Classic Pasta Salad

This pasta salad recipe is simple yet delicious.  It gets better with time, which is always a plus. You can make it “full-fat” or low-fat and they’ll both be very tasty.

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Caesar Salad

This classic Caesar salad dressing recipe comes from my mother-in-law’s cooking files.  I’ve been to a restaurant where they make the Caesar dressing table-side… but I couldn’t exactly take notes.  I was looking for a recipe to try out and this one seems to match!

INGREDIENTS

  1. 3 large eggs, room temp
  2. 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  3. 5 medium garlic cloves, pressed
  4. 1 tsp Worchester sauce
  5. 3/4 tsp anchovy paste
  6. 1 cup olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  8. 1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce
  9. 3 cups freshly grated Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
  10. 3 large heads Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  11. 9 pieces of thickly sliced country bread, crust cut off
*Recipe yields approximately 2 cups of dressing

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients in small bowl
  • Gradually whisk in olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce (if the dressing is getting too thick, add in a little bit of warm water and then continue to whisk in the olive oil)
    • Alternatively, you could put the first 5 ingredients into a food processor or blender and then slowly add in the olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce (again, if dressing gets too thick, add in a little bit of warm water and then continue to add in the olive oil)
  • Brush the bread with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and cut into cubes (you could also sprinkle the bread with garlic powder if you desire)
    • Bake at 300°F until crisp and golden brown, approximately 10 minutes
  • Finally, toss together the lettuce, enough dressing to coat the lettuce and the grated cheese – then top it off with the fresh croutons

Marushka’s Tabouleh

Here is my mom’s recipe for this traditional Middle Eastern salad.  It’s refreshing and full of so many different flavors.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch of parsley
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed wheat (bulgar)
  • A few chopped leaves of fresh mint or 1/4 tsp of dried mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing*
*LEMON AND OLIVE OIL DRESSING
    • Mix equal parts of fresh lemon juice and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste – so easy!

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Rinse the crushed wheat (bulgar)  in cold water and squeeze it dry
  • Combine the chopped tomatoes with the crushed wheat (bulgar) – mix well
  • Finely chop the scallions and season with salt and pepper – add this to the tomatoes and bulgar
  • Pick the leaves off the parsley stems and wash them well and squeeze them dry
  • Either finely chop the leaves by hand, or BRIEFLY place them in a food processor – one pulse and it’s done (don’t over process, it will turn to mush)
  • Combine the parsley with the mint and add it to the rest of the ingredients
  • Pour the lemon and olive oil dressing over the tabouleh and serve with fresh romaine lettuce

Chickpea Salad

This hearty salad is a perfect healthy lunch because it’s got enough protein to keep you feeling full.  I’ve even had this “salad” over mixed greens to make it feel even more filling.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 peppers (1 red, one green), chopped
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup onion (red or vidalia), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp died parsley
  • Red wine vinaigrette (store bought or homemade*)
*RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
    • Red wine vinegar
    • Olive oil
    • Garlic powder to taste
    • Pinch of sugar
    • Salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Combine the chick peas, chopped peppers, olives, celery and onion in a medium bowl
  • Prepare the red wine vinaigrette in a separate bowl
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix well
*RED WINE VINAIGRETTE
    • Combine the vinegar and oil at a 1:2 ratio in a small bowl (for ex. 1/3 cup vinegar + 2/3 cup olive oil)
    • Add in the garlic powder, pinch of sugar, salt and pepper to taste
    • Whisk well

Rosemary Chicken Salad

This chicken salad is fresh and full of so many different flavors that blend together perfectly.  What’s better is that it’s the perfect solution for leftover roasted chicken.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups chicken breast, roughly chopped (this can be oven-roasted, which is more flavorful, or poached)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 scallion chutes, diced
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried chopped rosemary)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Combine the chopped chicken breast, celery, scallions and rosemary in a medium bowl
  • In a separate bowl, mix together  the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder and salt and pepper
  • Combine the mayonnaise mixture with the “dry” ingredients
  • Serve on fresh bread with lettuce for extra crunch

Fresh Corn Salad

As Summer sadly comes to an end, this salad is the perfect pick-me-up because it’s based around the end of Summer’s finest harvest – corn!

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 large English cucumber
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (1 cup red, 1 cup yellow)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (or more if desired)
  • Cilantro
FRESH LIME VINAIGRETTE
    • 2 limes
    • Olive oil
    • White balsamic vinegar
    • Cayenne pepper to taste
    • Garlic powder to taste
    • Salt to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Cook the corn (boiling or grilling both work – be sure not to overcook), and then cut the corn off the cob
  • Strain and rinse the black beans
  • Peel the cucumber, chop into small pieces
  • Wash the tomatoes and and cut them in half
  • Finely chop the red onion
  • Wash and chop a handful of fresh cilantro
  • Combine all of the ingredients, mix well and then prepare the dressing – afterward, pour it over the salad, mix and enjoy!
FRESH LIME VINAIGRETTE
    • In a small bowl, start by whisking together the juice of one and 1/2  limes, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar and the cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt to taste
    • For me, making a salad dressing is all about tasting it and making adjustments — start with that foundation and adjust the rest of the ingredients to your taste