Summertime Salad Supper
Yesterday, it was 95 degrees. It was easy for me to decide I would rather not open the door to the oven and pull out dinner: I’d rather open the Fridge. This summer, I’ve started making salads that keep – making them on Thursday or Friday, serving them for Shabbat Lunch and then continuing to enjoy the leftovers for a couple days after that!
I’m not sure if this is just plain lazy on my part, or simply wanting to do more fun stuff during those extra daylight hours. OK, so maybe it’s a little of both.
A word on storing salads: I like to store my salads in glass containers (It’s safer than plastic, I hear.) that I can bring to the table. Leafy green salads can only be stored before they are dressed, so only dress what you know you will eat. For example, the Roasted Cobb Salad in this article can be stored, but if you serve it on a bed of greens, you must discard the greens before storing the Cobb, or risk going to raid the refrigerator for some, only to find the salad didn’t keep because the lettuce leaves haven’t stored well.
Regarding the fruit salad at the end of the article, I like plain fruit salad and so the recipe does not feature a dressing. If you prefer a dressing, you can make a simple syrup. Just simmer 1 cup of water with one cup of sugar and the zest of a lemon or lime, until the mixture is reduced by half. Allow it to cool, and then store it in the refrigerator. Pour as much of it as you like over the salad, just before serving. Do NOT mix the salad or you will disturb those gorgeous layers. As people serve themselves, the syrup will coat the fruit again and again!
Whatever fruit is leftover from this salad can be stored. If you think your family will eat the leftover salad within a couple of days, before storing it, remove the blueberries, and put them in their own container so they don’t get too mushy. Then cover the fruit salad and refrigerate it as is. Another fun idea: You can make some great smoothies with this fruit, too!
(c) 2009 Debby Segura. Debby Segura holds an AB in Design from UCLA. She designs dinnerware and she teaches and writes about cooking. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children. Visit her at http://www.debbysegura.com
Roasted Cobb Salad
(Serves 6-8, as a main course)
1 pound frozen green beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups cooked chicken breast, cut in 1/2” cubes
1 15 ounce can hearts of palm, drained, quartered lengthwise, and then
cut into ¼” slices
2 large yellow peppers, cored, seeded and then diced into ¼” pieces
3 Israeli (or Persian) cucumbers, diced into ¼” pieces (leave the skin on!)
2 tablespoons capers (optional)
2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and then diced (only just before serving!) into ¼” pieces
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 ounces romaine lettuce leaves or mixed baby greens
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Toss the green beans with two teaspoons of olive oil, seasoning generously with salt and pepper.
Spread them out evenly on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast until some of the beans are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven, and when they are cool enough to handle, cut them into ¼” lengths and place them in the bottom of a medium sized glass mixing bowl. Place the cubed chicken atop the green beans in an even layer, and then layer on the hearts of palm, yellow peppers, cucumbers, capers and chives. Just before serving, peel pit and dice the avocados and place them on top.
In a small jar with a screw-on lid, mix the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Shake until fully emulsified. Keep refrigerated until 10 minutes before using. Again, shake dressing until fully emulsified. Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the chopped salad and toss gently to coat. Pour the rest of the dressing over the romaine leaves or baby greens in a large, shallow salad bowl. Mound the chopped salad in the middle and garnish with tiny cherry tomatoes. Serve immediately.
Batya’s Potato Salad
8 unpeeled russet potatoes, scrubbed clean, and gently boiled in salt water just until soft, about 20 minutes, cooled and diced into ½“ cubes
5 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced into ¼“ cubes
1 15 ounce can Israeli Pickled Cucumbers, drained, and diced into ¼” cubes
1 15 ounce can corn, drained
4 tablespoons mayonnaise, or more, if you like a more “creamy” potato salad
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, add the diced potatoes, eggs, pickles and corn. Add the mayonnaise and mustard and toss the salad very gently until the mixture is uniform, being careful not to over mix (or the potatoes will turn into Mashed potatoes!). Season with extra salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Refrigerate until just before serving. Serve cold.
3 large red peppers, cored and quartered
3 large yellow peppers, cored and quartered
2 large green peppers, cored and quartered
1 jalapeno chili, cored and halved
3 cloves of garlic, minced
The juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 550 degrees and place a rack in the top third of the oven. Spray a foil lined cookie sheet with Pam and arrange peppers carefully on top so they do not overlap. Cook just until all the pepper skins begin to blister and brown. Remove peppers from the cookie sheet into a plastic bag. When cool enough to handle, slice cooked peppers into thin strips and combine with garlic and lemon or lime juice.
3/4 cup ground sesame paste
2 cup water, or more
The juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
1 clove garlic, minced, optional
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Add all of the ingredients to the work bowl of a food processor, except the water, and process until smooth. Slowly add the water until the mixture is the creamy consistency of melted ice cream.
Place in a serving bowl and refrigerate. 10 minutes before serving, remove from the refrigerator, correct seasonings if necessary and garnish with a light dusting of cumin and minced parsley.
2 medium size eggplants
2 tablespoons ground sesame paste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (omit this if you’re a purist)
1 tablespoon olive oil
The juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoon salt
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Wash and dry the eggplants, pierce them a few times with a fork and place them in a Pyrex pan either lined with foil or sprayed with Pam. Place in a very hot oven--either 550 convection broil, or conventional broil--and roast for about 25 minutes, total, turning once at 20 minutes. Place a colander over a bowl to catch drippings and place the eggplants in the colander, pressing slightly to start the draining. Allow the liquid to drain and the eggplants to cool, about 2 hour. Remove and discard the stem ends and all skin.
Place the eggplant flesh in the work bowl of a food processor. Add all remaining ingredients and pulse repeatedly to combine. Put two thirds of the Baba Ganoush into a serving bowl and refrigerate until 5 minutes before serving. Correct seasoning if necessary and garnish with slivers of lemon and a drizzle of fragrant olive oil. Reserve the remaining third of the Baba Ganoush for Baba Ganoush with Vegetables.
Baba Ganoush with Vegetables
1/3 recipe Baba Ganoush
1 diced yellow pepper
1 diced orange pepper
1 diced, unpeeled Persian cucumber
2 tablespoon chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
Gently stir together all ingredients and season to taste.
Refrigerate until 10 minutes before serving. Correct seasoning if necessary and garnish with whole parsley leaves and some grape tomatoes.
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas
3 tablespoons ground sesame paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
The juice of 1 lime
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or chipotle chili powder, for a smokier flavor
Water, or water drained from roasted eggplants, for a smokier flavor
Place the chickpeas in a colander in the sink and spray with cold water until the chickpeas no longer foam. Drain and reserve. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the water. Puree to create a lumpy paste. Gradually add the water, a small amount at a time until the mixture is about the texture of thick applesauce. Place in a serving bowl and refrigerate until 15 minutes before serving. Correct seasonings if necessary and then create a well in the center of the hummus and place about 2 teaspoon ground cayenne, chipotle or paprika in the well. Fill the well with the most aromatic olive you can find. Around the well, garnish with either reserved chickpeas or toasted pine nuts.
To round out the presentation, serve with tiny bowls of store-bought Tapenade, Harissa or Z’chug with olive oil, a bowl of black and green olives, drained of water, coated with olive oil and sprinkled with red pepper flakes and fresh oregano leaves, an assortment of interesting Crudites, hot pitas and fresh, crusty rustic breads.
Layered Fruit Salad
This beauty looks great on a buffet!
3 cups cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut in ¾” cubes
3 cups honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and cut in ¾” cubes
3 cups pineapple, peeled, cored and cut in ¾” cubes
2 cups mango, peeled, pitted and cut in ¾” cubes, sprinkled with the
juice of 1 lime
3 or 4 kiwis, peeled and cut crosswise into ¼” slices
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed, stems removed
In a trifle bowl, or any pretty, straight-sided bowl, place each fruit, beginning with the cantaloupe, and ending with the mango, in even layers. Insert the kiwis flush against the side of the trifle bowl so you can see it’s beautiful cross-section. Carefully place them in a row that goes all along the perimeter of the bowl. Tuck them deeply into the mango layer, so the tops just peek out from the orange layer of mango cubes. Cover tightly with plastic wrap until just ready to serve. Pour the blueberries over the mango layer and serve immediately.