Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category


Every year we receive garlic scapes from our CSA farm. If you have never tried garlic scapes they are the young of the year shoots from the top of the garlic. Garlic scapes are becoming more and more popular. Look for them at your local farm markets. If you find them unavailable I would use one small garlic clove pressed or fresh chives for this recipe. The following recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart.


1/2 of a 15oz can of beans rinsed and drained. (I had Pintos on hand but I think Cannellini would have been better)

8 ounces of fresh green beans cut in half or two-inch lengths

8 ounces of sugar snap peas cut in half

3 garlic scapes cut into small pieces (or listed options)

2 ears of corn husked

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons of champagne vinegar

1/4 cup of fresh tarragon chopped

kosher salt and black pepper

6 ounces of grape tomatoes cut in half

1 avocado cut into pieces


Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the green beans, sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, and corn for two minutes. Remove immediately and place into the ice water bath to stop the cooking. Cut the corn off of the cob and mix in a large bowl with the rest of the vegetables after draining well. Make the vinaigrette in a separate bowl by mixing the tarragon, oil, and champagne vinegar whisking well until emulsified. Add the vinaigrette, beans, tomatoes, and avocado and gently stir. Serve right away.


Grilled Vegetable Salad

I served this salad as a side dish tonight with a combination of vegetables that I received from friends and our CSA farm membership. As usual the picture just doesn’t tell the story. This dish was simple and delicious. The multiple colors of the vegetables along with the grill marks really made this salad visually appealing. The fresh flavors were that of only what a local farm or home garden can give. Make the feta cheese optional and you have a vegan dish that is still guaranteed to satisfy.


One small fennel bulb cut into quarters plus 1/4 cup of the fronds

One orange bell pepper seeded, stemmed and cut into four pieces

Three thick slices of red onion from a large onion or to taste

One medium zucchini cut lengthwise into four pieces

One medium yellow summer squash cut lengthwise into four pieces

Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing

Kosher salt

Three tablespoons of red wine vinegar

1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes cut in half

Three tablespoons of fresh basil cut into chiffonade

Feta cheese optional.


Lay out all of the vegetables on a cookie sheet or cutting board. Lightly brush will olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Grill on all sides leaving long enough to get pronounced grill marks. Set aside to cool. When cool cut into pieces and place into a medium bowl. Add the two tablespoons of the olive oil and the three tablespoons of the red wine vinegar. Add the basil, the fennel fronds, and the grape tomatoes and toss well. Let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes for the flavors to blend. Add the feta cheese at the table and enjoy. Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine.

Kale Salad with Apple,Cheese and Toasted Almonds

One of the things that I like to do in the winter is to make salads with greens other than lettuce. Crisp greens make a great replacement and add variety over the same old green salad. Tomatoes are also at their worst during the winter months. When tomatoes are lousy I just like to skip them altogether. Many people don’t realize that most tomatoes in the stores are picked very underripe. Then they are shipped in trucks and forced to ripen artificially with gases while heading to their final destination. This doesn’t just occur during the winter months but during the growing season as well. The only way around this is to grow them yourself or join a local C.S.A. farm and get them delivered the day after they are picked. You can join the one I belong to if you live in Michigan, just click on the link on my homepage. So you might ask what do you do with no lettuce and tomatoes? You replace them with greens, fruit, and cheese which go great with a bowl of hearty soup on a cold winter evening.  This is what we had tonight.

Adapted from Recipes for Health New York Times

Ingredients for the Salad 

4 cups of fine chopped kale (any variety)

1 sweet apple such as a fuji diced

1 ounce of sharp cheddar cheese diced

grated parmesan cheese 

toasted almond slices or toasted pine nuts

Ingredients for the vinaigrette

5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons of FRESH squeezed lemon juice (not the bottled garbage)

1 clove of pressed garlic

salt to taste

Directions:  Combine the kale, apple and cheddar cheese in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt until emulsified. Toss well with the salad. sprinkle the almonds or pine nuts on top and top with shredded parmesan cheese.  

Asparagus and Prosciutto over Mixed Greens with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

This is an easy and delicious salad that I served before spaghetti and meatballs a few days back. Of course like a dummy, I took the picture before the vinaigrette was added but we all know what salad dressing looks like right? Right. Also this is a pretty powerful dressing so use sparingly until you give it a taste.

Ingredients for the salad

2 pieces of asparagus per serving

2 pieces of prosciutto per serving

mixed greens of your choice

olive oil and salt (for roasting the asparagus)

shaved Asiago cheese

Ingredients for the vinaigrette

6 tablespoons of blood orange vinegar

2 tablespoons of a honey Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons or very finely minced shallot

2/3 cup of almond oil

salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle the asparagus with olive oil and salt and place on rimmed cookie sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes or until about half way soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool, wrap the prosciutto around the stalks (two per serving).  Place greens on the individual plates and lay two pieces of the asparagus prosciutto wraps on top. Place the shaved Asiago on top of that. For the vinaigrette place all ingredients into a bowl except for the almond oil. Slowly whisk the almond oil in until emulsified.


Tabouleh Salad and Lentil Soup

OK, so I am off and running finally. Welcome to my first post. First of all I’d like to thank the forty people who checked out my blog even before I put out a recipe. I’d also like to thank the two people who subscribed (even if one of them was my wife). OK enough of that, let’s get started.

Tonight’s menu was Middle Eastern tabouleh salad and a lentil soup using Middle Eastern and Indian spices. OK, so I know those of you who know me are thinking “He’s Polish, right?” Why in the world would he start his blog debut with not only vegetarian dishes but vegan friendly dishes as well? Well, truth be known, a while back I did a two year stint as a vegetarian. During that time I crafted some new skills and learned how to cook with new ingredients and spices.


2 large heads of curly leaf parsley or 3 medium or 4 small (you get the idea personal preference here)

1 cup of brown bulgar wheat size 0 or 1 (available at any MiddleEastern market)

1/2 red bell pepper chopped fine

1/2 orange bell pepper chopped fine

4 tomatoes (roma if possible)

2 celery stalks chopped fine

6 green onions, white and green parts chopped

12 to 20 mint leaves chopped (depending on how much you like)

Equal parts lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil (start with 1/4 cup each)

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (not MiddlEastern seven spice)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

2 cups of water 


Place bulgar wheat and water into a bowl and stir slightly. Roughly chop the leaves off the heads of parsley leaving them held together in bunches by small stalks. Place in salad spinner, rinse and spin until very dry. Chop parsley very fine, you really cant go too fine here leaving behind as much stalk as possible.  Mix all of the veggies minus the tomatoes in a large bowl with the parsley. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the bulgar in your hands and add to the mix. Mix olive oil, spices, and lemon juice in  bowl and whisk until well combined. Stir the olive oil mixture and the tomatoes into the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the flavors. Serve with pita bread and enjoy. 

The finished product

At the Table

 Lentil Soup


1 medium onion chopped

2 carrots finely chopped

2 celery stalks finely chopped 

 2 cups of split red lentils (Masoor Dal)

9 cups of water

1 tablespoon Better Than Boullion Vegetarian soup base

2 to 3 teaspoons of ground cumin powder

1 teaspoon of ground coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to start (then to your liking)

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked white pepper to start (then to your liking)

1 to 2 bay leaves

4 tomatoes (roma if possible) chopped

Optional ingredients  

Curry powder to taste

Chopped fresh hot pepper to taste (Indian, Serrano, Jalapena etc)

At the table



Saute onion, carrots, and celery until partially soft. Add all the spices except the Better than Boullion soup base and bay leaves until lightly toasted and fragrant. Deglaze the pan with one cup of water. Simmer for a few minutes. Add the remaining 8 cups of water, Better than Boullion and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer until the lentils are very soft and falling apart, approximately 10 more minutes. Serve with the above tabouleh and pita bread and enjoy. 

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