Tag Archives: salad

French Green Salad

Sometimes you just want a leafy green salad, am I right?  Especially when it gets hot out, and especially after you spent the weekend eating lots of fried things (guilty).  I tried my best to copy the green salad they serve at one of my favorite restaurants Le Diplomate.  Just like them I add fresh tarragon to the Boston lettuce and merely kiss the salad with dressing.  The addition of hazelnuts was my idea to give a little nutty flavor and crunch, but you can certainly omit them.  This is the perfect side for a nice grilled steak or some chicken.  Or grab a big hunk of french bread and a glass of rose and call it lunch!

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French Green Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  the salad vert at Le Diplomate
Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 heads of Boston (also called Butter) lettuce, well rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 to 2 sprigs of tarragon

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, champagne vinegar, shallot and dijon mustard.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a small dry skillet toast the hazelnuts over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Let cool.  Right before serving pull the tarragon leaves off of the sprigs and toss the leaves with the Boston lettuce pieces.  Add 3/4 of the dressing, toss, then add the rest only if you need it.  You want this salad to be very lightly dressed.  Top with the toasted hazelnuts and serve.

French Green Salad

  • Servings: 4
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Inspiration:  the salad vert at Le Diplomate
Special Equipment:  none

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 heads of Boston (also called Butter) lettuce, well rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 to 2 sprigs of tarragon

In a small bowl combine the olive oil, champagne vinegar, shallot and dijon mustard.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a small dry skillet toast the hazelnuts over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Let cool.  Right before serving pull the tarragon leaves off of the sprigs and toss the leaves with the Boston lettuce pieces.  Add 3/4 of the dressing, toss, then add the rest only if you need it.  You want this salad to be very lightly dressed.  Top with the toasted hazelnuts and serve.

Fennel and Apple Salad

So we were going to go apple picking this weekend but Hurricane Joaquin had other plans.  Luckily I was still able to get my hands on some good local apples at the super market without all the mud and decided to dedicate this week to all things apple.  I know it’s tempting just to go the pie or apple sauce route if you have a lot of them, but there are so many more ways to use apples.  This week I will walk through 3 totally different recipes that really show the apple’s range.  This first dish is inspired by a terrific tapa at a Spanish restaurant called Jaleo, here in DC.  It’s been on their menu for years and while I haven’t been able to get it 100% perfect, this is pretty close to the real thing.  Raw apple is tossed with raw fennel, salty manchego cheese and nuts to create a great, crunchy fall salad.  Experiment with different ways of cutting the elements of this salad – sometimes I do the apple, fennel and cheese all in baton shapes, sometimes I slice them thinly, and sometimes I do them in different shapes.  The exact same ingredients take on a different personality depending on how you present them, from rustic to sophisticated.  Hope you enjoy apple week!

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Fennel and Apple Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  a dish at Jaleo, Jose Andres’s flagship restaurant in DC
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 large head of fennel or 2 small, cored and sliced thinly (some fronds reserved for topping)
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and sliced thinly
  • 4 ounces manchego cheese, cubed or cut into batons
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup marcona almonds

In a large bowl toss the fennel, apple and manchego together.  In a smaller bowl crease a dressing by whisking together to the sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.

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Toss the veggies with the dressing then spread out the salad on a nice platter.  Sprinkle with the almonds and reserved chopped fennel fronds (the green leafy parts) and serve.

Fennel and Apple Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 large head of fennel or 2 small, cored and sliced thinly (some fronds reserved for topping)
  • 1 granny apple, cored and sliced thinly
  • 4 ounces manchego cheese, cubed or cut into batons
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup marcona almonds

In a large bowl toss the fennel, apple and manchego together.  In a smaller bowl crease a dressing by whisking together to the sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Toss the veggies with the dressing then spread out the salad on a nice platter.  Sprinkle with the almonds and reserved chopped fennel fronds (the green leafy parts) and serve.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

It’s 1994 and every restaurant has a grilled chicken caesar salad on the menu.  People are eating it in droves (sometimes in a gloopy wrap) thinking it’s healthy.  Then one day everyone wakes up and realizes it’s boring and oh by the way, the dressing you are pouring on that lettuce is super high in calories and fat!!  Our sad salad is relegated to the pile of forgotten food fads.  I decided to bring it back.  This is sort of a deconstructed version of the old favorite and it’s certainly healthier.  I use a light hand with the dressing and use light mayo, no egg and no olive oil but trust me it has tons of flavor.  That comes courtesy of lots of garlic, lemon, and anchovy paste.  Yes anchovy paste – it’s not fishy at all and adds a certain something that you just can’t get without it.  I really like this one by Flott from Italy but you can really get whatever your local super market has, they usually stock it in the Italian section.  If you have whole anchovies and want to mince those instead, by all means, but the paste is really convenient and a good “gateway” for folks that are not crazy about cutting up whole little fishies.  I also grill the romaine which is a great technique that imparts a nice charred, smokey flavor to an admittedly boring lettuce.  Last but not least, I upgraded the sad little packaged crutons into grilled garlic bread.  This is a great weeknight dinner that is actually a no pot meal!  Go ahead and cut everything up and serve tossed together in a salad bowl or stick with the deconstructed route like it did and throw it all on a big platter.  Either way this will be one of the easiest meals you make all summer.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:   bringing back an old friend
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 heads of romaine, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of thick cut bread
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
  • grated parmesan for serving

In a small bowl whisk the mayo, anchovy paste, lemon juice, and grated garlic until combined.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside (this also can keep in the fridge for several days).  Light your grill to medium high and drizzle the romaine, chicken breasts and bread with olive oil on both sides and salt and pepper the chicken.  If your chicken breasts are really thick I suggest pounding them with a meat tenderizer or the bottom of a heavy pan between 2 pieces of saran wrap so that they cook evenly.  Throw the chicken on the grill and cook approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side until cooked through.  Transfer to a cutting board and cover with tin foil.  While the chicken rests grill the romaine and bread approximately, 2 to 3 minutes per side until you get good grill marks.  Remove from the grill and rub the bread with the cut side of the garlic clove.

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Slice the chicken and arrange on a platter with the garlic bread and grilled romaine hearts.  Drizzle with half the dressing and serve the rest on the side along with the grated parmesan.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 heads of romaine, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of thick cut bread
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
  • grated parmesan for serving

In a small bowl whisk the mayo, anchovy paste, lemon juice, and grated garlic until combined.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside (this also can keep in the fridge for several days).  Light your grill to medium high and drizzle the romaine, chicken breasts and bread with olive oil on both sides and salt and pepper the chicken. Throw the chicken on the grill and cook approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side until cooked through.  Transfer to a cutting board and cover with tin foil.  While the chicken rests grill the romaine and bread approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side until you get good grill marks.  Remove from the grill and rub the bread with the cut sides of the garlic clove.  Slice the chicken and arrange on a platter with the garlic bread and grilled romaine hearts.  Drizzle with half the dressing and serve the rest on the side along with the grated parmesan.

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