Blackberry Avocado Salad

Hello there– We had another important celebration at our house last week– Larry’s folks came in to celebrate their 69th anniversary!!  It’s a joy to watch them together.

So we made toasts and ate lasagna (Stu’s favorite) and Larry’s cheery sister brought in a magnificent cake. It was a great time together.  Stu & Helen, you’re the best!!

Oh, and with our supper, we dug into this bright salad– sweet berries, creamy avocado, crunchy almonds, salty feta– tossed with a mustard & maple dressing.  Just fine on the plate with our lasagna.

BLACKBERRY AVOCADO SALAD

Salad:
6 cups salad greens
2 small Persian cucumbers, sliced
2 avocados, cut into chunks
6 oz. carton of blackberries (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup roasted salted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cut feta, crumbled

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon veingar
2 tab. maple syrup
1 tsp. seedy Dijon mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Layer the salad ingredients in a shallow bowl.  When you are ready to serve it up, shake together the dressing ingredients in a container with a tightly closing lid until they are all blended and drizzle over the salad.

Pear Vinaigrette Salad

Hello there–Are things winding down at your house??  We just took our Laurel and John to the airport to fly back to Wisconsin.  And now we’re all lazing in the family room.  Grand-girls coloring or stitching on Christmas craft kits.  And grown ups are reading phones in the sunshine.  I think we’re all Christmas-ed out!

And ready to eat something besides Christmas fudge and party dips– like this salad.  We had it with our Christmas Eve lunch– add a little chicken or ham and it could be a complete meal.  The star of the salad is the puree pear vinaigrette.  Delish!

PEAR VINAIGRETTE SALAD

Salad:
4 cups of your favorite greens (we used a head of green leaf lettuce)
2 pears, cored and chopped
1/2 cup hazel nuts, chopped in half
1/2 cup feta

Vinaigrette:
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. seedy Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer the greens, 2 chopped pears, hazel nuts and feta in a bowl.

To make the vinaigrette, use a blender (or stick blender) to blend the 1 ripe prepared pear, vinegar, mustard, oil and garlic to make a creamy dressing.  Season with salt & pepper until it tastes perfect– sweet and tangy.  Pour over the salad when you are ready to eat!

Lulu’s Famous Broccoli Salad

 

Hi there– I’m pretty sure you’ve had some version of Broccoli Salad– me too.  But this one is my favorite.  Got the recipe from my sis, Lulu.  She served up this broccoli salad last summer at our Laurel’s wedding and it was the best!  (The secret is not a secret ingredient– it’s chopping the broccoli fine to soak up all the dressing).

LULU’S FAMOUS BROCCOLI SALAD
3 pounds of broccoli, stems trimmed off and chopped to small bits
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled to tiny pieces
3 oz. sunflower seeds
1/2 red onion, chopped fine

Dressing:
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar

Mix together the broccoli, bacon, sunflower seeds and red onion.

In another bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar.  When you’re ready to serve it up, stir the dressing and broccoli mixture together.   Delish!

 

P.S. This recipe above is not the one we actually made– here’s her original version, meant to serve 70 people! (She used to be a caterer!)

LULU’S FAMOUS BROCCOLI SALAD– ORIGINAL RECIPE
10 to 12 ponds of broccoli< chopped fine
3 pounds bacon, cooked & crumbled (or 1 Costco size bag precooked bacon crumbles!)
1  1/2 7oz. jar sunflower seeds
2 red onions, chopped fine

Dressing:
1/2 gallon jar of mayonnaise
4 cups sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar

So next time you’re feeding a really big crowd–here’s your super broccoli recipe!!

Here’s my sis Lulu and me at Laurel and John’s Wisconsin Wedding in the Woods last August.  She and her husband Ted cooked up meals for the 120 wedding guests!!  Thanks Lulu!!

Apple Broccoli Salad

Hello friends–  Here’s the old favorite, Broccoli Salad, with a bit of a fresher taste.  Sweet apples and carrots add crunch and flavor.  And a bit of red onion sharpens up the taste.

We had it at a salad pot luck here a couple weeks ago and there were just a few shreds left at the bottom of the bowl by the time we all served ourselves up!  I think you’d like it too.

APPLE BROCCOLI SALAD

Dressing:
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tab. sugar
1  1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt

Salad:
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 apple, cored and cut to small bits
2 carrots, peeled and cut to match sticks
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup red onion chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and salt to make the dressing.

Add the chopped broccoli, bits of apple, cut carrots, walnuts and chopped red onion to the dressing and mix well to coat all the veggies.   Chill about 30 minutes before serving.  Delish!

Peachy Tomato Salad with Honey Tarragon Dressing

 

Hi there– I’ve been reading some of my favorite bloggers talking about what’s coming out of their gardens this summer.  Fun to see your kale and summer squash and spicy peppers!  Our humble little garden (besides sprouting lots of weeds!) has produced tomatoes a plenty and nice healthy basil.

So tonight for dinner I wanted to use some of those tomatoes that are piling up in the kitchen!  And here’s the result.  Fresh and bright, colorful and so simple– fine for a summer supper.

PEACHY TOMATO SALAD WITH HONEY TARRAGON DRESSING

Salad:
4 ripe Roma tomatoes
1 large ripe peach
2 -3 tablespoons feta, crumbled
basil sprigs

Dressing:
3 tab. olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 tab. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut the tomatoes into wedges and the peach in smallish chunks.  Spread them on a platter and crumble the feta over the top.  Sprinkle on the basil leaves.

For the dressing, combine the oil, vinegar, honey and salt & pepper in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it until the ingredients combine thoroughly.  Pour it over the salad when you are ready to serve it up.

 

Cherry Citrus Salad

 

Hello friends– Have cherries turned up at your market yet??  I walked over to the Farmers Market in San Francisco last week with little Lois and there were cherries galore!  So dark and sweet– we bought a bagful for a treat.

And back home there are piles of Cherries at the market too– So when Jenni invited us over for a bar-b-que, we arrived with this salad in hand.  Bright and sweet and hearty.  Just right for a summer night eating grilled chicken & sausages with a table of friends.

CHERRY CITRUS SALAD
8 cups mixed salad greens
14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
2 avocados, cut into chunks
3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
2 oranges, peeled and cut into sections

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. Champagne orange vinegar*
1 tsp. sugar
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Spread the greens into a large salad bowl.  On top, layer the beans, avocados, cherries and oranges.

Shake the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until they are thoroughly blended. Drizzle the dressing over the salad when you are ready to serve it.  Enjoy!

*They have this luscious Orange Vinegar at Trader Joe’s– but I’ve seen it other places too.

A couple pics from our trek to the SF Farmer’s Market  (San Francisco City Hall in the background)–
   

Steak Salad with Peruvian Peppers

 

Hello there– This year they put a Whole Foods Market in our little suburb– chuck full of beautiful food!!  But a little over my price range.  So this week I dropped in to get a couple nice candy bars for a little birthday treat for a friend– and indulged myself with a loaf of crusty bread, 3 perfectly ripe peaches, those candy bars and from the olive bar–a handful of olives and these brilliant little red Peruvian peppers!  Total– $12.90!  I happily clutched my little bag of treats and headed home…

The Peruvian peppers inspired this salad– sweet and just a little spicy– and so pretty on the plate.  With that loaf of crusty  bread– dinner ready!

STEAK SALAD

Salad:
2 small beef filets
1 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
4 cups salad greens
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, sliced
1/2 cup cucumber sliced thin
1/4 cup Peruvian peppers (petit poivrons)*
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
a little red onion, sliced

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. seedy mustard
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.

Heat the olive oil in s skillet on high heat.  Liberally salt & pepper the beef and drop it into the hot skillet.  Cook the beef for 3 or 4 minutes on each side for medium rare (depending on the thickness).  Remove it from the pan and slice against the grain.

Layer the lettuce, sliced avocado and cucumber and beef on 2 plates.  Sprinkle on the feta and little peppers.

To make the dressing, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, slat & pepper in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake it until the ingredients are well blended.  Pour over the salad when you’re ready to serve it.

*The peppers are available from Amazon as petit poivrons.