Category Archives: SALAD RECIPES

ROASTED VEGGIE SALAD

For our last home pre-concert meal, I decided that roasted veggies would be a lovely addition. But after the whole menu was set I realized that there wasn’t one ounce of crisp in the entire meal. Wrong. Just wrong. On several levels. So I thought about the roasted veggies and what I could do to give them some crunch. So I looked up roasted veggie salad recipes on the internet. And I found all kinds of recipes for salads with roasted vegetables. Lovely! So I perused a few and came up with this assortment of ingredients based on Tori Avey’s recipe for Grilled Vegetable Salad. (Thank you Tori.)

Now I realize romaine isn’t all that crisp, but it is better than no crisp, so in it went. I didn’t know how roasted and raw veggies would work together, but this combination seemed to be meant for each other. (And yes I know, cooked beets are frequently used in fresh salads. But you have to remember, I’m getting older. Sometimes it takes me awhile to put 2 and 2 together!)

But whatever, this salad was very well received, and I plan to try more combinations of cooked and raw ingredients.

And speaking of cooked beets in a salad, give my Beets in a Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette or Remolacha a try. Both are a delicious way to feature the amazing Beta vulgaris. Happy munching.

Dressing:

  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl or container. Whisk or shake until smooth, creamy, and emulsified. Set aside or refrigerate, if making ahead.

Salad:

  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths on the diagonal
  • 1 orange pepper, cut into bite sized chunks
  • ½ red onion, cut in half and then into thin quarter slices
  • 2-3 c. frozen corn, defrosted and laid out on paper towels to dry
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 c. chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ c. chopped fresh basil leaves

Place the zucchini, yellow squash, and asparagus on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle the veggies with just enough olive oil to moisten; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a pre-heated 425 degree oven (convection if you have the option) for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the veggies from pan and allow to cool in a salad bowl.

Place the orange bell pepper and onion on the same pan, drizzle with just enough olive oil to moisten; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 10 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the veggies from pan and allow to cool with the other veggies.

Place the corn on the same pan, drizzle with just enough olive oil to moisten; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 8 minutes or until some of the kernels are turning light brown. Remove the corn from pan and allow to cool with the other veggies.

When all the veggies are room temperature, add the romaine, cherry tomato halves, and cut basil leaves to the salad bowl. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to thoroughly coat all the ingredients. Serve immediately.

Please note: You can make the dressing and roast the veggies ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Before you plan to serve the salad, remove the dressing and roasted veggies from the fridge. Allow enough time for both the dressing and veggies to come to room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

ITALIAN MIXED GREEN SALAD

I call this an Italian salad because the dressing is more like an Italian dressing than not. I hope that makes sense. Of course it does to me, but sometimes my thinking is a bit off as I’m sure you have already perceived if you are familiar with my writing and recipes. Plus, I just couldn’t think of any other name for this combination of ingredients.

It all started because I thought I wanted to prepare a Panzanella Salad (Tuscan Bread Salad) for an Italian themed pre-concert supper I was preparing last Sunday. But when I realized that the three pastas I was serving plus the sourdough bread contained more than enough flour already, I decided a simple mixed salad with a kind of toned down “panzanella like” dressing would be perfect. Thus this recipe. BTW, if you love Panzanella Salad, please try my recipe already on this site.

And of course in my haste to get all the food set out for our guests, I failed to take a picture of this salad. But then, you all know what salad looks like. So you will simply have to use your imagination. (I can already hear those synapses (tiny gaps across your nerve cells or neurons sending impulses to other neurons causing your mind to be focused and electric) synapsing. In other words, I’m actually doing you a favor by not posting a picture of this salad. Proof once again that my thinking may be a bit off!)

Regardless, this is a really good salad and I hope you prepare it in the near future.

  • 2 tsp. sugar 
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ c. fresh parsley, loosely packed, then finely chopped 
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar   
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise 
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • ½ c. halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ¼ red onion, very thinly sliced
  • ½ English cucumber partially peeled, seeded, and diced  
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 

Whisk the sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and olive oil together. Set aside or refrigerate.

Place the romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, and yellow bell pepper in a large salad bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat the lettuce leaves.

Optional ingredients: Kalamata olives, thinly sliced pepperoncini, carrot, celery, basil, salami, cheese, etc. etc.  

ASPARAGUS, ROMAINE, PROSCIUTTO, AND TOASTED ALMOND SALAD

The other evening I couldn’t decide whether to make a green salad or cook some asparagus to accompany the Cabbage Casserole with Meatballs (recipe on site) and roasted sweet and Yukon gold potato chunks I planned to serve to family. I really didn’t want to fix a total of 4 dishes for a simple family meal, (4 is too many, 2 not enough), so I decided to go on line and see what I could find that combined romaine and asparagus. Well I found a recipe for a salad with only 4 ingredients on the Genius Kitchen site. (Great site BTW!) Of course right away I changed 2 of the 4 ingredients. (Of course I did!) Plus the site only gave suggestions for a dressing, rather than including one on the post. So I invented one that I felt would best complement the romaine, asparagus, prosciutto, and almonds.

And darn, if the salad didn’t turn out good. In fact it was delicious! And easy to fix. And each part could be prepared ahead of time and assembled just before serving. (My kind of salad, especially when cooking for guests!)

So next time you want a salad that also includes a green veggie, give this recipe a try. And yes, combining the salad and veggie is kind of a lackadaisical way of cooking. But I prefer to think of it as merely being “efficient”. I could of course refer to myself as simply being lazy. But lazy has such a negative connotation. I’ll stick with efficient.  

  • 1 T. finely diced shallot
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 T. sour cream
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil   
  • 4-5 slices prosciutto 
  • 1 lb. asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1½ hearts of romaine lettuce, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ c. toasted slivered almonds

Whisk together the shallot, salt, pepper, mustard, lemon juice, sour cream, and olive oil. Store in the refrigerator until needed.

Place slices of prosciutto on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 13 minutes or until fairly crisp. Remove from oven and let cool. Break or cut into pieces; set aside.

Blanch the asparagus pieces in boiling water for 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Immediately dump into a bowl of ice water. When cold, drain and use a couple of paper towels to blot dry. Set aside.

When ready to serve, toss the prosciutto, asparagus, lettuce, and toasted almonds together. Add enough of the salad dressing to moisten the salad nicely, but not drown the ingredients. 

Note: The beauty of this salad, besides being delicious, is that every part can be prepared ahead of time. Isn’t that nice!

CHICKEN, PROSCIUTTO, ALMONDS, AND DRIED CRANBERRY SALAD

If I could bake a chicken with as much flavor and for the same price as a Costco rotisserie chicken, I’d be one happy camper. And even though I have a couple of good recipes for baked chicken on this site, for ease of preparation, nothing beats a trip to the Costco meat department. But Mr. C. and I can’t possibly eat a whole chicken at one seating! So, we usually start with the thighs and drumsticks, and save the breasts and other bits for future use. Since Costco chicken has so much inherent flavor, it is perfect in casseroles, soups, and of course salads.  

So the other evening, wanting to serve a chicken salad for dinner, and just happening to have leftover Costco chicken in the fridge, I went on line and found a recipe on the Diethood site. I changed it up a bit to fit our tastes, and the following recipe is the result.

This salad is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for a couple of senior citizens trying to eat healthier. Of course, even if you aren’t a senior citizen, you can prepare this salad and feel good about it. Eating healthy is not just the domain of those of us in our “golden years”. (Some might have said “those of us who are elderly”, but I hate that term. Its definition is just too relevant and therefore to be avoided at all costs!)

Synonyms for the word “elderly” – aged, advanced in years, long in the tooth, past ones prime, in ones dotage, decrepit, over the hill, senescent (whatever that means), and my favorite – doddery. (If elderly isn’t a horrible word to refer to oneself, I don’t know what is!)

So to all of you who are young at heart, regardless of your age – give this recipe a try. It’s easy to prepare, and tastes like one of those specialty salads served at fashionable restaurants. How cool is that?

  • 4-5 slices prosciutto  
  • ½ c. sour cream 
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp. seasoned salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T. finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 romaine hearts, thinly sliced or greens of choice
  • ¼ c. chopped red onion
  • 1 cooked boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ -inch cubes (I use a breast from a Costco rotisserie chicken)
  • ½ c. toasted slivered almonds
  • ½ c. dried cranberries (the low sugar kind if you can find them)

Place slices of prosciutto on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 13 minutes or until fairly crisp. Remove from oven and let cool. Break or cut into pieces; set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk the sour cream, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, seasoned salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese together in a small bowl. Set aside. (If too thick, add a little water.)

In a large salad bowl combine the lettuce, red onion, chicken, toasted almonds, cranberries, and crispy prosciutto. When ready to serve, toss with salad dressing.

 

HAWAIIAN WON BOK (NAPA CABBAGE) AND CARROT SLAW

I fell in love with a slaw while dining at a beer pub in Hawaii. I know! Who would expect to find a truly great coleslaw in a small town pub? But this slaw was beyond delicious. The worst part was that I hadn’t ordered a meal that came with the slaw. But my dear friend Vicki offered me a bite of hers because she thought it was so good. Well – one bite was all it took. I was hooked.

So as soon as I got back home, I started researching Hawaiian Won Bok Slaw dressing recipes. Of course first I tried searching on the brew pub site. No luck. Then I searched for Hawaiian Won Bok Slaw recipes. I found a couple of dressing recipes that at first glance looked like they contained the same ingredients as the dressing on the slaw that I had tasted. Close, but not one of the recipes looked just right. So I took bits and pieces from several recipes and came up with my first endeavor.

My first attempt was OK, but it was lacking. So I changed one ingredient and added a couple of others, and served the salad to our friends Jim and Margo. Well needless to say, it was a success. 

Now I have no idea whether or not this recipe is even close to what I tasted in Hawaii. It actually tastes like a Hungarian coleslaw if truth be told. But in the final analysis, who cares?!?! It’s delicious and easy to prepare. Besides, what’s in a name anyway?

  • 1 T. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. dry mustard
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • 3 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 4-5 c. thinly sliced Napa cabbage
  • ½ c. shredded carrots

Whisk together the sugar, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. (Dry mustard tends to clump, so this simple step alleviates the problem.) Whisk in the oil, mayonnaise, vinegar, and poppy seeds. (Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.)

Combine the cabbage and carrot in a salad bowl. 20-30 minutes before serving, pour the dressing on the cabbage, toss, and refrigerate. Give the salad a good toss again just before serving. 

 

 

CANTALOUPE AND CUCUMBER SALAD

I am always looking for unusual and really tasty fruit salads. I had read that cantaloupe and cucumber were really delicious together, so I went on-line looking for a recipe that would feature these two ingredients. I found several recipes that looked interesting, but none were just what I was looking for. So taking bits and pieces from several recipes, and adding my own ingredients that I already knew were good with cantaloupe (black pepper and lime) and adding a bit of heat (Tajin Clásico Seasoning), I came up with this recipe.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to take a picture because I was too busy getting ready to serve 30 some guests before a JazzVox concert. (Having only two hands is also unfortunate at times like these.)

But people loved the salad, so you will just have to trust me when I tell you that not only is the salad terribly yummy, it is also very visually appealing.    

p.s. Next time I will try harder to get my act together, although keeping balls in the air is getting more difficult with each passing year! Any of you experiencing the same problem?

  • ¼ c. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ c. honey (local honey is best)
  • couple grinds of black pepper
  • pinch Tajin Clásico Seasoning* or sea salt
  • 1 cantaloupe, cubed 
  • 2 c. seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 tart apple, diced (I love Opal, Braeburn, or Honey Crisp for this salad)
  • 2 ripe kiwi, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, partially peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced (not too thin)
  • 1 T. minced fresh mint leaves

In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, honey, pepper, and Tajin together. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated.)

Place cantaloupe, grapes, apple, kiwi, and cucumber in a large salad bowl; add dressing and toss to coat. Cover and place in refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the fresh mint.

*Tajin Clásico Seasoning – a delicious blend of ground chili peppers, sea salt, and dehydrated lime juice. Available at large grocery stores or Mexican markets.

FRESH CORN, RED ONION, AND BASIL SALAD

This is an Ina Garten recipe I discovered on the internet. I didn’t change a thing, except reducing the ingredient amounts to accommodate just the two of us. I used two cobs of corn rather than 5 and altered the remaining ingredient amounts accordingly.

Now usually I mess with a recipe as I prepare it. Not this time. I immediately felt that the restrained number of ingredients in this dish was genius. And I sure as heck didn’t want to add an addition flavor that might detract from the delicious taste of the corn. As it turned out, the balance of flavors in this simple salad is absolutely perfect.

So I’m not going to expound on this dish any more than I already have. Well, except to say that once again Ina has proven what an exceptional cook can do with a few straightforward ingredients. This is simply the easiest and best corn salad I have ever tasted. Try it, you’ll like it! And thanks again Ina.

  • 1 T. cider vinegar
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 – 3 ears cold cooked corn on the cob, depending on the size of your ears (not the ones on your head; the ones off a corn stalk)
  • ¼ c. chopped red onion
  • ¼ c. fresh basil chiffonade*

Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a salad bowl. Cut the kernels off the corn cobs and add to the dressing along with the onion. Stir in the basil and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

Please note: If you plan to make the salad ahead of time, don’t add the basil until just before you plan to serve.

Serve cold or at room temperature.  

**Chiffonade (pronounced “shif-oh-nod”) is a knife technique used for cutting herbs and leafy vegetables such as lettuce into thin strips or ribbons. To chiffonade leaves of basil, stack the basil leaves and roll them into a tube. Then carefully cut across the end of the tube with a sharp knife to produce fine strips.

 

SHRIMP APPETIZER OR MAIN COURSE SALAD

I love shrimp salad. But I don’t much care for the tiny, pre-cooked shrimp that are labeled “salad shrimp”. I prefer the nice big guys, lovingly sautéed just before adding to whatever version of a shrimp salad I happen to be preparing at the time. And yes I do know that the biggies are more expensive, but I’d rather have less shrimp if push comes to shove.

So, when good friends Jim and Margo invited us to dinner a couple weeks ago, and I asked what I could contribute, Jim said “how about an appetizer salad?” I said “how about a shrimp salad” and he said yes!!

So this is the result.

And if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty darn tasty. Plus it was very easy to prepare. (I just love it when a recipe comes together and it works! But believe me, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I try a dish, and although it is edible, it’s not something I ever want to serve again or pass on to my readers.)  But this recipe is a keeper. It’s terribly elegant when served as an appetizer and just plain wonderful when served as a main dish salad.

Speaking of main dish salads, I simply must tell you about eating a salad for dinner while on our recent trailer trip to British Columbia. (You can stop reading now if all you care about is this recipe. But if you want to hear a bit more about our recent trailer trip, continue reading at your own peril.)

As the pictures below show, we had a fabulous campsite at BCs Juniper Beach Provincial Park on the banks of the Thompson River. Ideal setting with the river so close, but not the ideal backdrop for a quiet dinner. I say, not quiet, because just across the river the main east/west line of the Canadian Pacific Railroad runs about 30 trains over any 24 hour period. And on the side of the river where we were camped, the Canadian National Railroad runs another 30 or so trains a day on their own east/west main line. So in case you are mathematically challenged, that’s a total of about 60 trains blasting our camp site with noise during every 24 hour period. And these are not dainty little trains. These are all incredibly long mother bear trains! Mr. C. counted the cars on a good number of the trains. The longest was 230 cars long! I kid you not! The average size was only about 150 cars long. Only! And many of the cars we counted had a second container on top of the one that was riding the rails. We didn’t even bother counting the second tier freight cars. It was just too overwhelming.

We were at Jupiter Beach for three nights and the trains won, hands down! Before camping at this park, I absolutely adored the clickety-clack of trains, especially at night. But after this episode with the trains from hell, I feel like a new mother just having gone through a difficult childbirth and saying to herself and anyone else who would listen, that never again would she subject herself to such an experience! But I suppose, like childbirth, the memory of “the trains” will fade and I will once again be able to look at a train and not flinch. I hope so. Because for 73 years I have loved trains with a passion. I hope to get back to that place, but frankly only time will tell. (Mr. C. thinks I’m suffering from PTTD (Post Traumatic Train Disorder), and I think he may be right. But good news. I recently read that gin helps with this disorder, so that’s encouraging. If gin truly is the wonder treatment, I should be fine in no time. I’ll let you know if it works.) Enjoy the recipe.

  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. lg. uncooked shrimp
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • ½ c. finely diced red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (or combination of peppers)
  • juice of ½ lg. lime
  • 2 T. mayonnaise
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • dash hot sauce or 1 jalapeño, seeds and veins removed and finely diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 Hass avocado, diced
  • romaine or Bibb lettuce leaves

Heat the butter in a medium-large fry pan. Add the shrimp and sprinkle on the seasoned salt. Sauté until the shrimp are just done. Do not overcook. Remove the pan from heat and set aside. Rough chop the shrimp when they are cool.

In a medium sized bowl combine the shallot, celery, bell pepper, lime juice, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, and dash of hot sauce/diced jalapeño. Let stand for at least 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning. Gently fold in the chopped shrimp, tomato, and avocado. Adjust seasonings and serve as an appetizer either wrapped in lettuce leaves, heaped on one lettuce leaf, or over cut salad leaves. (See picture above.) Or serve as a main dish salad (see picture below) with whatever amount of cut lettuce you want stirred in with the other ingredients.

 

CHICKEN, PROSCIUTTO, AND PARMESAN CHEESE SALAD

While we were on our last RV camping trip to Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington (remind me to tell you someday about watching a rattlesnake being killed on the site across from ours) I decided that upon our return I would start working on summer salads perfect for taking on picnics. (And no, none of them include baked rattlesnake even though I’ve heard it tastes a lot like chicken.)

So last evening I prepared this salad. (Unfortunately we couldn’t get away for an actual picnic because of time restrictions and uncooperative weather, but none the less we persevered.)

Anyway, this salad was just plain delicious. Mr. C. really loved it. (I think it’s probably the crispy prosciutto that really won him over.) Regardless, he said he could eat it any old time I wanted to fix it. (Always a good indication that he really likes something.) And truly, what’s not to like? The salad in and of itself is wonderful. But when topped with moist and tender chicken, crisp prosciutto, shaved Parmesan, and croutons, well it’s just a flavor burst with every bite. And, a meal unto itself. (I’m getting fonder and fonder of one dish meals. Part of getting older I’m sure!)

So while it’s still summer, whip up one of these salads and dine al fresco. Doesn’t need to be up in the mountains or next to water. Can be on your deck, patio, or lanai. Anywhere that reminds you that summer is the bomb. (Of course, if you live in a South Western state and the air temperature is 118F, you might want to stay inside cuddled up to your air conditioner.) But for those of us that live for long days, no rain, and temperatures in the 70s, it’s outside dining as much as possible.

So enjoy the rest of your summer. Stay cool. Go on picnics. Eat salads. (That’s my bonus recipe for a wonderful way to stay both healthy and happy.)

  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T. minced shallots
  • ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • cooking spray
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto
  • 4 c. baby arugula
  • 1 romaine heart, chopped
  • ½ c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed or shredded (I use my recipe for Baked Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (see recipe below) or when I’m feeling lazy, one of the chicken breasts from a Costco rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/3 c. shaved Parmesan, Asiago, or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 c. croutons (see recipe below if you want to make your own croutons)

Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, and shallots. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified and thickened. Adjust seasoning. Set aside.

Spray a small amount of cooking spray on a medium sized fry pan or griddle. Add prosciutto; sauté over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. When cool break into bite sized pieces.

When ready to serve, toss together the arugula, romaine, tomatoes, and chicken in a medium sized salad bowl. Add enough dressing to moisten the ingredients, but not drown them. (You may have extra dressing. All the better to use on another salad later in the week.) Scoop onto 2 dinner plates. Sprinkle on the cooked chicken, crispy prosciutto, shaved cheese, and croutons. Serve immediately.

This dish is loosely based on a recipe in the Cooking Light magazine.

BAKED BONELESS, SKINLESS CHICKEN BREASTS

  • 1 qt. warm water
  • ¼ c. kosher salt
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • freshly grated black pepper
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Combine the warm water, kosher salt, peppercorns, brown sugar, and garlic cloves in a 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Whisk the mixture until it looks like most of the salt is dissolved.  Add the 8 pieces of chicken breast and let them sit in the mixture for 30 minutes. Remove from the brine, rinse with cold water, and pat as dry as possible with paper towels. 

Using the same pan, washed and dried of course, place the chicken breasts in a single layer. Pour on the olive oil. Using your hands, best tool in the kitchen BTW, massage the oil all over the chicken. Wash your hands and mix together the seasoned salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and paprika. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over both sides of the chicken.

Bake in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 15-18 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.  If you use an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature at the thickest part of the breast, it should read about 170 degrees. Remove from oven, loosely tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

GARLIC CROUTONS

Chop up some small bite sized pieces of a chewy, artisan baguette. Place in a frying pan with butter or olive oil (or a combination) and sauté until each crouton is crunchy. (This takes about 45 minutes because you need to go low (heat) and slow.) Add more butter or oil as needed. When desired crunchiness is attained, sprinkle with granulated garlic. Allow to cool completely before placing in an airtight container.

 

 

ASIAN VEGETABLE SALAD

 

 I have been making this delicious salad now for many years. I have no idea where I found this recipe, or if I just cobbled it together. I know I didn’t find it (if I found it) on the internet because I didn’t really start surfing the net for recipes when this fabulous recipe came into my life. So if you happen to be the inventor of this salad, please let me know. I will immediately update this post to include that fact.

In the meantime, let’s just assume I am responsible for this recipe and get on with our lives!

Like I said, I first made this salad many moons ago. And I still love it, mainly because it is easy to prepare, crunchy, contains almonds, and the dressing is just plain delicious. That about says it all. Therefore I don’t need to bore you any further with expansive rhetoric about this amazing salad. Just make it – you’ll thank me!

(Sorry – no picture. The salad was eaten so quickly I didn’t have time to get my camera out of the case!)

  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 c. chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 c. thinly sliced red cabbage
  • ½ c. sliced green onions
  • 1 lg. carrot, grated
  • 2 T. sesame seeds
  • ¼ c. sliced or slivered almonds

Whisk or shake together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, vegetable oil, salt, and pepper. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated, but bring to room temperature before using.) 

Combine the romaine, cabbage, green onions, carrot, sesame seeds, and almonds in a salad bowl. Pour on enough salad dressing to moisten. Avoid adding too much dressing or the salad will taste heavy or over-dressed. (It is meant to be a light and refreshing salad, lovely with BBQ’d meats and perfect for a warm summer evening.)