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As I relaxed sipping my vodka martini, the waitress returned to take my order. Upon informing her of my choice of entree, she queried if I’d like a salad to begin my meal. I lifted the cocktail skewer from my martini glass so as to bring the three impaled olives into view and replied: “I already have a salad.”
As is readily apparent from my whimsical introduction, I’m not a huge salad fan. But as ardent a carnivore as I am, don’t ever let it be said that I don’t take care of my plant-munching friends. With no further ado allow me to welcome you to the fourth edition of Summer Salads, a yearly compilation of botanical fare designed to keep your summer light and cool. Or at the very least, give you an excuse to have an extra martini since you’re saving so many calories on the salad.
CELERY ROOT SALAD RECIPE
• 3 celery roots
• 2 oz. red cabbage, finely julienned
• 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 3 tablespoons (1 ½ oz.), Champagne or white wine vinegar
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 9 tablespoons (4 ½ oz.) olive oil
• Chopped parsley, to taste
Peel the celery roots and slice them into a fine julienne, (1/16th of an inch). What’s most crucial is not their actual size but that they are all the same size. Place the julienned celery root into a large pot of salted water at a full boil. Briefly boil them so they are still a little firm, about 2 minutes, and then submerge in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the celery root thoroughly and dry on paper towels.
When dry, combine with cabbage and onion.
In a separate bowl begin the dressing by mixing the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, and then drizzle in the oil until a smooth consistency is achieved.
Mix the dressing into the salad incrementally, (you may not need it all), and finish with the chopped parsley.
SPINACH SALAD WITH PEAR VINAIGRETTE RECIPE
This recipe comes from Chef Faith Alahverdian, Executive Chef of Shoprite Supermarkets Culinary Program.
• 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
• ¼ cup pear nectar
• ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 shallot, minced
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 4 tablespoons walnut oil
• 1 bag baby spinach
• 2 pears, peeled, cored, and sliced
• ½ cup walnut halves, toasted
Make the vinaigrette by combining the vinegar, pear nectar, mustard, shallot, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the oils until a smooth consistency is formed.
Combine the spinach, pears and walnuts. (Do not slice the pears until you are ready to dress the salad to prevent them from turning brown).
Re-whisk the dressing if necessary and combine with the salad.
SEAFOOD ORZO SALAD RECIPE
This recipe comes from www.reluctantgourmet.com.
• 4 cups water
• 2 cups clam juice
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 pound orzo pasta
• 1 yellow onion, chopped
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 yellow peppers, julienned
• ½ cup chicken stock
• 1 pound bay scallops
• 1 ½ pounds shrimp, peeled & deveined
• 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
• 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Combine the water, claim juice, and a pinch of salt in a large pot and bring to boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente (about 12 minutes). Drain into a large bowl, retaining about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
As the pasta is cooking, sauté onion in olive oil over med-high heat in a sauté pan for 3-4 minutes. Add peppers, cover and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until peppers are cooked but not soft. Add chicken stock and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add the scallops. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the shrimp. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until shrimp and scallops are cooked to your liking.
Add cilantro, parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine with the orzo, mix, refrigerate and serve chilled.
CHORIZO SALAD RECIPE
This recipe comes from Chef Ann Hall Every, CCP. Check out her website at www.cookwithaloha.com
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
• 10 fresh basil leaves, stacked and cut into thin slivers
• 2 oz. Spanish chorizo sausage, sliced into thin rounds
• 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
• 2 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into thin wedges, seeds removed
For the dressing:
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• 2 teaspoons small capers
• ½ teaspoon sugar
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a non-stick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion slices and basil until onion is wilted and beginning to brown. Remove onion mixture and set aside.
In the same skillet, sauté the chorizo slices, and brown on both sides. Remove sausage onto paper towels and press out as much oil as possible from the sausage. Cut or crumble the chorizo into small pieces and reserve.
Place the lettuce, tomato, onion and chorizo in a large shallow bowl.
Make the dressing by first combining all of the ingredients except the oil. Then, slowly pour in the oil, constantly whisking, until a smooth consistency is achieved.
Pour over the salad and serve.
Also Visit Mark’s website: Food for Thought Online
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