Posts Tagged With: Salad

Kale and Sweet Potato Taco Salad – Vegetarian

Finally, a kale salad that is definitely worth writing home about! I will be honest, I had low expectations of this, but it was great, really fun and enjoyable to eat. IMG_2456

I think there were 2 key points, how well massaged the kale was and the crunch of the tortilla chips.IMG_2452

The big surprise was how well the avocado and sweet potato went together.


Kale and Sweet Potato Taco Salad

Very slightly adapted from Betsy Life’s Vegetarian Kale Taco Salad

3 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (from my neighbor)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

½ of a 14oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 head of kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces

2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped

1 avocado, diced

¼ cup shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese mix

Crumbled tortilla chips

Salsa, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.


Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss kale with remaining olive oil and taco seasoning. Massage for 3-5 minutes until kale begins to soften.

Toss black beans and onions with seasoned massaged kale.IMG_2452

Mix with avocado warm sweet potato, shredded cheese.IMG_2454

Serve with tortilla chips and salsa.  Enjoy!



Categories: Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Asiago Crisps for Tomato Salad

I must fess up – I wrote this last September when the last of my tomatoes were coming in.  It just did not feel like the ‘right’ time for a tomato salad recipe, so I decided to hold it off til now, when a nice tomato salad would sound quite appealing.

Most of the time you see recipes for parmesan crisps, but I was wondering, what about Asiago crisps.  I love a good Asiago. So I grated some Asiago, mixed it with a little flour and baked it.


I kept the salad simple, just tomatoes drizzled with some pumpkin seed oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.


The result…a refreshing salad with a bit of a kick to it…


Asiago Crisps for Tomato Salad

1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

3/4 tsp flour

2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick (from the garden)

pumpkin seed oil (or other oil of your choice)

balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt


Heat the oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the cheese and flour.  Place in 2 piles on the parchment paper.


Pat down into a 3-inch circle.IMG_7823.JPG

Bake in the center of the oven for about 7 minutes, til lightly browned.  It will continue to cook a bit after you take it out.  Let cook on the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a paper towel.


Lay the tomatoes on a flat plate, slightly overlapping. Drizzle lightly with the oil, vinegar and salt.


Break the crisps into pieces and sprinkle on the tomatoes. Serve and enjoy!IMG_7828.JPG

Serves 2 – simply multiply for more servings.


Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment


There is a middle eastern restaurant near my daughter’s university…Ali Baba in Newark, DE. It is one of my favorite places to eat. They have many delicious dishes, but somehow, whenever I go there I have to order the fattoush.  Fattoush is a middle eastern bread salad, and I think I am addicted to it.


I am not sure if I have mentioned it, but this has not been a great summer for my tomatoes.  Good ones have been few and far betwen, but I finally have a few good ones on the counter.


I also happened to have some pita bread and one last cucumber from our garden. Time for me to do my own riff on fattoush!


I had a lot of lima beans in the fridge that needed to be used.  I realized that roasted lima beans would go wonderfully on top of the salad.


I used a “dressing” similar to one I use for a Persian tomato-cucumber salad, toasted pita and roasted lima beans – a fattoush with my own twist. And it was both yummy and satisfying.  I am quite proud of this one!



2 large tomatoes, chopped (from the garden)

1 large green pepper, chopped

1 or 2 cucumbers, sliced and/or chopped (from both mine and a friend’s gardens)

2 or 3 green onions, sliced

2 pitas, toasted

1 tsp dried mint

Juice of 1 lemon

Roasted lima beans



Mix the tomatoes, green pepper, cucumbers and green onions in a bowl.


Toss with the mint.

IMG_7789.JPG Break of the pitas into bite-sized pieces and add to the salad. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top and toss.


Divide the salad among the serving plates and top with roasted lima beans.  Enjoy!


Serves 3.

Note:  if you do not use the lima beans, you will need to add salt and parsley to the salad.


Categories: Cucumber, Green Peppers, Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 5 Comments

Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds

It is time to use two of the ingredients I brought back from Israel:  Dates and Almonds.


I have been eating both with my breakfast – greek yogurt with almonds and fresh fruit, with a date and a fig on the side.  But here was my opportunity to make them the stars at dinner-time… Yotam Ottolenghi’s spinach salad with dates and almonds from his Jerusalem cookbook. Pretty fitting given the origin of my dates and almonds.


The other star of this salad is sumac.  My husband brought sumac into my life with Persian cooking, now it is one of my favorite flavors.  I just wish I could capture the deep red of the spice better.


Pita is used to make the croutons for the salad.  I did not have any pita in the house, so I used flatbread.  The flatbread worked fairly well, so I would use either in the future.


For the crouton mixture, the flatbread and almonds are toasted in butter and olive oil, then seasoned with sumac, chili flakes and salt – this was out of this world!


Add to this, fresh baby spinach and the dates, which were marinated in vinegar with red onion and the resulting salad is phenomenal! I can say this since Ottolenghi came up with it, not me; but really, it is utterly delicious!  If you can get some good Medjool dates and almonds – do this, you won’t be sorry.

Baby Spinach Salad with Dates & Almonds

from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Cookbook

1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 1/2 ounces dates (100 grams), preferably Medjool, pitted and quartered lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (30 grams)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 small pitas (about 3 1/2 ounces, or 100 grams), roughly torn into 1 1/2 -inch pieces (I used 2 flatbreads)
1/2 cup whole unsalted almonds (75 grams), coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sumac
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
5 to 6 ounces baby spinach leaves (150 grams)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Put vinegar, onion and dates in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix well with your hands. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes, then drain any residual vinegar and discard.


Meanwhile, heat butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add pita and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring all the time, until pita is golden. Add almonds and continue cooking until pita is crunchy and browned and almonds are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes more.


Remove from heat and mix in sumac, chile flakes and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside to cool.


When ready to serve, toss spinach leaves with pita mix in a large mixing bowl.


Add dates and red onion, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the lemon juice and another pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.  Enjoy!


Serves 4 to 6 .
Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Our Rosh Hashanah Dinner with Israeli Za’atar Salad

I traditionally make my Honey Orange Roast Chicken for Rosh Hashanah, but now that Lauren is a pescatarian, I made  poached fish with romesco sauce for our main dish.  It was a colorful table, with the brown Date Challah, green and red ‘Never Say Never Again’ Lima Beans, orange romesco sauce, golden honey, and multi-colored Israeli Za’atar Salad.  We also had matzo ball soup, apples and honey, but those did not make the main table setting.


The Israeli Za’atar Salad was a great use of my last 2 cucumbers, my tomatoes, and a mix of peppers from both my garden and Farmer Kim.


Za’atar is a mixture of several herbs and spices, most often including sumac, oregano and sesame seeds. I used an organic za’atar mixture that I had bought, but you can also make it at home.  Yotam Ottolenghi includes a recipe in his Jerusalem cookbook.


Israeli Za’atar Salad

2 medium cucumbers (from the garden)

2 – 3 tomatoes (from the garden)

1large or a few small peppers (from the garden and Farmer Kim)

1/2 red onion


1 generous Tbsp za’atar

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Cut all salad ingredients to a 1/2” dice. Mix together.


Add the dressing ingredients and mix well.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Enjoy!


Serves 4 – 6.

Categories: Cucumber, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Mediterranean Salad and Garden Update

When I was in Turkey, I was eating vegetarian to settle my stomach from having eaten more meat in 1 week in Iran than I usually eat in 2 months.  I am not complaining, the food was delicious, but my body had enough meat, so a switch to a vegetarian diet was what I needed. As part of that, I became a little obsessed with mediterranean salads, called Akdeniz salatasi in Turkish.


The surprising ingredient in them all was corn – not something I think of as mediterranean, but they tasted good in the salads so, why not? The salad at my hotel was my favorite.  It had walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and a pesto vinaigrette, something I decided I definitely needed to recreate!

mediterranean salad 1

That salad also included other interesting, and tasty, ingredients such as sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts. I recreated the salad shortly after returning from Turkey. The combination of the vegetables, cheese and nuts made for a hearty salad, worthy of being a dinner in itself.

mediterranean salad 3

The directions below are for 1 dinner-sized salad. Adjust the quantities to our taste. To make more salads,simply multiply the quantity of ingredients.

Garden Update

We have been having so much rain here, I have not been getting out into the garden as often as I should, so weeding becomes a major activity on the weekend.  The only good side is that the weeds are so big and the ground so soft, they are easy to pull.

Just as I am finishing the last of the food I prepared and froze last year, the garden is kicking into production.  It wont be long before I start restocking that freezer.  That is a good thing, since an empty freezer looks so sad and lonely.

This past weekend I pulled all the garlic bulbs, 45 in all.  They are happily drying away in my garage.  They are mostly beautiful; my only complaint was that they did not produce any garlic scapes.  I fell in love with those last year, I loved putting them in my pestos and frittatas.  I will have to resort to buying some at the farmers market this week.


I also harvest the rest of the kohlrabi.  I may have let it get too big, I will see when I go to cook it.  I also kept the kohlrabi greens; look for a recipe for kohlrabi greens coming up soon. 🙂

kohlrabi greens

The first zucchini and green beans got picked, as well as some sugar snap peas and cucumbers.  There were even some nice-sized broccoli from a second harvest!  The swiss chard are growing nicely, waiting for me to cut them on the days I will cook with them, no ned to cut it  just to store it.  I also cut a bunch of basil to make some pesto to get us started for the year (ah, the first items in the freezer for 2013!).


The counter top is not yet filled with my produce, but the fridge is!

Mediterranean Salad

Pesto dressing

1/2 cup packed basil leaves (from the garden)

1 tbsp pine nuts

1/2 tsp minced garlic

Kosher salt and freshly ground back pepper, to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

touch of lemon juice


Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (from the garden)

1 – 2 ounces feta, cubed

2 sundried tomatoes, sliced (from the garden)

Handful of grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup cucumbers, sliced & quartered

5 – 6 walnut halves

2 – 3 Tbsp corn kernels

4 – 6 Kalamata olives, pitted

Pita crisps


For Dressing:

Grind basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt & pepper in a spice grinder. Stir in olive oil and a touch of lemon juice (if desired). Stir or shake until combined.

For Salad:

Place all vegetables in a bowl, distributing them evenly.

mediterranean salad 2

Sprinkle on dressing and place pita crisps around the outside. Enjoy!

mediterranean salad 3

Makes 1 salad, the ingredients can be multiplied to make more salads.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 3 Comments

Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds

Time to try another recipe from Yotam Ottalenghi’s Jerusalem.  I thinned the spinach in my garden so I ended up with some nice baby spinach leaves.  When I combined them with spinach Arielle picked at Farmer Kim’s I had enough for a good salad!

Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds 2

There are many stars in this salad, but I have to say the spiced almonds and pita chips were amazing!

Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds 3

Add to that the marinated dates (instead of medjool dates, I used some wonderful dried dates my husband brought back from Iran last year) and you have heaven in a salad.

Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds 4

As I was making the salad, I realized that I did not have all the right ingredients, so I had to adapt.  Although my salad was delicious, I think his original ingredients would work just a bit better, so I have used his in the recipe below and noted what I used differently.

Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds

from Yotam Ottalenghi’s Jerusalem

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (I used white)

3 1/2 oz Medjool dates, quartered lengthwise (I used dried Iranian dates)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 small pitas, about 3 1/2 oz, torn into 1 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup whole unsalted almonds, coarsely choppped

2 tsp sumac (this was the super-super ingredient!)

1/2 tsp chile flakes

5 oz baby spinach leaves (I used a mix of baby and regular leaves)

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice



Put the vinegar, onions and dates in a small bowl.  Add a pinch of salt and mix well with your hands.  Leave to marinate for 20 minutes, then drain any residual vinegar and discard.

Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds 1

Meanwhile, heat the butter and half the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat.  Add the pita and almonds and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring all the time, until the pita is crunchy and golden brown (it may take a little longer if you have very fresh pita).  Remove from heat and mix in the sumac, chile flakes and 1/4 tsp salt.  Set aside to cool.

Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds 3

When you are ready to serve, toss the spinach leaves with the pita mix in a large bowl.  Add the dates and onion, the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, and another pinch of salt.  Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Dates and Almonds 5

Serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Tomato Cucumber Salad – Variations


Nothing says “Summer” to me more than when I start making daily tomato cucumber salads.  The other ingredients can vary, but the stars are my cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes.  The vegetables are so flavorful in themselves, they need only the most minimal dressing to show off their flavors.  Thinking about it makes me smile, eating it makes me smile even more!

A few years ago, I was in Gratz, Austria and learned that that region is known for the quality of its pumpkin seed oil.  Since I had never even heard of pumpkin seed oil, I had to try it.  Not only is it delicious, it is a very healthy oil.  But beware, it is very green and shares that color with whatever it touches.  The flavor is warm and friendly, one of my favorites for the tomato cucumber salad.  It pairs well in a dressing with balsamic vinegar.

If you want very warm flavor, use walnut or hazelnut oil.  For lighter dressings, olive oil is my go to oil.  For the acid in the dressing, balsamic vinegar warms things up, while lemon juice and lime juice brighten the salad.  I also play with the salt.  Kosher salt is my standard salt, but I also use various sea salts, depending upon what I have in the house.

I always experiment and mix up the combinations in my dressings.  So, go ahead and play.  If it tastes too oily, add more acid, too acidic add more oil.  Watch the salt though.  Add it in small amounts; once you add it you can’t recover except by increasing all the other ingredients.

There are no hard and fast rules to this salad.  Just try some new flavors, celebrate the tomato, and make yourself smile.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Diced or chopped tomatoes (about 2 times as much tomato as cucumber) (from the garden)

Diced or chopped cucumbers (from the garden)

Dressing (see below)


Chopped or minced peppers (bell or italian) (from the garden)

Red onions (diced)

Combine all the vegetables you are using in a serving bowl, toss with dressing.  Serve and enjoy!


A little dressing goes a long way.  The amount below will be enough for a salad for 4.

I vary the dressing almost each time I make it, using different combinations of oils and acids.  The amounts are always very similar:

2 Tbsp oil

1 Tbsp acid

1/4 tsp salt

pinch freshly ground black

Types of oils:  Extra Virgin Olive, Pumpkin Seed, Walnut, Hazelnut

Types of acids:  Balsamic vinegar, Red Wine vinegar, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, adjust seasoning to taste.  Pour on the salad and mix well to coat.

Play with different combinations.  If you do not want to commit to 2 Tbsp of the seed or nut oils, try using a mix of half seed/nut oil half olive oil.

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Lentil Salad with Swiss Chard

This morning I picked the second-to-last large bunch of swiss chard.  There are still more bunches, but they are small second-growings of bunches we have already eaten.  I am in a bit of a hurry to finish the chard so that my okra plants (which are interplanted with the chard) can get the full light they need to grow strong.

It will be another hot day and my son and I have a play date at the pool for the afternoon, so I wanted to make a salad that could be made this morning and served at dinner tonight.  Thus, the lentil salad.   If you want to use it as a side salad, you can omit the feta.

Lentil Salad with Swiss Chard

1 pound lentils

3-4 cloves of garlic, divided

12 oz baby white potatoes

l bunch of chard – enough to make 4 cups of chopped leaves (from the garden)

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes

3/4 cup spring onions or scallions, sliced thin (from Filasky’s Produce)

1/2 cup chopped flat leat parsley (from the garden)

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

salt & pepper to taste

4-6 ounces feta

Pour boiling water over the lentils, covering them by at least 2 inches, and let them soak for 30 minutes.  Drain and put the lentil in a pot with well-salted water to cover.  Add 2 whole, peeled garlic cloves.  Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender (do not overcook or they will get mushy). Drain again and discard the garlic cloves.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water til they are tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and allow them to cool completely.  Peel and cut into about 1/2 inch size pieces.

Wash the chard and remove the leaves from the stems.  discard the stems.  Chop the leaves or cut into thin strips.  Chop the remaining garlic.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes, saute for 30 seconds then raise heat to high and add chard leaves, cook, tossing, until they wilt.  Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of vinegar and toss.

In a large, wide bowl, combine the lentils, chard, potatoes, spring onions, parsley.  Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of oil, 1 Tbsp of vinegar and 1 Tbsp lemon juice – toss til well combined.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  If you are using feta, toss it in now as well.

Let the salad sit for at least 1/2 hour, taste again and correct the seasoning.  Enjoy!

Makes about 8 cups, enough for 4 large main dish servings or 8 side dish servings.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Swiss Chard, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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