Archive for ‘Soups, Salads & Sandwiches’

January 12, 2015

Black & Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash

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I had to take a minute and share this beautiful dish. This salad was the “recipe of the day” on Epicurious a while back. It looked so beautiful and included all the ingredients we love, it was a must try. Since the recipe called for microgreens it gave me a reason to buy some Blue Moon Acres local microgreens. I used their micro-arugula for this dish. It’s pretty pricey stuff, but it sure takes a beautiful picture and tastes fantastic.

I’ve used their microgreens on a smoked salmon platter in the past and it made for a special holiday starter. Microgreens have a delicate flavor that dress up any salad. In the summer when our farms are overflowing with fresh picked veggies I love to dice up an assortment very small, toss them with microgreens and a little crumbled feta or blue cheese and voilà! Delish! It’s a quick chopped salad using salad greens that don’t need any chopping. For now, in this freezing weather, butternut squash and rice of all kinds are easy to find. You can, of course, use regular baby arugula for this as well.

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Adapted from Epicurious

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ cups black rice
  • ½ cup wild rice
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • ½ medium butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2oz microgreens or baby arugula
  • ½ cup roasted pistachios, chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

2. Cook the rice together in a 4 qt saucepan of boiling water with a pinch of salt until tender – about 35 minutes. Pour the rice through a sieve and allow it to drain completely. Pour the drained rice onto a large platter and allow to cool.

3. Meanwhile, cover a sheet pan with foil and toss the butternut squash with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes until softened and beginning to brown.

4. To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar and honey together and then add the ¼ cup of olive oil, whisking to emulsify. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.

5. In a large bowl, fold the rice, squash, scallions and microgreens together. Toss with the dressing. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios on top.

Enjoy!

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November 25, 2014

Arugula & Apple Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

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Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. Probably because the whole thing revolves around eating and doesn’t involve stressful gift-giving or decorating. The only thing that causes me Thanksgiving stress is worrying about whether there will be enough food. Not for the dinner itself, but for leftovers. What a tragedy it would be, going to the refrigerator at midnight on Thanksgiving and discovering all the stuffing was scarfed down by your gluttonous relatives! It’s a Thanksgiving version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Since I’m not hosting this year, my destiny is in the hands of my fabulous relatives. There’s never a shortage of food with this gene pool, so no worries.

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy salad to make for Thanksgiving, this is it. It’s a crowd pleaser. Refreshing when paired with all the heavy sides that grace our holiday table. A little leafy green stuff alongside everything else is delish. 

To make it really easy on yourself, buy pre-crumbled cheese and pre-washed greens. You can throw this salad together in minutes.

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Dressing adapted from Epicurious.

INGREDIENTS

For the dressing…

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp minced shallots
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  •  A scant 1/2 cup good olive oil

Combine the ingredients together in a small bowl, adding the olive oil last. Whisk to emulsify. Set aside.

For the salad…

  • 7oz. baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola
  • 1/3 cup of toasted pecans
  • 2 large apples, large dice

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, lightly drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss. You probably won’t need all the dressing. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

I’ve made this several times and it’s also delicious with these variations:

  • Toasted walnuts
  • Crumbled feta or big shards of Parmesan cheese
  • Diced fresh pears
  • Baby kale or fresh spinach

I should mention that I’m an apple snob. Chalk it up to living in beautiful Bucks County with all our local farms. I love honey crisp, sun crisp or fuji apples, something super crisp and sweet is best. I don’t even peel the apples for the salad.

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