Basil Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
12 cup fresh basil, chopped
12 teaspoon kosher salt
12 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil

1. Combine all ingredients in immersion blender cup and blend until smooth.  Serve with tomatoes, mozzarella, or other salads. 

Basil Vinaigrette

This recipe is from The Perfect Pantry.  I served the dressing over awesome local tomatoes (maybe the last ones of the season) and fresh mozzarella.  Then I ate the leftover dressing over the remaining chopped up tomatoes since I couldn’t get enough of it!  The dressing has tons of great flavor and would be great in a pasta salad as well. 

Shown here with Grilled Butter Pesto Chicken.

Internet - The Perfect Pantry

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

1 (15-20 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 12 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
12 cup feta, crumbled
2 12 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used garlic olive oil.)
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Mix together all ingredients in large bowl. 

2. Chill 1 to 2 hours before serving. 

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

This recipe is from Once Upon a Cutting Board and contains many things that I love so it’s no surprise that I loved this salad as well.  The recipe came together very quickly and easily and then made delicious lunches for the week.  I did end up doubling the recipe which worked very well.

Internet - Once Upon a Cutting Board

More Than Salad

For the salad
Lettuces of choice
6 strips bacon
12 red onion, minced
2 cups tomatoes, diced, or small tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced

For the croutons
1 8-inch long ciabatta, cut into small cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 sundried tomatoes, minced
12 teaspoon salt
23 teaspoon dried basil
18 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
For the dressing_
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
14 teaspoon onion powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded

1. Heat oven to 375*F.  Spread bacon over rack set in baking sheet.  Bake until crispy, about 20 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, combine garlic, sundried tomatoes, salt, basil, cayenne and olive oil for croutons in food processor or mini-grinder. 

3. Massage sundried tomato mixture into bread cubes, making sure each cube is coated. 

4. When bacon is finished, remove rack from baking sheet  and crumble bacon.  Stir coated bread crumbs into bacon fat on baking sheet, reduce oven to 350*F and bake croutons for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. 

5. Mix all dressing ingredients together in small bowl. 

6. In large salad bowl, combine lettuce, crumbled bacon, red onion, tomatoes, mozzarella, and croutons.  Mix well and add desired amount of dressing to coat.  Serve remaining dressing on the side. 

[Photo forthcoming]

This recipe is from the ever awesome Kayotic Kitchen.  As a shock, it’s the first recipe I’ve made of hers that I didn’t think was perfect as written.  I omitted the avocado the original recipe called for, since I’m the only one in the house who likes it.  I feel like I also should have omitted the mozzarella because it didn’t add anything to the salad in my opinion.  It’s a very busy salad!

Everything else, though, was amazing.  The dressing rocked and the croutons were just small cubes of perfection.  I think Art would have been happy to just have a bowl of croutons to munch on.  I did use a large tomato and that proved to be a bit too watery, but I think that’s because I choose the wrong tomato.  Make sure not to let your tomato water down the salad!

This recipe makes a meal for 3-4 people, so plan your lettuce accordingly.

Sadly, no picture of this one.

Internet - Kayotic Kitchen

Caprese Salad

3-4 heirloom tomatoes, or other good in-season tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 red onion, minced
8-16 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients.  Stir well and serve. 

Caprese Salad

This recipe is from Chez Us.  It’s basically a chopped up version of Caprese and it’s as scrumptious as the original.  I know the mozzarella measurement is very imprecise but it will really depend on personal taste and what quantities you buy fresh mozzarella in.  If you buy 12 ounce balls, use one.  If you can only get 6 ounce balls, you might want to use two.  This was really awesome, especially with how much I’ve been craving summer tomato season.  I gobbled up the leftovers and the guys probably never even knew what happened to them.  I could eat tomatoes like this for every meal!

Shown here with Chicken Broccoli Alfredo.

Internet - Chez Us

Falafel and Tzatziki Salad

For the dressing
8 cloves garlic
13 cup parsley
12 cup cilantro
1 12 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 12 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 sprigs fresh dill
1 12 tablespoons fresh mint

For the salad
2 (15 ounces each) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
12 red onion, diced
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. Combine all dressing ingredients in food processor and pulse until pureed, scrapping down sides with rubber spatula as necessary. 

2. Combine all salad ingredients in large bowl, add dressing and stir to combine well.  Refrigerate until chilled before serving.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Falafel and Tzatziki Salad

I love Tzatziki and I love Falafel.  I had the idea that I’d like to be able to combine the flavors of both of these things in a non-fried salad, so I came up with this recipe.  I ate the salad with pita and also tortillas.  I thought the flavor was great!  It ended up being a bit watery, but I think I could fix that by salting the cucumber and draining it a bit first.  I also made the mistake of using low-sodium chickpeas and ended up adding a bit of salt to make up for it.  I did miss the crunch that regular falafel has, but I think that could be fixed by perhaps roasting the chickpeas first.  Something that I’ll try next time.

Person - Gwen

Tuna Green Bean Salad

32 ounces frozen green beans
2 (6.4 ounces each) pouches tuna (Or can equivalent.)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
12 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
1 (12 ounce) bag chow mein noodles

1. Cook green beans following microwave instructions on package.  Drain well. 

2. In a large bowl mix green beans, tuna, soy sauce, garlic powder, and mayonnaise.  Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours to chill and allow flavors to combine. 

3. Top each portion with chow mein noodles and serve. 

Note: Once chow mein noodles are added they will get soggy if refrigerated with the salad.  If you plan to save the salad for leftovers or to serve later, reserve step 3 of the recipe until ready to serve. 

Tuna Green Bean Salad

This recipe is a childhood favorite that I always loved when I was a kid.  My mom would make it for picnics and it would be devoured.  Initially she would make it with wide, flat Italian green beans, but those have dwindled in their availability over the last 20+ years.  I make it with regular green beans with equally tasty results.  It’s a rare treat for me now since I’m the only one in the house who likes tuna fish in a pouch or can! 


Person - Mom

Caprese Panzanella

1 pound loaf bread, something crusty that won’t get mushy (I used “Como” bread from my local Safeway)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3-4 large tomatoes, or some combination of large and small tomatoes, cut into cubes
12 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 cup basil leaves, chopped

For the dressing:
14 cup olive oil
1 12 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
14 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
14 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400*F.  While it’s heating cut bread into 1-inch cubes.  Toss cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread cubes out on rimmed baking sheet and place in oven.  Toast for 10-20 minutes until slightly crispy but not hard.  Remove from oven and let cool on the sheet. 

2. Combine bread cubes, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl. 

3. Whisk together all dressing ingredients, or combine with a hand blender.  Pour dressing over salad and toss well.  Let flavors meld for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Caprese Panzanella

This recipe is from The Hazel Bloom and I was super excited to try it out! I love panzanella and I love caprese, this salad seemed like a great combination of both.  And it was.  Even Lance enjoyed it and he prefers his food to be hot.  The dressing had great flavors which tied all the traditional caprese ingredients together very well.  

Shown here with Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin.

Internet - The Hazel Bloom

Heirloom Tomatoes and Bacon Salad

For the croutons
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups Italian or French bread, cut in 34-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

12 ounces center-cut bacon, chopped
14 cup shallot, chopped
14 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 head romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions1. Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl toss the bread cubes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.   Spread them on a baking sheet, and bake them in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden. The croutons may be made 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container.

2. Add bacon to large skillet over medium heat.  Cook, stirring, until crisp.  Drain well in sieve set over bowl.  Reserve bacon fat. 

3. Add shallots to hot bacon fat.  Stir in vinegar and whisk to combine. 

4.  Place tomatoes, bacon, and croutons in large bowl.  Toss with dressing.  Serve over lettuce. 

Tomato and Bacon Salad

Once upon a time I had an amazing BLT Salad at St. Elmo’s in Indianapolis, IN.  I can’t wait to go back there since I’ve never been able to perfect the salad in the privacy of my own home.  This time, I will take notes.  This recipe is an attempt at the awesome St. Elmo’s salad, while it was very delicious, it wasn’t as perfect as the salad in my mind.

Person - Gwen

Eggless Caesar Salad

For the croutons
4 tablespoons olive oil (Garlic olive oil if you’ve got it!  Consider adding minced or pressed garlic if you don’t.)
3 cups Italian or French bread, cut in 34-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the dressing_
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
12 teaspoon dry mustard
12 cup olive oil

3-4 heads romaine lettuce, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
Parmesan cheese, shredded, grated or shaved

1. Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl toss the bread cubes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.   Spread them on a baking sheet, and bake them in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden. The croutons may be made 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container.

2. Make the dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a container and blend with an immersion blender until thick and emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  (You could mince everything and whisk it while slowly adding the olive oil as well, but immersion blenders are so much fun.) 

3. In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the croutons and dressing until the salad is well combined.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and extra pepper to taste. 

Caesar Salad

I admit, my normal method of Caesar salad making involves a jar of salad dressing, a package of croutons, and a bag of lettuce.  However, with my HFCS intolerance, it becomes hard to find salad dressings and bread products that are HFCS free so I just haven’t made Caesar salad in quite a while.  Since I also like reducing the processed foods in our lives when I’m able to I to find a recipe on instead of resorting to my normal methods. 

This is an eggless recipe which is nice for the people who avoid raw eggs.  I don’t avoid raw eggs, but I also don’t avoid recipes that sound tasty!  This was a really nice salad.  The amount of dressing was great for the 3 heads of romaine I had, each piece of lettuce was perfectly dressed.  The croutons were garlicky and crisp.  The dressing itself was extremely flavorful and peppery.  This is definitely a good salad to serve for company when you don’t have a stockpile of different salad dressings.  (This is the reason I used to always make Caesar salads for company, since I never had a good selection of salad dressings so it was better to serve a salad that I could dress myself!)

Internet - Epicurious

Chickpeas with Sausage and Sundried Tomatoes

12 ounces pre-cooked sausage, chopped (I used Aidell’s Garlic and Artichoke Sausages.)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15 ounces each) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6-8 sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used the sort that are packed in oil with Italian herbs.)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and garlic is fragrant.  Stir in sausage and cook until heated through. 

2. Pour sausage mixture into a bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Stir well and serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled. 

Chickpea and Sausage Salad

I love chickpeas.  I love a lot of things, but chickpeas are close to the top of the list.  When I saw this recipe on the blog Dishing Up Delights I figured it would be just the sort of dish that would make a great lunch since it’s full of many flavors and proteins. 

This was extremely quick and easy to bring together, especially using pre-cooked sausages.  It took less than 15 minutes from start to finish.  The original recipe says to serve this warm, but I think it’s pretty scrumptious when it’s cold.  This makes a great, light, and flavor-packed meal.

Internet - Dishing Up Delights