Category Archives: Salad

American Potato Salad

American Potato salad

 

I read somewhere the other day that potato salad is making a comeback.  Did it go somewhere and no one told me?  It’s always at our house.  Potato salad is one of my all time favorites.  One of the best that I have ever had is Julia Child’s American Potato Salad.  Oh my goodness, it is so good!  You cannot go wrong with this salad.  When  I bring this dish to a get together there is not a morsel left.  It is that good.

Julia Child has always been an inspiration to me.  Just the fact that she went to culinary school so late in her life is astounding.  I was mesmerized by her voice and cooking skills on her TV cooking show way back when.  I spent many hours wishing that I might someday cook like Julia.  I do cook  in a setting much like Julia’s, but in no way with her same skills.

Years back on a trip to Washington DC I was thrilled to learn that Julia’s kitchen had been place in the Smithsonian.   I spent hours there just looking and reading.  I wanted to take it all in –  the kitchen that I watched Julia tell me how to roast the best chicken.  I was in heaven!

Julia’s American Potato Salad is exquisite !! It has so many layers of flavor.  One trick that my mother taught me is to add vinegar or pickle juice while the potatoes are hot makes a huge difference in the flavor.  I did find that one thing in the recipe did not work for me.  Her recipe calls for 2 pounds of potatoes.  On two occasions I tried the recipe with 2 pounds of new waxy potatoes and found the salad had too much dressing.  What worked well for me was using 5 pounds of Idaho potatoes.

You are going to love this salad and yes it has bacon in it.  Julia was way before her time.

Bon Appetit!

Julia”s American Potato Salad  changed slightly from Julia Child

Yield: 6- 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds Idaho potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup potato-cooking water
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 or 4 slices crisply cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped pickle, sweet or dill ( I prefer dill)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons or so finely chopped fresh chives or scallions, including a bit of their tender green
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup or so mayonnaise ( I use Hellmanns)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • For garnishing  Crisp whole red-leaf or other lettuce leaves

Directions:

  1. Peel the potatoes and slice each one lengthwise in half, or in quarters if very large; then cut crosswise into half-round or quarter-round slices, about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Put the slices in a saucepan with water just to cover and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water. Heat to a simmer, and cook the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes, or until just cooked through. It is essential that they be just cooked through. Bite into a slice or two to be very sure. Immediately remove from the heat and drain the potatoes into a colander, but save a cup of the cooking liquid for dressing the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl.
  3. Stir the cider vinegar with ⅓ cup of the potato water and drizzle this over the potato pieces, turning them gently to distribute it evenly. Let sit 10 minutes to absorb the liquid.
  4. Add the prepared onion, celery, bacon, pickle, hard-boiled eggs, and chives, and season carefully to taste. Top with ⅔ cup of mayonnaise (or a mix of mayonnaise and a bit of sour cream) and, with a large rubber spatula, gently fold everything together until well blended. Taste the salad and add more salt, pepper, or mayonnaise as needed.
  5. Cover the salad and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so before serving. If it is refrigerated longer, let it come back to room temperature before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning again.
  6. To serve, line a bowl or a platter with red-leaf lettuce or other greens, and mound the salad on top.

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Filed under Salad, side dish

Tuna Pasta Salad with Apples & Grapes

Tuna Pasta Salad with apples and grapes

I came out of my comfort zone today with this  salad.  Adding fruit to fish or chicken is just not my style, but this salad is really good .  It comes together in the ten minutes it takes to cook the pasta.  If you really don’t care for the taste of canned tuna the apples and grapes turn it into a not so tuna salad.

So here’s how it came down for lunch…

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Caprese Salad on a Toothpick

Caprese SaladLove this recipe!!!  My neighbor Kim had these had a party and I must have eaten 12 without even thinking.  They are so good.  There is nothing better than finding a great recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to put together and is healthy.  I’ve served these at least six times this summer and everyone is so amazed.  You will be,too.  Just keep this idea in your back pocket for your next get together.  It is a hit for sure.  Hope your summer is going well.  My vacation time is coming to an end as of July 31!

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Strawberry Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Strawberry Salad

Here is a great summer salad that you will want to make with all the fabulous strawberries that we have now.  These flavors from strawberries, mandarin oranges, and avocados  just go together to make a fantastic combination that I would not ordinarily put together.  And the avocado in this salad  oh my! If you are looking hard to see the avocado you won’t.  I served this salad to my book club last month and in the hustle and bustle to make a photo without holding up serving the food I forgot to add the avocado.  But, don’t you leave it out thinking that it will be just as good without it.  It won’t be!  You’ll miss that buttery flavor.  Trust me.  I love this Cinnamon vinaigrette.  It is a lovely salad dressing and a snap to make.   I really cannot believe that today is July 1.  In 30 days school starts and I must get busy on my To Do list which is absolutely nothing!  Enjoy your summer.

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Greek Chicken and Barley Salad

Greek Chicken and Barley Salad

Chicken salad and Greek salad are two of my favorites.  I knew I had a winner when I saw this recipe on my Cooking Light calendar.  I was not sure if everyone in my house would love it, but to my surprise everyone did.  So here you are a quick, easy, flavorful, and healthy salad that your family will enjoy.  Don’t be leery of the barley if you have never used it before.  It is so similar to pasta  or rice in texture.  Barley is also an excellent source of soluble fiber that is good for digestion and a great source of potassium which helps to lower blood pressure.  Hope that all of you are enjoying your week.  I’m off this week for a winter break.  While some of my friends are enjoying Disney World, I’m just enjoying Villa Rica!

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Blue Cheese Dressing

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After doing as little shopping one of my favorite places to have lunch is Prime at Lenox Square.  I just love their Cobb Salad with blue cheese dressing.  I am happy to say that I have found the recipe so now all of us can enjoy it at home.  It packs a lot of flavor and you’ll find you only need a small amount so guess what – a reduction in the amount of calories.  I can go for that!  I just put together a chopped salad  including chopped romaine, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and hearts of palm.  I placed all the vegetables in a container with a top and added about a heaping teaspoon of dressing.  I put the top on it and gave it a good shake.  Oh my Gosh!  So help yourself to the greatest salad dressing and it is just a shame that it is so easy to make.

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Tami’s Everything Salad

You know that I love salads and this is one great salad that you will love, too!  When my tennis friend Tami told me that she made this salad every Thanksgiving and it was devoured I stepped back a minute and thought.  You know a salad really has to be good to be eaten at Thanksgiving  because there is so much good food on a Thanksgiving table.  Usually a salad will be the last food eaten, but this is the exception.  I promise you it is like dessert that’s a salad, but so good for you!  Tami served it last week at our end of the year tennis get together and it was a hit!  I made it last night for my book club and there was just a morsel left.  It is a fantastic salad and everyone will love it.  It has it all veggies, fruit, nuts, and cheese that are so good for you.  Then a heavenly sweet and sour dressing that is to die for.

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Salad with Grilled Chicken, Apples, and Glazed Walnuts

Salad has been my lunch life for about twenty years.  That’s a long time!  Why salad?  It has been the easiest way for me to pack  fresh vegetables into my diet every day.  For as long as I have been teaching I have always packed my lunch.  My routine has been and still is even though I am finished at noon everyday is to make three salads on Sunday night which includes whatever protein is available, baked ham, roasted turkey, grilled chicken, or canned tuna.  Then on Wednesday night I make two more for the end of the week.  Making them ahead of time keeps me out of the bag of chips or from the easy  to make grilled sandwich.  So by lunch I have usually had five servings of fruits and vegetables.  So why don’t you try salad for lunch  at least a month?  Take the challenge.  You’ll be healthier and a few pounds lighter!

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Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken

A couple of weeks ago our family went to a long time friend’s wedding in Greenville, SC.  It was a beautiful wedding and a really fun time.   We arrived on Thursday and had dinner downtown.  I was awestruck at the downtown area.  It is just absolutely beautiful.  Big oak trees line the street making a cool walk even on a hot summer day.  The sidewalks are large enough for restaurants to have outside dining.  And who doesn’t love outside dining?  I just loved the atmosphere in the area.  On Friday we were doing a little window shopping and walked by a group of young men having what looked like a business lunch and the food looked absolutely wonderful.  So we got a table for two under one of the huge oak trees and enjoyed the cool breeze.  And this is when I had the best Greek Salad with grilled chicken I have ever had.  In fact I enjoyed it so much I ordered it again on Saturday for lunch.  I knew than that I had to make this at home.  How could I live without such a mixture of goodness?

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Chicken Salad for a Hot Summer Day

I love summer for the obvious reason.  I don’t have to work.  I can for the most part do whatever I want to whenever I want to.  Who would not love this? It’s a great perk for the teaching profession!    Teachers are so busy during the year it is not so easy to do many big projects around the  house.  So every teacher that I know has a to do list just for the summer.   And I am one of them.    This summer my list is short.   I have two that I would like to have accomplished before school starts August 1.  We have lived in our new home for six years and I cannot believe how much I have accumulated in that time.  My pantry and my closet need a complete over haul.  Those two projects are at the top of my list.  Okay, let’s see what’s cooking in my house on the lazy hazy days of summer!

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