“Is that the money salad?!” Ed asked last week as I served up a platter of broccoli, grapes, cheddar, onions, and walnuts coated in a warm bacon vinaigrette. “Yes, yes it is,” I said. I hadn’t forgotten how much Ed loved this salad (as did everyone else who tasted it), but I didn’t know he’d nicknamed it. That’s a pretty high honor for a salad built on broccoli.
It was beyond fun to have Jessica in town a couple of weeks ago. Even though I wish she were still here, we did an excellent job making the most of our time together (as she so perfectly described in her cobbler post). Cooking on Saturday night was a definite highlight and even planning the meal was fun. Jessica, ever generous, offered to let me post the recipe for the grilled corn and halloumi salad we made, even though she gets all the credit for finding it.
I wrote at length a couple of years ago about my adventures with Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good cookbook. The book has remained a favorite for times when I’ve needed healthful dinner ideas, but there’s one recipe I’ve gone back to again and again just because it’s tasty: the Mexican Green Goddess Dressing. It’s pourable summer: bright, tangy, and a stunning shade of green. I love it as a dip for veggies and as a salad dressing. Oh, and it happens to be vegan.
Two weeks ago was our first Memorial Day weekend with a grill and the first stretch of truly beautiful days. Naturally, we grilled and grilled and grilled: steaks, sausages, veggies, and hot dogs. We ate potato salad, ice cream cake, chips, and washed it all down with cold white wine and beer. It was a delicious few days, but it was also a very salty, greasy, bloated few days. By Tuesday we were craving something much lighter. For inspiration, I turned to Ottolenghi, the master of satisfying salads. I flipped through Jerusalem and found what looked like a seriously virtuous recipe that would surely make us feel good about what we were eating: the saffron chicken and herb salad.
As I was scrolling through the side dish recipes in our index, it struck me that Jessica and I are big fans of salads with nuts, cheese, and veggies. No iceberg or romaine for us! Check out this rockstar list of combinations: sweet potatoes+kale+cheddar+almonds, butternut squash+parmesan+walnuts, kale+goat cheese+pecans, brussels sprouts+asiago+walnuts. Today, I’m adding another knockout band of flavors to our favorite salads: cauliflower+cheddar+walnuts (and grapes).
The last long weekend of summer is here, just in time for this sweet and juicy variation on a caprese salad. Melon, cucumbers, and a tangle of arugula have replaced the tomatoes, but the classic version’s fresh mozzarella and basil are still key to this salad’s success. The flavors are subtle and refreshing, a perfect complement to summer’s salty grilled meats.
Things have been deliciously dessert-y around here lately. Which is one of my favorite ways for things to be, but I thought maybe we should switch it up with a salad. A salad with the double virtues of raw kale and roasted sweet potato, but made extra tasty by fancy cheddar and roasted almonds. We don’t want to go toooo health crazy, after all. I first came across this recipe, originally from a Manhattan restaurant called Northern Spy Food Co, in a Food 52 post. I can’t remember how I actually found it: the post is from January 2012, and I pinned the recipe back in October. The internet is amazing. I haven’t ever been to Northern Spy Food Co., but I can say with confidence that they seriously know their way around a salad.