Honeydew & Cilantro Salad

Honeydew & Cilantro Salad

I got a honeydew melon from the Harvest Share this month. It’s not my favorite melon as the flavor is not very strong. I was thinking of ways to use it and saw the cilantro sitting in a jar of water in my fridge and thought that might be good. I pulled off leaf and stuck it on a chunk of melon and tried it. It was good, so I set out to make a salad of it.

  • 2 cups of honeydew cut into chunks
  • handful of cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsps of seasoned rice vinegar
  • a sprinking of Tajín

Assemble the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. Makes one large 2 cup serving. The sweetness of the melon is a perfect foil for the flavor of cayenne and dried lime from the Tajín

Tangy Banana Tostada

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I had an overripe banana and absolute no desire to turn the oven on for muffins or bread. It was in a bowl right next to the package of  pre-made tostadas and I got this wild idea that it just might work. It did.

I crushed the banana with a fork and spread it on the tostada. Then I sprinkled some Tajín on it, though you could just use some chile powder and salt. Then I chopped up about two inches from a green onion and sprinkled on top.

I liked the flavor mix the tart and sweet and salty, but I do think the banana might be even better spread on two tostadas. A bit more salt and crunch ratio would make it a bit more tasty. Next time I have overripe bananas, I will try it again. It was a nice breakfast and would make a good snack.

 

Kale & Cabbage Salad with Toasted Pepitas & Plum Vinaigrette

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I sliced 1/4 head of cabbage into thin ribbons and chopped up an equal amount of fresh kale in similar thin ribbons.

In a large pot, I brought 2 cups of water to a boil with a teaspoon of salt. I added the cabbage and kale and put a lid on it, letting them cook for one minute. I strained the water off and set them in the fridge to cool.

Meanwhile, I sliced up 2 plums and sautéed them in 2 TBSP of white wine vinegar and 2 tsp of soy sauce with 2 tsp of Tajín. I added a bit of salt and pepper, a tsp of sugar and stirred until the plums were just about to break down, but were still holding together. I poured the dressing on the kale and cabbage, stirred and set back in the fridge to cool.

Before serving, I toasted the pepitas in a bit of peanut oil with smoked paprika.

This made two large servings or four small salads. It’s a great blend of hearty veggies, sweet fruit and tangy vinegar. The pepitas add a bit of crunch and umami.

Spinach Pear Salad with Hazelnuts

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My best friend came over for dinner last night, so I whipped up a lovely salad. Those pears I got from the Food Bank last week are ripe and I need to be using them up quickly, so I decided on a salad with pears.

First I sliced 1/2 of a yellow onion on the mandolin so I could get super thin slices. Then I cut up 5 of those mini peppers. (A 4 pound package of mini peppers costs less than 3 regular red peppers.) into thin strips, removing the seeds. I also corned and sliced three Bosc Pears. I put all of this in a plastic container with a lid. I added 1/3 cup rice vinegar, salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of dry mustard powder.I put the lid on and shook it all as much as I could to mix it together. Then I added about 6 cups of baby spinach. Put the lid back on, shook some more and put it in the fridge for about an hour.

I toasted some hazelnuts (about 1/4 cup) with tajín (a spice mix of lime and chilis) in a dry pan.

To serve, I put the salad mix on the plate, added some hazelnuts and slice some asiago cheese on top.

The flavor is a wonderful blend of sweet, sour and a bit of heat. The hazelnuts are a great crunch and it was one of the best salads I have come up with this year. Service two.

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.

 

Lettuce Salad with Grapes, Feta, Almonds & Celery

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I had a huge and easy salad for lunch today. I made a big bed of chopped romaine lettuce. Here’s an easy tip for cleaning your lettuce to avoid contamination. Just put the uncut leaves in a bowl of white vinegar for a bit and then shake off the vinegar, it will kill more bacteria than rinsing under cold water and unlike hot water, will not make your lettuce limp.

While the lettuce is soaking in vinegar, you can toast a handful of almonds to chop and toss on top of the salad at the end.

I cleaned 1 stalk of celery, cut it in half lengthwise and then sliced both pieces on the diagonal. I placed that on top of the lettuce. I drizzled the dressing left over from making my grapefruit and asparagus salad yesterday. It makes a dark dressing and I thought the salad would just look better if it was mixed into the lettuce and celery rather than on top of the cheese and grapes.

  • grapefruit zest
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Then I sprinkled on some feta cheese, more than I intended because I was shaking some on and it would not come and not come and not come and then a whole bunch fell out at once. But it’s not like a little too much feta will ruin anything. I then tossed some red seedless grapes on top that I also rinsed in vinegar. I usually cut them in half, but I was feeling super hungry and in a hurry. It makes no difference to the flavor.

I sprinkled on the almonds and then generously sprinkled tajín on top of the salad. Use salt and pepper or any other spice blend you might like.

It has a nice mix of flavors and textures and brings in enough indulgence with the grapes, feta and almonds to be very satisfying.

 

Fresh Asparagus Salad 2.0

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I thought it might be interesting to remake my favorite salad with Tajín instead of salt and pepper. It was a brilliant move, making an old and frequentI w favorite new again.

I was set to make a fresh asparagus salad again when I recalled a friend’s recent Facebook post sharing 23 Things You’ll Definitely Find in Every Mexican Household.  I don’t have all that many of the items, but I do have Tajín, a delicious spice blend of dried limes, Mexican chiles and sea salt. It’s delicious on fresh jicama sticks, grapefruit and watermelon. I thought it might work on this and it did. Wonderfully.

How to make the salad.

  • 6 stalks of asparagus
  • 2 tbsp of chopped toasted almonds
  • Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed
  • Tan

I used 6 slender stalks of asparagus. Using a vegetable peeler, just peel and peel and peel of thin strips of the asparagus. This salad is actually easier with older, later in the season asparagus that is bigger around and less tender because it’s easier to peel. I go from the head to the root because that makes it a little easier.

While I was slicing up the asparagus, I toasted a small handful of almonds. When they were toasted, I set them aside to cool, finishing the asparagus. I chopped up the almonds. Using the same vegetable peeler, I sliced off some asiago cheese and tossed on top of the salad. I then squeezed the juice of 1/2 a lemon on the salad and sprinkled the top of it with Tajín. I did not add salt and pepper like I usually do.

The salad was fresh and light with a tangy, spicy heat. Delicious! I never would have made this if not for you, Gloria! Thanks.

Grapefruit & Olive Salad with Feta & Tajín

DSCN6306.pngThis is a quick, easy breakfast with a complex and satisfying flavor.

So the first thing I did was supreme a grapefruit. This is simple, cut the ends off the grapefruit and then cut away the peel, with the knife slice along the inside of the segments so the grapefruit so you have as much of the grapefruit flesh as possible.

I took about 8 olives or so and sliced them in half, tossed in a bit of feta. Then I added some salt and pepper and a dash of Tajín, a delicious Mexican spice blend of chiles, dried limes and sea salt.

It makes one serving, takes less than five minutes and is a fresh, lively breakfast dish.