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Apr 30, 2008 10:19 PM

MAY COTM Flexitarian Table SALADS (all seasons)

Discussion of salads from all seasonal menus here.

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  1. I made the Quinoa Salad with Green Beans, Corn and Tomatoes, p. 128. This was a huge hit. I forgot to buy the pumpkin seeds, so omitted them. This is the first time I've used Red Quinoa - very pretty. This was a delicious salad that was a great vehicle for the delicious Tofu w/Wine-Butter Sauce, p. 126, and I will most certainly make it again. I think it would be a great pot-luck dish.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mirage

      Oh, I'm so glad to hear this. I tried this salad before but forgot to buy tomatoes and didn't notice until too late, so, I made the only substitution I could (salsa) at that point and, well, it just wasn't that good. My fault, but now I know I'll try it again. And remember to buy tomatoes.


      1. re: mirage

        We had this for dinner last night with the same tofu dish. I didn't have red quinoa, though I bought some today, and had forgotten how much I like the taste. I used small grape tomatoes that I quartered, and did use the pumpkins seeds - they lent a nice crunch to the salad. I didn't realize how much it would make - I really think it would serve 8, for from now on I'm going to remember to halve the "group" recipes in the menus. I think it would be good with cilantro as well - maybe with something in the place of the green beans.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I know this salad is from the summer menu section, but an in-season veggie that might work well is sugar snaps - they have such a nice, fresh crunch, which I think might work well with cilantro. With or without cilantro, sugar snaps and asparagus are spring-season veggies to think about substituting while they're at their peak

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Oh - that's a nice idea - thanks. We just finished up what was left for dinner!

      2. Spring Greens in Dill Vinaigrette, Page 52

        Not bad. Not bad at all. At first I thought the dressing would never cover the amount of greens I had prepared for this salad..... but this was not the case. If anything, I think I could have used more salt. But all told, it was a very nice accompianment for the sandwiches.... more about which will be in the appropriate thread. If I can find it, that is.

        I used a variety of greens as the recipe suggests and added a few leaves of a bok choy I had recently bought, a few bits of shaved carrots, and a peeled/seeded/sliced cucumber that needed to be used. All in all it's a salad I will use again.... albeit with a tad more dressing.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          Had this for lunch with the sandwiches in the same menu - I'd bought wild baby arugula, fresh pea shoots, tatsoi and a little purslane just earlier in the morning at the farmer's market. I forgot the dill though, so I just chopped up the fennel fronds instead! I actually thought there was quite a big of dressing - I made the full amount of dressing and used half on two handfuls of the greens. I did use his tip of adding a little salt to the greens before adding the dressing. V. nice - will make again.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I probably had more greens than he originally planned on - it all worked out in the end, though. I forgot to add the salt after dressing the he mentioned, that's why I was missing some flavor.

          2. re: Gio

            Spring Greens in Dill Vinaigrette (Spring menu 4, pg. 52)

            The dressing was tasty and easy. I didn’t have fresh dill so used dried (half the amount). When I dressed the greens, I wasn’t impressed. But, once I added the salt on top of the salad, the flavor totally sang.

            I served this with the soy tofu (pg. 126) and the rice with herbs (pg. 75).

          3. Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad, p. 43

            Well, I didn't read his "planning" instructions, and so made this almost at the last minute when I realized it was supposed to be made ahead, though I did get it in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so. I shaved everything other than the fennel using my truffle shaver - the apple turned brown immediately - if I made this again - I'd add the apple in just before serving. I liked the idea of eating sunchokes raw, as I've never done that before. I made about 1/3 of the recipe, and maybe I added too much dressing, but it seemed a bit gloppy to me, and so the dressing wilted the vegetables too much for my liking. I'll taste it again today to see if I agree that it's better the next day, as he suggests. The end product was fine, but nothing I'd rush to make again.

            3 Replies
            1. re: MMRuth

              We loved this salad - Shaved Spring Veg. I neglected to buy fennel (duh) and so had a salad made of shaved apples, sun chokes and radishes. Everything else was by the book but I added more radishes and sun chokes to make up for the missing fennel. The chives I bought turned out to be very peppery and fresh, which added some punch.

              Oh yeah, and I did get some fresh dill in my CSA box that week and so got a bit of the fennel-esque taste from that.

              I did save some and agree that it was very good the next day.

              1. re: oakjoan

                I also made the Green Olive Frittata with Ricotta, Pine Nuts and Thyme and was not very impressed. I didn't make any substitutions and I tasted the olives before using them to make sure they weren't boring -- they weren't.

                Maybe I overcooked it a bit, but the whole thing didn't seem to come together. I decided that it was the ricotta. Given the other ingredients, I think that ricotta was just too bland. Maybe feta would be better. The whole dish was too crunchy or had too many ingredients.....I dunno. I even toasted the pine nuts and used leeks from my CSA box (last of the season...sigh) and rosemary from the same source.

                I'd like to hear anybody else's thoughts on this.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  I'm not a big ricotta fan - so I'll try with a different cheese and post back. I do think, based on my cooking a lot from this book starting on Friday, that salt is key in his recipes, though something like a frittata (and the gratin posted about elsewhere) is hard to salt to taste.

            2. Chilled Asparagus Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette (Spring, p. 57)

              I will definitely be making this again, it will be a great side dish this summer to serve with all sorts of main dishes from the grill. Some changes I made - I used regular asparagus instead of thin, roasted them instead of boiling, and skipped the garnishes of egg and chives. Also, at the last minute, I realized I must have used up my sherry vinegar, so substituted with champagne vinegar and a bit of sherry. I served it as a side dish on Kentucky Derby Day (alongside chutney-glazed ham with biscuits, baked beans with maple syrup and bacon, and baby spinach salad with glazed pecans and orange), and it was a winner.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Rubee

                Paraphrased recipe for Greedygirl:

                1 lb thing asparagus, bottom inch trimmed (and if you have time, bottom 2 inches peeled)
                sea or kosher salt
                1 1/2 TBSP sherry vinegar
                2 tsp Dijon mustard
                1/8 tsp honey or maple syrup
                1 TBSP minced scallion white
                1 1/2 TBSP EVOO
                freshly-ground black pepper
                1 hard-cooked egg (optional)
                1 TBSP finely-chopped fresh chives

                Bring 6 cups water to boil in a large skillet, . Add 2 TBSP salt. Add asparagus; cook 2 minutes. Adjust heat as needed. Drain and immediately transfer to a bowl of water+ice to chill. Drain. Blot dry with paper towels.

                In a large bowl, whisk: vinegar, honey, mustard, scallion. Then, whisking constantly, drizzle in oil until combined. Add salt and pepper. Toss the asparagus with vinaigrette. Arrange on platter. Chill 30 minutes.

                Cut the egg in half. Remove the yolk & press it through a sieve.Chop the egg white finely and add it and some chives to the yolk. S&P. Sprinkle the egg/chives over the asparagus.


                1. re: Rubee

                  I served this warm, not chilled. I didn't have any scallions for the vinaigrette, and I also skipped the egg and and chive garnishes. I liked this, and will make it again. I actually used only one tablespoon of olive oil in the vinaigrette, and found that sufficient, but may use a bit less mustard, or perhaps a touch more honey next time.

                2. Shaved winter vegetable salad with apple and (no) raisins from winter menu 8.

                  I hate raisins, so I skipped the raisins in this recipe. It was probably a bad idea as I'm sure the raisins would have added some sweetness. Instead, I think I should have add another apple. Also, in the photo on page 313 you can clearly see that he wants you to cut the carrots paper thin length-wise, but he doesn't say that in the instructions, so we sliced them into paper-thin rounds instead. The carrots practically disappeared both in appearance and taste, so, I think cutting it length-wise would be a good idea.

                  You have the option to add fresh dill--we didn't. Also, he calls for 3 TBSP plus 1 tsp of olive oil and I only used 2 tsp. In the end, everything tasted (unsurprisingly) overwhelmingly of fennel, which makes sense because it calls for toasted and ground fennel, fresh fennel and fennel fronds. I didn't love this recipe, but it's probably my own fault for adapting it. Maybe it will be better as left-overs today.