Summer Salads III

by Mark R. Vogel

            Some of you may recall those amusing Foster’s beer commercials.  They began with the narrator stating:  “How to speak Australian,” followed by a humorous, hyperbolic tidbit characterizing all things Aussie as rugged, big, and bold.  My favorite was the humongous steak sizzling on a grill.  A hand descends into view and lays a piece of parsley on it as the narrator proclaims “salad.”  On that note, allow me to welcome you to the third edition of “Summer Salads.”  Down under or not, salads are a great way to beat the heat, curtail your girth or simply add some variety to the burgers and hot dogs.  Try one of these while you’re waiting for the grill to heat up.

 

KOHLRABI & PEA SHOOT SALAD

 

8 oz. pea shoots

1 medium to large kohlrabi bulb, peeled and finely julienned

4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon rice wine

2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pushed through a garlic press

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small batch chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons avocado oil or vegetable oil

 

            Pea shoots can be found in Asian supermarkets.  Kohlrabi can be found in both Asian and American markets.  A member of the turnip family, (and hence it’s sweet turnip like taste), kohlrabi has pale green bulbs attached to long leafy greens, both of which are edible. Make sure the bulbs are firm and the greens have no yellow spots.  Cut off the bulbs and peel them just as you would a turnip.  It’s crunchy and delicious and goes well in salads.  Combine the kohlrabi and pea shoots.  Mix all the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl except the oil.  Then gradually drizzle in the oil, constantly whisking, until fully incorporated.  Toss the dressing with the greens and serve. 

 

SWISS CHARD, SPINACH, & WATERCRESS SALAD

 

1 batch red Swiss chard, stems included, roughly chopped

1 batch baby spinach

1 batch watercress stems included, roughly chopped

1 cucumber, seeded, and sliced

10 radishes, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pushed through a garlic press

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried parsley

4 teaspoons Champagne vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 

            Combine the Swiss chard, baby spinach, watercress, cucumber and radishes.  Mix all the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl except the oil.  Then gradually drizzle in the oil, constantly whisking, until fully incorporated.  Toss the dressing with the greens and serve.  Depending on the size of the “batches” of the chard, spinach and watercress, you may need to adjust the amount of the dressing accordingly. 

 

GRILLED CORN & TOMATO SALAD

 

6 ears of corn

8 -10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

3 ripe avocados, chopped

1 small to medium red onion, chopped

1 large handful chopped parsley or cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

4 teaspoons lemon juice plus extra as needed

4 tablespoons olive oil

 

            Husk the corn, brush it with olive oil and place it on the grill.  Turn it every minute or so until each side browns until completely grilled.  Meanwhile, place the halved tomatoes on the grill, skin side up.  Flip them when the first side is seared.  Grill the other side until the skin blisters.  Remove them from the grill, remove the skins, and chop them.  Allow the corn to cool somewhat and then slice the kernels from the husks with a large knife.  Remove the flesh and pit from the avocados and finely chop them.  Combine the corn, tomatoes, avocado, onion, and cilantro.  Add some salt and pepper.  Mix a little more salt and pepper with the lemon juice.  Drizzle in the oil, constantly whisking, until fully incorporated.  Toss the dressing with the salad and taste.  If it seems a little flat add some additional lemon juice and/or salt. 

 

 

JICAMA & RED APPLE SALAD

 

This recipe comes from Shoprite Supermarkets Culinary Program.  For information on their cooking classes go to shoprite.com.

 

3 red apples, unpeeled, cored, cut into matchsticks

1 medium jicama, cut into matchsticks

1 small red onion, diced

4 oz freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Lettuce leaves

Fresh mint, chopped, to taste

 

Combine apples, jicama and onion in a bowl.  For the dressing, whisk the orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, and sugar until dissolved.  Toss the salad with the dressing and then place portions in lettuce-lined bowls.  Sprinkle with chopped mint and serve.

 

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