Broccoli & Chickpea Salad

I have to say, this is really delicious. It would be great to pack in your lunch. It’s very light and extremely healthy!

Broccoli & Chickpea Salad

Serves 4

1 lb broccoli, finely chopped (5 cups)
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 Tbs grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steam broccoli florets until just tender, 3 minutes. Once cool, chop and combine with chickpeas, scallions, and slivered almonds.

In a bowl, combine garlic, mustard, honey, lemon zest and juice. Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify, and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle broccoli mixture with dressing and adjust seasoning.

Refrigerate salad in an airtight container up to two days.


Kale & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

Kale has been deemed the number one superfood, a nutritional powerhouse. The benefits of eating kale are too numerous to list. I was recently in a supermarket and notice a whole wall of kale in the salad section. There is some sort of kale salad on almost every restaurant menu these days.

Quinoa (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) is another superfood, which is a complete protein. It has the perfect ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and is one of the best sources of protein you can get from a plant source. By pairing these two superfoods, you’ve now got an explosion of nutrition, not to mention flavor!


Kale & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing

Serves 6

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup tahini
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup parsley

Put the quinoa, stock and a pinch of salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the heat and let it sit covered, for 10 minutes.  Fluff quinoa with a fork.

Mix the tahini, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Then stir in the kale and massage with your hands so that the kale breaks down.  Next, add the onion, sunflower seeds, parsley and quinoa.  Mix to combine.

Long Lake Lentil Salad

This recipe comes from my friend Jacki. She calls it Long Lake Salad.

Du Puy lentils or French green lentils were originally grown in the volcanic soils of Puy in France, but now they’re also grown in North America and Italy. They’re especially good in salads since they remain firm after cooking and have a rich flavor. They cook a bit slower than other lentils.

I used golden raisins and dried apricots instead of currants and added goat cheese and toasted walnuts.


Long Lake Lentil Salad

2¼ cups (1 lb) Du Puy lentils
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup dried currants (you could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
1/3 cup capers

1/3 cup cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs strong mustard
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Optional add-ins
Goat cheese
Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil
Crispy seasonal veggies

Rinse lentils well, drain. Place in a pot and cover with 3-4 inches of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Check lentils for doneness after 15 minutes, but they should take about 20 minutes in total. You will know they are cooked if they still retain a slight tooth – al dente! Overcooking the lentils is the death of this dish. Be careful!

While the lentils are simmering, make the dressing by placing all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.

Finely dice red onion – the salad is best if all the ingredients are about the same size. If using raisins, chop them roughly to make them a bit smaller, and do the same with the capers if they are large.

When the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled slightly but still a little warm, place lentils in a large serving bowl and toss with dressing. Add onion, capers, and currants. If using other add-ins such as herbs, greens, or cheese, wait until just before serving. Otherwise, this salad can hang out in the fridge for a couple of days.

Avocado Shrimp Salad

My cousin’s wife, Chris from Indiana, sent me this recipe. I adore shrimp and avocados!


Avocado Shrimp Salad 

2 lbs boiled or steamed shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 avocados, cut into large pieces
2 Tbs red onion, diced

For the Dressing
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix dressing and pour over the avocado and shrimp. Serve on butter lettuce.

Fennel, Pepper & Mozzarella Salad

Last night, my husband, Eric made this delicious and slightly unusual salad. It’s from the Weber’s Charcoal Grilling: The Art of Cooking with Live Fire cookbook.  He also grilled the peppers while he was grilling the fennel.


Fennel, Pepper & Mozzarella Salad

Serves 6

3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp anchovy paste
1/4 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 medium fennel bulbs, 8 to 10 oz each, stalks and fronds removed, with the root end intact
2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup pitted black olives, rinsed, and roughly chopped
3 Tbs roughly chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl whisk the dressing ingredients.

Cut each fennel bulb in half lengthwise, through the stem, into 2 wide, flat halves. Lightly brush the halves on all sides with some of the dressing.

In a large bowl combine the remaining salad ingredients.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Brush the cooking grates clean.

Grill the fennel halves, cut sides down, over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until lightly charred but not burned, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the fennel over and grill for another 3 minutes, then move them over indirect heat. Cook over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until crisp-tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the fennel from the grill and let cool.

When cool enough to handle, cut away and discard the hard, triangular core of each half. Cut the remaining fennel into 1/2-inch pieces. Add them to the bowl with the salad ingredients. Add as much of the remaining dressing as you like to moisten the salad. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Saturday Salad

My brother-in-law, Russell, sent me this salad recipe that he made. Little did he know, I’ve made this salad for years. It’s one of my all time favorites. I prepare everything ahead in the morning. It’s from “The Cuisine of California” by Diane Rossen Worthington, which was given to me by my friend Barbie.

The chicken breasts are first marinated and then baked, and the juices from the baked chicken are used as the basis the fragrant vinegar-garlic dressing.



Saturday Salad

Serves 4 as a main course

½ cup walnut pieces
½ lb pancetta or bacon, sliced

For marinade:
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs fresh tarragon, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs lemon juice

2 whole chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup Basic Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
6 medium Belgian endive
¼ lb mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
2 Tbs chives, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts in oven for 7 – 10 minutes.

Cook pancetta in medium skillet until crisp and slightly brown. Drain on paper towels. Crumble pancetta and reserve.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Place chicken breast in marinade and marinate for at least 30 minutes in refrigerator.

Put chicken in baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°. Remove from oven, let cook, and cut into 2” pieces. Reserve the juices from chicken.

In a small bowl combine chicken juices with the garlic and vinaigrette, taste for seasoning.

In a medium bowl combine the pancetta, endive, mushrooms, tomato, and chives. Add chicken breasts and walnuts.

Pour dressing over salad; toss and serve immediately.

Basic Vinaigrette:
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

My friend, Mary Ann, had a really elegant dinner party a couple months ago. She served this absolutely delicious and simple salad. She used Girard’s Lite Champagne dressing, but if you can find it, I have included another dressing recipe below.


Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Serves 8

4 large red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
4 avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs honey
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Arrange the grapefruit sections and avocado slices attractively on plates. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, lime juice, and honey until well combined; drizzle the dressing over the grapefruit and avocado slices. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Chopped Salad from The Luggage Room Pizzeria

Last week the Los Angeles Times printed the recipe for this chopped salad from one of our favorite restaurants, The Luggage Room Pizzeria in the 1934 Del Mar Train Station in Pasadena, CA.  The pizza is done in a wood burning oven and is phenomenal.


Chopped Salad from The Luggage Room Pizzeria

Serves 1

Champagne Vinaigrette
1/4 tsp yellow mustard
1 egg yolk
5 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs Champagne vinegar
Salt and cracked pepper

In a bowl, whisk together the mustard and egg yolk. Whisk in the vinegar, then the olive oil in a slow drizzle. Taste, seasoning with salt and pepper and adjusting the flavorings if desired. This makes a scant one-half cup dressing. The dressing will keep, covered and chilled, up to 3 days.

Chopped Salad
2 cups chopped romaine and iceberg lettuce, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1/4 cup chopped white cheddar
1/4 cup diced pepperoni, cut into ½-inch dice
1/4 cup diced cucumber, cut into ½-inch dice
1 Tbs green brined olives (such as picholine)
1 Tbs black oil-cured olives (such as beldi)
1 Tbs golden raisins
1 Tbs pistachios
Champagne vinaigrette, divided
2 Tbs julienned fresh basil
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, toss the lettuces with the cheddar, pepperoni, cucumber, olives, raisins and pistachios. Toss with 4 tablespoons vinaigrette, then continue to add a little more until the salad is coated to taste; you may not use all the vinaigrette. Transfer to a chilled plate and garnish with basil and cracked pepper.

Salmon, Asparagus & Green Bean Salad

This is leftover Broiled Salmon. I steamed some asparagus and green beans and put it all on a bed of mixed baby greens.  You could use any kind of vegetables you happen to have on hand. Also, you can use any fresh herbs you like in the dressing below. Serve it with a bone dry French Provençal rosé.


Fresh Herb Vinaigrette

1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley, dill, or chives, finely chopped

In medium bowl, with wire whisk, mix vinegar, Dijon, salt, and pepper until mixed. In thin, steady stream, whisk in oil until blended. Whisk in herb.

If not using dressing right away, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day. Mix well before serving.

Minty Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Here’s another grapefruit recipe! This vinaigrette is very light and fresh tasting. My husband, Eric, said it would be good with roasted chicken, green onions, toasted almonds and manchego cheese over a bed of greens.


Minty Grapefruit Vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh ruby-red grapefruit juice
2 Tbs white-wine vinegar
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh mint
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp coarse salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.