This salad served to clients at work made me want to make it ASAP. I love fresh pineapple and since the little one will always eat cucumbers, it means we always have some around. My mint plants are going gang-busters so poof! This salad was born. I planned to make pulled pork int he crockpot so this was perfect alongside it! I also would definitely chop it up more and use it as a relish. Yum!
1/2 cucumber, mostly pealed
1 cup fresh pineapple
8-10 mint leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
Chop the cucumber & seed, if necessary. Chop pineapple, shallot, and mint. Add it all to a bowl.
Add in the lime juice & olive oil. Toss well.
Refrigerate until serving, or serve immediately.
I thought this was perfect with the pork. I was so glad to have something zippy and fresh. This salad was so fast to throw together. The pork cooked all day in the crockpot and it was the fastest dinner to get together. Uhh it was just. so. ideal on a hot hot hot night. The leftover pork will be frozen and probably will go inside tacos. I’d really love this cuke & pineapple all diced up as a relish on a taco or sandwich.
Seriously, make this for your next BBQ and everyone will appreciate this cool, sweet, light, refreshing salad.
I love the idea of a raw sauce to top meat and fish. Mine was grilled shrimp and Mr. J had steak tips. The arugula salad had avocado, cucumbers, and tomatoes. I’ll have to keep the idea of chimichurri around the next time I have handfuls of fresh herbs leftover from something!
1 cup flat parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic, minced
pinch crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 olive oil
2 cups arugula
1 cup mixed greens
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
Preheat the grill.
In a blender or food processor, combine the parsley, cilantro, red wine vinegar, crushed red pepper, cumin, salt, pepper, and stream in the olive oil. Taste and add in more oil/vinegar as needed. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve.
Grill the steak/shrimp.
Toss together the arugula, avocado, tomato, and cucumber.
Toss with some salad dressing. Add the grilled steak/shrimp and spoon some chimichurri sauce over the top.
I liked the fresh-herby flavor of the chimichurri. I found it a strong so I made sure there was some on each shrimp, but I wasn’t trying to dress the salad with it. I used some creamy caesar dressing for the salad. I thought a more fatty-peppery dressing was good to contrast the chimichurri sauce.
I’ve been thinking about what this month’s salad dressing would be and I wanted to make a vinaigrette with apple cider. I looked online and saw that everyone uses apple cider vinegar, but I didn’t find one with apple cider. Could it be?
My salad was full of fall flavor: butter lettuce; cucumbers; dried cranberries; feta; pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds and the dressing had a sweetness from the cider and a little tang from the cider vinegar.
1/8 cup olive oil
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/8-1/4 cup apple cider
Put oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper into a jar.
Add in the apple cider.
Shake shake shake.
I meant to use some pecorino or shaved parmesan but I forgot to grab some at the store. I seem to always have feta around so in it went for some saltiness. The pumpkin seeds are crunchy and the dried cranberries are tart and chewy.
This is so good and feels festive despite the fact that the salad has 2 ingredients. one (spinach). two (strawberries). Well, that’s two more colors than a box ‘o mac & cheese has. Dinner time isn’t all rainbows and unicorns here. This fell on a night that I had the chance to whip up the dressing while the little dude napped for a few moments. When it was time to eat this adorable salad…that was during the betwitching hours and is a whole different picture than this restaurant-worthy salad. I was being stubborn and convinced I could do it all. Make this salad. You’ll feel like $1000 bucks.
Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients:
adapted from The Kitchn
4 tbs white vinegar
4 tbs sugar
1 tbs poppy seeds
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp mayo
splash lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
sprinkle of salt
Grate the shallot with the smallest grater on a box grater, or blend in a food processor, or dice really finely.
Add the vinegar & sugar to the jar and shake.
Mix everything else together in a jar. Shake shake shake.
The dressing was great. A touch sweet and a touch tart. The poppy seeds are cute. I think it is a great one to make a small amount and have it in the rotation. It would be good on a pasta salad too!
Not enough in your salad? Feta cheese would be good. Some nuts seem right.
‘What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.
It was an anything-goes dinner night here…I think we ate too much guac & chips after swimming that afternoon to warrant wanting dinner. I wanted something. But what? I ended up tossing together a really quick salad and it was just such a reminder that the simplest salads can be the best…either that or the salads with all the stuff.
honey mustard dressing
Chop, dress, toss, and enjoy!
Make your own honey mustard…it’ll take 2 seconds and you can make just enough for this or you can have it around for your next salad.
Peaches will work, if you can stand the fuzz. I cannot so I’ll stick with my nectarines. #thankyouverymuch I loved the combos here. I made my honey mustard heavy on the mustard so it had quite a zing! The lettuce was from the farmers market, the feta was leftover from a Greek-ish salad and the cuke was from our garden. It was perfect. A restaurant would charge $18 for this guy.
I threw it together on a whim and it was everything I wanted. Sweet (nectarine), tangy (honey mustard), salty (feta), and crunchy (cucumbers).
I made some lobster cakes as a play on a crab cake. They were so good and though I plopped mine onto a salad, they would be great as an appetizer too!
1 cup lobster meat, chopped
2 tbs mayo
1 tbs grainy mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
4 chive sprigs minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Mix together the lobster meat, mayo, mustard, and garlic gently to not pulverize the lobster.
Add in the chives and green onion stirring gently.
Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil to medium heat.
Form the mixture into 2-3 patties and roll them in the mixed breadcrumbs.
To check the oil temperature, drop a few breadcrumbs into the oil and see if they sizzle immediately. If they do, then add the patties in to cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Try to let them really crisp on the bottom before flipping so you only have to flip it once.
Remove from the oil and let them drain on paper towel to get rid of the excess oil.
Serve on their own or on top of salad! Enjoy!
This is the best lazy-man’s lobster. It gets crunchy on the outside but is all lobster on the inside. There really isn’t much filler in these bad boys. I ended up adding a 2nd to my plate. I couldn’t resist!
Can you believe I fried them? I never fry things! They’d be good in the oven, if it isn’t too hot to have your oven on.
I served it with honey mustard dressing that is just so easy and worth making yourself:
2 tbs honey
2 tbs dijon mustard
tiniest dab of butter (tiny as in 1/2 teaspoon – this makes all the difference)
shake it up and enjoy!
Make your own honey mustard dressing. It is perfect to make a tiny bit for one or two servings or double/triple/quadruple this and have enough for a while.
This dinner is one to make immediately. I was inspired by all the different grains that are served at work. I chose cracked wheat because a) it is such a healthy grain b) it was much cheaper than some others c) it cooks just like rice. To keep it summery, I didn’t try to serve it really warm. The cracked wheat cooks quickly while the chicken was grilling and while I chopped everything else.
3-4 chicken thighs marinated in Italian dressing.
1 cup cracked wheat
2 cups tomatoes
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup fresh oregano & mint
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Marinate the chicken at room temperature while the grill preheats.
Cook cracked wheat according to package. Mine said 40 minutes but was definitely tender when I fluffed with a fork at 25 minutes.
Chop tomato, feta, and fresh herbs. Add into a bowl with the cracked wheat.
Grill the chicken until fully cooked through, at least 165 degrees.
Shake together the dressing in a jar – olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, dried oregano, garlic, and pepper.
Mix the cracked wheat and everything together with the dressing.
Serve the chicken on top of a bed of the grain salad.
I loved this. We had plenty of tomatoes, oregano, and mint so I was thinking I should do something Mediterranean. The cracked wheat was awesome! It has more of a nutty flavor and I loved knowing it was a better choice than rice or couscous. I forgot that I had some zucchini which would have been good in this, or raw cucumber.
This was so easy and had great flavor. We both loved it and I’m glad we tried something new with flavors that are sure to be a hit.
This panzanella is the salad that can be dinner on its own, or for me, it was just part of a crazy salad night for dinner. I liked the crouton-ish part of this salad, and sometimes any salad without greens if a more-fun one for me. I don’t know that I’d make it all that often, but on a hot night panzanella hits the spot. Now, I just need the bigger tomatoes in the garden to ripen up. We’ve gotten some cherry tomatoes but the bigger ones are still green so I bought the tomatoes for this salad.
2 cups cubed & dried bread
2 large tomatoes
1/2 large cucumber
1 yellow/orange bell pepper
1/4 red onion
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbs red wine vinegar
splash of lemon juice
salt & pepper
Chop up the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onion. Let the onion soak for about 5 minutes in some cold water so they mellow out a bit.
Heat a large skillet to medium-low heat with about 2 tbs of olive oil.
Drop the bread in and toss it around to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes until it gets just a little golden and a little crusty.
In a glass jar, add in the garlic, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Shake it up!
Toss the veggies, bread, and some dressing together.
Let it sit for at least 15 minutes, then add more dressing if needed. Enjoy!
If the tomatoes or cukes are really juicy you might not need any more dressing. I used just enough to get it all tossed – maybe half? Then another little splash before serving. I liked the bread getting a little crisp first and then soaking a bit of the dressing. I didn’t want it completed soaked and falling apart. The dressing takes 2 seconds and is an easy one to use again on any salad or adding some herbs to make it a marinade.
I don’t know that I’d make this all the time, but it was a great use for some leftover really good bread. I served it on a night of two unusual salads (the other being watermelon, feta & arugula) with grilled sausage. It probably didn’t really get to shine because I was sooo into the watermelon/feta/arugula salad.
Have you ever soaked onions? It is great for a raw use so they don’t overpower everything else. They maintain the crunch and some flavor but they won’t be the only taste in there.
I grabbed some baby bok choy at the farmer’s market without a plan for it. I went to trusty Pinterest and found a fun raw use for it on Culinary Hill. I tweaked the dressing by adding some stronger flavors of sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. We added some grilled teriyaki chicken for a really great speedy dinner.
Get some chicken on the grill, shake up some dressing in a jar, and then chop up a few veggies. Poof. Instant dinner with some great flavors.
adapted from Culinary Hill
2-3 chicken thighs, marinated in teriyaki
2 baby bok choy bunches
2 large radishes
2 tbs sesame seeds
3 tbs brown sugar
1-2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup almond slivers
Grill the marinated chicken until cooked through, brushing with some teriyaki at the end.
Chop the bok choy, discarding the bottom pieces.
Chop the radishes into a small dice.
Toast some sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Watch carefully to toast them without burning.
In a small jar, add brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.
Shake vigorously. Taste and adjust as necessary.
In a large bowl, add the bok choy, radish, and toasted sesame seeds.
Add in some dressing and toss. Sprinkle with almonds.
Top with chicken to serve. Enjoy!
I liked the mild flavor of the bok choy. The almonds were pre-sesaoned with salt and pepper near the croutons. I might have toasted them if they were regular almond slivers. It was such a quick dinner that felt fresh, crunchy with juicy chicken.
The dressing was great. Make it, and then you’ll have sesame oil on hand for these (most Pinterest-pinned) sesame noodles and for Asian Broccoli Slaw with Peanut Butter Chicken and your next pork & veggie spring rolls, etc. You’ll use it, it isn’t such a crazy specialty ingredient.
Guys. I’m so jazzed about this salad. It was so good. I was just so excited and actually “cut the line” in the ole blog que. This 2 posts a week has been a good schedule for me and lately I’ve had enough posts ahead of time that I don’t have to be all that timely in getting the pics from my camera onto the blog with some words. This one skipped ahead of a few other goodies because I just loved it so.
It just might make another appearance in my meal roation soon since a) I have an entire watermelon and b) I made more dressing than I needed. This dressing has lots of possibilities for other salads too. Bam. 2 dressings this month. #winning
Watermelon & Feta Salad with Arugula (serves 2)
adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe
~4 oz feta cheese (a block cut into cubes, or crumbles)
3 tbs fruit juice (I used V8 Golden Goodness juice)
1 tsp lime juice
3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
~4 fresh mint leaves
kosher salt & cracked pepper
Chop the watermelon & feta into smaller-than-bite-sized cubes.
Lay the arugula into a bowl and top with the feta & watermelon.
In a jar, shake together the juices, oil, vinegar, honey, mint, salt & pepper.
Drizzle a little dressing onto the salad. Toss and then add more if needed. The watermelon adds some moisture so a little dressing might be enough.
I seriously loved the pepper-y arugula with the sweet & cool watermelon with the crumbly salty feta. This salad is the perfect combination of sweet and salty and peppery. It also takes 10 minutes to shake up the dressing and cut the ingredients. Just 10 minutes to something interesting, different, and fresh.
This was part of a crazy salad dinner we had. I wasn’t sure it was going to 100% be Mr. J’s kind of thing. I like the stronger flavored arugula than he does and watermelon isn’t is favorite. I made this one annnnd panzanella salad the same night with sausages on the grill. The two salads weren’t 100% complimentary but I’ll share that one soon. Maybe just don’t make ‘em both the same night.