Tart Lemons and Spicy Mamas
I think it’s apropos that this Tuesday following Mother’s Day (aka Dia des Las Madres), the recipe is one of my all time faves that my own resplendent mama taught me. She’s pretty majestic, and given that one day isn’t enough to honor her awesomeness, I’m extending the party to this Tuesday. My tartness is all earned honestly, but I can’t say that I didn’t get any encouragement growing up in a house with some of the sassiest fucking people to ever walk the earth. A sass factory if you will, and I was sentenced to work early on in the game. This original recipe was one of the early ones on Adesina’s Kitchen, and though it’s a clutch go-to every time I need a vinaigrette, the old picture did not sell this salad’s infinite awesomeness. I knew I had to go back and give it the glory that it deserved. Bibb lettuce. Check. Crispier croutons. Check. Snipped tarragon and chives. Check and motherfuckin’ check. Continue reading Throwback Tuesday: French Lemon Tarragon Vinagrette →
Not that I haven’t always been an odd duck, but as a child, I didn’t eat any sort of seafood except for oysters. Fish was assumed to taste the way it smelled, crabs looked like spidery ocean monsters, and shrimp had to have been the grossest looking things I’d ever seen. But oysters! How I loved them so! My favorite preparation was fried with lots of lemon and ketchup, and I would adore the nights our family and extended family would pile into the car to go to the Chesapeake Bay Seafood House for their All-You-Can-Eat extravaganza. I’ve grown to become EEO about seafood (I’m sorry for judging you guys!) and adore just about every fresh catch I can get my hands on, but oysters hold a special place in my heart. Continue reading Oyster Rockefeller Dressing →
I think that some of the best culinary moments are ones in which your tastebuds get a full dose of action – sweet, salty, savory, even bitter. When all combined, it’s some absolute majesty. This dressing is no exception – the allure of the tangy buttermilk combined with the sweet and tart cider vinegar is absolutely unbeatable. And the poppy seeds give the whole mixture lovely color and added pizzaz.
If you aren’t in the habit of making your own salad dressing, you should definitely start. Your salads will taste fresher and brighter, and it won’t cost you anything. Most homemade salad dressings include staples that you already have in your pantry. You’ll be saving yourself pennies, chemicals, and in many cases calories, by doing it yourself.
I use this dressing in place of warm bacon dressing on the classic Spinach Salad – a combination of baby spinach, red onion and hard boiled eggs. However, it’s also delicious on arugula and other bitter greens that are livened up by a bit of sweetness. Be creative and tuck this dressing recipe into your rolodex for something new and special.
Spinach Salad with Buttermilk Poppy Seed Dressing
1 tbs. of cider vinegar
1/4 c. of buttermilk
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1/4 c. of vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. of poppy seeds
Combine all of the ingredients in a jar or plastic tupperware with a tight lid. Shake and pour over salad of your choice. Serve.
Oh My Darlin’, Oh My Darlin’
I love this salad because it screams Springtime even though it’s made with ingredients that are delicious in the winter. When you are feeling that your menus are lugubrious with heavy stews and dull, overcooked madness, you should give this a try. From the crunch of pecans, tartness of juicy clementines, and a light rice wine vinegar dressing to wake it all up, you will swear that winter is long gone and warmer days are on the way.
Use the greens that look the freshest at the market when you go shopping – I like frisee and arugula together, because the bitterness is well-contrasted with the sweet bits of clementine. You can, though, use anything that you see that should be on your plate – mesclun, red leaf, radicchio and butter lettuce all work as well.
Mixed Greens with Clementines and Pecans
6 c. of arugula, loosely packed
2 c. of frisee, loosely packed
2 clementines, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/3 c. of chopped pecans
1/3 c. of crumbled ricotta salata
4 tbs. of olive oil
2 tbs. of rice wine vinegar
1 tbs. of dried tarragon
1/4 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1 tbs. of shallots, finely chopped
Add greens, clementines, pecans and ricotta salata to a bowl. In a jar (or a plastic chinese soup container, like I use), shake together the oil, vinegar, tarragon, salt, pepper and shallots. Pour the dressing on the sides of the salad bowl (so as to not oversaturate the greens) and toss. Serve salad to people longing for a little sunshine.
This dressing is a variation of one of my favorite go-to dressings, a light citrus combo that is sweetened with a bit of sugar and honey. I use it on my Thai Chopped Salad with Crisp Noodles and Herbs, but if you leave out the peanut sauce, you can use it as the basis for a Mandarin Orange Salad or even as a marinade for meat or vegetables. The recipe calls for peanut sauce, but if you don’t have any around, substitute a tablespoon of smooth peanut butter. If you are vegan and looking to use peanut sauce, try to find one without fish sauce. Or just use the aforementioned peanut butter trick. Word. Continue reading Sweet Peanut Lime Dressing →
Face it – if you like caesar dressing, you like anchovies. No balking about it – it’s a fact. These little salty gems are the base for this addictive dressing. Serve it over a salad of crisp greens, cucumbers, tomato, kalamata olives and feta. Or use it as a dip from crudité – matchsticks of carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper and squash couldn’t find a better home than this gorgeous greek salad dressing.
You can make this with only one clove of garlic if you’d like it a little milder. And you can leave out the anchovies, but you’ll be missing out in a big way. If your aversion has to do with fiddling around with the fishy filets, use anchovy paste in a tube instead. It’s a little easier to control and gets the job done in the exact same way. Bottom line – use the anchovies for true gorgeousness, because your kitchen should be a source of loveliness in every way. Continue reading Gorgeous Greek Salad Dressing →
An Ode to Waking Your Ass Up
If ever you feel like it’s a “boo-hoo eat salad at home like a dieting loser” kind of night, I strongly advise you to make this dressing. The recipe originally came from my mom – a bold mixture of lemon, garlic and olive oil packing a serious punch on whatever greens she dressed them with. It woke your ass up. Continue reading French Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette →