FULL COURSE SUMMER SALADS, Anyone?

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  • posted by alliecat
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    In my little corner of the universe, temperatures are forecast to reach 32C today! Time to dust off my salad recipes,
    because I’m not a fan of a hot plate of food when it’s hot and humid outside 🙂 I’ll start with my first offering for
    “Thai Cobb Salad” to follow. It’s fairly quick to assemble because it uses a prepared olive oil and red wine vinegar
    as a base. Please join me in posting your favorites, as well as any tweaks that you’ve enjoyed in trying my recipes.
    I hope it will be fun!

    Allie

  • posted by alliecat
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    THAI COBB SALAD (serves 2)

    torn romaine lettuce
    1 8″ carrot, shredded
    oprional: 1/2 c matchsticks jicama
    1/2c avocado, cubed oe sliced
    6-6.5 oz roasted or grilled pork tenderloin, cubed
    sliced scallions
    1 tbs. roughly chopped fresh cilantro
    1-2 tbs. roasted peanuts
    lime wedges

    Vinagrette:

    1/2 prepared olive oil and red wine vinegar salad dressing
    I tbs. low sodium soy sauce
    2tsp – 1 tbs freshly grated gingeroot
    1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    *best made 1 day ahead: Combine ingredients in a jar and shake.

    Presentation:

    Dress romaine and divide between 2 bowls
    Layer on carrot and jicama (if using)
    Top with pork cubes and avocado.
    Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro
    Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze over all

    Bon appetit!

    Variation:

    Substitute cubed chicken for pork, and blanched broccoli florets for avocado

  • posted by MaggieBath
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    Than you Alliiecat, I love salads – what is jicama? I know cilantro, we call it coriander in the UK, and the other odd one is arugula which we call rocket.

  • posted by alliecat
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    I’m sorry, my friends 🙂 I should have proof read! That’s a 1/2 cup of prepared salad dressing…
    Maggie, jicama is a vegetable that is shaped a bit like a turnip, and it’s crispy like an apple, without the sweetness.

    I hope that you’ll give it a try, and post your own creative additions!

  • posted by MaggieBath
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    It’s hard to get here, probably in the Caribbean stores. I imagine a good substitute would be celeriac remoulade. What kind of lettuce do you generally use in the US? I mostly use mixed leaves, generally softer but more flavour than romaine or iceberg.

  • posted by alliecat
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    Maggie, I think that you are probably right about Caribbean stores! I’m not acquainted with celeriac, but I’m thinking
    that Daikon radish would provide the same texture? I use an assortment of greens in salads, which are happily
    packaged pre-washed and organic 🙂 It really depends on the salad, but I mostly use baby spinach, red leaf, rocket
    and romaine. I think it would be fine to just omit the jicama though. There is plenty of other texture… 🙂

  • posted by MaggieBath
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    Alliecat, yes I use much the same mix. I know Daikon as Mooli! I’ve never tried it but now I will and look like a real foodie; I’m learning more than I expected here:)

  • posted by alliecat
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    Oh Maggie, the talents and wisdom of some of our fellow travelers is extensive 🙂 If you haven’t come across it yet,
    Luvtcook hosts a wonderful thread beginning with “Good Eats,,” in its title. When you have the time, have a peek!
    She is our recognized resource for low carb cooking blogs, as well as recipes.

  • posted by MaggieBath
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    Thank you so much Allie – I’ve seen so many references to Luvtocook but wondered where to find them. I’ve favourited the thread and will definitely be going back frequently 😊

  • posted by marie123
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    Hi Allie
    Just seen this. I didn’t realise you’d started it (just got back from visiting friends and am trying to catch up on posts) so thanks for this – I’ll definitely try your Thai Cobb Salad, and when I’ve actually got one or two myself (learnt or found) I’ll return the favour – promise! Marie xx
    nb Of course, it’s pouring down here, now.

  • posted by alliecat
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    I’m following you around the forums today, too Marie 🙂 Please DO join me! Later in the week I’ll post another
    that uses arugula (rocket), ripe chunks of canteloupe melon and baked thin slices of proscuitto di parma. There
    is a shallot vinagrette with fresh herbs, and I add to it seared sea scallops. The combination of peppery greens,
    salty ham and the sweetness of the melon just balance each other. Great as a stand alone salad, but creates a
    full course with the fresh sea scallops… 🙂

  • posted by alliecat
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    CANTELOUPE, ARUGULA (Rocket) and PROSCUITTO SALAD with FRESH SEA SCALLOPS

    Dressing: 1/4c champagne or white wine vinegar
    1 Tb. chopped shallot
    1 tsp. minced garlic
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    1 Tb. minced fresh herbs
    1/3-1/2c. olive oil
    prepare 1 day ahead, or early in the morning.
    ************************
    Ingredients:

    Arugula (Rocket)
    thin slices of proscuitto di parma
    Bite size pieces of ripe canteloupe melon
    thinly sliced red onion
    fresh sea scallops, rinsed, abductor muscle removed, and patted dry
    combination of olive oil and butter for searing

    Preparation: Preheat oven to 375F (190C, gas mark 5)
    Place paper thin slices of proscuitto on parchment paper, and bake @ 8 min. Keep an eye on this! Blot with paper
    towels.
    Meanwhile, season scallops with salt and freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Sear
    over a moderately high flame, and keep warm, tented with alum. foil.
    Toss Arugula with dressing.
    Arrange melon, chards of baked proscuitto, and red onion over all. Top with scallops.
    the combination of peppery arugula, the sweetness of the melon and scallops and saltiness of the baked proscuitto
    seems to just make this work 🙂 I usually do the prep well in advance, so it’s very easy to just sear the scallops and
    serve 🙂

  • posted by Luvtcook
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    This sounds fabulous…..plan to treat myself to this dreamy creation this weekend. I love scallops and don’t make them as often as I could…this is a really interesting why to have them and not sweat what to make with them. Love that.

  • posted by Theodora
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    Sounds wonderful Allie. I adore scallops too and, of course sweet scallops served with the saltiness of bacon is an absolute classic so I’m sure, served with prosciutto, the addition of melon and the delicious sounding dressing they will be a taste sensation. Looking forward to trying it – though I may just take the champagne and sod the vinegar 😉😃😄😉
    I live on salads most of the year so new ideas are always welcome. Thank you x

  • posted by KazzUK
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    Hhmmmmm! – I’ve printed both of these salads out as they look delicious and I know I would enjoy them! Thank you Allie! 🙂

  • posted by marie123
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    Thanks, Allie – I really like all the ingredients in this salad. One of the new goals I’ve just set myself is to become an excellent cook which will help ensure I can maintain my new way of life, good bgls etc but it’s also a goal that excites me. I love eating scallops but I’ve never tried cooking with them. So a great thing to start with xx

  • posted by alliecat
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    Thank you, everyone. I’m glad that you’re interested in these flavor combinations 🙂 I’ve also just used the salad,
    without the shellfish, as a stand alone salad with grilled poultry, meat or fish. We’re just going into melon season here.
    I find the best ones by just sniffing the stem end! If it’s fragrant, then it’s ripe. (looks odd in the market, however 🙂 )

  • posted by alliecat
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    Nam Prik Shrimp

    This is a great treatment for shrimp (prawns) and can be added to any greens based salad, or
    flopped on cellophane noodles or a substitute. The pivotal ingredient is sambal oelek, an Indonesian
    chili paste. I’ve checked on UK sites, and it’s available to you on a number of sites, and might be
    available to you in specialty stores in your area as well.

    Marinade:
    1/2 c distilled white vinegar
    zest of 1 lemon
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/4 c olive oil
    1 green + 1 red serrano chili, slivered
    1/2tsp red chili flakes
    1 tbs sambal oelek red chili paste (substitute: sriracha)

    Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 min.
    Peel and devein jumbo shrimp.

    Combine marinade and mix well. Add shrimp, and marinate 30-35 min. at room temp., or longer
    if you dare (I usually do 1 hour 🙂 )

    Oil outdoor grill or a ridged grill pan. Thread shrimp onto skewers, and cook over high heat
    2-3 min. per side, basting after the first turn. Use any Asian inspired ingredients for a salad, and
    let your imagination take flight. Enjoy

  • posted by Verano
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    As promised ……
    This is similar to gazpacho but less garlicky and more fiery.
    Based on a Jun Tanaka recipe. There are lots of ingredients but it’s simple to make.

    1kg ripe plum, of other, tomatoes, roughly chopped
    1/2 a cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
    300ml tomato juice
    75 ml good red wine vinegar
    2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    10 drops of Tabasco or to taste
    1/2 bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
    1/4 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
    1/2 a clove of garlic minced, half really is enough because it isn’t cooked
    Salt and black pepper to taste
    100ml of good olive oil plus extra 2tbsp
    2 Red peppers, cut into 2cm pieces.

    1.Place all the ingredients except the red peppers and 2tbsp of olive oil in a large bowl and mix well.
    2.Heat the 2tbsp of olive oil in a large pan and fry the red peppers gently for a few minutes until they soften slightly.
    3. Remove pan from heat and add the rest of the ingredients from the bowl.
    4. Leave to marinade for at least an hour. This is important for the flavours to blend together.
    5. Whizz in a blender or use a stick blender.
    6. Sieve. Place in sieve and press down with the back of a ladle or spoon.
    I like mine without any of the ‘bits’ but you can leave some if desired. If Esnecca was here I’m sure she would have a good way to use up the ‘grounds’ after sieving. I’m afraid I just dispose of them!
    7. Chill really well and serve with extra basil.
    I sometimes serve this as a canapé in shot glasses with a sliver of celery and a big jug of it on the table for refills! Always goes down well and freezes well too.
    There are a lot of tomatoes in the soup so it’s a bit on the carby side but it’s not something that you eat too much of. Enjoy!

  • posted by alliecat
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    Thank you, V.! This sounds lovely! The basil, the absence of onion as well as fresh lime juice,
    certainly alters the flavor profile. Now I just have to convert the measurements to ounces, cups
    and lbs! 🙂 Do you also use salt or pepper? Will report back after I’ve made my first batch! xx

  • posted by alliecat
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    Just a quick question for you all. Are American measuring cups, i.e., 1/4c, 1/2c, and 1 c., standard
    kitchen equipment in your homes, as well as 1/4tsp, 1/2tsp, 1 tsp. and 1tbs measuring spoons?
    I hope this isn’t too foolish of a question 🙂

  • posted by Verano
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    Hi Allie. This is such a rough and ready recipe it really doesn’t call for precise measurements. We tend not to use cups in the UK but we do use the measuring spoons. Pounds and ounces or grams are the main measures. A kilo is 2.2lbs but as I say the weights aren’t precise. Yes there is salt and black pepper in the recipe but not sure where you saw lime juice? Good luck and be sure to let it chill really well.

  • posted by alliecat
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    Thank you, V. I see my clumsy use of the English language confuses again 🙂 What I was TRYING to
    say is that unlike gazpacho which has the juice of 1 lime in it as well as red onion, your recipe relies
    on a different flavor profile…I love the idea of straining your soup and serving it as a starter in a shot
    glass. Perfect for summer! The fact that it can be frozen is a huge plus, as there is only the two of
    us to feed every day. I get bored serving the same thing over and over…I hope you have more of
    these summer “gems” up your sleeve!
    I hope others will contribute favorite summer combinations, too. Some of our “favorite recipes”
    consist of nothing more than a simple list of successful combinations that I took the trouble to
    jot down! I’d love to see yours 🙂

    Allie

  • posted by alliecat
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    Hello, friends! I’ve turned a Caesar salad into a full course summer salad by adding pre-cooked
    chicken, lightly steamed broccoli florets, and cherry tomatoes to it, and omitting the croutons. By
    request, this is the recipe for the dressing:

    2 anchovy filets, rinsed
    2 garlic cloves
    pinch of coarse salt
    juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon
    1 tsp Dijon mustard
    2 dashes worcestershire sauce
    1 egg yolk, optional (I omit it)
    1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
    3 Tbs freshly grated parmesan (I use 1 1/2Tbs pecorino romano)
    freshly ground black pepper

    Mince and mash anchovies, garlic and salt into a paste and transfer to a small bowl. Add lemon
    juice, dijon, worcestershire. Whisk in olive oil, and stir in cheese. Season liberally with pepper.

    Dress romaine lettuce, and add chicken on top, with a bit of dressing dribbled over. I add some
    broccoli and tomato around the side. Enjoy!

  • posted by Verano
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    Thanks Allie. (For other metric users 0.25 of a cup is 59ml). My recipe called for 4 anchovies, 150ml of olive oil, the juice of a whole lemon and 50g of cheese which was a lot! So maybe the extra oil and cheese made it so thick. I will give your ‘real American ‘ recipe a try and let you know. I have just bought some avocado extra virgin oil and am eager to try that in a salad dressing but possibly a simple one based on oil and vinegar. If anyone had used avocado oil I’d love any ideas or advice.

  • posted by alliecat
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    V., I’ve never thought to try avocado oil in a salad but I use it exclusively for high temperature searing
    or frying, because it has a high smoke point, and doesn’t set off the screeching smoke alarm. I’ve
    never picked up any particular flavor from it, which isn’t the case with coconut oil. I’ll have to do
    a taste test, now 🙂

  • posted by alliecat
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    I’m sorry about my American measurements, V.! I’ll ask Kazz for some conversions during our next
    face to face, and make up a chart. I keep forgetting about this!

  • posted by Verano
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    Allie no problem with the measurements I just googled! I haven’t opened the avocado oil yet but I have to admit coconut oil isn’t for me. It’s probably fine in a Thai dish but I found the flavour overpowering for general use.

  • posted by Esnecca
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    Bumping this thread for allie as I too am a huge fan of main course salads, especially when it’s hot and I don’t feel like generating heat in the kitchen. My contribution is a summer staple that has never failed me when I’ve served it to guests, even the pickiest of eaters.

    Greek Spinach Salad (serves 4)
    6 cups baby spinach
    1.5 cups thinly sliced Persian or seedless cucumber (about 5 oz)
    4 oz crumbled feta
    1/3 cup coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
    16 large fresh basil leaves
    1/4 cup olive oil
    5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1 large garlic clove, minced

    Stack the basil leaves in a pile and roll them up tightly into a little basil cigar. Slice crosswise into thin ribbons. Combine spinach, cucumber, feta, Kalamatas and basil in large salad bowl. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in small bowl until well emulsified. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.

  • posted by Verano
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    Thank you for bumping this up. I really have no recollection of it at all even though I did contribute! I will definitely try the Caesar dressing again. Any new contributions will feature really welcome especially at this time of the year in the northern hemisphere.

  • posted by Birdy76
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    Ooh yes please! What a fab thread and thanks Essie for bumping it! I will favourite it and I will add too. Thank you. I love all things salad with a good dressing 🤗💞🦜

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    What a great idea.
    Mine and my families favourite salad is a similar to Allie’s Thai salad. It’s not an exact recipe and I you can adjust the dressing to taste.

    The ingredients depend what I have in. it’s easy to make ahead of time and dress at the end. It does require quite a lot of chopping/ slicing. It’s great for the rest of the family since you can add rice noodles to theirs. Cool them and add to the veggies before you add the meat or whatever. A little protein goes a long way

    I use 5 or six veg normally from this list. Slice them into matchsticks( kind of)
    asparagus
    Broccoli
    Mangetout
    Green beans
    Carrots
    Any coloured peppers
    Onions ( I normally leave these in the vinegar or lime juice to take out the bite)
    Cabbage
    Chard or kale

    The protein
    This can be chicken, pork, beef, salmon, tuna, prawn or tofu. Use a big piece and slice after cooking.
    Marinate the protein for around 1/2 an hour. Use a couple of tablespoons of the dressing( less if it’s just for you).

    Then dry fry on a very high heat. You need some caramelization – that’s where the sweetness and flavor are. Add the marinade and reduce. So expect a little smoke.
    Leave it to rest at least 5 minutes then slice and put on top of the dressed veg

    The toppings
    Chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin or whatever seeds you fancy -for crunch.
    Crispy fried onions or spring onion tops
    Coriander, mint and basil – use at least 2- shredded.

    The dressing/ Marinade equal quantities of
    Nam pla ( Thai fish sauce) or soy sauce
    Lime juice or rice vinegar
    Sesame oil

    Grated ginger
    Dried chili flakes – people can add fresh chilli to their plate if your feeding kids or those who don’t like it hot
    Grated garlic – you can omit and just add to the cooking protein ( or not)

    For non dieters I normally add some sweetness in the form of brown sugar or honey. I don’t have a sweet tooth but it needs something to balance the flavours

    You need to taste it and adjust.

    I’ve made this for 2 people and 20. You need a friend to help with the chopping if your making it for 20 or you’ll lose the will to live. The undressed, prepared veg will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days. Or you can use as a stir fry.

  • posted by Verano
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    Skipping have you ever used a sugar substitute for the sweetness? I guess that just using 10g of brown sugar in a dressing wouldn’t do too much damage when shared between several people. I think you are right though the dressing would benefit from a little balancing sweetness.

  • posted by Skipping through the tulips
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    Before my body was a temple and I started worshipping the goddess of Spinach, I would have used coconut sugar. I still sweeten the recipe for the rest of the family but I don’t usually find it too sharp. I often use ready made crispy onions which are sweet as a few of the veg. I just taste as I go along and adjust accordingly Your right a spoon or so of something sweet wouldn’t count for much when divided.
    I’ve never used sugar substitute and genetics steer away from substitutes, is there one you recommend?

  • posted by Squidge
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    Florentine salad (for a starter or light lunch)
    Pile baby spinach and basil leaves onto a plate, along with slivers of parmesan cheese (or other strong hard cheese). Fry an egg in olive oil until the white is just set but the yolk runny. Put on top of the leaves, grind on black pepper and eat immediately.

    Egg and bacon salad is a more substantial version.
    Put mixed salad leaves, sliced radish and chopped cucumber onto a plate (and any other salad stuff you fancy). Fry strips or cubes of bacon in a good glug of olive oil, add any of the following – peppers, onions, mushrooms, mange tout or any other veg you’d stir fry. When it’s just cooked fry an egg in another pan. When that’s nearly done, stir loads of spinach into the bacon pan, stir, season, tip onto the salad as soon as the spinach has wilted. Put the fried egg on top and eat.
    (If you don’t eat bacon then sun dried tomatoes and/or black olives could be used instead.)

  • posted by Verano
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    Allie I made your Caesar dressing today and it worked pretty well. It was a bit too garlicky for me but I can adjust that. I’m not sure if I whisked it enough. Mine was the colour of a French dressing but thicker nothing like the bottled stuff! It was very nice though
    Skipping I’m a not really one for substitutes so I’d probably use brown sugar although I do have stevia in the cupboard! I’m not sure I’ve ever used the stevia!

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