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Archive for the ‘Italian Parsley’ Category

I was hungry. Really hungry. And I wanted something familiar, homey. And I felt brazen. So I made a fried egg salad. It sounded yummy. Comfortable and weird. What the heck, food is food.

I grabbed greens, eggs, all the random veggies I had that made sense, and ingredients for a yummy honey mustard vinaigrette. I wanted tang and sweet — sharp cheddar, salty egg, delicious greens. It all sounded good. So I slapped it all together.

Recipe for Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette and Fried Egg

Basic ingredients, ready for action. Egg and butter not depicted.

Ingredients:
(Lunch salad, serves one.)
4 cups of mixed baby greens.
15 baby carrots, cut into thirds.
1 tomato, chopped.
1 fistful of fresh italian parsley, chopped.
1 fistful of fresh chives, chopped.
2 T grated extra sharp cheddar.
2 large eggs.
1 tsp butter.
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Vinaigrette or Citronette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1 T red wine vinegar.
1 tsp mustard.
1 tsp honey.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

I made my bed of greens, and I chopped the carrots and tomatoes that would lie in it. I added my herbs. I mixed up my vinaigrette. And I put the butter in my ancient cast iron pan, and fried my egg, over medium, just like I like it. Cook the whites, leave the yolk super juicy. I tossed the egg on top of the salad, drizzled the dressing over it all, mixed it up with my fork, and gobbled it up.

Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette with Fried Egg

Here it is, dressing drizzled over the egg, all juicy and delicious and ready to be busted open.


The Verdict:
I loved this. So much. So much, it’s been hard to think of anything interesting enough to follow it up with. The cheese got a little melty with the hot egg. The chives added that delicious hint of oniony heaven. The egg… The juicy, delicious, amazing egg. The yolk mixed with the dressing and coated the leaves. The crispy edges of the egg whites added this beguiling crunch. The carrots helped crunchify it even more, while the tomato juices blended with the egg yolk and the honey mustard vinaigrette perfectly.

Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette and Fried Egg, Ready to Eat

Time to devour it!

This salad? This is exactly why I play in the kitchen. When it works, it works. And I don’t just mean that the recipe is perfect, I mean that what you really want, what you crave, is exactly what you create, and you get to eat it, and it is just, well, right. It was just right. This salad, it was exactly what my weird brain craved, and my mouth was happy, and my tummy was full, and it was perfect.

Make it a Meal:
Done.

Pack it to Go:
Not going to happen. Sorry, but unless it’s easy for you to pack a raw egg and fry it at work (or wherever you eat your packed lunch) this one isn’t going to go anywhere. Eat it at home, where you have your fully functioning kitchen, and enjoy it.

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I was making lunches early in the morning, and I knew I wanted a straightforward, no frills, very basic blue cheese dressing over a super crunchy salad. Something my grandmother would have enjoyed — familiar, simple, and tasty.

I grabbed romaine lettuce, carrots, celery for crunch, as well as italian flat leaf parsley and red onion for flavor, and I got to work.

Ingredients for Recipe for Creamy Blue Cheese Salad with Crunchy Vegetables

Ingredients, ready for action.

Ingredients:
(Serves one as a meal.)
1 heart of romaine, chopped.
4 baby carrots, cut into wheels.
1 rib of celery, coarsely chopped.
2 slices of red onion, quartered.
1/2 english cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced.
1 fistful of fresh italian parsley.
2 T blue cheese, crumbled.
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Blue Cheese Red Wine Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for a couple of days.)
3 T extra virgin olive oil.
1 T red wine vinegar.
1 T sour cream.
1 T blue cheese.
1/2 clove garlic, smashed and minced.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

Since I was making two salads, I doubled all of the ingredients listed above. I mixed up two jars of blue cheese red wine vinaigrette, and then I started chopping. I began by creating my beds of chopped romaine hearts, and then I added the carrots, celery, onion, and parsley. I crumbled the blue cheese and sprinkled it on top of the salad, before cracking black pepper over it all.

I nestled my husband’s salad dressing jar in the larger glass container with the salad and popped the lid on top to keep everything fresh for lunchtime. I tucked mine in the fridge for later.

Recipe for Creamy Blue Cheese Salad with Crunchy Vegetables

Packed to go!


The Verdict:
This turned out exactly as I intended. Very creamy, savory salad dressing and powerfully crunchy veggies. Celery is highly underrated — I really appreciated it’s crisp flavor with the blue cheese. I think this salad was a bit boring for my husband, but as he always says, my worst homemade salad is always far tastier than anything he can get from a quick lunch restaurant near his work.

Make it a Meal:
Done. If you want to amp up the protein, add some chicken breast, or deli meat, or kidney beans.

Pack it to Go:
Done.

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Shared lunch! I love it when we’re both home at lunch time, and I can mix up a huge salad in one big bowl, and we can snuggle up and eat it together. We were out of lettuce, so I turned to my favorite lettuce stand-in, celery. I figured out a while back that celery salads are really incredible. Super crunchy, so you can go a little crazier with the beans, avocado, and other creamy ingredients. Celery also doesn’t wilt, so the leftovers are tasty, and you can play with dressing it when you make it instead of carting the dressing along. The flavor of celery works particularly well with lemon, but I didn’t have any. I didn’t even have a lime or a grapefruit to substitute, so I decided to try a simple rice wine vinaigrette instead. I added garbanzo beans, lots of mint and parsley, scallions, and an apple for a little sweetness.

Salad with Celery, Garbanzo Beans, Mint, and Apple

Let the chopping begin!

Ingredients:
(Serves two for lunch.)
1 head of celery, chopped.
1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained.
1 apple, quartered, cored, and chopped.
3 scallions, chopped.
1 fistful of mint, chopped.
1 fistful of parsley, chopped.

Rice Wine Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate extra for several days.)
1T rice wine vinegar.
3T extra virgin olive oil.
1 clove of garlic, smashed and minced.
1/4 tsp maple syrup.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

This was a chopping frenzy. I started by rinsing the garbanzo beans and setting them aside to drain. I prepared my rice wine vinaigrette in a small jar. Then I turned berserker with my favorite knife. I transferred my mountains of chopped celery and apple and scallions and herbs to the big bowl as I went, adding the drained garbanzo beans just before shaking up the vinaigrette and drizzling it over the salad.

Please note that this salad serves two, and use half the main ingredients if you’re fixing it for one. Feel free to make a normal batch of vinaigrette, since it keep well for several days.

Salad with Celery, Garbanzo Beans, Mint, and Apple

Time to eat.

The Verdict:
I was surprised by how delightful the rice wine vinaigrette and apple were. They worked incredibly well — it was more delicate than the bright lemon version I usually make, and I loved it. The apple was a great addition, with it’s sweetness and the contrasting crunch. The fresh herbs brought the salad to life, and the creamy garbanzo beans made it remarkably filling, even hearty. My husband and I ate every bite. It was just that yummy.

Make it a Meal:
Done.

Pack it to Go:
This is the easiest salad to pack to go — it is actually fine to dress it when you pack it. I like how the celery soaks up the vinaigrette. If it will be sitting for more than a few hours, the herbs will wilt, so if that bothers you, keep the dressing in a separate jar, and combine before you eat it.

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We had a couple of good friends over for dinner, and an almost empty fridge. I knew I could pull a salad together, and I wanted it to have some protein so that our vegetarian friend wouldn’t feel deprived while the rest of us munched on sausages. I decided to go for the goat cheese, and I added the cranberries and olives to the salad because I adore really strong sweet and salty flavors with creamy goat cheese. Fresh herbs and balsamic vinaigrette tied it all together.

Ingredients for Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Kalamata Olives.

Salad ingredients are ready for action!


Greens for Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Kalamata Olives.

A gorgeous bed of mixed salad greens.

Ingredients:
(Serves 4-6 as a side salad.)
4-6 cups of arugula and mixed baby greens.
1 cup pitted kalamata olives.
2 T goat cheese.
1 T dried, sweetened cranberries.
1 fistful of basil.
1 fistful of italian parsley.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need, refrigerate the rest for several days.)
1T balsamic vinegar.
3T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 tsp maple syrup.
1/2 clove of garlic, crushed and minced.
1 pinch of salt, to taste.

This was a really easy salad to make. I mixed up my vinaigrette, and created a lush bed of greens. Then I just chopped my herbs and added everything to the greens.

We ate this with warm sourdough bread slathered with butter, chicken apple sausage wheels, and delicious mushrooms sauteed in butter with garlic.

Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Kalamata Olives, Plated.

On the plate, ready to enjoy.

The Verdict:
The flavors here we spectacular. I broke my own rules, though, and regretted it.

Do you see what I forgot?

Crunch!

Salads really need crunch. The baby greens and arugula were incredibly tasty with the goat cheese and the rich flavors, but everything was a little on the soft side. It could have used some nuts, or maybe a lettuce with more crispiness (romaine, endive, you know what I mean). Nobody complained, and there was a little tussling over the last bits of salad in the bowl, but I noticed. I asked my husband what he thought, and first he gave me the raised eyebrow “are you crazy?” look, but then he conceded, that yes, crunchiness is good. So, I deem this salad delicious and worthy of improvement.

Make it a meal:
We had it as a side salad, but with the goat cheese (and toss some nuts in — candied pecans or something) I think it would be a very rich and delicious meal.

Pack it to go:
This would be easy to pack to go. Just keep the dressing separate, add it when you’re ready to munch, fork toss (or put the lid back on and give it a few quick shakes), and enjoy.

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