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Quinoa, Fennel and Orange Salad with Cranberry Nut Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa – try the multi-colored for a treat
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 ¾ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 bulb fennel, white part shaved
  • 2 green onion, finely sliced
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 8-10 basil leaves
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Cranberry Nut Salsa

  • 2 ounces nuts (great choices are sliced almonds, chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • 2 ounces cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa and fennel seed and cook, shaking pan until fennel is aromatic, 1-2 minutes. 
  2. Add stock and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat and cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender but still with a “bite.”  If any liquid is remaining, strain then fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside.
  3. Prepare the cranberry nut salsa: roast nuts in a 350°F oven for 5-6 minutes until just golden. Place cranberries, vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and gently warm.  Add roasted nuts and remove from heat.
  4. Toss quinoa with fennel, green onion, carrot, orange zest and herbs. Whisk orange juice and olive oil and toss with quinoa.
  5. To serve, place into bowls and spoon over the cranberry nut salsa.

Apple, Celery and Grape Salad with Roasted Nuts

Description

Enjoy this salad with crackers or in a tortilla wrap too.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (light if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Salad

  • 1 cup julienne or diced apple (tart apples are best such as Granny Smith, Fuji or Honeycrisp)
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • ½ cup red grapes, halved
  • ½ cup roasted walnuts and pecans (or nuts of choice)
  • 2 endive, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 small radicchio, shaved

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice.  Season to taste.
  2. Place apple, celery, grapes and nuts in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix well.
  3. Combine lettuces and arrange in a bowl, top with apple mixture and serve straight away with some crusty bread.

Variations

Bring a seasonal touch to this recipe:

  • Pears and pine nuts
  • Papaya and cashews
  • Strawberries and pistachios
  • Figs and hazelnuts
  • Cantaloupe and almonds

Walnut Balsamic Spinach Salad

Description

This classic spinach salad is dressed up with Candied California walnuts, blue cheese, prosciutto and pomegranate arils.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Candied Walnuts

  • 1 cup California walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Salad

  • 10 cups baby spinach
  • 8 strips prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 firm but ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. To prepare dressing, stir together onion, vinegar and Dijon in a small bowl. Slowly add olive oil and whisk well. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. To prepare Candied Walnuts, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and cook for 5 minutes to toast. Add sugar and cook for a few minutes more or until walnuts are nicely glazed.
  3. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl and sprinkle with Candied Walnuts. Toss well to coat and serve immediately.

Belgian Endive Salad with Avocado, Piave and Pistachio Aillade

Ingredients

Pistachio Aillade

  • 1 each garlic clove, grated with a Microplane®
  • ½ cup pistachios, whole
  • 1 each anchovy, made into paste
  • ½ cup pistachio oil
  • ¼ each lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • ¼ cup shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Belgian Endive Salad

  • 8 heads white Belgian endive
  • Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
  • ½ lemon

Assembly

  • 3 each Hass avocados, small
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Maldon sea salt, as needed

Instructions

Pistachio Aillade
In a mortar add pistachios. Pound and grind nuts until fine. Add anchovy, garlic, pistachio oil, lemon zest, tarragon and salt. Mix thoroughly until everything is combined.

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, Champagne vinegar, shallots, mustard and salt and a few turns of pepper. Add the extra virgin olive oil, whisking constantly.

Belgian Endive Salad
Cut off ends of the Belgian endives and peel off the leaves. Save half of the leaves whole and cut the remaining half of leaves in half. Place all the endive in a bowl. In the bowl with the Belgian endive, dress with the Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette, a squeeze of lemon juice and kosher salt.

ASSEMBLY

Cut all the avocados in half and take out the pits. Cut the avocados in half to make quarters. Peel off the skin. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt.

  • Pistachio Aillade
  • Avocado quarters
  • 1 chunk of Piave cheese
  • Belgian Endive Salad
  • ½ cup pistachios, whole
  • 2 ½ tablespoons pistachios, roughly chopped
  1. On the center of each plate, smear 1 ounce of Pistachio Aillade into a circle. Place 1 quarter of avocado in the center.
  2. Grate Piave with a ribbon cheese grater to cover. Pile endive on top, garnish with whole pistachios, and top with 1 quarter of avocado.
  3. Repeat this for one more layer. Finish the salad with a heavy grating of Piave cheese and top with roughly chopped pistachios.

Four-Hearts Green Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 romaine lettuce hearts
  • 1 tablespoon honey or grape molasses
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup raw pistachios kernels
  • ¼ cup raw hazelnuts

Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly wash the lettuce. Pat dry and keep cool. In a nonstick skillet, heat the honey. Add the nuts, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until lightly caramelized. Set aside.
  2. To make the vinaigrette, whisk the mustard and vinegar in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the olive and pistachio oils while whisking until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasoning to taste. Just before serving, toss the lettuce, nuts and vinaigrette. Serve in the center of individual plates.

Mediterranean Pecan Pasta Salad

Description

This layered pecan pasta salad is an elegant but easy side or main dish. Perfect to serve when hosting a gathering or attending a special occasion, it can easily be customized with seasonal ingredients. This version combines fresh vegetables, oranges, cheese and pecans for a light and bright pasta salad dish.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta, or other small pasta
  • 4 cups of radicchio, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup halved marinated olives (Kalamata and green)
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, plus optional pecan halves for garnish
  • 3/4 cup chopped parsley or mint (or both)
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 cara cara orange, cut into slices
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • Lemon vinaigrette and fresh-cracked pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1/4 cup of salt. When water is bubbling, add in pasta, allow water to come back to a boil, then start timer for about 10 minutes. When pasta is cooked, el dente, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a large, clear bowl, layer half of the radicchio on the bottom. Sprinkle half of the olives, artichoke, and tomato on top. Next, spread out half of the pasta, 1/2 cup of pecan pieces, half of the parsley, 3 ounces of crumbled feta, and the orange slices.
  3. Add the spinach, then repeat layering steps with the radicchio, olives, artichoke, tomato, pasta, pecan pieces, parsley, feta, and orange.
  4. If using the dressing, add to your taste after layering is complete.*
  5. Crack with fresh pepper and refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

Pecan Berry Green Salad

Description

Perfect for summertime entertaining occasions this beautiful Pecan Berry Green Salad, boasts combines layers of greens, berries, goat cheese, and golden pecans. Using the season’s freshest ingredients, this elegant salad is simple and impressive.

Ingredients

  • 7 to 8 ounces mixed salad greens (1 package)
  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries
  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup raw pecan halves
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing or dressing of your choosing*

Instructions

  1. On a large platter, spread out the salad greens.
  2. Next, sprinkle on blueberries, then layer the strawberries working from the outer edge of the plate to the center.
  3. Using your fingers, crumble the goat cheese onto the greens in medium to large crumbles.
  4. Finally, spread on the pecans.
  5. Toss with your favorite dressing* and serve cold.

*Nutrition information based on 2 tablespoons of dressing per serving.

Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese

Description

Savory spiced pecans are sprinkled atop grilled peaches, tangy goat cheese and fresh mixed-greens for a refreshing seasonal salad with nice nutty crunch.

Ingredients

Spiced Pecans:

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Salad:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or pecan oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large peaches, halved and pits removed
  • 6 cups mixed baby greens (such as arugula, spring mix, and spinach)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Make the Spiced Pecans: Preheat oven to 275F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk together egg white, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt until well combined. Fold in pecans and mix until pecans are evenly coated in mixture. Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally until pecans are fragrant and golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
  4. Make the Salad: In a small bowl, spouted measuring cup, or mason jar, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Brush cut side of peach halves with remaining olive oil and grill on an outside grill or grill pan on stove top set over medium/high heat until grill lines appear and peaches become tender; about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove peaches and cut into slices.
  6. Divide greens among four plates. Top with grilled peach slices and goat cheese. Divide 1 cup of the spiced pecans evenly among the salads and keep the other cup for a snack later. Top each salad with a drizzle of the vinaigrette. Serve and enjoy!

Pistachio Arugula Brown Rice Salad

Description

Pistachio Arugula Brown Rice Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups arugula, lightly packed
  • 1 cup cooked brown Jasmine rice, cooled
  • 3 persimmons, chopped (may substitute with other seasonal sliced fruit, such as peaches, apples, or pears)
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup pistachios

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked red paprika
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Pinch salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix together the arugula, rice, persimmons, chickpeas, parsley and pistachios in a salad bowl.
  2. Toss together the tahini, olive oil, lime juice and zest, paprika, agave nectar, fresh ginger, and garlic until smooth.
  3. Fold dressing into salad and mix well to combine.

Autumn Arugula Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Hazelnuts

Description

Don’t have to be boring; by pairing healthy leafy greens with the right accoutrements, this salad maintains its nutritious balance while also boasting a bevy of flavors.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of cubed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 5 ounces arugula
  • ½ cup Oregon hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • goat cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place hazelnuts on a tray and roast for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place sweet potatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper on a large baking dish and roast at 400°F for about 30 minus until tender.
  3. Seed pomegranate, I like to cut the fruit in half and then hit the back of the shell with a wood spatula and the seeds easily fall out.
  4. Place arugula in a bowl and top off with balsamic vinegar, the roasted sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds, roasted hazelnuts and goat cheese (if desired). Serve.