Tag Archives: salad

Radicchio Salad with Prosciutto Chips, Parmesan, and Basil

4th of July is just a few days away, which means its time once again for our family to gather at Mountain Lake, as we have done for the last 10 years.  Remember the movie “On Golden Pond?”…its a  lot like that here…kayaks, canoes, and little putt-putt boats.  Not a whole lot going on , which is just what I love about this place.  My parents’ lake house was originally built in 1904, and owned by a woman who  opened the doors as a bed and breakfast. She was apparently an amazing baker, as accounts of delicious cakes and cookies were recorded in the early guest books.  At times, you can feel a “friendly presence” in the kitchen, which is okay with us…. in this family the topic of discussion over our morning coffee is usually what we should make for dinner..so I would have to say our friendly spirit is in good company.

Plans for a traditional 4th of July barbecue dinner and  fireworks are well underway. This year I will be making my Radicchio Salad with Prosciutto Chips, Parmesan, and Basil.  The salty bite of the Parmigianno-Reggiano and crispy prosciutto “chips”complement a variety of flavors, making it an ideal salad for parties, where others will bring a dish of their own to share.

So here you go…give this one a try the next time you are looking for a versatile salad to share.


Radicchio Salad with Prosciutto Chips, Parmesan, and Basil


2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons  Balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons  white Balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons canola oil

Combine garlic and next 5 ingredients together using an immersion blender (or traditional blender); gradually add oils.


1 tablespoon olive oil

6 ounces prosciutto, sliced thin

3 heads radicchio, cored, leaves separated

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

1 recipe Herb Croutons (recipe follows)

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat; add prosciutto slices and cook until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per side; transfer to towel lined plate to drain.

Place radicchio in large salad bowl. Add dressing, Parmigianno-Reggiano,  and croutons; toss well. Divide among plates and top with prosciutto “chips” and sprinkle with basil.

8 servings

Herb Croutons:

3 cups bread cubes (preferably rustic bread)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

small pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon each: dried basil, dried thyme leaves, poultry seasoning

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a heavy baking sheet and toast in the oven 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, melt butter with olive oil in microwave. Add garlic and dry seasonings, stirring to combine. Add toasted bread cubes to olive oil mixture, tossing to mix well. Return bread cubes to baking sheet, spreading out evenly. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes, until croutons are crisp and well browned.


Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Corn

Cilantro and lime is one  of my favorite flavor combinations.  Cool, clean, and light on the palateexactly what I crave   in the heat of  summer when the majority of our meals are cooked out on the grill. This salad recipe from my first book Signature Salads, definitely fits the bill, featuring grilled shrimp, fresh corn, tomatoes, black beans, and a dressing with lots of cilantro and lime.  Substantial enough as an entree salad, or as a side salad to go with that grilled steak on Father’s Day.  (For a vegetarian option, omit the shrimp and add in some crumbled Feta cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds.) Invited to a summer barbeque? Give this pasta salad a try!

I will be making this salad on Virginia This Morning (WTVR-6) on Friday, June 19 at 9:00am and will post the clip on www.debishawcross.com next week sometime.

Pasta Salad with Grilled Shrimp and CornBow Tie Pasta Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Corn

½ cup finely chopped shallots
½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil

Whisk  first 6 ingredients together in a medium bowl; gradually whisk in oil.

12 ounces bow tie pasta, cooked according to package directions, rinsed, drained
1 ½ pounds large shrimp, shelled, deveined
Kernels from 3 cooked ears fresh corn
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup chopped cilantro
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

Place shrimp in a large zip lock bag; add half of the dressing and toss to coat shrimp. Marinate, refrigerated , 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place all other salad ingredients in large bowl.
Thread shrimp onto  skewers. Grill shrimp over medium high heat about 2 minutes per side, until shrimp is pink and slightly curled. Remove shrimp from skewers and add to bowl with salad ingredients. Add dressing and toss well.

4 entree servings
8 side salad servings


Southwestern Caesar Salad

southwestern caesar salad

I have always been a huge salad fan…even as a child at the family dinner table , I would  ask “Is there any salad left  in the bowl?” Inevitably, the bowl would find it’s way down to my end of the table and I would polish off the remains. In my house growing  up, we had salad every night with our dinner.  I’m thankful for “growing up foodie” in a home where dressings were home made, and ingredients fresh and varied…not the iceberg, cucumber, tomato, processed box croutons, and bottled dressing tossed salad…a.k.a. “airline salad”… hard to get hooked on a medley like that, not to mention the lack of nutrition.

Well, things haven’t changed much today… I eat salad in one form or another just about every single day.    My affinity for salad lies in the ability  to satisfy whatever it is I’m craving, all in one bowl. The flavor/texture combinations  are endless; whether you  go the fruit /nut /cheese route for a savory sweet salad, take a  sharper approach with the briny flavors in a Greek salad, or bring grains and pasta into the bowl for a heartier approach.

In my Southwestern Caesar Salad I have created a zippy chipotle lime dressing and replaced the traditional crouton, with the crunch  of crispy tortilla strips and pumpkin seeds. Feta cheese and caramelized onions add balance to the mix.

The next time you  crave  a big salad for dinner, or are assigned  to bring  salad  to  your next dinner party, give this one a try. Ingredients may be chopped ahead, ready for assembly just before serving. Top with grilled steak, shrimp, or chicken, and you have dinner all on one plate!

You will find this recipe in my supper club cookbook, coming out June 16th.

Southwestern Caesar Salad

1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of 2 limes
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 heads Romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kernels from 1 ear of cooked corn
1 large tomato, chopped
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
¼ cup canola oil (for frying tortilla strips)
For dressing: Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
For salad: Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add red onions
and cook, stirring often until browned and caramelized (about 20 minutes);
remove and drain on paper towels.
Heat canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortilla strips
and fry until crisp; drain on paper towels.
Place lettuce, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese and corn in salad bowl.
Add dressing and toss to combine. Divide salad among plates and top with crispy
tortilla strips.
8 servings