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Lanie’s Green Granny Dressing

My basil plant is flourishing and Saturday evening Hubby grilled steak for dinner, so I hit the garden to whip up a batch of green goddess dressing for our salads. Since it was the first time I referred to my Green Goddess Dressing recipe (June 2016 archives) this season, I realized I was short parsley on the ingredients list. Rather than make a second trip to the market for one ingredient, I tried substituting Granny apple I had on-hand. It’s green, so I decided to give it a whirl, and the apple gave a nice freshness to the dressing. This is my new spin on Green Goddess Dressing I call Green Granny Dressing:

 

 

 

In food processor, blend until creamy green:
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 oz fresh basil, rinsed and patted dry (I loosely fill a regular-sized colander when I go to the back yard to pick basil, and that weighs in at 1 oz when I check it on the kitchen scale. Fresh basil at the market tends to be packaged in 1 oz containers.)
1/4 Granny apple, cored + chopped
2-3 scallions, whites + greens, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed + chopped
2 anchovy filets, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Especially tasty on a BLT salad (February 2015 archives), spinach salad with cucumbers & berries & feta or even on fresh watermelon.

 

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Lanie’s Garden Green Goddess Dressing

I have been enjoying hosting luncheons for girlfriends in my new home. We find it’s more relaxed, healthier and more cost-effective than meeting at a restaurant. Homemade green goddess dressing, blended with fresh herbs from my urban patch of garden, has emerged as a new specialty. Since Greek yogurt has become a staple in my ‘fridge, my salad dressing recipe has evolved since last time I posted it. This is my updated recipe:

In food processor, blend until creamy green:
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 oz fresh basil, rinsed and patted dry (I loosely fill a regular-sized colander when I go to the back yard to pick basil, and that weighs in at 1 oz when I check it on the kitchen scale. Fresh basil at the market tends to be packaged in 1 oz containers.)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, rinsed and patted dry
2-3 scallions, whites + greens, sliced (I’ve substituted 1 large shallot, sliced.)
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed + chopped
2 anchovy filets, chopped (You can skip the anchovies, but this is the secret ingredient which gives a big impact in the dressing.)
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 – 1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Especially tasty on a BLT salad (February 2015 archives), spinach salad with cucumbers & berries & feta or even on fresh watermelon.

 

Lanie’s Decadent Green Pea Salad

green pea salad
I am blessed each month to attend Inspire Women’s Inner Circle where the sweet staff and wonderful teacher, Anita Carman, refresh and encourage women’s ministry leaders. Since one of my personal missions is to “feed the sheep,” I enjoy taking a dish to share for the refreshments. And since busy women can tend to rush and not eat well, I try to offer something a little substantial and nutritious for the sisters. This week I made green pea salad, a fresh, delicious spring dish with blue cheese dressing as the finishing touch to make this salad decadent. This is my recipe:

Green Pea Salad

1 (16 oz) bag frozen peas
3-4 eggs, hard boiled
1 garlic clove
3 carrots
1 radish
1 scallion
2 tsp Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning
fresh finely ground pepper
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing

Hard boil eggs. While eggs are boiling, drop garlic clove in pot to blanch for 20 seconds; then remove garlic, peel and finely dice. Remove eggs from pot; add salt to hot water to season; add frozen peas; bring back to boiling and boil for just a minute. Strain peas into colander; transfer peas to large bowl of ice water to shock and preserve color; pour peas back into colander to drain.

Slice in food processor: finely diced garlic + carrots + radish. Transfer veggie mix to mixing bowl.
Add to veggie mix: finely sliced scallion + peas + seasonings. Toss veggie mix and peas.
Add: peeled and chopped hard boiled eggs. (Pampered Chef chopper is a good gadget for chopping hard boiled eggs.) Toss lightly.
Add blue cheese dressing; toss to coat salad evenly.

Options: Add crumbled bacon or diced ham for extra smokey, meaty flavor.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup real mayo
1/4 cup milk (Whole milk or butter milk are best, but use what you have.)
fresh juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp seasoned pepper medley
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Whisk until smooth: mayo + milk + lemon juice + spices.
Fold in blue cheese.

Use 3/4 cup for decadent green pea salad, and store the rest in a jar with tight lid to dress salads or tomato slices.

Gala Grape Salad

gala grape salad

Hubby & I were privileged to be guests at the Houston Grand Opera Ball this season. One of the delicious dinner items that spectacular evening was a refreshing grape salad. While picking out the key elements in the salad was easy, recreating the dressing posed more of a challenge. When the bottle dressing I intended to incorporate was not on the shelf at the market, I consulted with my foodie step-son and tested and tasted to develop my own fresh citrusy dressing. Here is my creation:

In a salad bowl, whisk together:
1/2 lemon, juiced (approx 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice);
1 Tbs red wine vinegar;
2 Tbs lemon infused olive oil;
1 Tbs classic Dijon mustard;
1 tsp local honey;
1/8 tsp kosher salt;
Freshly ground black pepper.
Whisk, whisk, whisk to make the dressing creamy.

Add and toss:
3-4 cups seedless grapes, rinsed and sliced lengthwise (I prefer a combo of red and green grapes);
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (approx 1/4 cup);
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped.

Toss, chill, serve. Brava!

Note: I don’t buy especially fancy olive oil, but I received a specialty product as a gift so want to find good uses for it. If you don’t have lemon infused olive oil, quality virgin olive oil will be just fine for this salad dressing. Also, if you prefer a stronger lemon flavor, add lemon zest when you juice the lemon.

http://www.chron.com/entertainment/slideshow/Scenes-from-the-HGO-Ball-Espana-107354/photo-7806936.php

BLT Salad with Avocado and Green Goddess Dressing

We like to feast for birthdays in our Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty – Kingwood office, and this week we celebrated someone special with a healthy soup & salad bar. I was inspired to create a Green Goddess dressing so thought a BLT salad with avocado would make a good base for the flavors of the fresh herbs in the dressing. This is my creation:

In food processor, blend until creamy green:
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 oz fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2-3 scallions, whites + greens, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed + chopped
2 anchovy filets, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 – 1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Salad fixin’s:
B – 3-4 strips Bacon
L – 5 oz baby spinach Leaves
T – 1 heaping cup grape Tomatoes
Avocado

Cut bacon into wide strips; cook; drain on paper towel. Rinse grape tomatoes; cut in halves. Cut avocado in half; remove pit; slice flesh into cubes; scoop out of shell; spritz with fresh lemon juice.

Build salad with spinach + bacon + tomatoes + avocado. Dress with Green Goddess dressing, or serve dressing on the side.

Tip: When Hubby & I open a fresh pack of bacon, we slice the slices in half and stack in portions of 6-12 half slices in quart freezer bags. To cook, it’s easy to pull out a portion of frozen bacon slices. When cooking bacon for baked potatoes or BLT salad, first cut the frozen slices into strips with a very sharp knife. Be careful! Drain the cooked bacon bits on paper towel. If it’s steak night, add a little olive oil to the leftover bacon drippings; cook a mess of rinsed spinach; season with kosher salt and fresh lemon juice. Bonus sauteed spinach recipe!

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