sides and salads Archive

Red Cabbage Slaw with Creamy Avocado Dressing: Recipe Swap

The recipes from our Recipe Swap never cease to surprise me. They’re always odd, or old-fashioned. Sometimes they’re just plain gross.

This month, Christianna from Burwell General Store asked a group of us to re-interpret a recipe for “Coleslaw – Oregon Style.

I was instantly intrigued by this recipe, as I am an Oregonian. And I happen to love Oregon, a lot. I assumed that an Oregon-style coleslaw would be awesome.

I was quite wrong.

When I looked closely at the recipe, I realized that this coleslaw recipe calls for exactly one cup of sugar. ONE CUP OF SUGAR FOR 2 POUNDS OF CABBAGE. That’s a lot of sugar. It just seems so un-Oregon?

So, my goal for this recipe swap was to help set the record straight. I set out to make an Oregon-style coleslaw that reflects what I know and love about Oregon. I made a coleslaw that’s healthy and light. It’s unique. It’s green (Literally green. The dressing is made out of an avocado and green onions). It doesn’t have any sugar in it whatsoever.

This is my version of Oregon-style coleslaw. If I may say so myself, I think Oregon would be proud.


(Adapted from Blackberries and Blood Oranges)

1 small head of red cabbage (or 1/2 of a large head of cabbage)
1 bunch of green onions
1 avocado
1-2 carrots, julienned
1-2 serrano chilies
1/2 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons lime juice
Salt & pepper, to taste
Optional: Extra avocado for garnish

In a blender or food processor, blend green onions (reserve a few to toss into the slaw), vinegar, chilies, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, avocado and half of the cilantro. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. (The dressing will be rather thick at this point, so feel free to add extra oil, vinegar, or water until it reaches desired consistency.)

Using a knife or mandoline, slice the cabbage thinly. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, sliced carrots, and the rest of the cilantro and green onions.

Gently toss the cabbage mixture with the avocado dressing, until coated. Chill for 15 minutes before serving. Prior to serving, squeeze a little extra fresh lime juice over the slaw.

Note: this slaw does not keep well. It is best consumed on the day you make it. However, if you have extra dressing leftover, it can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for a few days.


Asparagus & Arugula Salad with Feta and Mint

I took a week off from everything.

It’s been wonderful.

I slept in (which I never do). I went to the gym. I spent time with friends and family.

I cooked, I baked. I concocted fun summer cocktails.

I watched a lot of Breaking Bad.

I went off the grid.

It was just what the doctor ordered.

And now, I’m starting my new job with Plate & Pitchfork. Our summer dinners start next weekend and I honestly can’t wait. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it’s the work I want to be doing. It’s what I love.

Oh, and I suppose I should say something about this asparagus salad. That’s what you’re here for, right?

The salad is remarkably simple. It’s bright and summery and wonderful. The asparagus is crisp, with just a hint of delicious char. Since we are nearing the end of asparagus season, I’m imploring you to snatch up as much as you can. Get it while it’s hot.

Note: While I call for roasted asparagus in this recipe, you could also grill, steam, or sauteé the asparagus. Really, it’s up to you! I prefer roasting or grilling, as I think the char on the asparagus tastes particularly good in this salad.

1 bunch of asparagus (approx. 1 lb)
1.5 cups arugula
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Drizzle of good quality olive oil (1 tablespoon, plus more for roasting)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Toss asparagus with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the oven is hot, roast asparagus in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until asparagus is roasted. I prefer my asparagus to be slightly undercooked, so it’s still crisp (but cooked).

Remove asparagus to a plate (or bowl) to cool.

Once the asparagus is fully cooled, toss the asparagus with the arugula. Drizzle olive oil over the mixture, and toss with vinegar and lemon juice. Gently toss in the feta cheese and mint. Season with salt & pepper. Add more olive oil or lemon juice, if needed.

Serve immediately. (Note: this salad doesn’t keep particularly well. It is best if you eat it the same day you make it.)

Roasted Strawberry Vinaigrette

First off, I’d like to thank you all for your support, kind words, and encouragement! I’m so excited to start my new job at Plate & Pitchfork, and your support means a lot.

In all the excitement of preparing for the new job (and training my replacement at the old job), I’ve not had a lot of time to cook. Honestly, I’ve not had a lot of time to do anything (Laundry, housecleaning, etc.). It’s just a busy season in life.

But, I bought a few pints of strawberries at the Montavilla Farmer’s Market last weekend and they sort of forced my hand. I used up some of the strawberries to make Minted Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemony Whipped Cream.

But I was over-zealous in my strawberry purchasing (they looked so good!) and I had a lot of strawberries leftover. They were just sitting in the fridge, begging me to use them. I noticed that a couple of the strawberries were beginning to brown, and I knew I had to do something about it. I couldn’t let them go to waste!

So I roasted the strawberries and then blended them with garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and spices. I transformed the last of my strawberries into a vinaigrette (and a darn good one, at that).

I saved the strawberries and got a delicious salad dressing out of the deal.

It’s a win-win situation.

(Slightly Adapted from Glow Kitchen)
Makes 1.5 cups (or so) of vinaigrette.

1 pint of ripe strawberries (2 cups)
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
14 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, de-stem the strawberries and slice them in half. Line a baking pan with tinfoil and place the strawberries on the lined baking pan. Bake, until the strawberries are roasted and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Remove strawberries from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, blend the strawberries together with the rest of the ingredients, using a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Depending on your preference you can add more olive oil (or water) if the dressing is too thick.

Store the vinaigrette in an airtight container in the fridge. The dressing will keep for a week (or more).

Curried Potato Salad

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe.

(I’m not sure what my problem was, since this potato salad is really damn delicious.)

It’s just that potato salad is a funny thing. It’s not a particularly sexy dish, it’s a bit kitschy and old fashioned, and it certainly doesn’t look good in photographs. But good grief, it sure tastes great. But it doesn’t matter how Stepford-wife I feel when I show up to a BBQ with a bowl full of potato salad, it always gets eaten. Every last bite.

My girlfriends all implored me to post this recipe on the blog, despite the fact that it photographs like an ugly, yellow bowl of mush. (It doesn’t taste like an ugly bowl of mush, I promise.) I’ve always loved the combination of curry and potatoes, and it works just as well in this context. This potato salad somehow still tastes like the one you remember from your childhood, but with more adult flavors: curry, cilantro, and cumin.

Since Memorial Day is right around the corner, it does seem like an appropriate time to post a recipe for the ultimate BBQ side dish. Funny enough, I’m actually making this potato salad for my family’s Memorial Day BBQ, which means I’ll make this recipe 3 times in one week. Thankfully, I happen to really like this salad. And I kind of can’t wait to eat it again.

If you’re looking for something to eat alongside a giant bowl of potato salad on Memorial Day, check out my “What to Eat: Grill Edition” over at Plate & Pitchfork’s blog. I posted a little bit of everything – grilled kebabs, pizzas, veggies, meats, and more!

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!


6-10 small Yukon Gold potatoes (or other small waxy potato), cut into 1″ or 2″ cubes (skins left on)
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
1.5 Tablespoons mayo (I used Kewpie mayo)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Bring a medium-large pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the cubed potatoes to the water and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and cooked all the way through. (I test them with a fork or knife tip after 15 minutes).

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the hot water using a colander or strainer. Rinse the potatoes with cold water and set aside to continue cooling. (Optional: I like to sprinkle a bit of red wine vinegar over the potatoes at this time, as it absorbs into the potatoes and gives them an extra tang.)

In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, mayo, red wine vinegar, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and salt and pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking. Set aside.

Once the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, gently toss them with the diced shallots and celery. Gently stir in the yogurt mixture, to coat. Once the potatoes are coated in the yogurt mixture, gently stir in the chopped cilantro. Chill in the refrigerator for at least a half an hour before serving. Just prior to serving, garnish with more fresh cilantro and a dash of curry powder.

Sautéed Radishes with Butter and Chives

Hello friends! I feel like I’ve been gone forever.

I was in Chicago and St. Louis for a week, and I had a lovely time. I caught up with old friends, ate a lot of good food, and experienced tornado season in the Midwest. I then came back home and wrote a big, long post about my travels (complete with lots of pictures!) and somehow managed to delete the entire post. My dear friend ‘Auto-Save’ managed to save immediately after I deleted everything I’d written. Go figure.

So, you’re just going to have to trust that Chicago and St. Louis were fantastic. I just don’t have it in me to re-write the post.

But, now I’m back home in Portland. As great as it is to be home and sleeping in my own bed, I can’t help but feel slightly overwhelmed. There are emails to write, vegetables to plant, clothes to be washed.

And then the sun came out and wrecked all of my plans (in the best possible way)! I had every intention of accomplishing things, but all of those intentions went out the window the second the sun came out. I went to the farmer’s market, BBQed with friends, drank margaritas in the sunshine, and generally had a fabulous weekend.

I did manage to stop by the farmer’s market on Saturday morning. I had planned on only picking up a couple of things, but instead left with two giant bags of produce: radishes, asparagus, ramps, rhubarb, tomato plants, and more. I can’t get over how much I love spring in Oregon! I was so excited about my farmer’s market purchases that I promptly came home and made myself a delicious spring meal: tartines with ricotta and ramp and radish pesto (more on these in another post), and sautéed radishes with chives and butter. Nich works on Saturday evenings, so I poured myself a glass of French rose and dined alone in the backyard. It was absolutely perfect.

I feel almost silly posting the recipe, as it’s ridiculously simple. But I’m a new convert to cooked radishes and thought I might make a few converts out of y’all! I love radishes, but like most people, I grew up eating them raw. It wasn’t until somewhat recently that I realized that radishes are super delicious when cooked. I’m not sure how to explain the flavor of a cooked radish, it’s just a bit more mellow and sweet than a raw radish. Cooked radishes retain some of their radish-y bite, but the cooking calms them down a bit. (Also, most things taste better when sautéed in butter. It’s a fact.)

I could talk til I’m blue in the face, but really, you must try it for yourself. Just cook up some radishes with butter, and you’ll be happier for it. I promise.


1 bunch of radishes, washed and leaves removed (reserve leaves for another use)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced chives
Salt & pepper, to taste

Slice radishes into quarters (or sixths, if the radishes are large).

Heat butter in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and beginning to brown, toss in the radishes. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground pepper, and give the radishes a stir.

Cook radishes, until golden brown and caramelized on the outside, about 8 minutes. (Stir occasionally, to ensure that all sides of the radishes are browned.) When the radishes are done, remove from heat and toss with the minced chives. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Whole Grain Mustard

We had two glorious days of spring in Portland this week. It was sunny and 65 degrees in Portland and the streets were flooded with pasty white hipsters.

I joined with my fellow pasty-skinned Portlanders and reveled in the sunshine. I even left work early on Thursday, just to soak in a little extra sun. On a whim, the husband and I decided to invite a few people over for dinner that evening.

We BBQed. We sat outside (without jackets!). We pretended it was summer, never once stopping to think about the fact that it’s March in Portland.

And while we knew in our hearts that the sun wasn’t here to stay, we made the best of it while we could.

It was perfect.


And here we are, 3 days later. As I write this, I am curled up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of coffee. It is absolutely horrible outside and our two days of sunshine seem like a distant past.

But you know what? I’m OK with it. We made the most of those two days, and we’ll have more beautiful days to come.

When those days arrive, you can be sure I’ll be grilling up some Brussels Sprouts.


Adapted from Serious Eats

Note (1): If it’s still cold and miserable where you live and you don’t feel like BBQing, these Brussels sprouts could easily be cooked on a grill pan on the stove.

Note (2): This is a very basic mustard sauce, and could easily be adapted. A touch of honey would be lovely with it, or perhaps some crushed garlic.

1 pound of Brussels Sprouts
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste

Equipment needed:
Bamboo skewers
BBQ or Grill pan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the sprouts (i.e. cook them in the boiling water) for 3-4 minutes. Remove sprouts from the boiling water and rinse with cold water (or plunge into an ice bath).

Remove sprouts from cold water and pat dry. Trim the bottom stems of the sprouts, and remove the outer leaves. Mix together the mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, toss the Brussels Sprouts in the mustard sauce. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

Once sprouts have marinated, prepare them for grilling. Skewer sprouts, placing 3-4 sprouts on each skewer. (Note: Since the sprouts aren’t cooked all the way through yet, they are a bit tough to skewer. You can also place the sprouts directly on the grill without a skewer, if they are large enough to not slip through the grill grate.)

When the grill is nice and hot, place the skewered sprouts on the grill. Grill for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until the sprouts are nicely charred on all sides. When ready, remove the sprouts from the grill and toss with a bit more mustard sauce.

Enjoy immediately!

P.S. I had a few leftover grilled sprouts, so I tossed them into a curry noodle bowl I had for lunch the next day. It was amazing.

Roasted Broccoli with Sriracha, Honey, and Soy Sauce

This recipe is really, really easy.

This isn’t one of those awful recipes that makes a lot of promises (It only takes 15 minutes! It will look perfect! Everyone in your life will love you forever if you make this for them!), but then fails to live up to said promises (It actually took two hours! And it looks/tastes like cat food! Everyone hates me!).

No, this isn’t one of those recipes (I’m looking at you, Martha).

I will not promise you the moon. Instead, I will make very realistic promises about this dish.

This dish can be prepared in under two hours (realistically, it should take 15 minutes).

This dish will taste good (as long as you like the taste of broccoli and as long as you don’t add so much Sriracha that your tongue burns off).

These are the promises that I’m prepared to make at this time.

In all seriousness, if you like broccoli you should make this. I invented this recipe one night, in a desperate attempt to quell my hunger after a long workout at the gym. I came home and was disappointed to find a rather empty fridge: I had raw broccoli and some leftover brown rice. I was tired, sore, and cranky – but somehow I managed to throw together this dish. I’m so glad that I did. This is now my new favorite side dish/main course/work lunch/ mid-day snack. I’ve made this broccoli 3 times in the past week and a half. I’m slightly obsessed.

So, I felt that I had to share it with you all.

Roasted Broccoli with Sriracha, Honey, and Soy

1 small crown of broccoli, cut into bite size florets
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup slivered almonds
4 green onions, sliced thinly
Optional: Red chili flakes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or a Silpat.

In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, Sriacha and black pepper. Pour mixture over the raw broccoli and toss to coat.

Spread broccoli pieces in an even layer across the baking sheet. Roast for 8-10 minutes, until broccoli is tender (and the outer edges are beginning to turn dark brown).

Remove broccoli from the baking sheet to a bowl. Toss with almond slivers, green onions. Taste and adjusting seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately. (I like to eat it atop brown rice with a little extra soy sauce…)