Everyday recipes, life and craziness from Jen's house.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Salads for Supper

This morning JP and I spent some time at the Farmer's Market.  The town that I live in has a small Farmer's Market.  I would love to shop at our Market, but usually I end up driving to Manhattan to the bigger Farmer's Market.  The prices are usually better and there is so much more variety.

So today I picked up some beets, green onions, basil and sugar snap peas.  We stopped at the commissary on the way home and bought some awesome looking (and tasting) cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a few other things to get us through the week.

Tonight is meatless salad night, and not just your ordinary green salad.  Oh, no...these are super salads using the fresh veggies I bought today.  Yum!

Lentil and Beet Salad

1 c. lentils
3 c. water
1 onion, cut in half
1 rib of celery, cut in half
1 carrot, cut in half
1/4. t. salt

1 bunch of beets, cooked and roughly diced
3 medium carrots, roughly diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced

1/3 c. stone ground mustard (or your favorite mustard...just as long as it's not the bright yellow mustard!)
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

Bring the water to a boil and add lentils, onion, celery and carrot.  Cook over medium/high heat for 15-20 minutes until lentils are done.  Remove the onion, celery and carrot and discard.  Drain lentils and cool.

Cook the beets and roughly chop them.  Roughly chop the carrots and cook in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.  Drain.  Cool and add to the lentils.

Whisk the mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together.  Pour the dressing over the lentils.  Stir well and refrigerate.  You may want to double the dressing, depending on your taste.  Add salt and pepper according to your taste.

Review:  This salad is very earthy and has wonderful flavor.  The mustard vinaigrette is tangy, yet complements the beet and lentil flavors.  When I cook my beets, I usually add the bottom 4 inches or so of the greens during the last 10 min. of cooking.  I chop them into inch long pieces add them to the salad.  I've also cooked the greens, chopped them and added to the salad.  Adding the greens gives more of a beet flavor to the salad.   Enjoy~

 Here's a picture of my dad, my step-mother Joannie, JP and his 2 cousins from Maine.  We were enjoying a family meal on New Year's Eve.

This is one of my FAVORITE salads of all time.  I got the basic recipe from my step-mother's sister, 
Kathy Blecatsis Erskine

JP and I went to Joannie's beach house in Rye, NH several years ago and Kathy had made this salad.

Feta and Tomato Salad

1 pt. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. Extra Virgin olive oil (pull out the good olive oil for this!)
6 medium basil leaves, chiffonaded (is it chiffonade?  chiffonaded?)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

Wash and cut the tomatoes.  Place in a medium sized bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.  

Review:  I LOVE THIS SALAD!  I love the tangyness of the feta cheese and the juicy tomatoes.  The red wine vinegar and the Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  I've used dried basil when I haven't had fresh, and it is good, but not as good as the fresh basil.  During late summer when tomatoes are ripe, I've used 2 chopped tomatoes instead of the cheery tomatoes, and it's delicious that way, too!  This is good with a crusty bread to soak up the juices.  Enjoy~

This last salad is one of our favorites.  It's easy to whip up and keeps well.  You can add any combination of veggies that you like!

Couscous Salad

1 c. couscous
1 c. water
1 c. chicken broth

1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese

1/2 seeded and diced cucumber
1/2 pint cheery tomatoes, cut into 1/8ths
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 onion, diced
6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
1/2 c. Ken's Lite Northern Italian Salad Dressing
salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water and chicken broth to a boil.  Add 1 c. couscous.  Put a cover on the pot and remove from heat.  Let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.  Put the couscous into a bowl.  Fluff any clumps with a fork and cool.

Mix the couscous, feta, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions and onion together.  Add the salad dressing, salt and pepper.  You may want to add more/less of the salad dressing depending on your tastes. 

Review:  This salad is so good and it keeps well.  I buy whole wheat couscous at the natural market.  You can also buy plain couscous that comes in a box.  I've used leftover couscous to make this salad.  This salad is very versatile and you can use what ever vegetables you like!  Enjoy~

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