This light and bright salad is oomphed up by FRESH basil, FRESH parsley and FRESH lemon juice to make this a spring favorite!
PORKY PIG FARMER’S MARKET SALAD
8 ounces pasta, bowtie or campagnelle
1 cup FRESH chopped green beans
2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
2 cups chopped seeded cucumber
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 cups chopped ham steak
1 1/2 cups mozzarella balls
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup FRESH chopped basil
1/2 cup FRESH chopped parsley
1/2 cup Avocado oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- In a large saucepan bring salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
- At 10 minutes add green beans and bell pepper cooking for 2 more minutes.
- Drain and rinse WELL with cold water.
- Transfer to a large salad bowl.
- Stir in tomatoes, cucumbers, ham, red onions and mozzarella balls.
- In a small bowl combine lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, shallot, salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- In a small food processor add the lemon juice mixture, champagne vinegar, basil, parsley and oil, pulsing until well blended.
- Pour over pasta mixture. Toss to coat and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Add pasta mixture to the veggie mixture, sprinkle with seeds and toss to mix.
- Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.
With all the recent E. Coli scares with Romaine lettuce I decided to go back to good old iceburg lettuce. A change in lettuce brings with it a change in dressing. Here is a favorite from Damaris Phillips with very few changes. This is a PERFECT recipe for us – hubby loves blue cheese more than I do so it’s a compromise that works. I love to top it with my swwet & spicy bacon – YUMMY!
BLUE CHEESE RANCH WEDGE with SWEET & SPICY BACON
1 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup FRESH basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup FRESH parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons sliced FRESH chives
1 teaspoon FRESH thyme leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (ALSO great with Gorgonzola)
FRESH coarsely ground sea salt black pepper
FRESH coarsely ground black pepper
- Combine the creme fraiche, buttermilk, basil, parsley, chives, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and onion powder with a whisk in a medium bowl.
- Fold in the blue cheese, season with salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
1 head iceberg lettuce, quartered and core removed
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar
- Divide the lettuce wedges among 4 plates.
- Top each with 1/4 cup of the dressing, the tomatoes, sliced green onions, sweet and spicy bacon.
- Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
- Eat right away!
SWEET & SPICY BACON adapted from GIADA
1 pound slab bacon, cut into 1-by-1/2-inch pieces **
1/4 cup PURE maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons FRANK’S original hot sauce
- Place the bacon in an even layer in a large skillet.
- Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with spatula until the bacon is light golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Whisk together the maple syrup, black pepper and Frank’s in a small bowl.
- Pour off some of the rendered bacon fat, leaving just a small amount.
- Return the skillet to the heat and pour the maple syrup mixture over the bacon.
- Braise gently until the syrup thickens and glazes the bacon and the bacon is deep golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Serve warm.
I originally copy catted this recipe (literally jotting down each and every ingredient as I ate the salad) from a favorite TEX MEX haunt in Texas, Chuy’s (1982), not to be confused with Chuy’s (1975) a favorite haunt from the west coast. For several years they had a tug-o-war over the name, but somehow they both still exist.
It has since become a family favorite that we make A LOT during the spring and summer in particular.
MEXICAN COBB SALAD
Bed of Lettuce
Grilled chicken breast, chilled and chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 avocado chopped
1/8 cup chopped green chiles
1/4 cup grated jack cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
Juice of 1 Lime
RE-VISTED MEXICAN COBB SALAD
AND then I originally posted this recipe for a beach party at Seaside Simplicity. It was perfect to accommodate Martha’s Jalapeno Poppers. But that was a few years ago and then I updated it to include taco meat, black beans and marinated tomatoes. The dressing remains the key element of this salad.
JALAPENO RANCH DRESSING
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Penzey’s California crushed jalapenos
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Whisk all together and chill overnight before serving
NEW CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1/2 Meyer lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil (I like to use a lemon olive oil)
large egg yolk, beaten
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Torn Romaine lettuce
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
grated Parmesan cheese
- In a small food processor combine 7 ingredients until well blended. Garlic and anchovies should become one with the liquid ingredients.
- Fold olive oil mixture into beaten egg until well blended.
- Season to taste with fresh ground salt and pepper.
- Pour over torn lettuce and sliced green onions.
- Top with croutons and Parmesan cheese.
- Toss well and serve immediately.
NOTE: When I use chicken I use chicken tenders with salt and pepper browned in a little butter and then shredded into the salad.
Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.
When I was in college, I worked at several restaurants, but by far one of my most favorite was a dinner house called the Four Winds. It was originally a steak house, but as time went on it transformed into a more casual menu at lunch and with the sandwiches we served a slaw that we made fresh daily. Best as I can remember this is the closest version to it and it is soooooooooooooooooo good!
FOUR WINDS SWEET & SOUR SLAW
2 celery stalks, diced small or sliced thin
1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
1/2 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup mayonnaise
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons sugar
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar until well blended.
- In a large bowl toss together the cabbages, celery and carrots.
- Pour mayonnaise mixture over cabbage mixture, sprinkle with caraway seeds and toss until well coated.
- Fold in raisins.
- Adjust salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar to your personal tastes.
- Cover and chill several hours before serving.
Years ago I found this awesome new jello salad recipe over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook called Special Salad. This quickly became a new family favorite! We have even given it a new name and a few changes for our family.
1 LARGE box orange jello (next time we’re going to try wild strawberry)**
1 LARGE box lemon jello (we used pineapple)**
3 bananas, sliced (next time we’re going to use 2 and add a kiwi)
1/2 bag mini marshmallows
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup pineapple juice*
3/4 cup FINELY grated cheddar cheese
1 small can mandarin orange segments, well drained, reserving juice (we used a large can)
1- 14 ounce can crushed pineapple, *well drained but reserving the juice and adding enough of the mandarin orange
juice to make 1 cup
- Mix the two boxes of jello powder together in a large glass mixing bowl and stir in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Mix well until jello has dissolved.
- Add 2 cups of cold water.
- Place mixture in the refrigerator until partially set.
- Mix together the orange segments, pineapple and banana slices.
- Fold into the partially set jello.
- If using individual or multiple serving dishes, portion it at this time.
- Top the jello-fruit mixture with 1/2 bag mini white marshmallows and then put jello back in fridge.
- Whip together the whipping cream, 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla until thick, cover and place in fridge.
- Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, *1 cup pineapple juice, egg and flour together in a small sauce pan, stirring constantly until thick..
- Cool this mixture completely and then fold in the whipped cream mixture.
- Spread over the marshmallow mixture.
- Layer the 3/4 cup of cheddar cheese on the top.
- Return to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly.
NOTE**: This recipe originally called for orange and lemon Jell-o. I play with the flavors ALL the time. This time I used lemon, orange crush and strawberry banana small boxes in lieu of the 2 LARGE boxes with delightful results.
Submitted to FULL PLATE THURSDAY @Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.
Now there is much debate over Gran’s cranberry salad recipe, but one thing was for sure, she’d have to make a double batch, one for my mom and aunt and another for everyone else. Now while I usually helped prepare the above recipe, I hated it!! One year she even decided the grapes needed to be peeled – need I say more? I much prefer the recipe below that is a FUN version of hers. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but I have been known to eat a whole batch by myself. In my defense it was while I wasn’t feeling good and had a sore throat.
GRAN’S HOLIDAY SALAD aka FESTIVE CRAN PINEAPPLE JELLO
1 package (3 ounces) cherry Jell-o
1 package (3 ounces) black cherry Jell-o
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 can (14 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups seedless green grapes, quartered
chopped pecans (optional)
- Dissolve the jell-o in the boiling water in a large bowl.
- Fold in the pineapple and cranberry sauce.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Fold in grapes and pecans if desired.
- Refrigerate until firm.
A true Panzanella is made with stale Italian bread, but croutons can be used in a pinch for a quick week night meal. It also calls for prosciutto, but I rarely have that on hand and have found that bacon works just as well for my family. Personally, I do not like olive oil so have substituted avocado oil and butter. You can also adjust the vegatable combinations to what you have on hand and/or your family’s taste palette. The key is the bread ratio to making this a true Panzanella salad.
At this time of year especially, I have plenty of homemade croutons for the Thanksgiving stuffing making this the perfect time to have this wonderful salad. **I use a combination of sourdough bread and hamburger buns. I tuck away in the freezer all the stale bread for several weeks/months before the holiday season just to have the versatility of flavors.
2 cups stale rustic Italian bread, torn into bite size pieces**
1/8 cup avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup torn romaine leaves
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 English cucumber, halved and sliced
1/2 pound grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoncinis, to taste (optional)
DRESSING also see alternate VINAIGRETTE BELOW
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons Golden Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 300°.
- Combine avocado oil and melted butter.
- Add bread pieces and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and toss again to mix.
- Arrange bread pieces in a single layer and toast in oven until crisp – about 30 minutes or so.
- In a large skillet brown bacon pieces in a single layer until browned and crisp. Drain. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Set aside.
- While the bread is toasting prepare vegetables by washing and chopping.
- In a large salad bowl toss together the spinach, torn romaine, red onion, basil, tomato halves, mozzarella cheese, cooled bacon pieces and cooled toast pieces.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss.
- Serve immediately.
3 tablespoons tequila
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 large limes)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, chopped
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 cup avocado oil
fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste
- Whisk together all the ingredients except for the avocado oil in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Slowly incorporate the oil into the bowl with a whisk until the mixture becomes emulsified.
- Season as necessary.
SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.
Need a quick, easy and pretty side dish for Thanksgiving? I have it right here for you!
CUCUMBER POMEGRANATE SALAD
1-2 large cucumbers, sliced thin
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- Arrange cucumbers, green onions and pomegranate seeds on serving plate.
- Generously salt and pepper.
- Drizzle dressing over top.
1/3 cup peanut oil
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons sugar
salt & pepper to taste
- Whisk together peanut oil, champagne vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt & pepper. Chill for several hours.
LAYERED PASTA SALAD
3 cups medium shell macaroni, cooked and drained
1 large bunch green onions, sliced
1 large can sweet peas, drained well
2 cups diced ham steak
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- Layer pasta, onions, peas and ham in serving bowl.*
- Whisk together the mayonnaise and ranch dressing.
- Spread dressing mixture over the salad, sealing the salad underneath.
- Top with the cheese and then the tomatoes.
- Refrigerate 5-6 hours or overnight.
- Toss gently before serving.
*If you are making this for a group, using a clear bowl makes a great presentation.
Tasty Tuesday is hosted by Jen over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.
Tempt my Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed with Grace.
Cooking Thursday is hosted by Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.