Posts Tagged sides and salads

My Favorite Lentil Salad

Lentils are a funny little legume. They’re teeny tiny little bits of awesome. They aren’t particularly pretty or glamorous, but lentils are affordable and nourishing. Bonus: lentils are also super delicious.

I cook with lentils often. And by often, I mean I make the same two lentil recipes over and over and over again: this Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Cilantro and Bacon and this crazy delicious Lentil Salad. I’m sorry to all other lentil salads out there, but this is my favorite lentil salad. It’s just so unexpected and awesome. The lentils are mixed with dried cranberries, capers, goat cheese, greens, and a phenomenal dressing that uses every spice in the cabinet. (If you think I’m kidding, look at the recipe. So. Many. Spices.)

I don’t know what else to say about this lentil salad. It’s wonderful and delicious and I make it all the time. I love it, my husband loves it, even the baby loves it. Just give it a try, and I bet this will quickly become your favorite lentil salad. Just make sure your spice pantry is well-stocked before you attempt to make the dressing because it uses a LOT of spices. (I noticed that this recipe really taps into “The C Spices”: cardamom, cayenne, cloves, coriander, cumin, cinnamon. So if you find yourself making this salad without a recipe, just toss in all the c spices and a few others and you’ll be fine!)

Oh, one last note! The original recipe calls for dried lentils (which then have to be cooked), but I’m lazy and I skip that step and just buy the pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s and thus this salad is the easiest EVER. No cooking required. Thank goodness for the magic of TJ’s. 


my favorite lentil salad with goat cheese, cranberries, capers and spinach |


My Favorite Lentil Salad


  • Salad:
  • 1 pound cooked lentils
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup capers
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • A few handfuls of arugula or spinach
  • Optional add ins: fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped pecans or almonds, green onions.

  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg


  1. Place all dressing ingredients in a small mason jar and give it a good shake until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooked lentils, dried cranberries, capers, and sliced shallots. Toss with the dressing. Gently fold in the greens and half of the crumbled goat cheese, stir to coat. Before serving, crumble the rest of the goat cheese atop the salad. Serve at room temperature.
  3. This salad keeps well in the fridge for a few days.


Adapted from My New Roots






Pickled Nectarine and Burrata Salad

I blinked.

I blinked and suddenly it’s September.

I blinked and summer is already fading into fall. There are leaves on the ground and sweaters in stores.

I blinked and my baby is suddenly feeling less and less like a baby. Margot Louise will be a year old next month. (How did that happen?!) She refuses to crawl, but she is so close to walking. She is fierce and funny and stubborn and independent. She jabbers all day long. She devours (most) everything I put in front of her. She’s obsessed with my soba noodle salad and roasted sweet potatoes (with a touch of cinnamon and coconut oil). She hates blueberries.

She makes me feel all the things. (And now, a gratuitous cute baby pic!)

margot louise

Despite my best attempts, the blog has largely been ignored. I’ve been cooking and eating and eating and cooking. (If you don’t believe me, peep my Instagram feed.) I just haven’t written a darn thing. I warned you this might happen, and I had every intention of proving myself wrong. It turns out that I was right all along.

I’ve made this pickled nectarine and burrata salad at least 3 times this summer (and have been meaning to post the recipe for weeks!). The grocery store next to my house started carrying burrata cheese and I have very mixed feelings about this development. The problem is that burrata is so incredibly delicious and I want to eat it all the time. However, burrata ain’t cheap. You’ve heard the expression “champagne taste on a beer budget”? Well, I’d like to change that expression to “Burrata taste on a Velveeta budget”. I love me some burrata cheese, but my wallet does not.

That being said, this salad is totally delicious and the creamy burrata mixed with the pickled nectarines is OUT OF THIS WORLD. The cheese is worth every penny. (Note: if you can’t find burrata cheese or would like a more affordable substitution, fresh mozzarella would also work nicely in this salad!)

So, soak up the last of summer while you still can. Buy all the nectarines and all the burrata cheese and eat this salad every night of September. (Ok, that might not be the reasonable choice. However, I implore you to make this salad while nectarines are ripe and in season. Get on it!)

pickled nectarine and burrata salad |

Pickled Nectarine and Burrata Salad

Serving Size: Makes 2 plated salads


  • 2 nectarines, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • Fresh urrata cheese


  1. Mix together vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and nutmeg. Combine nectarines and red onion in a small bowl and pour vinegar mixture over the fruit. Set aside and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour.
  2. Drain nectarines and onions (reserve liquid). Combine the fruit and onions with arugula, mint, and basil. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of pickling liquid with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Toss the arugula and nectarine mixture with the dressing.
  3. To plate, place a small portion of burrata in the center of a shallow bowl. Arrange salad around the burrata cheese. Drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil or dressing. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with crostini or crusty bread.

 Recipe adapted from Epicurious


Shredded Brussels Sprout Caesar with Bacon

The first time I made this Brussels sprout Caesar salad was for Thanksgiving dinner. I posted a photo of the salad on my Instagram feed, and a couple of people asked if I’d be sharing the recipe. I responded with a resounding yes, and let them know that I’d be posting the recipe the following week.

That was 3 months ago. (But who’s counting?!?)

As I’ve said time and time again, this business of having a baby is time consuming. It’s completely awesome, but it takes every spare ounce of energy that I can muster. And when I do finally get a few moments to myself, I have to use that time very wisely (i.e. working on projects for my clients, taking a shower, doing laundry, etc.) The ole blog tends gets left in the dust.

But, I am determined to get back in the saddle. I’ve been cooking a lot lately, and it feels great. I’m still trying to find the time and energy to photograph and write about food, but I’m getting there. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. (Please tell me you’re reading this in Bill Murray’s voice. What About Bob? is the best.)

So, it took me 3 months to get around to posting this Brussels sprout Caesar salad recipe. This salad is worth the wait, I promise. It’s all of the best things, tossed together into one tasty salad: Brussels sprouts seared in bacon fat, mixed with a tangy yogurt Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese, and crispy bacon.

Folks, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Brussels Sprout Caesar with Bacon |


Shredded Brussels Sprout Caesar with Bacon

A warm Caesar salad, made with shredded Brussels sprouts, crispy bacon, and a tangy yogurt Caesar dressing. Adapted from


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced very thin
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 anchovies, minced
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. First, cook the bacon. (I’m more of a stovetop bacon kind of girl, but feel free to cook the bacon to your liking!) Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, flipping once, until the fat renders and the bacon is good and crispy. When ready, remove the bacon from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan, and pour off the rest of the grease.
  2. Next, make the dressing. In a food processor or blender pulse together the greek yogurt, anchovies, garlic, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
  3. Heat skillet with reserved bacon grease over medium heat. Toss shredded Brussels sprouts in the pan, making sure to evenly coat with bacon grease. Cook the sprouts for 4-6 minutes, until warm and browning along the edges.
  4. Remove sprouts from the skillet and toss with a few spoonfuls of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with grated parmesan cheese and crumble bacon over the top of the salad. Serve warm, with an extra dusting of freshly grated black pepper.

Brussels Sprout Soba Salad with Fish Sauce and Mint

I’ll just come right out and say it: This is a David Chang recipe.

Really, all I did was take his genius recipe and fiddle with it a bit. I made the sprouts and the sauce, mostly to his specifications. Then, I made some buckwheat soba noodles according to the package directions. Lastly, I tossed the soba noodles with the sprouts and sauce. It wasn’t rocket science, but it did make for a quick and tasty dinner.

Since I didn’t deviate much from the original recipe, there’s no point in posting it here. If you want to know how to make David Chang’s amazing Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce and Mint, just head on over to Food & Wine Magazine. However, I will leave you with a few notes on my adaptation of the recipe.

brussels sprout soba salad with fish sauce and mint |

If you plan on making this Brussels sprout soba salad, here are a few notes:

*First off, this recipe translates nicely into a cold soba salad. In addition to making Chang’s sprouts, you just need to cook up a few buckwheat soba noodles (according to package directions) and toss the sauced sprouts with the noodles. I let the noodles and sprouts cool a bit, and ate the salad at room temp. However, the cold leftovers the next day were even better.

*I found Chang’s recipe to be a litttttttle too fish saucy for my tastes, so I dialed back the fish sauce just a bit and upped the lime juice. I also added thinly sliced green onions to the salad, for kicks.

*The spicy rice crispies are awesome. Don’t skip this step. Make them. Just don’t toss them in/on the salad until you’re ready to serve or they’ll get soggy.

*I didn’t have a red chile on hand, so I substituted a jalapeño  from my garden. This was a great idea in theory, but that particular jalapeño was face-meltingly spicy. Thankfully, I didn’t put the whole darn pepper in the sauce (otherwise, it would have been completely inedible).

*The recipe on Food & Wine calls for ‘boiled’ Brussels sprouts, but doesn’t specify any boiling instructions. In my opinion, you really don’t want soggy/overcooked Brussels sprouts! I just blanched mine in boiling water for 2 minutes, then doused the sprouts in an ice bath. This just softens the sprouts and gets them ready for a good charring in the skillet!

And, that’s all I gotta say about this Brussels Sprout Soba Salad! It’s a spicy and simple weeknight meal, full of interesting and unique flavors. Bonus: it tastes even better the next day. Do it!


Spring Strawberry Salad with Lime Poppy-Seed Vinaigrette

This is such a simple and pretty spring salad. I won’t pretend this salad is anything new or revolutionary – let’s be honest, we’ve all seen spinach and strawberry salads before – but I think the simplicity of this salad is what I love most about it. It’s chock-full of gorgeous spring produce – strawberries, spinach, fennel, radishes, and snap peas – and the veggies are perfectly complemented by a bright and balanced homemade lime and poppy-seed vinaigrette.

This is one of those recipes that can easily be changed and adapted, depending on what you have on hand (or what you’re in the mood for). You could substitute lettuce, kale, arugula, or any other type of leafy green for spinach in this salad and it would be equally delicious. Or, try using pecans or hazelnuts instead of almonds. Whatever the case, you can’t go wrong with the combination of ripe strawberries, spring veggies, goat cheese, and a sweet and tangy vinaigrette.

spring strawberry salad | rosemarried

Spring Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Vinaigrette


  • Several handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 3-4 french breakfast radishes
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • Pinch of yellow mustard powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Wash and pat dry the fruits and vegetables. Remove strawberry tops and slice into halves or quarters. Slice the snap peas thinly, at an angle. Using a mandoline, shave the fennel bulb and radishes into thin slices.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients – oils, vinegar, lime juice, poppy seeds, and spices.
  3. Gently toss the spinach with the strawberries, snap peas, fennel, and radishes. Toss with poppyseed vinaigrette, to coat. Sprinkle chopped almonds and goat cheese crumbles atop the salad. Sprinkle a few fennel fronds on the salad, if desired. Add an extra dash of black pepper, for an extra kick.

Shredded Cabbage Salad with Orange Sesame Vinaigrette

If you happen to live in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Fargo, Anchorage, Denver – or any other city that has a real winter – I have a new found respect for you. No, seriously. How do you do it?! The cold, snow, ice, wine, and freezing rain. I hate it all. We just had 4 straight days of snow in Portland and I feel exhausted and cold and tired and like I need a month-long tropical vacation.

When the snow began to fall on Thursday morning, I was immediately enamored. It was just so pretty and fluffy…and I didn’t want it to stop! I wished that we all could have a snow day (or two!). I wanted to cozy up with a good book, my bunny, my cat, and my husband. I wanted to watch bad television shows and drink red wine. I wanted my own little wintery staycation.

Well, I certainly got what I wished for. I was stuck in my house for 5 days, due to “extreme weather conditions”. It was novel at first, but quickly turned maddening. I cleaned my house. I did boatloads of laundry. I cooked a ton. For the most part, I cooked familiar dishes, such as meatloaf, mac n’ cheese, and harissa-stewed butternut squash. At some point during the storm, however, I decided to make something light and healthy. I raided my fridge and found a head of cabbage, a couple of green onions, carrots, and an orange. And thus, this salad was born.

This salad is the result of snowstorm and sheer boredom, but that shouldn’t deter you. The salad is bright and fresh and wonderful. Honestly, it tastes like sunshine. (And since we’re right smack the middle of winter, I think we could all use a bit more sunshine, don’t you?)

Cabbage Salad with Orange Sesame Vinaigrette | Rosemarried



1 small head (green) Napa cabbage
1 carrot, julienned
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
Small handful of cilantro (8-10 stems), finely diced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 large clove garlic, minced
The juice of half an orange, plus 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1 teaspoon honey
Salt & pepper, to taste

Using a sharp knife (or mandoline or food processor), slice or shred the cabbage into thin strips. Toss the cabbage with the sliced carrots, green onions, and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, minced garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and honey. Toss the cabbage mixture with the dressing to coat, Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the salad and lightly toss. Serve at room temperature.

Soba Noodle Salad with Miso Chard Pesto and Honey Roasted Carrots

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen last week, prepping and preserving in anticipation for the PDX Food Swap. Truth be told, I haven’t been spending a ton of time in the kitchen as of late. Life has been busy and chaotic and I just haven’t had a lot of time or energy for creative kitchen projects. But, the PDX Food swap was looming in the distance and I just couldn’t stomach the idea of going to the swap empty-handed.

So, I carved out some time in my week and forced myself to get into the kitchen. Over the course of a couple days, I cooked and created and canned and preserved. I made a giant mess of my kitchen, but it was totally worth it.

I felt accomplished and inspired…and strangely relaxed. Cooking has that effect on me, I suppose.

roasted rainbow carrots

Of all the things I cooked this past week, I think this soba salad is my favorite. The chard and miso pesto is earthy and savory, dark and uniquely delicious. (Truthfully, it isn’t really a pesto at all. I just wasn’t sure what else to call it.) The savory pesto paired beautifully with the natural sweetness of the roasted carrots, and let me tell you, it made for a damn good soba noodle salad.

(Also: I begrudgingly brought a couple of jars of the chard and miso ‘pesto’ to the PDX Food Swap, but I selfishly wanted to keep it all to myself. It’s too good.)

Soba Salad with Swiss Chard and Miso Pesto

Soba Salad with Miso Chard Pesto and Honey Roasted Carrots

Serving Size: 3 as an entree, 6 as a side


  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup red miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package soba noodles
  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots (or 5-6 regular carrots)
  • 1.5 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • Green onions, ends trimmed and sliced thinly (for garnish)


  1. Roast the carrots (can be done ahead of time): Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and trim carrots (do not peel). If your carrots are very thin/small, you may leave them whole. If the carrots are thick, slice in half (or quarters) lengthwise. Pat the carrots dry and place in a bowl. Toss with sesame oil, honey, red chili flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Lay the carrots in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and fork tender. When cooked to your liking, remove from the oven and set aside until use.
  2. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, wash the chard and trim off the stems. Set stems aside. Roughly chop the chard leaves. When the water is boiling, add the chard leaves into the water and stir to combine. Blanch chard in the water for 2-3 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove chard and transfer to a bowl. Reserve the pot water.
  3. Using a food processor (or blender), blend the blanched chard, garlic, miso paste, and rice vinegar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally, and blend until a smooth paste forms. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
  4. Bring the pot of reserved blanching water to a boil. Cook the soba noodles in the water, according to package directions. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the soba noodles with the chard pesto. Add a few teaspoons of the pesto at a time, until the noodles are evenly coated. (Extra pesto can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge) Taste, and season with salt, pepper, or red chili flakes as needed. Serve at room temperature and garnish with roasted carrots and sliced green onions.
  6. Note: I adapted this recipe from Chow, and they chose to sauté the chard stems in oil before tossing them in the soba salad. I chose to go another route with the stems, and quick-pickled them in a mixture of rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. I was pretty pleased with my pickled chard stems, and thought they made a crunchy, bright, and briny addition to the salad.