27th February 2010

    Roasted Root Vegetable Bread Salad, a la Essential Baking Company

    Local, organic bakery The Essential Baking Company has a few cafés around town, and I’ve been enjoying their bread salad on a pretty regular basis, so much so that I decided I had to recreate it at home. I love the mix of roasted yams, beets, and leeks (!), and when tossed with big chunks of crispy-on-the-outside bread, mixed greens, and balsamic vinaigrette, it’s a salad I just can’t say no to. In a wonderful instance of kismet, our CSA box this week provided both the yams and beets for this recipe.


    Lisa says:

    Hey, this looks familiar!

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I think I did pretty good recreating it…

    Lisa says:

    What kind of greens are these?

    Chris says:

    Well, I meant to pick up some mixed baby greens, but accidentally got this mix of mustard greens, kale, and chard…

    Lisa says:

    Whoops…

    Chris says:

    Yeah, but it’s actually fine, I think — it may have been overwhelming if it was all greens, but most of this salad consists of the roasted veggies.

    Lisa says:

    It *is* totally fine; actually, it’s pretty good. I heart kale and chard.

    Chris says:

    I heart these leeks. I may want to just roast those up on a regular basis; maybe add them to mashed potatoes or something — they’re really good.

    Lisa says:

    I love it. Hmmm, I’m going to come up with a list of other dishes to recreate at home!

    Roasted Root Vegetable Bread Salad
    Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
    3-4 medium beets
    2 medium/large yams, peeled and sliced 3/4″ thick
    2 leeks, washed and sliced on a bias into 1/2″ thick pieces
    favorite day-old bread (we used Essential Bakery’s Rosemary Diamante), cut into 1″ cubes
    mixed salad greens
    balsamic vinaigrette

    Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange oven racks so that both can be used during the roasting process. The beets take the longest, so you should be able to swap in the remaining vegetables to roast while the beets are going.
    Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place the beets on a cooking sheet and into the oven, on the lower rack, for 45 minutes to an hour, until a knife pressed into a beet gives little resistance. While the beets are roasting, toss the yams in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping once, until soft on the inside but still a bit crisp on the outside. Set aside to cool. Toss the leeks with just a little olive oil and turn onto a baking sheet, and roast for about 10 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. Set aside to cool. When the beets are ready, remove and open the foil packets. When cool enough to handle, peel the outer layer and cut into chunks.
    Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes in a little olive oil (sounding familiar?), place on a baking sheet and bake just until crisp on the outside — you don’t want to make rock-hard croutons.
    Now you can just throw everything, including the salad greens, into a bowl, add enough dressing to your liking, toss until coated, and serve! Season as desired.

    2-3 servings.

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    posted in Salads and Light Soups, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

    29th August 2009

    Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

    greenpapayasalad

    Lisa had her first green papaya salad at Thoa in Seattle and absolutely loved it; after trying it myself, I decided that this was something we had to make at home. The recipe itself, which I adapted from a few I spotted online, as well as what I remember of the restaurant version, came together really quickly. The biggest adventure was actually in procuring this little gadget — I wandered all over the International District/Chinatown looking for it and finally found it in a little grocery next to the Tamarind Tree. Four bucks, and the papaya was shredded perfectly. Highly recommended if you’re going to make this dish.


    Lisa says:

    I love how the papaya looks like noodles — so different that what I was expecting!

    Chris says:

    I know, green papaya seems nothing like its ripe counterpart.

    Lisa says:

    This dish just tastes so summery and fresh…

    Chris says:

    I like that dishes like this are so easy to tailor to what you have on hand — you can pretty much make it however you want.

    Lisa says:

    Well, now that you went through all the effort of finding that little papaya shredder, we’ll definitely have to have this more often.

    Chris says:

    Heck yes! Next time I’m thinking I’ll do the beef jerky version, which apparently pretty popular.

    Lisa says:

    Hmmm… maybe I’ll have some shrimp ready as a backup… you enjoy, though!

    Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp
    1 medium-sized green papaya
    1 large carrot
    2 serrano, thai bird, or other hot peppers
    2 garlic cloves
    2 tsp sugar
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    1 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
    1/3-1/2 lb. shrimp
    fried shallots
    peanuts, toasted and chopped
    cilantro, chopped
    basil, cut into ribbons

    Peel the green papaya, then shred or julienne into thin strips and set aside in a large serving bowl. Peel the carrot, and shred or julienne into strips, and add to the papaya.
    In a mortar, crush the chilies, garlic, and sugar into a paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings to have your preferred level of tartness, sweetness, and spice. Pour just enough dressing over the papaya and carrots — it shouldn’t be swimming in liquid. Toss and set aside.
    Grill or saute the shrimp until just done, then add to the tossed salad. Garnish with fried shallots, the peanuts, cilantro, and basil.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups, Vietnamese | 4 Comments

    17th June 2009

    Catch-Up Post #4: Orzo Super Salad

    superorzo

    Lisa saw this recipe on 101 Cookbooks and immediately added it to her must-have list. The cool salad was a tasty treat during our mini-heatwave a few weeks ago. For the sprouts, we found a pack that included many varieties we hadn’t previously tried — they added crunch and texture to this healthy dish.

    Orzo Super Salad
    1 cup dried orzo pasta
    8 – 10 medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
    1/2 a medium head of broccoli, cut into small trees
    small handful of mint, chopped

    1 small clove of garlic, mashed with a big pinch of salt and chopped
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    a small handful of sprouts
    1/3 cup almonds, toasted
    1/2 small cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    1 medium avocado, sliced into small pieces
    1/4 cup feta, crumbled

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and boil the orzo per package instructions. 30 seconds before the orzo is finished cooking stir the asparagus and broccoli into the orzo pot. Cook for the final 30 seconds, drain and run under a bit of cold water to stop the cooking.

    Meanwhile, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt into the dressing. Set aside.

    To serve the salad, toss the orzo, asparagus, broccoli, and mint with about half the dressing. Add more dressing if needed, and toss well. Now add the sprouts, almonds, cucumber, avocado, and feta. Very gently toss a couple of times to distribute the ingredients throughout the salad and serve.

    Serves 4.

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    posted in Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups | 1 Comment

    14th June 2009

    Catch-Up Post #3: Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing, and an award

    portobellosalad

    Here’s a recipe from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook that’s been sitting in the “need to post” pile for a while… we broke out the grill for this one a few months ago. We love the taste and texture of grilled portobellos, and when placed over a bed of greens and garbanzos with a slightly spicy, tangy mustard dressing, they make for a great healthy meal.

    Portobello Salad with Spicy Mustard Dressing
    Roasted Portobellos:
    1/2 cup white wine
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 large portobello caps

    Dressing:
    1/4 cup prepared spicy, smooth mustard
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    2 tbsp pure maple syrup

    Salad:
    8 cups mixed greens
    1 avocado, peeled, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
    1 small red onion, sliced into very thin half-moons
    1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

    Combine the mushroom marinade ingredients in shallow glass dish, then place the portobellos upside down in the marinade. Spoon a bunch of the marinade into the mushroom caps to form a small pool. Preheat a grill to high heat and marinate for 20 minutes.
    Grill the mushrooms over direct heat, about 4 minutes per side. When done, remove from heat, and when cool enough to handle, slice and set aside.
    Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, then throw all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour the dressing over. Toss to coat.
    Place the greens on a plate, top with the portobellos, and serve.

    4 main-dish/8 side-dish servings

    And now, award time!
    I’d like to thank Margot from Coffee and Vanilla for presenting We Heart Food with a Beautiful Blog Award!

    Click here to check out the other recipients of BB!

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    posted in Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups, Veganomicon | 2 Comments

    8th September 2008

    Beef Satays over Thai Salad

    Beef Satays over Thai Salad

    Tonight’s recipe comes from Food & Wine Magazine’s Quick from Scratch Herbs & Spices Cookbook, and is a great quick, light summer meal. Cubes of sirloin are marinated in lemon, salt, pepper, and lemongrass, quickly grilled, and served over a simple salad with a nuoc-chom-like dressing. We were lazy and served it with a quick out-of-the-box Thai Curry Rice.

    Chris says:

    I love these quick recipes.

    Lisa says:

    Especially when they’re this tasty!

    Chris says:

    Oooh, I think I timed the steak perfectly… and I like the lemongrass bits all over it.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, it’s really good. I, of course, loved the minced garlic.

    Chris says:

    Also, it’s yet another recipe that uses up our mint.

    Lisa says:

    Wahoo! The rice is a nice accompaniment.

    Chris says:

    I knew if I didn’t make the rice you’d claim this was a snack.

    Lisa says:

    Hey! I just got back from a run.

    Chris says:

    I know! All I’m saying is I know what you like.

    Lisa says:

    I like food. Actually, I heart food.

    Chris says:

    Don’t we all…

    Beef Satays over Thai Salad
    1.5 lbs sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
    4 stalks lemongrass, bottom third only, peeled and minced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tbsp cooking oil
    2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
    2 3/4 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
    2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
    1 tbsp water
    3/4 tsp rice-wine vinegar
    pinch dried red-pepper flakes
    1 small head romaine lettuce, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (about 1 quart)
    2 carrots, peeled into strips
    1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and diced
    1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
    1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

    In a medium glass bowl, combine the steak, lemongrass, half the garlic, the oil,1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of the sugar, the salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
    In a small glass bowl, combine the fish sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, garlic, and 2 teaspoons sugar, the water, vinegar, and red-pepper flakes.
    In a large bowl, combine the romaine, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and mint.
    Light the grill over high heat. Thread the steak onto eight skewers. Grill the meat, turning, until done to your taste, about 5 minutes for medium rare. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve topped with the satays.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Quick from Scratch Herbs and Spices, Thai | 6 Comments


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