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.
Smokey Ancho Cheddar Burgers
In honor of festive eats and Mexican flavors on this Cinco De Mayo, we wanted to share one of our latest favorites: Smokey Ancho Cheddar Burgers. Despite the ample use of homemade Garlic Ancho Chile Paste, these burgers are not spicy, but bursting with sweet roasted garlic and smokey, earthy, dried anchos. Tangy melted cheddar, addictive ancho mayonnaise, and bright bursts of Yucatán Quick Pickled Red Onions garnish this delicious burger to mouthwatering perfection.
Persimmon Citrus Salad
“What kind of weird orange tomato is that...” the check-out clerk wondered aloud, as persimmons made their way up the conveyor belt at the grocery store last week. Ten minutes later, there were two mangers involved, a low buzz of grumpy conversation in the line, and toes tapping impatiently. Finally, with the arrival of a third manager, and no persimmon on the produce list, I was told to name my price and take my strange fruit home. Victory! Persimmon Citrus Salad is worth the trouble to track down persimmons in your area, it is a festive and zippy salad, featuring winter's most vibrant colors and textures, bathed in a lime mint vinaigrette.
Persimmons are a fall fruit in season between September and December and there are a number of varieties of this fruit. We prefer the pumpkin orange, tomato shaped Fuyu persimmons, as they can be eaten at all stages of the ripening process, unlike other varieties which are astringent and incredibly bitter until they fully ripen.
Kale and Red Leaf Salad with Apple Mint Vinaigrette
Kale and Red Leaf Salad with Apple Mint Vinaigrette is an unusual and delicious salad that we made this evening with our first spring batch of local green kale. Kale is the quiet gawky kid in the corner who landed the starring role in the school play and never looked back. Kale has a serious following of die-hard fans who devour it in all forms; chips, smoothies, ice cream, brownies, pesto. Kale is a cancer-fighting super-food loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, and antioxidants. To learn about the many ways to use kale and its nutritional value check out Deborah Madison's new book Vegetable Literacy. This Kale and Red Leaf Salad is a tasty example of raw kale serving as a base for this distinctive crisp apple mint vinaigrette.
Crab Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette
Following a weekend of holiday feasting, we usually find ourselves craving something light, and refreshing. After we had stuffed ourselves to capacity, these Crab Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette were the refreshing light meal to bring us back from a carb induced holiday daze. While crab is a splurge, this dish allows the sweet and delicate flavor of blue crab to shine. It is worth every penny. If you're truly adventurous, you can buy crab fresh, cook it and remove the meat. We generally buy a high quality canned crab, which is quick, easy and consistently available. To make these crab wraps, Rebecca used avocado, some stunning watermelon radishes, cucumber, and a sweet and spicy lime vinaigrette. She used hydroponic Bibb lettuce fresh from our CSA for the wraps. We found these cute little lettuce cups were a neat way of holding this light and healthy crab salad together.
Grilled chicken salad with herb ranch dressing
As the weather warms up we are putting the grill back to use and bringing back color to our diet. We opted for a lighter dinner of grilled chicken with lettuce, cucumber, and stunning watermelon radishes from our CSA. The dressing was a creamy herb buttermilk ranch.