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    main course salad

November 30, 2017

Carrot Fennel Soup and Butternut Squash Salad

Carrot Ginger and Fennel Soup

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 medium fennel bulb, chopped

sea salt

3 pounds organic carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

2 quarts vegetable broth

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Heat the oil in a medium soup pot over medium high heat, and cook the onion and fennel until soft.  Add a big pinch of sea salt, and stir in the carrots, ginger, and ground spices.  Cook for 3-4 minutes to intensify the flavor of the spices.  Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the pot.  Stir in the orange juice and lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper or additional citrus.

Warm Butternut Squash Farro Salad

Serves 3-4 as a main course or 6 as a side

 2 cups butternut squash, chopped into ½” cubes

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup farro

2 cups organic vegetable stock

kosher salt

½ cup chopped Italian parsley

for the dressing, whisk together:

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the butternut squash with the coconut or olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and roast for about 30 minutes, until the squash begins to brown at the edges.

Meanwhile, in a small pot, combine the farro and the vegetable stock.  Add a pinch of salt if the vegetable stock does not have any.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a medium low and cook about 20 minutes, until al dente.  Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.  Drain the farro if necessary and toss with the dressing in a shallow bowl.

Fold in the roasted butternut squash and the chopped parsley. Allow the combined squash and farro to sit for at least 45 minutes so the flavors can build together.  Serve at room temperature or cold.

Playing around:

  • Serve as a bed for roast turkey, baked salmon, or grilled shrimp to complete a main course
  • Serve in a roasted acorn squash half for a vegetarian main course
  • Add cannellini beans or roasted mushrooms for a heartier vegetarian version
  • Use any favorite herbs
  • Add roasted cherry tomatoes and basil when they are in season
  • Add shaved Parmesan or Goat Lady chevre
March 11, 2017

Lentil Quinoa Salad

Lentil Quinoa Salad with Tahini Dressing

¾ cups French lentils

1 cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander

2 cups water or vegetable broth

¼ cup olive oil

3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste (from about 2 lemons)

2 tablespoons tahini

1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1 bunch radishes, scrubbed and quartered

1 small zucchini, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped chives

 Rinse the lentils and place in a medium saucepan.  Cover with an inch or two of water and add a big pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and keep at a low boil for 20-22 minutes until cooked through.  Drain and rinse, and set aside.  

 Meanwhile, combine the rinsed quinoa and the water or broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, insert a clean towel or paper towel under the lid, and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes, which gives it time to fluff up without any condensation falling back in to the pan.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt and several twists of freshly ground pepper. Taste, and add up to 1 more tablespoon of lemon juice and/or more pepper, if desired.  

Place the quinoa in a large bowl. Add the lentils, parsley, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, zucchini and chives.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss to combine. Serve immediately, or let it cool and refrigerate for later. This salad is a great make-it-ahead dish for work week lunches or a fun picnic.  

January 30, 2017

Winter Rainbow Grain Salad


​Colorful, versatile, and good for you.  Here’s a grain salad that stands alone as a hearty main course and travels well for picnics and lunches to go.  Add poached salmon or grilled meat for an easy make-it-ahead dinner.  If you prefer gluten-free, substitute brown rice for the farro.

Winter Rainbow Grain Salad
Makes 6 servings
1 bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and sliced into ¼” ribbons
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups butternut squash, chopped in ½” cubes
1 small head cauliflower or broccoli, cut into florets
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups farro
1 bay leaf
red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup toasted pine nuts or shelled pistachios, optional

Toss the kale with the lemon juice and massage the leaves for about 1 minute.  Set aside.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  On a large sheet pan, toss the cauliflower or broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces.  On a second sheet pan, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.  Set aside the roasted vegetables.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the farro, 1 teaspoon salt, bay leaf, and a pinch of red pepper flakes with 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes or until the farro is tender.  Drain, discard the bay leaf, and toss the farro with the dressing.
To make the dressing, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a pan over medium low heat, add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Off the heat, add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.  Whisk together and stir into the farro.  In the same pan, heat 1 more tablespoon olive oil and sauté the brussels sprouts for 5 minutes or beginning to brown at the edges.
In a large bowl combine the farro, roasted vegetables, and brussels sprouts.  Fold in the kale.  Top with the pomegranate seeds and nuts, if using.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

July 30, 2015

Farmers Market Shrimp Salad


This dish captures the taste of summer and a spirit of ease, but it’s also a bit more dressed up than my stand-by summer tomato sandwich.  I can pick up nearly all the ingredients at my local farmers market throughout the late summer.  Although I’ve made it at home more often than not, it makes a light summer dinner or lunch that always reminds me of life at the beach.  If you can buy your shrimp fresh off the boat and stop at a farm’s roadside stand for the corn, butter beans, and tomatoes, this will taste like the very essence of a summer afternoon.

Farmers Market Shrimp Salad
4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
½  small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound large shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined
sea salt or kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups cooked fresh or frozen baby lima beans
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 ears)
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon basil leaves, julienned

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add the onion and cook until it is soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute, stirring.  Add the shrimp, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until the shrimp has just turned pink.  Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.  It’s okay if there is still some onion in the pan.  Add the cooked lima beans and corn to the hot pan, sprinkle with salt and sauteé for about 3 minutes, then add the tomato halves and sauteé for 2 minutes longer.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Off the heat, fold in chopped chives.  Finish each plate with ribbons of julienned basil.  Serve warm or chilled.

January 26, 2015

Chopped Salad and Green Goddess Dressing 


Looking ahead to Super Bowl Sunday, I always love chilis, dips, and chips to keep the party going!  This Mexican chopped salad with a delicious – and wholesome- Green Goddess dressing is the perfect fresh dish to serve alongside the warm chipotle black bean dip and hearty chili that we love at game time.  This year I think I’ll also try some buffalo cauliflower for a twist on traditional bar food.

Mexican Chopped Salad with Green Goddess Dressing 
adapted from It’s All Good
to serve 4:

2 ears of fresh corn (or 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels)
2 hearts of romaine, finely shredded (about 5 cups)
Mexican Green Goddess Dressing
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, very thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

If using fresh corn, roast or steam it and slice the kernels off the cob.  If using frozen corn, thaw at room temperature or rinse in freshly boiled water to thaw quickly.
**To make this ahead, prepare the ingredients and toss with dressing when ready to serve.

Place the romaine in a large platter and dress it with 1/2 of the dressing so it has just a light coating.  Evenly scatter the black beans, tomatoes, scallions, avocado, cilantro, and corn over the dressed greens.  Serve with additional dressing on the side.

Mexican Green Goddess Dressing
to make 1 1/4 cups:

2/3 cup Vegenaise (or sheep’s or goat’s milk yogurt)*
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 green jalapeño, roughly chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon raw honey
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth.  Keeps well, covered, for up to a week in the fridge.

*Note – if Vegenaise, sheep’s or goat’s milk yogurt are not available, you can substitute plain Greek yogurt