Homer Simpson says, “You don’t make friends with salad,” but I’d like to counter that with this- if you eat lots of salads you will probably be more likeable in the eyes of others and therefore, you just might make new friends. Salads are a good way to put tons of vitamins and nutrients into your body all at once. They can make you feel so good which will make you be happier (Umm, this statement has definitely not been approved by any medical or government organization.), which will therefore make people want to be friends with you. Adding more salads to your diet and eating less non-salad foods can make you sexier and Lord knows, we could all use some more sexy in this world. And let’s face it, salads are delicious. They really are. If you don’t like salads, maybe you’ve just never had a good salad.
This first salad, I came up with, like many recipes in our house, because I had these ingredients on hand and already in my kitchen. But it was so good, I made it again. It has lots of herbs that are really yummy with the Manchego cheese. It’s a little bit Mexican and a little bit Spanish and a whole lot of tasty. It’s a meal in a bowl, however, it would also be great as a side salad with grilled fish or meat.
Veggie Salad with Manchego and Cilantro Lime Dressing
(These portions are enough to serve two or me.)
A Good Mix of Lettuces and Greens
Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
¼ Red Bell Pepper, cut into small pieces
½ Avocado, cut into cubes
1-2 Red Potatoes, diced and cooked in water until done, then drained and cooled
1 Green Onion, chopped
1 medium sized piece of Manchego Cheese, cut into small pieces
1 medium sized Bunch Fresh Cilantro
1 small Bunch Fresh Oregano
1 clove Garlic
Juice of ½ a Lime
⅓ Jalapeno, seeded
2 Glugs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Water
Sea Salt to taste
Mix all the salad ingredients together in a medium bowl. Blend all the dressing ingredients together in a blender or little food processor. Pour dressing over and toss.
This next salad is an adaptation of a Hugh Acheson recipe for Dill Pickle Vinaigrette, which he pairs with a salad of local lettuces, feta, and radishes. We made this for our cookbook club and it was great, however, this dressing really made me crave a salad of potatoes and asparagus so I made it again, changing it a bit, and served it as such.
Potato & Asparagus Salad w/ Dill Pickle Vinaigrette
3-4 Red Potatoes, cubed and cooked in water, drained, and cooled
1 bunch Steamed Asparagus, cooled
3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Grainy Mustard
1 Clove Garlic
1 cup Sliced Kosher Dill Pickles
3 Tbsp Fresh Dill
1 Tbsp Fresh Tarragon
Red Pepper Flakes
Mix all vinaigrette ingredients together in a blender or small food processor. Pour over salad and toss.
This next salad was featured on a post for my friend Dolan’s blog recently but I really enjoyed it and wanted to share it here as well. For a meal suggestion with this slaw (yes, slaws are salads, too), you can visit the original post here.
Ginger Pear Slaw
1 Bartlett Pear, cored and then cut in slices and then thin 1” pieces
1 small Green Cabbage, thinly chopped
1 bunch fresh Cilantro, chopped
1” piece of fresh Ginger, peeled
1 Shallot, peeled
Juice of 1 Lime
½ cup Brown Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Honey
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste
In a bowl, mix the pear, cabbage, and cilantro together. Mix remaining ingredients together in a food processor or blender to form the dressing. Pour over the cabbage, pear, cilantro mixture and stir.
I used to get so bored with salads but that was because I just wasn’t being creative with them and adding variety into how I made them. Once I realized that you can make any raw veggies into a salad, a whole new way of eating opens up. Raw food doesn’t have to be some new age, crazy way of eating and altering your life. It can be as simple as stopping at the farmer’s market on your way home, buying a few incredible veggies from the farmer who grew them, chopping them up and throwing in a bowl with some herbs and seasonings. A big bowl of color. See, even before it hits your mouth, it makes you happy. Eat up!
Oh, and with spring almost gone and summer creeping up on us, I’d like to mention that salads are excellent with French Rosés. You know, wine. Oh, I know how much disrespect Rosé gets. Pull out a Rosé and you get a similar reaction that you get when you try to discuss Quiche with boys. Real men don’t eat quiche just as wine drinkers turn their noses up at Rosé. Well, I know lots of real wine folks and they all drink Rosé. I’m not talking about the super sweet cheap American version of pink wine that your granny used to sneak. I am referring to the dry French style. These are delicious and go great with salads and most all of those early summer foods! So, drink up! If you don’t want to believe me, go ask someone here or here. They can advise you and help you find just the right one to help you enjoy all these salads a wee bit more.
And while you eat your salads, you might enjoy this…
Our buddies and fellow Nashvillians, Los Colognes, have a new album out called, Working Together. Get it now! Not only is it awesome, these guys are really good people. And they appreciate good food, in case you were wondering. Win-win, all around I’d say. See how that works? You give them your money so they can buy good food and their hard work makes you happy and your salads more palatable.