Grapefruit & Fennel Salad with Grapefruit Balsamic Vinaigrette

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  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Fennel
  • Yellow Onion
  • Green Olives
  • Grapefruit
  • Asiago Cheese (or Parmesan)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tajín

Make dressing first. Zest a whole grapefruit, Add 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. This makes enough for three salads.

Chop six leaves of romaine lettuce and layer on the bottom of a platter. Thinly slice about 1/4 cup of fennel bulb. Dice up about 2 TBSPs of onion. Supreme half a grapefruit and layer six segments on the salad. Toss about eight olives on top. Shave a few pieces of asiago or parmesan cheese on top. I sprinkled with a bit of tajín on top to add a bit of heat and zest.

This salad is delicious. The olives and asiago add a bit of fatty creaminess to balance the astringency of the grapefruit and vinaigrette. The onions and fennel add sweetness and bite, balancing each other and the lettuce makes a solid foundation to marry all these flavors together harmoniously. It was a nearly perfect salad, I just should have made a little bit more.

 

Red Cabbage, Apples, Radishes and Feta Salad

Apple & Red Cabbage Salad

 

This was a quick and easy salad to top some lettuce rather than using a salad dressing. I laid a bed of romaine lettuce. In another bowl, I added about 1/2 cup of shredded red cabbage, 1 apple cored and sliced, 2 radishes sliced thin and 1 celery stalk chopped. I also added about 1 TBSP of chopped red onion. I sprinkled a bit of feta cheese, ! tsp of walnut oil and balsamic vinegar on it and mixed. I tossed this on top of the lettuce and ate mixed together.

The vegetables had lots of crunch with the onions and radishes adding some bite while the apple added sweetness. The tang of the feta was a nice contrast with the balsamic. Together the flavors balanced each other beautifully

 

Salad with Cranberry Dressing

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For me, the Cranberry Salad Dressing is a way to use up some leftover cooked cranberries. I had cooked fresh cranberries in water with some lime-infused sugar, though you can make it with regular sugar and lemon juice or lime juice. Anyway, I had a few cups left over and while it’s nice with a pork chop or two, I still wanted to find some other use for it. I thought it might make an interesting salad dressing. So, I put 1 cup of the cooked cranberries in my Magic Bullet (you can use a blender or food processor) with about 1/4 of chopped red onion,  1/2 cup of olive oil and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. I tossed in some salt and pepper and let it blend until it was smooth.

I made a salad of 3 leaves of  Romaine lettuce, 6 roasted almonds and a few dried cranberries with a bit of red onion and drizzled some dressing on top. It’s a great salad dressing. It has a  pleasant fruity tartness that works well with the oil and vinegar. I will definitely make this again and again. This made almost 3 cups of salad dressing, so I will be using it again and again.

 

 

 

Cleaning Out the Fridge Salad

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Before I went grocery shopping, I made up a salad designed to use up some stuff and free up some room in fridge. Generally you can make a salad using a pretty crazy assortment of  foods if you use a classic oil and vinegar (or balsamic vinegar) dressing For this one, I use the last of the romaine, 1 Jazz apple, 5 pickled pimentos. some black olives from a can I has opened earlier in the month and thin slices of parmesan. I also had a couple chicken breasts in the freezer that were at the point where ice was beginning to form inside the freezer bag – meaning that the moisture was about to be sucked out of them rendering them dry, tasteless and not worth cooking.

I thawed the breasts in the microwave and sauteed them lightly in olive oil. I made a real effort not to overcook them because being frozen, they risk being dried out already. I cored the apple and cut the slices in half. I sliced up the pickled pimentos. I tossed everything together in a pie plate, added some salt and pepper, some balsamic and olive oil and enjoyed a tasty salad. The pickled peppers add such a sweet and tart bite, that any salad featuring them feels special. I ended up with a huge salad, but I was super hungry, so it ended up being a single serving, though most times, it would be two.

 

Dinner Salad with Chicken Tenderloin

Dinner Salad with Chicken

This is a simple salad that you can chop and mix up while frying a chicken tenderloin to cut up and add on top of the salad. Now, to make breading, normally you use an egg with a bit of water and beat it. However, that makes enough breading for a a dozen tenderloins, not just one. If I were making a big batch, I would probably use an egg, but I am not, so I used a teaspoon of plain yogurt that a rubbed onto the tenderloin before dredging it in a mix of 1 TBSP bread crumbs, 1/2 TBSP of grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and paprika. I used a small skillet with just enough olive oil to cover the bottom and sauteed at medium high for about 3 minutes on each side. You will still get a nice, flavorful crust, though it won’t be as thick as one made with eggs.

While the chicken sauteed, I cut up 5 leaves from the heart of the romaine. I chopped up 1 small pink lady apple and 1/4 of a red bell pepper. In a bowl, I mixed the lettuce, the apple and bell pepper and added a small handful of sliced black olives. I sprinkled about 1 TSBP of balsamic vinegar and 1 TBSP of olive oil on top and tossed lightly to mix the dressing oil and vinegar with the salad ingredients. Then I added some salt and pepper and laid the salad on a plate.

By then the chicken tenderloin was finished, so I sliced it into about 8 or 9 slices and spread them on top. I really like the fresh hot chicken with the cold salad, the contrast in texture and heat is lovely. The chicken adds a nice crispiness that’s a different quality than the crispy apples and red peppers. The apples and vinegar add brightness and the olives add depth while the chicken gives it that substance that makes a salad into a meal.