because, frankly, most of the fresh tomatoes we get in the market are pretty tasteless. If you grow tomatoes or have a farmers’ market near you, by all means use fragrant, ripe, fresh tomatoes in place of the canned.


  • 2 medium eggplants (2 pounds), ends removed and sliced about ½ inch thick
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large white onion (¾ pound), cut in large dice
  • 2 tablespoons slivered garlic
  • 2 cups diced fresh dead-ripe tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons each coarsely chopped mint and parsley
  • Garnish: Baby spicy greens such as arugula and toasted pine nuts.


Brush eggplant slices liberally on both sides with 4 tablespoons … Read More

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Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Recipe courtesy of Bruce Aidells

My preference would be to keep this salad very simple by scattering the salad ingredients on a bed of roasted squash and then sprinkling the plate with true Balsamico Tradizionale, Extra Vecchio. Unfortunately, this syrup-like condiment does not come cheap with bottles bearing the mark of the Consorzio costing over $100.The roasting method and dressing I have created do a good job approximating the flavors without the high cost.

  • 2 good size butternut squashes (about 4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 Belgian endives, separated into individual leaves
  • 2 Fuji apples, halved, cored and cut into matchstick size pieces
  • 1/2 pound blue cheese, such as Maytag blue, crumbled into marble size chunks
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds (I prefer Blue Diamond with the skins on)
  • Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Peel each squash and separate with a knife where the neck meets the bulbous body.Cut the neck into 1/4-inch thick rounds.Cut … Read More

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Serves 4


5 daylilies (petals only)

1 cup purslane (leaves only)

1 cup frisée, torn

1 cup mâche

1 shallot (minced)

5 chive spears (minced)

10 parsley sprigs (minced)

12 red raspberries

12 golden raspberries

1/4 cup Champagne vinegar

3/4 cup good quality olive oil

1/2 tsp sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Place half the raspberries, half the shallots, Champagne vinegar, olive oil and the sugar in a blender. Purée until all the ingredients are well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed. This is best made one day in advance.


A short time before you are ready to serve, toss the daylily petals, purslane, frisée, mâche, remaining shallots and herbs in a large bowl. Gently toss together and drizzle with Raspberry Vinaigrette. Scatter remaining raspberries as garnish.

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