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TDF Archives

Broccoli Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Broccoli Salad Broccoli salad, now, there’s the ticket.  It has the advantages of sturdiness, and anything with broccoli imparts that aura of good health.  My kids will sometimes eat it (though the Nuni’s BFF complained that it was “spicy”.  Five year olds find currants to be “spicy.”  Be warned.)  I can make it one day and the leftovers are perfect for noshing the next day, and the next. [...]

Meyer Lemon Kale Salad

Meyer Lemon Kale Salad
If you’re eating vegetables for their health benefits, you’d be hard-pressed to find something betthan than kale.  Low in calories, full of fiber, and rich in vitamins, A,C and K,  it’s commonly referred to as a “nutrition powerhouse.”   Of course, I’m not the first person to discover this, so there are recipes all over creation  trying to make kale, which can be challenging, palatable.  This one actually succeeds. You may think that there are no new frontiers to be conquered with regards to kale salad, but you would be mistaken. This kale salad is epic. This kale salad is the one that people go back for seconds for on a buffet. This kale salad caused my five year old to utter the words, “Sigh. MOOOOOMMM. Why can’t you just make kale salad again?” (She is five going on fifteen). This kale salad will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. [...]

Fennel, Apple and Pear Salad

Apple Pear Fennel Salad I know when I promised vegetable recipes, you were not thinking “salad.” Salad is boring. Salad is easy. We’ve already thought of salad. Well, salad IS easy, but it doesn’t have to be boring. The universe of salads is huge, and if recipes for salads are more ideas than recipes, well, couldn’t we all use some more ideas? We eat salads a lot. This one takes a little more hand work than the most rushed “open a bag of lettuce, throw on some dressing” (though those feature heavily in our rotation as well), but it’s also delicate, and appealing. The Nuni loved it, the husband loved it. It’s neither all sweet nor all savory, but a lovely both/and. [...]

Back to Basics: Homemade Salad Dressing

Vinaigrette 101
Despite what my husband thinks, I do try to avoid foodie preciousness. I’m short on time, like everyone else, and I make liberal use of shortcuts in my cooking. I get that premade ingredients make cooking easier and more accessible. But there are some things that making from scratch is such a deeply ingrained habit that I wouldn’t think of buying them premade. For example: I never buy bottled salad dressing. Salad dressing may not seem like a hill to die on, but homemade is so simple (once you know how), and it tastes so much cleaner. It’s free of the gums and sugars and preservatives you get in even high-end bottled dressing. And it’s pretty infinitely variable. [...]

Essential Potato Salad

Potato Salad
I love old fashioned potato salad made by my grandmother, but this isn’t that. I also love newfangled potato salads, but this isn’t that, either. This is potato salad reduced to its essentials — a little mayonnaise, a sprinkle of tart vinegar, the oniony breath of chives, and at the end, a dusting of lemon, to add aroma and color, to wake the tastebuds and make the salad sing. It’s hardly a recipe at all, but it’s well worth making all the same, in this last weekend of summer. [...]

How to do summer — Chopped Caprese Salad

How to do summer, in 19 easy steps:

1) Chill the Vinho Verde.
2) Pack the kids off to grandma’s, or distract them with a movie, in a darkened room.
3) Head out to the garden. Stop to smell the roses. Get distracted by the hammock. Lie down, for just a minute.

California Pizza Kitchen Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad 1 Back in the day when I lived in New York, I was more than a little homesick. I pined and yearned for my home state of California, and pounced on everything I could find that reminded me of home. I wore flipflops at the very first sign of spring in the city (and narrowly avoided frostbite in the process), I saw the movie Sideways 3 times in the theaters, and bought the DVD when it was released; I traveled all the way to TENTH AVENUE to find a tiny taqueria in the back of a bodega that sold real tacos; I listened to the Beach Boys on repeat. So you can imagine how happy I was when the last apartment we lived in in Manhattan was right next door to a California Pizza Kitchen (it also had a balcony, which means my poor husband was sent outside to grill in 50 degree weather. He was happy when we finally moved to California because I immediately started wearing black and wanting to see foreign films in a desperate cling to my New York days). Now I realize that California Pizza Kitchen is about as truly Californian as Red Lobster is truly a restaurant of Maine, but I was desperate. And the truth is, I kind of liked their food. Sure, peanut butter is not my FAVORITE topping on pizza, and some of those combinations were just weird, but the barbecue chicken chopped salad was quite tasty and quickly became my go to order. [...]

Giveaway, The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth and Endive Salad with Bacon

Endive Salad 2

As I may have mentioned before, I generally receive a several cookbooks for major gift-giving occasions. This isn’t surprising; after all, I have a known cookbook problem, and I have several cookbooks on my Amazon wishlist. I’m fairly familiar with the major cookbooks that are released, what the buzz is, and what the classics are. But this Christmas my aunt (who is a fantastic cook) gave me a book I had never heard of — the Auberge of the Flowering Hearth, by Roy Andries De Groot. “It’s the book that inspired Alice Waters,” she told me. I thanked her politely and added the book to my already crowded shelf of food and cookbooks.

A month or so later, I had finished my book club book for that month and was looking for something to read, and my eye fell on the Auberge. The book is unassuming, with its seventies cover and relatively unknown author (who was at some point the President of the Gourmet Club, which I’m sure had some real meaning in 1973, but sounds made up to me, like something an enterprising high school student would use to pad their college application), but I thought it would be an excellent soothing bedtime read.

What I discovered was an absolutely delightful book, and I’m giving away one copy to readers. [...]

A Controversial Classic — Caesar Salad

Well, that was a nice little break eh? All the holiday hoopla, then a week to catch your breath before we launch right back into decadent, gooey pastries and … oh wait. It’s January. Everyone’s on a diet. Real Food it is.

To be honest, although I love pulling out the stops for a meal like our New Year’s Eve feast, it’s quite a relief to get back to cooking every day food – I crave things that taste clean and are simple to prepare. Classics that you can turn to again and again without tiring of them. Like Caesar salad.

This is my mom’s Caesar salad, and it’s the one I grew up with, and the one she is (justly) famous for. It’s classic, it’s simple, it’s clean, and it’s packed with flavor. [...]

Flavors of Fall — Arugula Salad with Persimmons and Gouda

Persimmon 3
Fall produce – what do you think of? Apples, of course. Brussels Sprouts. Take a page from Thanksgiving and think sweet potatoes and cranberries. And pumpkins are, of course, inescapable, their leering visages popping up everywhere you go. Although I personally love all of these, the autumn crop which gets me all hot and bothered is the persimmon.
This salad combines some of the best flavors of fall, with persimmons, toasted walnuts and a dressing made from apple cider and apple cider vinegar. This is tied together with peppery arugula and a mellow, nutty aged gouda. It calls for the squat Fuyu persimmons — don’t use Hachiya unless you enjoy wearing your lips in a perfect pucker. Enjoy it as a counterpart to all the Halloween candy that abounds today! [...]