Tag Archives: salad

Crab Salad with Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette


Living by the coast has its perks, one of them being same day fresh dungeness crab. It’s something I look forward to every winter, perhaps even more than the holiday season. Best of all, making crab is a great excuse to stay indoors and entertain with friends.

This salad is light, yet full-bodied enough to satisfy your hungry boyfriend. I followed this recipe to cook the crab (make sure to ask your seafood purveyor to crack and clean the crab; Whole Foods will do it for free), which is a great meal for dinner itself. Truth be told, this salad was created because of leftovers from the aforementioned dish. And it was so good.

To make the salad, I combined the cooked lump crab meat with arugula, grapefruit slices, carrot ribbons, green onions and toasted walnuts. Toss it together with a fresh lemon-tarragon vinaigrette, and you have a gourmet crab salad made to impress even the most discerning eaters.

Crab Salad with Lemon-Tarragon Vinaigrette

You will need:

2 cups cooked lump crab meat (roughly)

4 cups organic arugula

1 grapefruit; cut into slices

1 cup walnuts; toasted with olive oil and a hint of brown sugar

1 carrot; shaved into thin ribbons (use a potato peeler)

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves

2 cloves of garlic; whole

2 tsp minced green onions

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 tsp honey

1. To make the dressing, combine tarragon, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and honey. Blend until smooth using a food processor.

2. Combine lump crab meat, grapefruit slices, toasted walnuts, carrots, and green onion. Serve on top of a bed of arugula and lightly toss with dressing.



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Chimichurri Steak Salad

Let me start by saying this chimichurri sauce recipe will go with anything. Chimichurri is a parsley and garlic based dressing, enhanced by lime juice and your favorite chile pepper. It is delicious with steak, and is equally pleasing with roasted veggies. Seriously, it will make your most hated (healthy) veggie taste like butter.

This salad is a robust medley of New York strip steak, roasted zucchini & mushrooms and fresh mozzarella. The best part about it: you could easily customize it to your liking, since the chimichurri sauce is so versatile. A perfect meal for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Enjoy!

Chimichurri Steak Salad (serves 4)

You will need:


  • 1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Puree all ingredients in a food processor. Set aside in a bowl; refrigerate up to two hours ahead.


  • 4 boneless New York strip steaks (6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1. Brush steaks with oil. Combine the cumin, salt and pepper. Rub over steaks; set aside.
2. Grill steaks, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 145°; medium 160°; well-done 170°).


  • 5 yellow zucchini squash; sliced
  • 3/4 pound cremini mushrooms; sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

1. Heat the oven to 475°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Toss the squash and mushrooms in a large bowl with a generous amount of salt and pepper and the olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss the mixture once, and return to the oven. Roast for an additional 10 minutes, or until the squash is brown and the mushrooms dark and slightly shrunken.

Combine the steak and roasted veggies over a bed of butter lettuce. Add fresh mozzarella bocconcini (balls), and drizzle the warm salad with as much chimichurri sauce as you like.

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Farm Fresh Quinoa Salad

I’m going to be honest with you. I did not feel like cooking last night.

I just returned from a week-long business trip to Toronto, and spent the day playing catch up. Cooking was not in the cards for me; however, I still wanted to eat something healthy and delicious for dinner. I needed to satisfy my post-workout animal hunger (you’ve been there).

Since I made sure to go to the farmer’s market last weekend, I was fully stocked with fresh vegetables. So, I decided to whip together a farm fresh quinoa salad. This was one of the easiest salads I’ve ever made, requires little equipment, and virtually no clean-up. It’s yummy and completely guilt-free, and I’m obsessed. Naturally.

It’s a lazy person’s perfect post-workout feast. Enjoy!

Farm Fresh Quinoa Salad

You will need:

1 cup cooked & cooled organic quinoa (according to directions on box)

1/2 pint organic quartered cherry tomatoes

1/2 chopped english cucumber (no need to peel, makes it crunchier)

1/2 chopped ripe avocado

sprinkle of organic freeze dried corn kernels (like this)

1 large garlic clove, minced

chopped basil

extra virgin olive oil

aged balsamic vinegar (or any good quality vinegar)

sea salt to taste

1. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, basil and garlic in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar; drizzle to your liking. Season with sea salt to taste. Stir.

2. Slowly add the quinoa to the tomato mixture and stir. Keep adding until you achieve the right balance of quinoa to vegetables (aka eyeball it).

3. Top off with chopped avocado and sprinkle with freeze dried corn. Voila! Easy-peasy.




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Seasonal Gems: Watermelon & Plums

I always like to stress the importance of seasonal produce. There are so many great arguments for buying local, organic food as opposed to the alternative; but the most obvious is reflected in taste. Seasonal just tastes better.

I recently got together with friends for a potluck dinner; we each brought something to share. Watermelon has been in season all summer, so I already knew the main star of my dish. I settled on a salad with prawns, arugula, watermelon, cucumber, feta and mint.

My favorite part about the dish, besides the just-picked freshness, was the variety of textures. It also went along famously with my friend’s plum prosciutto bruschetta, also an in-season winner. The combination of the two make a really easy, simple, summer meal. Enjoy!


Watermelon Salad

*serves 4 as a side

1 small seedless watermelon, sliced into chunks

10 cooked prawns

1/2 package arugula

1 english cucumber, peeled and sliced into chunks

10 mint leaves, chopped

1 cup crumbled feta cheese (or more if you love it)

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt + pepper to taste

1. Combine watermelon, cucumber, prawns, and mint. Add olive oil (drizzle to your liking) and toss. Add arugula, and lightly toss. Sprinkle feta on top, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Plum Prosciutto Bruschetta

8 slices of fresh, rustic bread; toasted

Humboldt Fog goat cheese

1 package prosciutto

4 organic plums; sliced and pits removed

arugula to garnish

1. Layer the following ingredients to create easy, instant bruschetta: goat cheese, prosciutto, arugula and plums. Serve.


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Tropical Prawn Salad with Mango, Avocado & Charred Corn

This recipe was the product of a long day. You would think since I write all day at work, the last thing I would want to do is come home and write about food. It’s quite the opposite; I couldn’t wait to channel my energy from the day into a random, new and fun dish.

I love this summery salad because of it’s bright colors and fresh bite. The snappy prawns along with sweet mango, creamy avocado and crispy corn make this salad an everyday must. The best part about this salad: the corn component makes it hearty enough for dinner (but light enough so you feel great).

Tropical Prawn Salad with Mango, Avocado & Charred Corn

Serves 2

.5 lb fresh, peeled and deveined prawns

2 tbsp organic tamari sauce

1 mango, peeled and sliced into chunks

1 whole avocado, sliced into chunks

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

2 ears of corn, husks removed

2 cups butter lettuce, washed and sliced

2 limes

2 cloves of garlic

extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp sea salt

freshly cracked pepper to taste

1. Wash the shrimp with cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a bowl with tamari, a squeeze of lime juice, and a few dashes of pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan, over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add shrimp and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side (you will notice a dark pink color and a little crispiness). Set aside, but do not wash the pan.

3. Heat the pan over medium-high heat, and add the scallions. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and place the two whole ears of corn in the pan. After about 4 minutes, turn the heat down, and turn the corn over. You will notice a brown charr color on one side of the corn. Cook another 2 minutes, and set aside to cool.

4. Once corn is cool, cut off the cob. Combine corn, charred scallions (yes, even the crispy ones from the pan), butter lettuce, chopped mango, and shrimp in a bowl. Toss.

5. To make the dressing, combine lime juice (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper and blend until combined.

6. Add avocado to the salad, and drizzle dressing on top. Enjoy alongside a crisp Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite white and so great with food). Happy Friday! This is what I’m doing…stoked for the weekend.

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The Vegan Rainbow

While I love the idea of shunning all animal based products – I just can’t give up meat (I’ve tried and failed). That’s not to say I don’t have vegan phases now and again, usually catalyzed by a new cookbook.

Cookbooks are like shoes – you can never have too many (as long as you actually use them).I recently started stalking Pure Vegan every time I wandered into Chronicle Books. The bright cover photo was so memorable that I had to make the recipe – naturally the book found its way home with me last weekend.

Rainbow Carrot, Tomato and Three-Bean Salad

You will need:

1 bunch rainbow carrots (decided to add at the last minute, for more texture and sweet flavor)

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 shallots, thinly sliced

One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained

One 15-ounce can butter beans, drained

1 cup coarsely chopped parsley

1/2 cup Wendy’s Vinaigrette (below)

Freshly ground pepper

1 lemon, cut into wedges

1. Preheat Oven to 375°

2. For cherry tomatoes less than 1/2 inch in diameter, leave them whole; cut larger ones in half. Put the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet cut-side up and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bake for 40 minutes, until the tops begin to slightly char. Set aside to cool.

3. Remove green stems from carrots, and scrub under cold water to remove dirt. Dry with paper towels, and then chop into 2″ diagonal slices. Toss in a large bowl with 1/4 cup parsley, olive oil and salt to season. Put the carrots on a second rimmed baking shit and bake for 40 minutes, or until slightly browned. Set aside to cool.

4. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain, then immediately plunge the beans into the ice-water bath to stop the cooking process and set the beautiful green color of the beans. When cooled, drain the beans and spread them on a clean kitchen towel to dry.

5. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and saute until they begin to caramelize, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remove from heat.

6. In a large mixing bowl or salad bowl, combine the green beans, kidney beans, butter beans, and parsley, then add the shallots and tomatoes, including any juices in their pans. Stir gently to combine, then drizzle the vinaigrette over everything. Toss gently until everything is coated.

7. Season with pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning if you like. Squeeze the lemon wedges over the salad just before serving.

Wendy’s Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 small shallot, minced

1/2 teaspoon Vegan worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Freshly ground pepper



Golden Winter Salad

Sometimes I forget that most of the country is at the mercy of a cold winter. It’s like San Francisco and the sun worked out some kind of agreement, so we can just skip the cold weather altogether and participate in outdoor activities that probably involve food and drink. Oh, to be anything but a San Franciscan seems quite unimaginable at times.

I was inspired to make this winter panzanella style salad by the beautiful weather. I wanted to create a salad fit for summer sunshine but hearty enough to compromise an entire meal. Panzanella is a Florentine salad that uses stale soaked bread, and is most popular in the summer seasons. Don’t be fooled by the rustic toasty bread, as the main act lies within the golden roasted beets and roasted fennel with orange zest. It’s positively yummy.


5 large golden beets, roasted, peeled and chopped

Sherry Vinegar

2 large fennel bulbs, sliced, and roasted with salt, pepper, and olive oil

Orange zest

1 loaf of french bread, cut into cubes and soaked in olive oil

1 head of butter lettuce

1 cup of goat cheese

1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted

1 cup of simple garlic lemon dressing

salt and pepper to taste

extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Chop bread into 1″ cubes and soak with 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt, and roast in oven for 15 minutes or until crispy.

2. Clean and prepare beets. Slice off tops and stems, and arrange in a deep baking dish or dutch oven. Fill dish with enough water to cover half of the beets or 1″. Cover and roast for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until beets are just tender and can be pierced with a fork. Remove from oven, and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove skins when cool enough to handle, and chop. Add sea salt to taste and a few dashes of sherry vinegar. Set aside.


3. Once the beets are in the oven, clean and prepare the fennel. Remove bottoms and stems, and slice into thin strips. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and toss with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Bake alongside the beets for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, season with orange zest, and set aside.

4. Assemble salad: combine beets, fennel, chopped butter lettuce, and toss with crumbled goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and simple garlic lemon dressing (below).

Simple Garlic Lemon Dressing

2 garlic cloves

2 lemons, juiced

1/4 cup olive oil

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp honey

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

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