Posts tagged ‘Salads’

May 14, 2015

Lentil Salad with Radicchio & Gorgonzola

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Lazy lentil lovers rejoice! I recently discovered one of the greatest short cuts in the kitchen, canned lentils. Food snobs feel free to ignore this recipe if you’re turning your nose up at the thought of using lentils from a can. I guess it’s not that complicated to simmer dried lentils, but it does take time. Time that you might not have during the week. I have always used dried lentils, but now when I’m in a pinch, I have my arsenal of canned lentils.

If you’re making lentil soup or any dish that uses warm lentils, I’d stick with traditional dried lentils. Canned lentils are on the softer side and you obviously don’t have the control you have when cooking them on the stove. But for cold salads like this one… so good!

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This salad is not for those who prefer milder flavors. Between the gorgonzola, bitterness of the radicchio and the onions – this salad is full of flavor. It would go perfectly with grilled meats or fish, or even as a vegetarian main course. I’ve used inexpensive Goya brand lentils, as well as pricier organic brands. I have to say I didn’t find one better than the other. Your grocery store might only carry one option. They are not available in every grocery store where I live.

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INGREDIENTS

For the salad…

  • 2 – 15oz cans lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small head of radicchio, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • A big handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • Wedge of gorgonzola, sliced

For the dressing…

  • 2 heaping tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over the lentils. Toss and serve with a wedge of gorgonzola on top. A hunk of baguette might be a necessity here, too.

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Enjoy!

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March 11, 2015

Simple Homemade Chicken Salad

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A long time ago I was watching an episode of the Barefoot Contessa and she was making chicken salad. You know, preparing for one of her fabulous picnic lunches at the beach with her guy friends or playing bridge with the boys, drinking champagne cocktails and eating homemade blinis with smoked salmon… I want to be her. Who wouldn’t love her life? Anyway, she was making chicken salad and had this genius method to make the chicken. Whole bone-in chicken breasts, rubbed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven on a sheet pan. Perfect every time. I stole that method for my chicken salad here.

I’ve seen many chicken salad recipes that call for poaching the chicken. I just can’t deal with the chicken simmering in water thing. Smelly, but happy memories of the apartment building my great-grandmother lived in has me scarred. For some reason it always smelled like boiled chicken. Is that a Jewish thing, boiling chickens? Oy Gevalt!

I also don’t always love the rotisserie chickens pre-made from the grocery store, though I know they can be a great shortcut. So this is my solution… successful every time, from scratch, super simple chicken salad. You can make chicken this way to toss in salads, like a cobb salad or chicken Caesar salad, or for any other recipe that calls for cooked chicken breast.

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INGREDIENTS

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts (about 2lbs)
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup light mayo (please use Hellman’s)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

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  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan skin side up. Loosen the skin gently on each breast and tuck a small sprig of thyme under the skin.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over each one and sprinkle kosher salt and pepper on each breast. Using your hands, rub it evenly all over the chicken.
  4. Place the sheet pan in the oven on the center rack and roast for about 35-40 minutes depending on how big your chicken breasts are. I use a meat thermometer and check them at 30 minutes. They are done when they reach 165 degrees.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove the sheet pan from the oven and set it aside allowing the chicken to cool completely.
  6. When they have cooled, remove the meat from each chicken breast, discarding the bones and skin. Cut the meat into large bite sized pieces.
  7. In a large bowl, place the cubed chicken with the mayo, chopped parsley and Dijon mustard. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper.

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Enjoy!

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