heirloom tomato summer salad

I’ve had such great luck with my two patio heirloom tomato plants this summer.  A bounty of green zebras and beefsteaks have resulted in many sliced tomatoes generously sprinkled with sea salt and cracked pepper, blt’s, homemade salsa, and this wonderful tomato salad.

I was able to get an abundance of cherry tomatoes from a friend, so I halved them and tossed them with sliced green zebras, fresh mint, shallots, olive oil, champagne vinegar and salt/pepper. Yum. The addition of mint is just perfect.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

A pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 green zebra tomatoes, sliced
1 shallot, chopped
4-5 fresh mint leaves, cut into thin strips (could also work with basil leaves, and maybe addition of bacon or feta cheese)

Olive oil, to taste (1-2 tbsp)
Champagne vinegar, to taste (1-2 tbsp)
Salt/pepper, to taste

Carefully fold tomatoes, shallot and mint together in medium bowl and toss with olive oil, champagne vinegar and salt/pepper. Chill, serve and enjoy! 

a winter salad

Here’s a salad combo that is simply divine.  Most ingredients can be found at your local Trader Joe’s.  Our friends brought this for one of our dinner get togethers .  I could eat this as a meal all by itself.  The combination of the craisins, goat cheese and walnuts is amazing.

A Winter Salad

Bag of Mixed Greens
Bag of Spring Mix
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Cranberry Walnut and Gorgonzola Vinaigrette

Toss together and serve. Yum!

Thanks Andy and Molly!

aunt linda’s creamy coleslaw

While we were visiting my aunt Linda and uncle Jim in Breckenridge, Colorado, Linda made an amazing meal of chicken, sweet corn and coleslaw.  I loved this version of coleslaw so much that I had to ask her about it.  Beautiful combination of purple and regular cabbage, celery, green onion (?) and coleslaw dressing.  I tried remembering as much as I could and made an attempt to replicate it.

Aunt Linda’s Coleslaw

1/2 head of purple cabbage (cut into bite-size pieces or shredded)

1/2 head of regular cabbage (cut into bite-size pieces or shredded)

2 celery stalks (diced into small pieces)

3 green onions (diced into small pieces)

Hidden Valley Coleslaw Dressing (I think I used about 3/4 to 1 cup – use as much as you like.)

salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate before serving.  Enjoy.

the wedge salad

Everyone loves the wedge salad.  Even if you’re not a blue cheese fan.  Yum.  So basic, yet so flavorful.  I could make a meal out of the wedge.  Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, blue cheese and a buttermilk ranch dressing.  So easy. 

The Wedge

Take a head of iceberg lettuce and quarter into 4 wedges.  Top with chopped tomatoes, cooked and crumbled bacon, blue cheese crumbled and buttermilk dressing.  Some like to add onion as well.  I love this salad.  The key is to serve it crisp and cold.

watergate salad

I love this salad – it’s very vintage, and oh, so classic.  Anything pistachio flavored is sure to be a hit, at least in my opinion.  Dane gets so excited when I make this!  “Can I have some of that green stuff, Mom?”

Watergate Salad (but, almost like a dessert)

1 package (4-serving size) JELL-O Pistachio Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

STIR pudding mix, pineapple with juice, marshmalows and nuts in large bowl
until well blended.  Gently stir in whipped topping.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until ready to serve.
Garnish as desired.

Makes 8 servings

beets with goat cheese

I’m not a big fan of beets, but I am forcing myself to like them.  About twice a year, I buy them and try them again, just in case my palate gives way to a newfound liking.  A couple of weeks ago, I bought some fresh beets and boiled them until tender.  I drained them, carefully peeled the skins off (and still managed to stain my shirt with the ruby red beet juice.)  I sliced them, cooled to room temperature and served them with a dollop of goat cheese, a dash of sea salt and fresh, ground black pepper. 

Sorry for the out of focus picture.  Some days, my photography is less than par.  I must have forgotten to set to Macro for the close-up.

I think I can eat them this way… and, I think I may like them just a teensy bit.  Hmmm.  Funny how that works.  I think the general rule of “you have to try something at least 10-15 times before you like it” is a valid one.  Next time, I may get a little more adventurous and see if I can get my kids and husband to start eating them.

kartoffelsalat (aka german potato salad)

I adore German potato salad – a nice, hearty side dish worthy of its share of the dinner plate.  I love the tartness of the vinegar based dressing coupled with the full flavor of the fried bacon.  The sugar adds just the right level of sweetness.  No eggs in this one – love that too.  Oh, and the fresh rosemary is amazing. 

German Potato Salad

adapted from House & Garden circa 1957

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

8 slices bacon
3 tablespoons flour
4 teaspoons chopped onion
2/3 cup vinegar
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon powdered dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon crumbled whole rosemary leaves
2 quarts cooked diced potatoes (I boiled medium size, red-skinned whole potatoes, skin left on in cold water until boiling – boiled for 20 minutes, then drained and diced.)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, drain and crumble.


Add flour and onion to the bacon fat left in the pan. Stir in vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices. Cook only until mixture is of medium thickness.

Add to potatoes, parsley and crumbled bacon. Mix carefully to prevent mashing the potatoes.

Traditionally served warm, but also great cold. (I tried it both ways and liked it both warm and chilled.)  Nice addition to a grilled burger and chilled watermelon.

summer cucumber salad

This salad is an all-time favorite of mine.  Fresh cucumbers, red onion, half and half and vinegar.  yum.  It’s such a great side dish for a grilled meat and especially refreshing on a hot, summer day.  No real recipe – just a little of this and a little of that.

English cucumber, peeled and sliced thin

1/4 to 1/2 red onion, sliced into thin wedges

Combine these in a bowl with a generous sprinkling of sea salt.  Let sit on the counter or in the fridge for an hour or so.  Can rinse and drain or leave salt and add the rest of the ingredients below.

half and half, to taste

vinegar, to taste

seasonings, to taste (paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, salt)

Mix all ingredients and let sit a couple of hours in refrigerator before eating.  Enjoy.

>curried chicken salad

>This is a nice chicken salad recipe. I didn’t have yogurt or cashews, but the recipe was still a success. Adjust the level of curry to your liking.

Curried Chicken Salad
adapted from Gourmet
makes 6 servings

1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast (I used rotisserie chicken pulled from the bone and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain yogurt
5 tsp. curry powder (I used a little less than 4 tsp., but spice to your liking)
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 medium red onion, chopped (1 cup)(Can also use sliced green onion)
1 firm ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup salted roasted cashews, coarsley chopped

**Note** This step can be omitted if you are using rotisserie chicken. Bring 4 cups water to a simmer with chicken brother in a 2-3 quart saucepan. Add chicken and simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover, then let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and cool 10 minutes. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces.

Whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, curry, lime juice, honey, ginger, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken, onion, mango, grapes, and cashews and stir gently to combine.

Serve on a croissant or by itself. Enjoy.

>mixed greens with apples & cider vinaigrette

>This is a nice, light and refreshing salad – good for spring, summer and fall (especially with honeycrisp or haralson apples.) The dressing is the perfect complement to the mixed greens and tart apple.

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
3 T. minced shallots
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
1/2 c. olive oil
1 red or green tart apple sliced thin
mixed greens (I like to get a mix with arugula to add a bitter note as well.)

Combine vinegar, shallots, mustard, honey. Add oil and whisk or use immersion blender until well blended. Season to taste and combine with greens. Toss to coat.