Posts Tagged sides and salads

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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  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.

http://rosemarried.com/2014/01/28/soba-noodle-salad-miso-chard-pesto-honey-roasted-carrots/

Buckwheat Soba Salad with Snow Peas and Radishes

Did you know that the word ‘soba’ is the Japanese name for ‘buckwheat’?

And did you know that buckwheat isn’t really wheat at all?

In fact, buckwheat comes from an entirely different botanical family. Buckwheat is actually in the same family as sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb.

You learn something new everyday! I think this information is amazing. Who knew that buckwheat was related to rhubarb?! (I certainly did not!)

As for the recipe? It’s light, it’s seasonal, and it’s perfect for picnics, BBQ’s, and weeknight dinners in the backyard.

Buckwheat Soba Salad with Snow Peas and Radishes

Ingredients

  • 1 package of buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 cup fresh snow peas
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 6-8 radishes, sliced thinly
  • Sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons Ponzu (or lemon/lime juice)
  • 1.5 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and chill until use.
  2. Mix together soy sauce, ponzu (or citrus), sesame oil, agave, and rice vinegar. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. (I personally like a lot of citrus, so I used ponzu and lime juice.)
  3. Toss together the noodles, snow peas, sliced radishes, and green onions. Drizzle the soy dressing over the salad, and toss to coat. Be careful not over-do it on the sauce (this salad’s beauty is in it’s lightness and simplicity). Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve chilled.

http://rosemarried.com/2013/06/13/buckwheat-soba-salad-with-snow-peas-and-radishes/

FRIDAY FAVORITES: SALAD EDITION

I’m in a bit of a salad phase. Blame it on the hot weather or blame it on the abundance of greens in my garden — whatever the reason may be, I’ve been craving and consuming a lot of salad.

Tis the season, I suppose.

For this reason, I decided to post a round up of my favorite spring and summer salads. Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorites.

FRIDAY FAVORITES: SALAD EDITION

asparagus arugula feta salad

1. ASPARAGUS & ARUGULA SALAD WITH FETA AND MINT

apple fennel celery salad

2. SHAVED APPLE, FENNEL, AND CELERY SALAD

peanutnoodles

3.SPICY PEANUT NOODLE SALAD

avocado slaw

4. RED CABBAGE SLAW WITH CREAMY AVOCADO DRESSING

radishy

5. RADISH LEAF PESTO PASTA SALAD

Basil Watermelon Salad by Rosemarried

6. THE PRETTIEST WATERMELON SALAD WITH BASIL, BALSAMIC AND MOZZARELLA

blackberry grnbean2

7. GREEN BEAN AND BLACKBERRY SALAD WITH GOAT CHEESE AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS

cornsalad1

8. GRILLED CORN SALAD WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND AVOCADO

Farro and Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Lemon

I’ve been in a fog for nearly a week now. My nose is stuffed up, my throat is sore, and my head aches. I’m not sure if this is a cold, a sinus infection, allergies, or a combination of all three. Whatever it is, it isn’t particularly enjoyable.

I’ve had the hardest time writing this post, simply because food simply doesn’t sound good. I can’t taste anything and I can’t smell anything. It’s all a little bit pathetic.

I made this salad before I got sick — back in the good ole days when I could taste and smell and enjoy. It was bright and lemony and full of the flavors of spring. It was lovely.

I’m sure I’ll feel better in no time, and that food will taste good again. For now, I’ll have to live vicariously through all of you. If you happen to make this dish, I just ask that you take a moment and savor it.

Enjoy the flavors of spring for me, please. :)

Farro and Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Lemon

Serving Size: 4 as a

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (or more) hazelnut or olive oil
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced chives
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. First, cook the asparagus. Bring a medium or large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating, trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Cut asparagus into 1″-2″ pieces. When the water comes to a boil, place asparagus pieces in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and plunge into an ice bath (or rinse with cold water). Drain asparagus, pat dry, and set aside.
  2. To make the dressing — mix together lemon juice, olive oil (or hazelnut oil), chives, salt, and pepper. Toss the farro, asparagus, and hazelnuts together in a shallow bowl. Pour dressing over the farro mixture, and stir to coat. Gently stir in goat cheese crumbles and lemon zest. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.

Notes

Adapted from The Kitchn

http://rosemarried.com/2013/05/25/farro-and-asparagus-salad-with-goat-cheese-and-lemon/

Shaved Apple, Fennel, and Celery Salad

I love life’s simple pleasures: the colors of autumn, sipping a great cup of coffee, putzing about the house in my crappy old blue plaid pajama pants.

In my own life, I find that I am constantly striving for simplicity. I want to take the time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. And to be quite honest, I’m failing miserably.

My life isn’t simple, at all.

I’m always busy.

I’ve probably said this before, but I’ve discovered that cooking can be extremely therapeutic. When I step into the kitchen, everything feels different. I fall into a certain rhythm while chopping, slicing, and stirring. I find enjoyment and fulfillment in tweaking and adjusting, tasting and perfecting.

Maybe it’s cheesy to admit, but the kitchen is where I find my sense of simplicity. Specifically, when I cook food and share it with others, somehow everything just feels right. And sometimes, this feeling translates directly into the actual food on the plate. When life feels busy and overwhelming, I’m often compelled to make food that is remarkably simple and beautiful.

This is one of those things. It isn’t fancy and it isn’t complicated.

It’s simplicity on a plate. It’s an apple and fennel salad, with a few simple ingredients mixed in.

It’s everything I’m striving for, and not quite achieving.

I’ll get there eventually.

Shaved Apple, Fennel, and Celery Salad

Serving Size: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe apple
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 small fennel bulb (with fronds)
  • 1.5 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons mayo
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Dried lovage or toasted pecans

Instructions

  1. Using a mandoline (or knife or food processor), thinly shave the fennel bulb and celery stalks (reserve the fennel fronds for the dressing). With a paring knife, cut the apple into thin matchsticks. (I like to slice the apple with the mandoline and then use a knife to julienne the apple into smaller pieces.) Gently toss the apple, celery, and fennel together in a bowl.
  2. Mince the fennel fronds until you have roughly 1 tablespoon. Stir together the olive oil, mayo, vinegar, minced fennel fronds, salt, and pepper (and lovage, if using). Taste, and adjust the portions if necessary.
  3. Gently toss the salad with the dressing, just to coat. Serve at room temperature. Garnish with fennel fronds and toasted pecans.This salad keeps for about a day in the fridge, but it really tastes best the day you make it. Enjoy!

http://rosemarried.com/2012/10/25/shaved-apple-fennel-and-celery-salad/

Pumpkin & Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing (Recipe Swap)

Last month, I wasn’t able to participate in the Recipe Swap, as I was driving across the country with my sister. In two years of swapping, this is the only post I’ve missed! I was bummed to miss out on all the recipe swap fun, but driving across the country isn’t exactly conducive to cooking. (On the contrary, driving across the country is conducive to eating a lot of crappy food and drinking gas station coffee.)

That being said, it’s good to be back.

There are times when Christianna emails the swap group our recipe for the month, and I’m completely inspired by it. This was not one of those times. This month’s recipe – “Russian Salad” is just plain nasty. It’s essentially a potato salad with veal and herring. (Yes, herring.) If I’m being truly honest, I got to the herring part of the recipe and decided to read no further. I am just not down with fish in my potato salad. So, I went in a totally and completely different direction. Really, the only thing my pumpkin kale salad has in common with Russian Salad is that they are both….salads. That’s it.

I blame this salad on Pinterest. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s been a bit of a ‘pumpkin craze’ on Pinterest as of late. It’s all pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cocktails, etc, etc. I hate it! You see, I love pumpkin. I love it in curries and soups and stews. I love pumpkin in salads, gratins, and casseroles. Pumpkin is an amazingly flavorful and versatile fruit. And, sure, I love pumpkin pie as much as the next person, I just happen to believe that pumpkin does not belong in coffee. ;)

So, this is my take on the Russian salad, as well as my official submission to the great pumpkin craze. I hope you like it.

PUMPKIN & KALE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING
Makes 6-8 servings

Salad ingredients:
1 small heirloom pumpkin (or 1/2 of a large pumpkin)
2 heaping cups of chopped lacinato kale
2 heaping cups of roughly chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup candied pecans*
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Tahini dressing:
2 tablespoons sesame tahini paste
2 small cloves of garlic
the juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon water (more, if needed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper

*You could easily make your own spiced or candied pecans, or use plain pecans. I happened upon some candied pecans at Trader Joe’s that I thought were quite tasty in this salad.

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a Silpat.

Using a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then cut each half in 2 or 3 pieces (whatever is easiest to handle). Using your knife, carefully remove the pumpkin skin from each segment. Once the skin is removed, chop the pumpkin into 1″ cubes. In a bowl, toss the pumpkin cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to coat. Spread the pumpkin pieces into an even layer on the baking sheet, and roast until fork tender, but firm (about 30 minutes). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

While the pumpkin is cooling, mix the dressing together. Stir together tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice. The mixture will thicken and turn a lighter shade. Begin adding water, a little at a time. Stir until the mixture is light and creamy, and the desired thickness. Stir in yogurt and garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the chopped lettuce and kale. Toss with tahini dressing, and gently mix in the pumpkin cubes, pecans, and minced parsley. Toss with a bit more tahini dressing, until coated. Taste, and season with extra salt & pepper, if needed.



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.

ASPARAGUS & ARUGULA SALAD WITH FETA & MINT
Note: While I call for roasted asparagus in this recipe, you could also grill, steam, or saute√© 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.)