All posts tagged “salad

Roast Squash Salad_Katherine Sacks
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Roast Squash Salad with Savory Seeded Brittle

I’m a lady who likes routine—I’m totally okay eating the same breakfast every morning and I’m happy to make a big pot of soup and have it for dinner all week long. With a routine, you become more efficient, leaving time for the other things in life (like digging into complicated recipes that take all day!) Some of my preference for pattern probably stems from my time spent in professional kitchens, where you live and breath by the routine that gets you through busy service, but it’s also just a lot easier to repeat the same steps over and over again.

Since I obviously like to cook, however, I try and make my routines as flexible and fun as possible. Lately I’ve been all about the salad prep, making a batch of mix-ins on the weekend that I can toss together for my weekly lunches. The elements change constantly based on my whims and pantry items, but the idea is still the same. Prepare several ingredients on Sunday—roast or shredded veggies, diced fruit, chopped nuts—and you’ll have a bonafide salad bar at home to mix up weekly lunches.

Last week it was this combination of roast squash, chopped mushrooms, and seed brittle—a recipe that is so easy and so genius. Just lightly whip an egg white, toss in any seeds and nuts you have lying around along with some spices and a dash of honey. Spread onto a baking mat and cook until lightly toasted, then cool and crumble. It’s the perfect way to incorporate fun texture into the salad bowl. For an Asian flavor punch, I tossed the squash in Korean chili paste for some nice heat and whipped together a dressing of chili oil, rice wine vinegar, and ginger.

For even more efficient salad prep, pre-chop a few days worth of veggies and lettuce and make a big batch of dressing for the week. That way all you have to do is toss together your lunch each day. What are you going to do with all that time saved?

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Spargel Season

Asparagus

All winter I listened to Germans (and fellow expats) lament about the weather, complaining about the never ending cold. While I was certainly put off by their negativity about my new home (having weathered a Chicago winter, Berlin’s winter was nothing), I was just as eager as the masses for Spargel season to arrive. I remember eating asparagus soup here as a child and although asparagus is a similarly popular courier of spring in the U.S., there is something very German about the verdant vegetable. Germany even crowns a Spargelkönigin or Asparagus Queen!

The warm weather finally broke last week and with it came asparagus! I happily bought a few bundles to share with our April house guests (including the German preferred white variety). While Spargelsuppe is the dish of my childhood memories, the warm sunny weather called for something cool and refreshing. I’ve been on a tahani dressing kick lately, so I started with that; the earthy, sesame paste offers the creaminess of a mayo-based vinegerette with the added bonus of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. For crunch I used Runkelrübe, which we’ve been getting from our CSA, and I’ve discovered to be sugar beet. Although this tuber looks like a giant red beet, the flesh is white and has a crunchy sweet texture, similar to jicama. Yellow beet or jicama would be a fine substitution if you can’t find sugar beet. All together it’s a lovely, simple, fresh salad and one I have a feeling with become a regular on our table throughout the rest of spargel season (which I just found out ends quite specifically on June 24th, the feast of St. John the Baptist and the date the Germans decide the harvest has lasted long enough).

Asparagus Salad

Tahini Dressing
Serving: 1 cup
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons olive oil
7 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the shallot, tahini, olive oil, vinegar, and water until mixture is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Asparagus-Beet Salad with Tahini Dressing
Serving: 4 people
1 bunch asparagus, stems trimmed
1/2 sugar beet, julienned
2 tablespoons Tahini Dressing

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus, cooking for about 8 minutes until tender. Shock in ice water and drain. Slice on a bias to 1/2-inch pieces.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the asparagus, beets and dressing. Toss to combine and enjoy.

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Waiting-for-Spring Salad

Get ready for sunnier days with this light catchall market salad, topped with a rich poached egg.


With a teasing warm afternoon here and there, and more than a few dreary rainy days, spring certainly feels right around the corner. Nothing celebrates the  upcoming season of asparagus! strawberries! ramps! quite like a stroll-through-the-market salad. Toss in a bit of whatever you fancy, whatever you can find, or whatever you have on hand. Fresh cheese, mushrooms, some prosciutto perhaps — and use up extra eggs by topping the salad with a perfect poached egg. Add a little balsamic and you have just the thing to tide you over until the farmer’s market is flush with the produce you have been dreaming of all winter long.

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