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Funky Salad Recipe??

Ok, so I have a few tried and true recipes for salads that I make for dinner parties..I'm tired of them and need a new one to try...Anything new and funky? Help me get a new twist on in the kitchen...Please share your recipes. I'm tired on mandarin orange salad recipes and recipes with blue cheese and candied nuts..What else is out there??? Do tell and share.

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  1. I really like shaved fennel salads - with oranges and walnuts, some olive oil and lemon juice. Or with parmesan cheese.

    8 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      I too am all about the shaved fennel salad. I make mine with grapefruit and toasted hazelnuts, and dress it with grapefruit juice and olive oil and salt and pepper.

      1. re: relizabeth

        I didn't used to enjoy fennel..but I do now...That does sound good...grapefruit huh? I would never have thought of that combination..love it. Thanks..Think using hazelnut oil would be too much? Hmm just a thought.

        1. re: flipkeat

          We just had a grapefruit and fennel salad with dinner tonight. It's such a nice, refreshing, light salad. I'll have to try adding the hazelnuts next time; I've not done that before.

          1. re: flipkeat

            I made a fennel and blood orange salad last night -with walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper - v. tasty, though I had not thought about the fact that the oranges would turn the fennel a slightly off-putting purple color.

            1. re: MMRuth

              Hey all of you above in the fennel discussion - i'm excited to try this out...any tips? do i slice them thin - I see above you guys shave them - how? A recipe would probably be a good route, I'm gonna go search, but if anyone has one handy!

              1. re: lollya

                I actually just slice my fennel and it seems to work out nicely and holds up well for leftovers. Here are a couple of paraphrased recipes:

                From Veg Cooking for Everyone:
                3 navel or blood oranges
                Orange Vinaigrette
                1 head butter or Boston lettuce
                2 Tb chopped fennel greens
                10 small mint leaves, thinly sliced
                1 small fennel bulb, quartered and thinly sliced
                pepper
                12 oil-cured black olives

                section the oranges (reserve juice for vinaigrette). Toss lettuce (whole or torn leaves) w 2 to 3 Tb dressing and half of the fennel greens and sliced mint. Arrange on plates. Toss oranges, sliced fennel, and remaining herbs in dressing. Arrange on the lettuce. Garnish with olives. The orange vinaigrette is 1 tsp orange zest (grated or minced), 1/2 c. orange juice, 2 tsp white wine vinegar (I actually use rice vinegar because that's what I keep on hand), 3 Tb light olive oil or sunflower oil, 1 Tb evoo, 1 tsp orange flower water optional. Pepper and salt to taste.

                From Simple Italian Food:
                2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed
                juice of 1 lemon
                4 Tb evoo
                4 large blood oranges peeled and segmented
                1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
                s/p
                6 ounces hard pecorino

                Use mandolin or sharp knife and slice fennel as thinly as possible. Toss with olive oil and lemon juice. Add the orange segments and pomegranate seeds. Salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on plates and shave pecorino over the top.

                I have some blood oranges to use up, so I'm either going to run out and get more fennel for dinner tonight, or make margaritas.

                1. re: lollya

                  I use my knife, and just slice as thinly as possible - seems to work fine.

          2. re: MMRuth

            I love fennel salads too (and these variations sound great) but not everyone does. (My partner hates fennel and it seems like 4 dinner parties out of 5 serve fennel salad these days!!!)

            Another epicurious favorite that can practically be a main course in hot summer weather: shrimp salad with zucchini and basil: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
            It's a more vegetable-laden adaptation of a classic Italian favorite (shrimp + zucchini). You need really nice fresh shrimp, I always try to splurge and get whole foods seafood for this one.

          3. A fattoush is a favorite of mine. I like to make it with grilled pita in the summer. Ingredients are variable as to whats available.

            1. This is a main dish salad, but was very good, Southwestern Grilled Beef Salad with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Dressing: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

              Green Bean and Radicchio Salad with Roasted Beets and Balsamic Red Onions was fantastic- love the vinaigrette on this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

              There are two recipes from the Junior League Colorado Cache cookbook that I've used a ton... unfortunately, this book is in my mom's possession, so I don't have the recipes right now. One of them is a green bean salad with walnuts and a dill vinaigrette. The recipe calls for an unusual way of cooking the beans that I like very much. Of course, now I can't remember the details! The other one is a spinach salad with grapes, matchsticks of swiss and cheddar cheese- the mustardy vinaigrette really makes this one. If either of these spark your interest, I could see if I could get the recipes.

              Oh yeah, this Buffalo Chicken Salad recipe is also very good, and low fat!! http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/r... Sorry if you weren't looking for main dish salads- I got on a roll!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Katie Nell

                If it's the same Colorado Cache cookbook that I'm thinking of, there's also a unique potato salad recipe - Prospector Potato Salad - that uses cucumber for crunch & the dressing is a combo of sour cream and mayo. I haven't made it for a long time (will correct that soon!), but it is very delicious and a little lighter than most potato salads.

                  1. re: nojunk

                    yes I have the same book, there are many good recipes, and that is one of them. Now I will try it too!

                1. Jamie Oliver does a good mozzarella, peach, prosciutto and mint salad (with some leaves of course) I think it's in his first book but you get the general idea - lemon vinagrette.
                  Also, from one of the Donna Hay books, leaves, shaved parmesan, roasted tomatoes and baked prosciutto (it goes all crispy - but do oil the pan!)
                  Both delicious, both fancy enough for dinner parties.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ali patts

                    the Donna Hay one really appeals to me..Thanks..I like the sounds of that..I don't have any Donna Hay cookbooks..perhaps I should google that recipe? I'll check it out..though..thanks

                  2. How about roasted beets? I like them with feta, or goat cheese, mixed with watercress. They are also good with oranges. If you can find fancy striped or yellow beets, even better. But I love the color contrast of beets with the white cheese and green watercress.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DGresh

                      I was going to suggest adding roasted beets as well. Especially the cool heirloom varietals. Lots of interesting colors. Nice combination with orange supremes or even blood oranges.