Salads

Hearty Buckwheat Salad with Creamy Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

We discovered three bags of buckwheat groats in one of our suitcases when we returned to Haiti a few months ago.... some toddler packing assistance, perhaps?! Buckwheat is one of our favorite salad grains that we make seasonal adaptations of throughout the year. I especially love the nutty flavors of buckwheat with a creamy sweet roasted garlic vinaigrette and toasted vegetables. Beets and carrots are all plentiful in our Port-au-Prince markets this time of year, and we love the slightly offbeat grassy flavor of local okra in the mix. 

For other grain based salads try our Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus and FetaHearty Quinoa & Chickpea Salad, Spring Buckwheat Grouts Salad, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus.

Hearty Buckwheat Salad with Creamy Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad

A Caribbean flu hit our household in Haiti this week. First Paul, then me, now the kids. Sigh. During times of illness, my go-to comfort food is the reassuringly simple, cool, and refreshing cucumber. Cucumbers are my vegetable equivalent of chicken soup. As I gradually felt better throughout the week, my cucumber salads became more elaborate and flavorful. This Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad, a Thai-inspired riff, is crunchy, sour,  and salty, with a hint of coconut sweetness.

Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad

Marinated Tomato Mozzarella Salad

It has been a bit of a blur since Gideon's arrival, as we remember what it's like to go weeks without a full nights sleep. Little Gideon and Mom are both doing well, and so we are on track to returning to Haiti in early August. As we wrap up our last weeks here, stateside, we are relishing the tastes of North American summer: impossibly good sweet corn, tart local blueberries with a dash of cream, and fresh peak-of-summer tomatoes and herbs. This Marinated Tomato and Mozzarella Salad has been a frequent highlight on our table these last few weeks. It is ready in minutes, bursting with summer flavor, a balance of bright sweet tomatoes and creamy fresh mozzarella.

Marinated Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Summer Chicken Waldorf Salad

Gideon just crested his second week of life, and we are happily adjusting to the logistical maneuverings of being a newly minted family of four. We have tried to eat most meals together as a family with Madeline, and now little Gideon has been joining us. As Madeline holds court from her highchair, swinging her legs and filling her cheeks to capacity, her little brother sleeps soundly in middle of the table. Recently, I have found myself craving sandwiches, and their one-handed portability is especially great for multi-tasking with small kids. This week, with my father-in-law's delicious barbecue chicken and some classic Waldorf ingredients in the fridge, I decided to make my own non-traditional version of a Summer Chicken Waldorf Salad. I started with a classic base: chicken, celery, grapes, and apples. Fresh produce from a nearby farmstand inspired some summery additions; a smattering of blueberries, fresh sweet corn on the cob, and parsley. I cut the thick mayonnaise base of a traditional Waldorf dressing with greek yogurt and seasoned the salad before pouring over the dressing with extra lemon for brightness.

Summer Chicken Waldorf Salad

Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus & Feta

We love outdoor eating, and as temperatures rise in Northern Indiana, we've been honing our pasta salad line-up for the picnic season. Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Feta is an edgier alternative to the traditional picnic classic. In our pasta salad, we replaced the larger pasta with small rice shaped orzo, added crunchy asparagus, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes, and tossed it with an assertive garlicky lemon vinaigrette, herbs and feta. Enjoy this early picnic season with Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Feta.

For other grain based picnic ready salads try our Hearty Quinoa & Chickpea Salad, Spring Buckwheat Grouts Salad, Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus.

Spring Picnic Orzo Salad with Asparagus & Feta

Asparagus with Fresh Herb Sauce Gribiche

Paul and I started dating 12 years ago, and quickly found that we had some pretty distinct food preferences. At the time, I professed to hate red meat, Paul loved it. I obsessed over salty briney flavors, which caused Paul to shudder. Time has made converts of us both. In fact, one of the first things I craved on a trip back to to North America from Haiti was a perfectly grilled steak. Paul's tastes have changed as well. Half a dozen years ago, when I first started making tangy sauce gribiche, I was on my own eating it. No longer. We like to make a big pile of asparagus and slather on this winning mustardy, eggy, French sauce gribiche. For the French cooking enthusiasts out there, I will note that this is my own, non-traditional version of the classic sauce gribiche.

Asparagus with Fresh Herb Sauce Gribiche

6 Winter Salads

For us, a good meal involves contrast, vibrant vegetables and meatless mains, even in the coldest months. We’ve put together a collection of 6 of our most popular hearty winter salads to inspire your winter salading. 

1. Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus

2. Kale Cobb Salad with Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

3. Roasted Vegetable Fattoush Salad

4. Crisp Apple Fennel Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

5. Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

6. Slow Cooker Lentil Salad with Roasted Squash

6 Winter Salads

Avocado Cucumber Salad With Yogurt Lime Sauce

On my way home from work yesterday, I passed a market woman, machann, with a pile of large green skinned avocados spread out in front of her. My bag of ripe avocados in hand, I mulled over dinner the rest of the way home. Later that night, Paul and I munched on a buttery and crisp Avocado Cucumber Salad with Yogurt Lime Sauce under our mango tree as we waited for cooler evening breezes to arrive. 

Avocado Cucumber Salad With Yogurt Lime Sauce

Zucchini Falafel Burgers with Green Tahini Sauce

It's burger time, and not just for meat lovers. We're combining the summer's bounty of zucchini with loads of herbs for a burger riff on the falafel. While these patties are delicious on their own, we went a little nuts with the toppings, including a tangy herb scented green tahini sauce, and an addictive tomato, cucumber and feta salsa. Zucchini Falafel Burgers with Green Tahini Sauce are a vibrant celebration of summer flavors. Happy 4th and Canada Day to our American and Canadian readers! 

For more burger inspiration check out smokey ancho cheddar burgersbacon bison burgersturkey feta burgers with yogurt curry sauce & portobello burgers with green olive tapenade.

Zucchini Falafel Burgers with Green Tahini Sauce

Potato Beet Salad

The days are hot, school is out, the grill is fired up, and it's potato salad season. We're adding some color to ours today with a Haitian variation of Potato Beet Salad. Potatoes and beets are a lovely earthy combination with some parsley, and pickled red onions, this is great mellow tasting accompaniment to your early summer grilling. Check out other non-traditional potato salad variations: moroccan roasted sweet potato saladgrilled potato salad with jalapeno, bacon & blue cheese & tuscan potato salad.

Potato Beet Salad

Marinated Herbed Zucchini

Craving something fresh, Paul picked up a basket of summer squash at the market on the way home from work yesterday. Marinated Herbed Zucchini is a beautiful and flavorful summer starter that transforms summer's bounteous zucchini and squash into something unexpected and delicious. Whether you're looking for a creative new salad...or just searching for something other than zucchini bread to make with the summer squashes piling up in your kitchen, this is a winner!

Marinated Herbed Zucchini

Haitian Pikliz

It is a big week for us. Friday marked our first official day as country representatives, and tomorrow we are moving into our new house. The thought of unpacking after 6 months makes me giddy! This week's transition seems more final than the previous ones, it feels like we have finally arrived at our destination, Haiti is home. As we have explored Haitian culture through food, pikliz was our first culinary attempt. Pikliz is a beloved Haitian condiment; a pickled cabbage dish with spices and citrus notes, that often accompanies rich or fried foods. Our usual make-taste-adjust routine was somewhat stymied, when after our 9th batch, we just couldn't seem to get a consensus from our Haitian friends and co-workers, of the flavor profile for the perfect pikliz. More heat, more sweet, less sour, more citrus, less salt, more salt, add color, more crunch. Finally we figured it out, there is no perfect master recipe. This is our favorite version of our many, many batches. Enjoy tinkering with the recipe to make pikliz your own. This tangy condiment is fantastic with all manner of meathot dogsburgers, and stewed dishes.

Haitian Pikliz

Black Pepper & Lime Caesar Salad

My mother and sister flew to Haiti last week, the final visit in an amazing month of family guests. First Madeline's uncle arrived on a spur of the moment 48-hour trip to cuddle his new niece. Next to arrive was her grandpa and grandma, traveling to Haiti from Indiana, narrowly avoiding a political protest near the airport on the day of their arrival. Madeline's omi and opi from Canada made it in time to see her first smiles, and last week she met her aunt from Pittsburgh for the first time. It has been an incredible expression of love and support from both of our families as they trekked to Haiti, schlepping our many bags along with them. Each time, as I passed our little daughter over to her newly arrived family member, it was a moving experience. Perhaps it's the postpartum hormones... but there was just something about the contrast of having moved to a new place without family, and then watching the faces of our parents and siblings as they held our daughter for the first time that put a lump in my throat. So how does this all relate to this most excellent black pepper lime caesar salad recipe you might ask? My family is nuts for caesar salad. So as I paced the house waiting for my mother and sisters' delayed flight last week, I made my new favorite variation with black pepper and lime. I perfected this version over the last few months while pregnant and unable to eat the classic caesar dressing with raw eggs. I discovered mayonnaise to be a creamy and delicious substitute and swapped out the traditional lemon in favor of local key limes. This is an addictive dressing, so I recommend just going ahead and doubling it the first time.

Black Pepper & Lime Caesar Salad

Spinach, Strawberry, Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese & Pecans

Thanks for following along with our new adventures! We recently moved from Pittsburgh to Haiti where we are starting a 5 year volunteer assignment with a non-profit relief and development organization. We will be in transition for the next few months as we complete our in-country orientation, language study, spend time living with host families in both the countryside and capital... and lest we forget, have our first baby somewhere in there as well! Please bear with us as we will not have ready access to internet or a kitchen throughout this time. We will continue to share new recipes that we've prepared in advance, and updates on our new life in Haiti as often as we are able.

Even before I became pregnant, I was no stranger to food cravings, but looking back, pregnancy has taken me down some odd paths. There was the stage at the beginning, when in between bouts of vomiting, I madly craved salty, tangy and pickled foods. For a while I ate lentil salad with tangy vinaigrette and feta for breakfast every morning. Luckily, the intensity of my craving passed before I fully pickled our baby. In the second trimester, my cravings swung towards tex-mex, and sour-cream became the condiment of choice on everything. Mid pregnancy was notable for my lack of interest in dessert, with an occasional craving for canned peaches. Thankfully for my health, this third trimester has brought a renewed love of fresh fruits and veggies. So while I recognize that this Spinach, Strawberry & Avocado Salad is in no way seasonal, I have happily scarfed it for lunch and sometimes dinner for the month leading up to our departure to Haiti. I like the contrast of crisp spinach, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado nestled beside tangy goat cheese, toasted pecans, and topped with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Spinach, Strawberry, Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese & Pecans

Curried Turkey Salad

With Thanksgiving past, our departure date is just 2 days away. This last month we've had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends and saying goodbye. Now, our belongings are safely tucked away in storage for the next 5 years, our house and cars are sold, and we have some pretty enormous duffel bags sitting packed at the foot of our bed. Last night we completed the last item on our Haiti-bound check-list, and stayed up late chatting excitedly about the new things to come; a baby, learning a new culture, cuisine, language and job, traveling, hosting friends and family. Life feels pretty vast right now!

Lest we digress too long from the ever important topic of food, and with a mind to Thanksgiving leftovers, we're sharing our favorite spunky and updated curried turkey salad today. This is a vibrant and flavorful recipe Paul has been perfecting for the past year, and a delicious lunch as you laze around after the holiday. Think of this recipe as a guide, and freestyle with whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.

Curried Turkey Salad

Southwest Black Bean Salad

In high school while browsing for recipes for a Mother’s Day brunch, I was struck by a colorful sounding 'Stoplight Salad' in my Mom’s copy of Simply in Season. My sister and I added it to our Mother’s Day menu that year, and it became a family staple. Through the years, I have created my own version with a bit more of a Southwest flair, swapping in a potent lime-cumin vinaigrette and handfuls of herbs and fruit for contrast. In college, when I needed a dish for a potluck with some Amish friends, I didn’t think twice before whipping up my Southwest Black Bean Salad…what had seemed like a good idea in my dorm room started making me nervous when I saw my garishly bright salad sitting amidst a table of creamy noodle casseroles. Before I could withdraw my food offering, the head cook stuck her spoon in my salad, and I was given a nod of approval, I quietly let out my breath and tried to act nonchalant. Southwest Black Bean Salad is a pungent, bright, and refreshing salad with corn, tomatoes, herbs, and a customizable base of seasonal vegetables and fruit. It has been my most requested recipe over the years, and is an infinity adaptable salad that will be devoured every time. I’d love to hear your favorite combinations! To read more about Simply in Season and our other favorite cookbooks, check out our Bookshelf.

Southwest Black Bean Salad

Grilled Potato Salad with Jalapeno, Bacon, & Blue Cheese

Grilled Potato Salad with Jalapeno, Bacon, and Blue Cheese is inspired by my father-in-law’s love of bacon, blue cheese, and caramelized onions. This 'salad' is decadent and packed with rich flavors. The grilled new potatoes are tossed in a garlic jalapeno vinaigrette and layered with smoky slices of thick-cut grilled bacon, sweet charred red onions, and pungent blue cheese. Move over mayo, there's a new potato salad in town! 

Grilled Potato Salad with Jalapeno, Bacon, & Blue Cheese

Grilled Greek Salad

Grilling is our cooking method of choice for these early summer days, but it's not all about the meat.  Actually, our summer diet has tilted vegetarian since we started making this Grilled Greek Salad. I dreamt up this colorful dish in the colder months, with longings of summer. This salad knocked our socks off and had my meat loving husband requesting more. We made Grilled Greek Salad through bitter March sleet, April winds, and May rains. And now finally, with seasonal vegetables and balmy temperatures, we can grill in the sunshine. Unlike some grilled salads, this isn't grilling for cuteness. Grilled Greek Salad is a hefty, hearty entree salad, that relies on the grill to give the peppers, onions, and tomatoes their luscious char, and to add caramel sweetness to tangy halloumi cheese. Topped with kalamata olives and a tart lemon-zest vinaigrette for contrast, this salad is dynamic. Halloumi, for those not familiar, is a hard salty sheep-milk cheese from Cyrpus, a great cooking cheese that keeps its shape and texture at high heats.

Grilled Greek Salad

Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus

I opened the fridge after a long weekend of travel, and found slim pickings aside from some local asparagus and mushrooms.  At this point, feeling too tired to grocery shop, I needed to get creative. Raiding our pantry for grains, I made this impromptu spring wild rice and quinoa salad with sautéed asparagus and mushrooms. I added thyme, citrus, and almonds to round out this light and vibrant dinner, and felt ready to take on the week.

Wild Rice & Quinoa Salad with Mushrooms & Asparagus

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

Spring lettuces have started coming into gardens and farmers markets, and with our fridge currently flush with local greens, we have been experimenting with new vinaigrettes. Tomato Basil Vinaigrette is our recent favorite, and we pour this fresh tasting dressing over everything from steak to grilled vegetables. With a base of pureed fresh tomatoes, spiked with basil's anise and peppery notes, Tomato Basil Vinaigrette eats like a warm summer's day. Tomato Basil Vinaigrette is also a great base dressing to customize with different tomato varieties and fresh herbs; tarragon and rosemary are both delicious. 

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

Crunchy Broccoli Stem Slaw with Hoisin Vinaigrette

We’ve been taking our meals outside and the on the road recently, with sunny skies and weekend trips.  This supremely Crunchy Broccoli Stem Slaw with Hoisin Vinaigrette is a portable salad win. We love this slaw for its deeply satisfying crispness, starting  the brilliant use of thinly sliced broccoli stems, slivered red cabbage, bright carrots, crunchy peanuts and baked tortilla strips top off this slaw, with a punchy Asian inspired vinaigrette featuring hoisin and ginger. With a base of sturdy veggies, this slaw only improves as it sits, making it a prime work or school lunch, travel salad, or potluck dish. To cut down on prep time, you can grab a bag of pre-cut broccoli slaw mix at your local grocery.

Crunchy Broccoli Stem Slaw with Hoisin Vinaigrette

Kale Cobb Salad with Avocado Green Goddess

Kale Cobb Salad with Avocado Green Goddess is Paul's favorite salad. Let me back up a step to highlight the significance of this statement. To say Paul is not 'saladly inclined,' is to put it mildly. In fact, the one time I saw Paul order a salad in a restaurant, to my slack-jawed amazement, it turned out he was sick. But Paul's disinclination to eat raw leafy greens has not stopped me in my quest to make a salad that he will love. A few years ago I whipped up this cobb salad, and to my delight, Paul liked it... so much that he requests it for his birthday menu each year. Kale Cobb Salad with Avocado Green Goddess is not a traditional cobb salad, but uses our favorite elements, greens, tomatoes, cucumber, bacon and eggs, and adds avocado and a punchy green dressing loaded with herbs.

Kale Cobb Salad with Avocado Green Goddess

Roasted Vegetable Fattoush Salad

Crunchy zatar seasoned pita chips, sweet caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and crisp, lemon laced vegetables; our Roasted Vegetable Fattoush Salad is a perfect light dinner that hints towards the warmer months ahead.

Roasted Vegetable Fattoush Salad

Crisp Fennel Apple Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

Fennel and apple pair terrifically in this simple and elegant salad, wonderful for cleansing the palate after a hearty winter stew. Fennel is a winter vegetable that brings a celery like crunch and cucumbery sweetness to this easy winter salad. We like to pair fennel and apple with a tart and salty citrus vinaigrette, and couldn't resist the bright orange color and flavor of this tangerine vinaigrette.

Crisp Fennel Apple Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette