Category Archives: Salads

panzanella (italian tomato bread) salad best if done in summer when tomatoes are at their best


2 1/2 pounds mixed tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
3/4 pound ciabatta or rustic sourdough bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups bread cubes)
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
Place tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl and season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally, while you toast the bread. Drain for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to center position. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp and firm but not browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Remove colander with tomatoes from bowl with tomato juice. Place colander with tomatoes in the sink. Add shallot, garlic, mustard, and vinegar to the bowl with tomato juice. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine toasted bread, tomatoes, and dressing in a large bowl. Add basil leaves. Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until dressing is completely absorbed by bread.





you can use this simple dressing but since my daughter does not like lemon we used a greek store bought dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 2 cups chicken broth (low or nos alt)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small bunch asparagus, about 15 spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen peas (I found some fresh from Costco so used those)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a small bowl or medium jar, combine the dressing ingredients. Whisk to combine or shake with the jar lid on tight. Set aside.
  2. Add water, quinoa, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, cook the asparagus. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and fresh lemon juice. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, asparagus, peas, and avocado. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

  • 2 ahi tuna steaks (~6oz per person)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 TB ginger paste (or shaved ginger)
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 tsp wasabi OR 1 tsp horseradish and 1/2 tsp crushed mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 green onions, sliced, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1 TB sesame seeds
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)


  1. Blend vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, wasabi (or horseradish and mustard seeds), sugar, and green onion. Taste sauce, adjust seasoning if necessary (adding more soy, sugar, ginger etc if prefered). Marinate tuna steaks in blended sauce for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of tuna at end of marinade.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan (like a cast iron pan) on high, until oil is very hot. Reserving marinade for later, sear tuna for 15-30 seconds per side, then remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium and allow pan to cool slightly. Add marinade to pan with lemon juice, and stir with a wooden spoon. If sauce is too thick for your liking, add more lemon juice. Remove sauce from heat.
  3. Slice tuna in thin long strips. If desired, leave about 1/2″ at one end of the tuna steak uncut, and serve fanned on a plate with ginger soy pan sauce and extra green onion to garnish.

    i served with spring mix lettuce, avocado wafu Japanese dressing mixed with wasabi paste.  also with shoestring fries


prosciutto cheese and fruit salad

Serves 4

4 handfuls of rocket
2 peaches, sliced*
100g double cream Brie cheese, sliced
handful dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds
8 or so slices prosciutto, torn up
extra-virgin olive oil
cranberry pear balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper and sea salt

Arrange rocket on a platter and scatter prosciutto, peach sliced, brie and cranberries. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Beautiful!

* You can also use other stone fruit such as plums, apricots, nectarines or apples. Use your favorite flavored balsamic vinegar if you can’t find the cranberry pear and try, if you can, to choose a white balsamic vinegar (for esthetic purposes).  I also did it with Halloumi cheese which is all I had and it worked great.

thomas keller vinaigrette

As Thomas Keller has stated, this is his house vinaigrette recipe—pared down to the very essentials. Three ingredients, no salt or pepper, just the delicious basics. We recommend following his recipe by adding fresh herbs like tarragon, parsley and chives to the lettuce, some minced shallots, as well as a dash of salt and pepper, and serving it up daily!

We spotted this recipe on some of our favorite food sites and blogs so we wanted to share it with you in hopes that you share it with your guests, family and friends, too!


    1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    1 1/2 cups canola oil


    1. Combine mustard and vinegar by hand.
    2. When completely combined, slowly drizzle in oil.
    3. If the ingredients separate, whisk it together. Can be stored up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.

creamy garlic chive dressing

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 heaping tablespoon prepared mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

2 tsp dijon mustard
3 teaspoons honey
1-2 garlic clove
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive

Blend all together and strain and serve over steak and tomatoes


Dijon Potato Salad

8 to 10 red potatoes -rinsed and quartered, 1 bunch of chives -rinsed and chopped, 1 pkg bacon – cooked and crumbled, Dijon mustard 1/3 cup, Mayo ( I used smart balance) 1/4 cup, Rice vinegar 1 Tablespoon (NOT rice wine vinegar), Salt, pepper, splenda, olive oil -Toss potatoes with oil, salt, pepper and roast till brown -Mix mayo, dijon, rice vinegar, and a dash of salt, pepper, and Splenda together in a bowl. – once potatoes are done mix with chives, bacon and dijon sauce.

For the Potato Salad

  1. Put potatoes in a 4-quart pot and cover with cold water. Add salt and bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a knife. Drain and cut into chunks.
  2. Meanwhile brown the bacon until it is golden and crispy. Drain the bacon fat reserving a few tablespoons for the dressing.
  3. Place potatoes, bacon, celery and green onions into a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss well.

For the Dressing

  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon, vinegar, bacon fat and relish.