Mediterranean Summer Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Figs and Kasseri

Combining thyme and mint in one dish is common throughout Greece and Turkey. Look for the best summer tomatoes you can find, it will make the salad shine. Pomegranate molasses is found in most supermarkets or any middle eastern grocery store.

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1½ lbs heirloom tomatoes, chopped into ½ inch dice (2-3 large)

½ pint (about 8) figs, quartered

1 t fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 T fresh mint leaves, chopped

¼ C red onion, finely chopped

6 C baby arugula or mixed seasonal greens

1½ C crumbled Kasseri cheese (or Feta)

 

Dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

2 t pomegranate molasses (or good quality balsamic vinegar and 1 T honey)

¼ C olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a large serving bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients except the cheese. Whisk together the dressing and pour it over the salad. Toss well. Add the cheese and toss lightly. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

 

Note: make it a main course by adding chunks of cooked chicken.

 

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Heirloom Tomatoes and Bacon Pasta Salad

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Herb Vinaigrette (see below)

12 ounces uncooked pasta such as orriachette

2 T olive oil, divided

4 ounces bacon

1½ pounds heirloom tomatoes, chopped

4 C loosely packed arugula

8 oz cheese, such as fontina or smoked gouda

15 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

3 T chopped fresh parsley

½ T red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Make Herb Vinaigrette (see instructions below).

 

Prepare pasta according to package directions for al dente. Toss together pasta and olive oil in a large bowl. Cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels until cool enough to handle. Crumble and reserve. Add tomatoes, next 5 ingredients, and 6 T vinaigrette to pasta; toss gently. Add salt and pepper to taste; top with bacon. Just before serving, stir in remaining vinaigrette.

 

 

Herb Vinaigrette

 

Makes about 3/4 cup

 

2 T red wine vinegar

1 T fresh lemon juice

4 small garlic cloves

½ C olive or grapeseed oil

12 fresh basil leaves

½ C fresh parsley leaves

½ C grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Process vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic cloves in a food processor until smooth. With processor running, pour oil through food chute in a slow, steady stream, processing until blended. Add basil leaves and parsley leaves, and process until smooth. Add Parmesan cheese; pulse to combine. Stir in kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days.

 


Kabocha Wheatberry Salad

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An Autumnal combination — you get the sweetness, nuttiness, crunch, and the tahini in the dressing brings it all together. Kabocha is Japan’s pumpkin — slightly flattened and green dappled with white. Its flavor is similar to pumpkin, but sweeter. If you can’t find kabocha squash, substitute acorn or delicata. With its assertive creaminess and mild saltiness, the French feta, made from sheep’s milk, is particularly good in this dish, but you can definitely substitute your favorite feta. This recipe was adapted from the blog honestlyyum.com by Adrienne for a class Brookside November 18 2015. 

1 kabocha squash
½# shiitake mushrooms
1/4 C olive oil
1 C of wheatberries, cooked
1/3 C hazelnuts
2 large handfuls of baby arugula or kale
French feta

Dressing:
1 T tahini
1 T honey
juice of 1 large lemon
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil (more as needed)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven 400 degrees. Halve kabocha across its equator and scoop out seeds; using a large chef’s knife, cut squash into wedges. Toss wedges with half the olive oil and lightly season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast squash 25-30 minutes until tender. Remove and discard stems from shiitake; slice tops into strips. Toss in extra virgin olive oil and lightly season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast in the 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until they begin to get dark and crispy around the edges. (You can also roast the shiitake and squash together, just remember to remove the shiitake before the squash).Toast the hazelnuts in a small pan over medium heat. Keep the hazelnuts moving to prevent them from burning. When you begin to smell their fragrance, remove them from the pan. Cool and chop roughly.

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk tahini and honey; add lemon juice and vinegar and incorporate well; slowly add olive oil and continue whisking until the ingredients are emulsified and the dressing is smooth; if the dressing is too thick, add more olive oil to achieve the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, arrange the squash wedges on a plate. Combine the arugula, hazelnuts, shiitake mushrooms, and wheatberries in a bowl and toss with dressing. Place the salad between the wedges and top with several cubes of French feta; drizzle with additional olive oil.


Asparagus & Wilted Arugula Salad with Pancetta & Almonds

asparagus1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
4 ounces thin-sliced pancetta (can substitute 8 slices of bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces)
½ C toasted shaved or slivered almonds
6 ounces arugula

Dressing:

1 T shallots, minced
¼ C dry sherry
2 T red wine or sherry vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
¼ C extra-virgin olive oil

Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot and add the pancetta slices. (If the pancetta is very lean, add 1 T. olive oil to the pan.) After 1-2 minutes, turn the pancetta once and continue to cook another minute until the fat is lightly golden, then remove to a plate and set aside. Once all the pancetta is cooked, add the asparagus to the same pan and cook, stirring often, until the pieces are crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus to the plate with the pancetta. If there is no moisture left in the pan add 1 T. olive oil. Add the shallots and cook over medium-high heat for a minute, then add the sherry and boil to reduce the liquid by half. Whisk in the vinegar and Dijon mustard. Remove from the heat and add the olive oil a little at a time, whisking well to make a thick dressing.

Put the arugula in a serving bowl, add the toasted almonds, asparagus and crumble the pancetta over the salad. Add just enough dressing to slightly wilt the arugula, toss well and serve immediately. Serves 4-6.


Apple, Beet and Walnut Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

apple beetMiso is a fermented soybean paste, originated in China, perfected in Japan, that gives this lemon vinaigrette an incredibly satisfying sweet-salty-nutty flavor known as “umami.” Miso is available at most supermarkets in the international food section or in the freezer or refrigerator with other soy products. This recipe calls for the most versatile of the three popular grades of miso — “white” or “yellow” miso, also called shiso in the Japanese tradition. Other recipes for using miso can be found on this website, search under “miso.” This recipe was demoed at USBG October 9, 2014. Read More



Nectarine Salad with Beet Dressing

nectarine1 small beet, cooked, peeled and roughly chopped
2 t honey
1 t Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
1/4 C cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
½ C olive oil, plus extra to finish
½ C whole almonds, skin on, roughly chopped
1 t butter
2 C arugula
4 small nectarines
½ C gorgonzola, broken into pieces

Make the dressing: Process beet, honey, mustard, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process for a few seconds, then incorporate a quarter of the oil at a time. It should be smooth and homogenous. Sauté the almonds in butter and a pinch of salt for three to four minutes, then set aside to cool. Halve the nectarines, remove the stone and cut each half into three wedges. In a large bowl, toss arugula with enough dressing to coat. Spread dressed arugula on a large platter; arrange nectarines on top; drizzle with remaining salad dressing; top with almonds and gorgonzola and serve.