Category Archives: salads

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese & Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing

roasted fingerling potato salad with creme fraiche

When it comes to entertaining in the summer, I like to keep it casual and relaxed. A fun and refreshing cocktail to get the evening started, and then a meal complete with something off the grill, and some really nice make ahead side salads and gratins that feature the farmer’s market’s best ingredients. For dessert, I like to go with something fresh and fruity with things like cherries, peaches, and berries.

I just finished teaching a week of cooking classes the last before summer break, that featured this menu:

Pickled Shrimp & Tomato Skewers

Grilled Tri Tip Steaks with Smoky Steak Sauce

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese, and Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing

Tomato Gratin with Asiago Bread Crumbs

Individual Bourbon Spiked Cherry Pies

The entire menu was make-ahead friendly,  perfect for serving buffet style, and delicious eaten at room temperature. Exactly what I wanted for my casual no-stess evening.

Having everything ready before  your guests arrive will definitely make you smile. You are sure to have fun, and will feel ready to enjoy that cool refreshing cocktail or two with your guests, instead of running around trying to pull everything together at the last minute.

I posted a picture of the little cherry pies on Instagram before class started…

bourbon spiked cherry pies

but it’s the potato salad that I am featuring today. A spin on traditional potato salad,  I have roasted  the potatoes to bring out their warm, sweet flavor.  Fresh corn & blue cheese also get tossed into the bowl and I used creme fraiche as a base for the dressing, which added a really nice tang.

—–And as long as you have creme fraiche and blue cheese in the mix, why not  really take it over the top and  add in a bit of crispy bacon crumbles too if you like. That combination would go really well alongside some ribs—-and a perfect addition to your Father’s Day grill menu.

Happy summer!

roasted fingerling potato salad with creme fraiche

 

Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad with Corn, Blue Cheese & Lemony Creme Fraiche Dressing
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup creme fraiche
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kernels from 3 ears of corn
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss potatoes together with the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; transfer to a large baking sheet and roast 45 minutes. Cool potatoes to room temperature.
  2. Whisk together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic in a large bowl. Add potatoes, corn, and blue cheese and toss well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Mix together the Italian parsley, tarragon, and chives in a small bowl. Sprinkle herb mixture over salad and serve.

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Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

There was a time that on each and every Friday, I would have lunch with  my good friends Sandy and Vanessa.  I can’t tell you how many times we ordered this chicken salad at a place on Main Street in Pleasanton California called Tongs. I don’t even know if the restaurant is still there, but the memory of that salad and our fun Friday lunches stays with me even today, many years later and many miles away from my girlfriends.

I love this salad so much recreated  my own version of the salad we used to order at Tongs and included it in my first cookbook Signature Salads (2005). I cook the bone-in chicken breasts the same way Tongs did, leaving the skin on, and pan searing before finishing in the oven. The cooked chicken is sliced thinly and tossed with a Chinese mustard vinaigrette in a confetti mixture of romaine, Napa cabbage, cilantro, and radicchio. Chopped peanuts add the finishing touch.

While this was once my go-to Friday girlfriend lunch, it is now my go-to busy weeknight family meal. My daughter is in the middle of lacrosse season right now, which means lots of games (which I love to watch!) and not a lot of time for dinner preparation.  When you get home from the game everyone is starving and then there is still homework they have to do. If you have kids, you definitely know what I mean.

There is never enough time,that’s why I love things like this.   I can get the ingredients prepped early in the day and just toss together when we get home. —-And in 80+ degree temperatures, a really nice salad makes everyone happy and does the trick! Hope you like it too.

Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette

 

Chicken Salad with Chinese Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Dressing: 1 egg yolk 3 teaspoons Chinese dry mustard powder
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • Salad:
  • 3 bone in, skin on chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced 1 head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the peanut oil and heat until almost smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook 4 minutes. This skin should be golden brown. Turn the chicken over and place in the oven. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through and the juices run clear, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the bones and slice into thin strips.
  2. Add the chicken and salad greens to a large bowl. Add dressing and toss well to combine. Divide among plates and garnish with chopped peanuts.

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Asian Slaw with Furikake Dressing

After spending a month up in the Adirondack mountains with my family away from cell phones, computers, and the hot humid weather of the south, I am slowly getting back into summertime in Virginia.  Boy do I miss the cool breeze coming through the windows at night…and the loons sending out their calls across the lake…and the not having cell service or computers.

To help ease our way back into life indoors with a/c and trying to stay cool, I have been making a  lot of salads around here lately. Here’s one I put together using furikake (one of my favorite Japanese seasonings) in the dressing. Generally, furikake is sprinkled over rice or fish as a finishing seasoning, and is available in Asian markets in a variety of flavors. I really like Nori Komi, made with a blend of sesame seeds, salt, sugar, and seaweed.

It’s fantastic stuff, and something I  find myself craving! I  sprinkle it on my homemade pita chips, over crispy fried calamari, or in this case, I blended it into a dressing. So good!

Enjoy this salad as a nice side dish, or simply add a little grilled shrimp, fish, or chicken to make it a really great summer entree.

Japanese Slaw with Furikake Dressing

Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonaise

3 tablespoons Nori Komi furikake seasoning

Juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon mirin

1 teaspoon wasabi paste

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

 

Salad:

3/4 cup julienned snow peas

1/2 green cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, chopped

Place all salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss well to combine (may be made 4 hours ahead, refrigerated until ready to serve).

4 servings

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