Category Archives: Salads

Cranberry Fruit Mustard Salad

cran mustard salad (300x226)Doves and Figs Cranberry Fruit Mustard was the inspiration for this beautifully simple salad with dressed with cranberry mustard vinaigrette and topped with dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese. I love dishes that span the seasons and this salad would be perfect for a hot Summer day lunch but would also be delightful as part of a Thanksgiving diner.

For the greens, I like to use Boston lettuce or other tender head lettuce. Rinse the lettuce and instead of tearing the leaves, turn the head upside down and cut out the stem/core carefully. You can now place the whole head in a shallow bowl. It will look like a flower.

To make the dressing take a mason jar and add two teaspoons of Cranberry Fruit Mustard. Pour in 1/2 cup of good olive oil and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Shake well and pour over greens (It is fun to do that step in front of your guest at diner).  Sprinkle dried cranberries and crumbled goat cheese and serve right away.





Carrots All Day

Munching carrots all day longcarrots
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Sunny colored, tasty sweet
That veggie is a winner

The hazard of selling your wares at a farmers market is that you are often too busy serving customers to shop and when you are not selling, a visit to a market is not always the first choice of activity. I miss the days of strolling through the market and laying carefully selected fresh produce into my big red shopping basket.  Now my shopping trips are more of a grab and run affair. At a market recently, I saw my friend from Winter Moon Farm and his rainbow array of root vegetables.  With only a few minutes to spare, I said a quick hello and filled a bag about to the bursting point with yellow, pale orange, bright orange, and red carrots and one ridiculously large daikon radish and rushed back to my booth.  My hubby saw the bag and reminded me that I had just bought several pounds of carrots at the supermarket. Not to worry I assured him; I had a plan that would use a lot of carrots. Now all I had to do was figure out what that plan was…
With a bit of creative thinking, I made a new recipe for low-fat carrot bread, a carrot and daikon salad, and I used the carrots for a “nest” under a roasted chicken. We also ate carrots with homemade white bean dip, carrots in chicken salad, and a few carrots found their way into meatloaf. Suddenly, the worry about what to do with all those carrots was replaced with counting the days until the next market when I can get more!

Low-Fat Carrot and Cranberry Bread carrot bread
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/3 cup orange juice
zest of one medium orange
1/2 cup dried cranberries
(Loaf pan and cooking spray for pan)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites, orange juice and zest and mix until combined. Add carrots and cranberries and stir until blended together. Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes until well browned and cooked in the center.

Carrot and Daikon Salad with Dried Cranberriescarrot salad
3 1/2 cups of shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded daikon
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine carrots, daikon, and cranberries in a bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the carrot mixture. Chill in refrigerator in a covered bowl or jar for at least two hours (overnight is better).


Give Me A Break!

turnip saladRich, warm, creamy flavors are holiday standards.  This is the time of year when even Scrooge can’t resist indulging in a cheese filled or bacon-wrapped little something.   Layer upon layer of indulgent foods can become tiring unless there is something simple with a bit of bite to break them up.  A green salad is a classic option but some beautiful scarlet salad turnips I found at the farmers market made a unique accompaniment to a traditional holiday meal.  This dish is also great for pot luck parties and buffets as it provides a nice option for raw food and vegan food fans. 

1 large scarlet salad turnipturnip apple close
1 medium tart apple
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp raw, unfiltered honey (or more to taste)
1 tsp caraway seeds

Shred turnip and apple on mandolin or food processor
Blend in cider vinegar and honey
Sprinkle in caraway seeds and toss
Chill until ready to serve

Crustacean Kugel

crab kugel sliceMy Dad is on a fusion cuisine kick.  Most people mix popular dishes from different countries or styles but not Dad.  He has been making up dishes that blend traditional Jewish foods with a bit of trafe (non-kosher food).  His latest idea, after eating some delicious crab salad was to make a crabmeat kugel.  Kugel is a traditional Jewish noodle dish while shellfish, such as crab, is trafe. It sounded delicious to me so as soon as I arrived in Florida last week we started planning out the recipe.  Pretty much the standard greeting in my family is hugs, kisses and a cry of “what are we eating…”.

Mark, Dad, and I went to the farmers market to gather ingredients.  Meanwhile, Mom made calls to gather relatives to share the results of our cooking experiment and she dashed into an Italian bakery for cookies to sustain us as we worked.

I love making kugel and have another recipe posted on my blog for a wild mushroom kugel (Russian Noodle Kugel).  We wanted the Crustacean Kugel, as we named it, to be very rich, light and puffy but not to overwhelm the delicate crabmeat.  I have given an approximate recipe below (kitchen got a little crazy and recipe documentation suffered in favor of fun).  We served the kugel with a delicious orange and spinach salad with tangerine, honey & ginger dressing and I will post that recipe shortly as well.

Crustacean Kugelcrab kugel
1 pound of broad egg noodles
8 eggs separated
1 stick unsalted butter
12 ounces farmer cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
8 ounces crabmeat
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup chopped, pitted kalamata olives
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Salt, Black Pepper, and Sweet Paprika to taste
Butter and handful of unflavored breadcrumbs for baking dish

Boil the noodles until just tender and drain.  In a large bowl, mix 6 tablespoons of butter into the hot noodles.  Saute shallots in 2 tablespoons of butter until soft.  Mix shallots into noodles along with cheeses and olives.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Separate the eggs and beat the whites until stiff peaks form.  Blend the yolks into the noodle mixture and then gently fold in the beaten whites.
In a small bowl mix the crabmeat with dill and lemon zest.
Butter a 9 x 14 baking dish and lightly coat with breadcrumbs
Pour half the noodle mixture into the dish, sprinkle in the crab, and top with remaining noodle mixture.  Sprinkle with paprika and bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees until puffed and lightly brown and set in the center.

An Evening of American Food and Song

On Wednesday night we threw a party that combined my love of food and food history with my husband’s love of music and singing.  We invited a group of my fellow food blogger friends and the members of the Sounds of Concord Barbershop Chorus (where Mark sings Bass) to an Evening of American Food and Song.  

The foodies selected and prepared dishes that reflected their vision of the  American spirit and the Barbershop guys sang their hearts out for us including a rousing version of the Star Spangled Banner .  Despite the showers we gathered in the house for cocktails and dinner but when the rain let up the boys filed out to the patio to fill the summer night with their harmonies. 

It was a magical evening of friendship, fun, and fantastic food.  I will try to give you a flavor of some of the festivities and dishes but honestly I was having too good a time schmoozing and listening to the music to snap a ton of pictures.  I think we may just have to make this an annual event!

 Some of the dishes we made and our clever and talented friends brought included:

Ham Fancies, Homemade Pimento Cheese,  Daisy Sandwiches, Picnic Pickles
I adapted these appetizers from the 1917 American cookbook, “1000 Ways to Please A Husband”  Mark was not convinced that cutting pimento sandwiches into cute little shapes is the way to a man’s heart but he did enjoy the homemade picnic pickles

Red, White, & Blue Grass-Fed Beef Sliders
Jon Ross-Wiley from grilled up baby burgers topped with blue cheese and tomatoes that were delicious and fit the theme perfectly.  He shared with me that our friends at CityFeed in JP donated ingredients when they heard about our party.  Thanks guys!!

Summer Succatash

Anita Freed made as American a dish as you can get featuring foods that reminded her of pre-Colonial Thanksgiving feasts.  In more modern times, ingredients arrive in a CSA box. You can get the recipe for this tasty dish and other local food recipes from her blog, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Swiss Chard

Wild Rice Salad
Lara Zelman, a.k.a Good Cook Doris also brought us a dish filled with native foods and Colonial transplants from the earliest days of our nation.  Wild rice and cranberries already grew here and parsley and celery (often Lovage or cutting celery)  were frequently grown in Colonial gardens.  This dish was delightfully cool and light; perfect for a hot summer night.

Sue McCrory who brings us many delicious stories and events in the Public Radio Kitchen brought her family’s favorite baked beans.  “Pat Riley’s (Vegetarian) Baked Beans”  were so rich and full of baked in sweetness that I just wanted to heap them on a plate with a chunk of cornbread and eat huddled in a corner, growling like a hound if anyone came near.  Luckily, she made a huge pot so there was plenty to share.

Another hearty dish was brought by Mike and Laura Angotti.  I am not typically a huge chili fan, but this cowboy style recipe full of meat and beans in a thick flavorful sauce won me over.  They also supplied blue corn chips and shredded cheese to finish it off right.

 Corn and blueberries, as native American foods, played a big part in the menu and were featured in a corn casserole from Brian (a Barbershopper), a blueberry/strawberry cornbread, and some petite blueberry muffins bursting with berries made by Margie Gordon Hurwitz.  The muffins came nestled in linens in a vintage  basket with a little tag that read “House of Hurwitz”.

Blueberries were also used in a drink we called a Yankee Doodle, which contained gin, homemade blueberry syrup, tonic water, and a squeeze of lime. There were homemade maraschino cherries and blueberries to add that packed a punch!  The other drink pictured was a moscato based sangria with summer fruits.   Of course we also enjoyed a selection of good old American beers.

Alan Bone, another of the Barbershop singers, brought a Southern Macaroni Pie and brought home an empty dish-yum! 


Mark insisted that an Americana party had to have a watermelon basket and so he carved up this number just shortly before the party began.  It was filled with melon and berries and went well with the fresh cherries one of the guests brought.

There was also more fruit for dessert in the luscious blueberry cobbler made by Laura and Rob Ciampa who mostly blog about great restaurants and travel in New England but clearly some terrific things come out their own kitchen!  There was a blueberry pie from the charming Noj and Lily Zachariah as well of some fine singing from Noj. 

And I made some fruit tarts if only to justify owning 19 tart pans. Blueberry with cornmeal crust, sour cherry with almond crust, and peach spice with shortbread crust.

And throughout the evening lots of singing and chatting and smiles:

Click here  for more pictures!

Sounds of Concord is always looking for men who like to sing to join them.  Check the website for details and rehersal times.

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

I created this salad to showcase the variety of produce available at the farmers markets in November in Massachusetts.  I served it at  the Public Radio Kitchen Meet Up, Eat Up event last week. 


You can substitute any root vegetables that you find at the market but I used:

Kimball Fruit Farm Carrots (yellow, apricot, bright orange) and Onions
Grateful Farm Fennel bulbs
Busa Farms Beets (gold, red, and purple), Carrots, and Red Leaf Lettuce
Four Town Farm Macomber Turnips

The vegetables were all roasted in the oven until tender and then dressed while still warm with the fig, lemon, ginger dressing below.  I then chilled everything overnight.  To serve the salad, the vegetables were arranged over red leaf lettuce and a bit of extra dressing was drizzled over the entire salad.  This would make a lovely light supper with a selection of New England cheeses, a crunchy loaf of bread, and a nice glass of white wine.

 Fig, Lemon, & Ginger Vinegar Dressing
3 Tbs Fig Jam (homemade or store bought)
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs Water
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Crystalized Ginger (finely chopped)
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ tsp Lemon Zest

Blend all ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk or in a food processor
Chill until ready to serve