Salad & Dressings – Mixed Greens Blog Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest Thu, 14 Sep 2017 22:20:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cinderella Story, Celeriac Salad & Shrimp Wed, 06 May 2015 13:02:22 +0000 Or maybe it’s The Ugly Duckling story. What’s beneath Celeriac’s gnarly surface is a beautiful thing. Dress it up and take it out for dinner. If you wear a beret and call it *Céleri Rémoulade it’s French.

I’ve purchased this salad in a to-go box at Pasta & Co, loved it, and  thought I’d try making it, with or without an actual recipe.

This comes close. Home alone for a couple of days, I dined on this salad two nights in a row, heaping helpings. Made with celery root, Oregon shrimp, a lemony dressing and mizuna from my backyard it’s local and it’s delicious. And except for that mayonnaisey dressing – which makes it, by the way – it’s healthy. If you insist, this would still be very good with lemon and olive oil, minus the mayo.

Recipe for Celeriac Salad with Oregon Shrimp

Originally posted three years ago and since then made many many times for our table. So good.

Also called Céleri Rémoulade. See note below.

About Oregon shrimp: Seattle Times, Oregon shrimp in the pink, tasty, and now sustainable. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

A medium celeriac is enough for 4 servings. Bigger root, more salad. Make it a meal with larger servings, a hard-boiled egg and a slice of avocado on the side. Garlic bread?

Ingredients: 1 medium celery root yields about 4 cups when grated or finely sliced/ 1 lemon/1 t lemon zest/1/2 C parsley if you have it/ 1/2 # Oregon shrimp (available frozen at PCC, or at some fish markets)/ For the dressing: 4 T mayonnaise, 1 T sour cream, 1 -2  t mustard (or more), 1/2 t salt & 1/4 t pepper, or use lemon pepper instead. Or, omit salt. Lemon and mayonnaise may provide enough salty flavor.

Directions: It’s important to immerse the sliced celeriac into the lemon juice right away to keep it from discoloring/ Zest the lemon then squeeze its juice into a large bowl/ Peel celery root with a large knife and cut into 1/4 rounds using a mandolin if you have one, or slicing carefully by hand with a sharp knife (the peeled root may also be coarsely grated for this salad)/ Pile 3 or 4 rounds of celery root and then slice thinly into matchsticks/ Immediately toss the grated or sliced celeriac in the lemon juice and teaspoon of zest/ Proceed accordingly until all of the celeriac is grated or sliced into thin matchstick pieces. Mine should have been cut a little finer. Next time.

Stir the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, salt and pepper together in a small bowl/ Taste and adjust to your own liking/ Stir into the lemony celeriac/  Add more mayonnaise or sour cream, mustard, another squeeze of lemon if needed/ Before serving stir in approximately 1/2 # of Oregon shrimp and the parsley/ This salad is best made a couple of hours ahead and is good the next day.

Celery root makes a wonderful crunchy base for a crab salad mid-winter, Winter’s Crab Salad. It can be steamed, on its own or with other root vegetables, buttered, creamed and mashed. Celery Root, It’s A Keeper.

Slice and dice a root, dress it up, and it’s transformed into a culinary knockout, a Cinderella story. This humble root could be Saturday night fare.

Though I never found their actual recipe, thanks to Pasta & Co for the inspiration.

* After all was said and done I discovered that, minus the shrimp, this is a classic french salad, Céleri Rémoulade, and is described lavishly on the David Lebovitz site, living the sweet life in Paris. He advocates more mustard. I say go for it.

Festive Farro Salad Fit For A Feast Fri, 05 Dec 2014 22:17:25 +0000

The vibrancy of a Christmas tree inspired this festive farro salad. Farro – we love you, but you’re not exactly dazzling – and kale, a deliciously textured grain and a winter green, each a vehicle for almost anything, in this case dried fruit and a citrus dressing.  With dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, candied hazelnuts, a dressing made with the juice of Clementines, pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top, farro (or faro) is getting its groove on. Kale underneath, shredded and lightly dressed. Think of a subdued Christmas tree, the colors neutralized, but the flavor rich and feast-worthy.

** Speaking of farro, with roots in Italian cuisine, another ‘original’ Italian will be in town next week, Top Chef “Fan Favorite”, Fabio Vivani. He’ll talk about his own cooking, his recipes and his new cookbook, FABIO’S AMERICAN HOME KITCHEN: More Than 124 Recipes With an Italian Accent, Monday the 8th, 2:00 p.m. at the University Book Store. I saw Fabio cook – and perform – on top chef a time or two. Talk about vibrant, and he can cook! I browsed through the cookbook today and what sets it apart, in a good way, is that it’s full of classics like buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, crab cakes, and plenty of pasta, all with an Italian twist. I’ll post a favorite or two before too long.

Farro Salad with Citrus & Dried Fruit Recipe

Emmer Farro is an ancient grain, originally grown and used abundantly in Italy. Still is for that matter.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 C farro/ 7 C water or broth/1 t salt/ 1/4 C each dried cranberries or cherries, apricots, currants, chopped figs – any combination or all or some of these/1/2 C coarsely chopped plain or candied hazelnuts/ For the dressing: the juice of 2 Clementines (about 4 T), 2 T finely chopped shallot, 2 T red wine vinegar, 3 T olive or Hazelnut oil, 1 t honey. This dressing will not fully emulsify.

Directions: While Emmer Farro is cooking combine and mix ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl/ Cook farro in 7 C of water or broth: bring to boil, salt, turn to simmer and cover/ Cook 50 – 60 minutes or until farro is tender, but with a little bite/ Drain thoroughly and pour immediately into bowl with citrus dressing/ Mix and let cool a bit/ /Stir in dried fruit, larger pieces chopped coarsely/ Refrigerate/ Before serving, sprinkle toasted or candied hazelnuts on top along with a few extra cranberries or cherries/ Can be served at room temperature on a bed of coarsely chopped kale that has been lightly dressed in a little more of the citrus dressing. If you have a Pomegranate cut it open and sprinkle a handful of seeds over the top. Zing.

More than just a pretty face, it has depth and breadth of character, it tastes really good, and it’s not a cookie.

It’s also good local food, the farro, the hazelnuts and dried fruits. Forgive the Clementine for its non-local intrusion, but California citrus isn’t so bad. This salad will safely sit at room temperature for hours.

Bluebird Grains Farm is our local producer of farro and its related products. Check out their site for more information about the ancient grain and more recipes. Many grocery stores in the Pacific Northwest carry Bluebird Farms farro.

More Farro recipes: Farro & Fresh Herbs, Farro & Wild Mushroom Cakes, Wild Mushroom & Farro Soup,



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Kale Caesar! Mon, 13 Oct 2014 00:17:03 +0000 kale caesar

A perfect storm of conditions prompted me to make a kale version of the classic Caesar: a craving for a from-scratch Caesar, a dauntingly large crop of kale in the garden, and, I have a nice batch of freshly made croutons; it’s autumn, the season for dark greens, and finally, it’s  über healthy.

Croutons, garlicky dressing, Parmesan and greens, in this case kale. Make the croutons ahead from days-old bread, whisk the dressing right into the bottom of the salad bowl if you wish, add plenty of kale, let it all sit and ‘adjust’ for a few minutes. Consume. Notice that your palate is satisfied and cells are doing a happy dance after all those . . . doughnuts? . . . burgers? . . . glasses of wine?  Fill in the blank, we all have our delicious, decadent habits.

It’s not like we haven’t tried kale every which way already. Previous posts include Hail Kale, Massage Your Kale?, Be Kale My Heart, Kale Smoothies.

Kale Caesar Salad Recipe

kale caesar salad

Ingredients & Directions: Start with a large pile of kale – 6 – 8 cups makes 4 medium or two large servings – rinsed and spun dry/ Chop coarsely and refrigerate/ Pulse 1 1/2 C croutons in a blender to a coarse crumble, set aside/ Finely grate 1 C Parmesan cheese, set aside.

Make caesar salad dressing: Combine 2 very finely minced cloves of garlic with 1 – 3 anchovies (to taste)/ Mash garlic and anchovies together until they form a sort of paste and place in a small bowl/ Add 3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 egg yolk (if you are not comfortable using raw egg, skip it), 1/2 t dijon mustard/ Stir these ingredients together, and then, with whisk in hand, slowly drizzle in 1/2 – 2/3 C olive oil, whisking constantly until dressing begins to thicken and emulsify/ Taste/ Add another squeeze of lemon or more olive oil if needed/ Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Homemade croutons and breadcrumbs.

kale caesar 4 kale caesar 2

kale caesar

To serve: Place kale in a large salad bowl, toss with 1/2 of the dressing, taste and add more dressing if desired/ Mix Parmesan and bread crumbs together and add all at once to the kale/ Add pepper to taste/ Toss again/ Ideally, let it sit for 5 minutes before serving/ The addition of avocado is delicious, or whatever else your heart desires.

Keep extra dressing in the fridge. This salad is still good the next day because of its hardy greens.

kale caesar salad


Green Beans & Julia’s Salad Niçoise Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:00:02 +0000 The livin’ is pretty easy at the moment with mid-summer vegetables in full swing.  Green beans, for example, are like a pair of summer sandals, culinarily speaking – they’re laid back, slip easily into any meal, and, like a comfy sandal, they make you feel good (vitamin C, iron, protein and potassium). green-beens-w-tarragon

A couple of months ago, spur of the moment, I planted bush beans and am now reaping the rewards. Planted and watered them, that’s it, no other care required. They’ve become long, thin, green beauties. There are limits, literally, to bush beans – they produce a great round of beans and then it’s over. I’m harvesting a handful or two every day while they last, and preparing them simply, which by the way, is diametrically opposed to the fresh green beans I grew up with. Cooked for an hour, I swear, with onion, bacon and plenty of water, they were delicious I thought and still love them prepared in this way, though perhaps fifteen rather than fifty minutes.

Green beans lightly steamed and dressed: Cook for one minute, lid on, turn heat off and let sit for another minute, then pour water off. While still warm, dress with any variety of seasonings. My current favorite is to sprinkle the hot beans with a little olive oil, salt & pepper, tarragon vinegar and fresh tarragon. Toss together. Just that. Jerry Traunfeld suggests adding edible nasturtiums to the mix, not as a garnish, but as an integral part of the bean salad. At room temperature they’re terrific piled on a plate next to anything at all. They’re very friendly that way.

On top of lettuce, with a few tomatoes, these already dressed beans create instant salad.

Green beans are central to Julia Child’s supposedly favorite salad, Salad Niçoise.

Salad Niçoise Recipe

An entire meal or side salad with hard-boiled egg, lettuce greens, steamed potatoes, tuna fish, olives, anchovies, and tomatoes. Not to mention anything else you have that seems to fit the Niçoise character. Julia wouldn’t mind – she’d have done the same. The dressing pulls it together.

The Dressing: Use any dressing you like, or try this version which is very mustardy and perfect, I think. I used a crushed clove of garlic, 3/4 C olive oil & 1/4 C tarragon vinegar (3:1 ratio), a tablespoon of mustard. Dress the potatoes and beans while they’re still piping hot; drizzle more of the dressing over the assembled salad just before serving. Salt & pepper to taste and sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs – in this case tarragon and chives.

Another homage to Julia.  salad-nicoise-2 And she would appreciate that, except for the olives, all ingredients on this assembled salad plate are locally harvested/produced – the beans, lettuce, tomatoes and herbs right from the backyard. Eggs and tuna are local too. Check out Poppy’s previous post, Tuna Taste Test.

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A Party: An Enchanted Summer Evening Supper Mon, 18 Aug 2014 23:04:51 +0000 Thirteen friends, the December dinner group, met for supper mid-August. We had a blast wearing flip flops and shorts instead of boots and sweaters. We gathered in the backyard, used many of our own vegetables and herbs, and enjoyed food mostly made ahead.


The Menu: Roasted summer vegetables with goat cheese ricotta on crostinis, prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe and Charlie’s Jungle Bird cocktails; followed by lemon-dill shell pasta salad with grilled prawns and a platter of salad; Pam and Pamm brought dessert and I’m sorry, no picture of their fabulous ice cream sandwich cookies – it was dark by then. So much fun and the perfect delicious finale.

Summer Evening Supper

   Jungle Bird  Summer party 3  charcoal Grilled Prawns

tomatoes  summer salad  Pineapple mocktail  Foraged bouquet

summer roasted veg 2  summer roasted veg 1  Summer tapenade  Summer party (1) 2

Salad dressings, roasted vegetables and goat cheese ricotta made a day ahead took about an hour. Day of, finished everything else in a couple of hours. Pretty easy considering it was a meal for more than a dozen. Easy enough for hosts to then kick back and enjoy the delicious evening.

Lemon-Dill Pasta & Prawns Salad Recipe

 Pasta Salad with Prawns

Serves 12, or more.

Ingredients & Directions: 24 oz (2 pkgs) large shell pasta/ Generously salt plenty of water and cook pasta until al dente/ Strain, place in a large bowl, let cool briefly and then toss with all of the lemon dressing.

Lemon Vinaigrette: Make dressing a day ahead or while pasta is cooking: 1/3 – 1/2 C freshly squeezed lemon juice, ¼ C finely minced red onion or shallot, 2/3 C olive oil, 1 T mustard, 3 T mayonnaise optional, 1 t salt and pepper to taste/ Whisk or shake vigorously, pour over warm pasta/ Make more if needed – the pasta needs plenty of dressing/ When pasta is completely cool stir in 1/2 C finely chopped fresh dill and chives (or more), 1 C chopped parsley, salt & pepper to taste/ Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Grilled Prawns Recipe

Grilled Prawns

Ingredients & Directions: 2 ½ # gulf prawns (shells removed before cooking or not, your call), about 5 per person – keep refrigerated/ If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 2 hours before grilling/ For the brief marinade: 2 T shallot or garlic, finely minced/ 1/3 C freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 T olive oil/ salt & pepper/ Make the marinade, pour over prawns and toss gently; let sit for one half hour before cooking/ Arrange 6 prawns on each skewer/ Cook directly on a hot grill for 2 minutes on each side/ When cool, remove from skewers and place on top of prepared pasta salad/ Sprinkle with a little extra pasta salad dressing, lemon and parsley/ Refrigerate covered for a few hours or serve immediately.

Summer Salad Platter

summer salad

Line a platter with lettuce leaves and then arrange favorite summer vegetables on top – for example, avocado, fresh corn, sliced peppers, scallions, cucumbers, tomatoes, fennel. Edible flower blossoms. Salt & pepper to taste. Dress with Balsamic vinaigrette (or any vinaigrette) and sprinkle generously with chopped basil or any fresh herb combination.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: Pour generously over salad just before serving. In a pint-sized container, combine ½ C Balsamic vinegar, 2/3 C olive oil, 2 smashed cloves garlic, 2 t mustard/ Shake or whisk vigorously, taste and adjust as needed/ Mix ahead and set aside until time to serve the salad.

Roasted Summer Vegetables Recipe

Follow link to previous post and recipe.

summer roasted veg 2

Proscuitto Wrapped Cantaloupe

Ingredients & Directions: Cut 1 cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces, wrap each one with a small piece of prosciutto/ 12 oz of prosciutto was about the right amount/ Arrange on a plate with toothpicks and refrigerate until time to serve.

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Tabbouleh & Grilled Salmon, Summertime on a Plate Sun, 03 Aug 2014 22:00:14 +0000 Tabbouleh from the middle east meets salmon from the PNW and it’s a summer romance that tastes delicious.



This is the moment for herbs. In warm, dry conditions, they flourish. Actually, it’s false to characterize herbs as having a moment, or even a season – many will last well into fall and some far beyond that. I guess any time is a good time to make tabbouleh (or, tabouli), but especially now, summertime. Whether from the farmers market or in the backyard, Tabbouleh is about herbs, lots of them. We underestimate their nutritional value, especially parsley. It’s vigorous, reseeds itself, is hardy through most winters, and nutritionally-speaking, kicks butt.

Grilled Salmon with Fennel Recipe


Directions: Local salmon from Loki Fish. If you have fennel growing in the backyard or in the neighborhood  (fennel runs amok and you might find it anywhere) cook salmon directly on the grill for the top side, and then flip it over onto a bed of fennel to finish, imparting a subtle herbal essence, just a hint of anise and wonderful with fish. Serve the salmon (or prawns or halibut) right on top of the tabbouleh with lightly grilled pita bread on the side.

Tabbouleh Recipe


Ingredients & Directions: Makes 6 servings. Bring 2 cups plus 2 T water to a boil and turn off heat/ Immediately stir in 1 C bulgar, 1 t salt, cover and let stand for about 30 minutes (the best deal on bulgar is probably at PCC where you can buy it in bulk – enough for this salad, less than a dollar)/ After 25-30 minutes, drain any excess water, stir bulgar and set aside to cool slightly.

While the bulgar steams prepare dressing, chop herbs and vegetables: 1 – 2 C parsley, 1/4 C mint, 1/4 C fresh dill, 2 scallions/ Add other veggies that are in season – cucumber, tomato, carrots, red pepper/ Toss together and add the bulgar after it’s cooled a bit/ Salt & pepper to taste.

Dressing: 1/3 C lemon juice, 4 T olive oil, 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely/ Dressing is intended to be lemony – adjust with more or less oil to suit your own taste/ Whisk together, pour most of dressing over the tabbouleh, taste and add more as needed – bulgar absorbs a lot of dressing. Chill the salad or serve at room temperature. Can be made hours in advance – best served the same day that it’s dressed.


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Louie Louie, Get Down With Shrimp & Crab Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:40:38 +0000 Crab Louie may have its origins in San Francisco, CA, Portland, OR, or Spokane, WA, each place has a story to prove it. Anyway. Pacific Northwest-ish it is. Plus we have our iconic Louie Louie rock ‘n’ roll tune, written by Richard Berry, popularized by the Kingsmen in the 1960’s. Now it’s played at every Mariner’s game and many a dance party. There was a campaign to make it the Washington state song. Alas.

Shrimp Louie

But the culinary Louie is a crab salad. Traditionally, it’s made with Dungeness crab, along with hard boiled eggs, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, loads of lettuce, lemon wedges on the side, maybe an olive, sweet peppers . . . use Oregon shrimp instead of crab and almost any vegetable as long as, and this is crucial, you dress it with Thousand Island Dressing. Tradition.

Make lemon vinaigrette if you must, but know that that particular Louie is a renegade, living on the culinary edge. Just saying.

The other must. Assemble ingredients on a plate and then drizzle each serving with some dressing – extra on the side. This is not a salad to be tossed around.

Shrimp Louie Recipe

Shrimp Louie

Serves 4.

Ingredients: 1 # Oregon shrimp and/or Dungeness crab, rinsed and refrigerated until time to serve/ 4 hard boiled eggs, quartered/ 16 Cherry tomatoes cut in half/ 2 small-medium cucumbers, diced/ Chopped parsley or basil is a nice finish, optional.

Thousand Island dressing

Thousand Island Dressing: 1 C mayonnaise, ¼ C ketchup, 2 T cocktail sauce or 1 T Sriracha, 1 t horseradish (or more), 1 T lemon juice, ¼ C finely chopped sweet pickle. Stir together and refrigerate until ready to use. Adjust dressing ingredients to taste.

Place a bunch of lettuce on each plate and then assemble remaining ingredients on top. Serve dressing on the side and rock this iconic PNW salad.

Parsley Steals the Show Mon, 16 Jun 2014 00:00:11 +0000

Polite parsley — she never draws attention to her own bright self. Invite her to any party and she’s content to stand by and let everyone else shine by her mere presence. I thought it was high time this under-appreciated herb got her day in the sun so I set out to find recipes where she could play the starring role. Enough of this sprig here, sprig there, garnish mentality. Let’s put her on center stage and see what she’s got.

Of the millions of recipes that contain parsley, surprisingly few list it as a main ingredient. Tabbouleh, also known as parsley salad, is a great one to try, especially as we enter the summer picnic season. It requires no cooking and can sit in the fridge for a couple of days so you can make it ahead and save your leftovers. The traditional grain used is bulgur, which is a type of cracked wheat but you could use quinoa or brown rice instead. I like to go easy on the grains and use plenty of chopped vegetables, especially parsley.

Tabbouleh (Parsley) Salad

Ingredients: A large bunch of parsley, finely chopped. (Arrange in a bunch, start by chopping the stems and make your way up to the leaves)/ 3 spring onions, finely chopped/ 1 tomato, finely chopped/ 1 small cucumber, peeled and finely chopped/ Juice of 2 lemons/ 3T olive oil/ 1/2 cup bulgur/ 1 cup boiling water/ Salt & pepper.

Directions: Place bulgur in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and mix/ Drape a small towel over bowl and let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes/ Drain off excess water and let bulgur cool/ Place all the finely chopped vegetables in a large salad bowl and pour lemon juice over them/ Add the olive oil, salt & pepper and mix well/ Add cooled bulgur and mix/ Serve or refrigerate.

Parsley vinaigrette is a versatile dressing that’s delicious on salads, over grilled fish or grains.  You can make your favorite vinaigrette recipe and just add loads of chopped parsley or follow this easy recipe.

Parsley Vinaigrette

Ingredients: 2 cups chopped parsley (stems and leaves)/ 1/2 cup olive oil/ 3T fresh lemon juice/ 1/2 T champagne vinegar/1 clove garlic/ Salt & pepper to taste.

Directions: Pulse all ingredients in food processor until well blended.

I found this recipe in the April issue of Bon Appetit where chef Seamus Mullen, author of Hero Food, was singing his praises for this under-valued herb. He’s convinced of parsley’s nutritional and healing powers and has used it in his own fight against rheumatoid arthritis.

In addition to being a healthy superfood, parsley has a delicious flavor that’s not easily replaced by other herbs. While Parsley Anchovy Butter may not be your idea of a health food it’s one of my favorite spreads for crostini or crackers and makes an excellent appetizer, especially when sipping a gin & tonic. Sounds pretty healthy to me, especially when you use butter from Sea Breeze Farm. After all, when I saw my Dr. at the farmers market on Saturday, she was the one who convinced me to try it — the butter, not the gin & tonic.

Parsley Anchovy Butter

Ingredients: 6T softened unsalted butter/ 2 t parsley leaves, finely chopped/ 1 t minced anchovy/ 2 t shallot, finely chopped/ 1 t lemon juice/ 1/4 t lemon zest.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl/ Taste and then season with salt & pepper, if you wish.

This recipe has been adapted from Suzanne Goin’s Gentleman’s Relish in Sunday Suppers at Lucques.

A couple other of my favorite ways to use parsley in starring roles — with shredded carrots and/or beets, dressed with lots of fresh lemon juice and a bit of olive oil, or toss a big handful in your next smoothie.


I hope I’ve convinced you that parsley didn’t end up in practically every recipe just for it’s good looks. It’s tasty, healthy, fresh and seasonal, not to mention, inexpensive too.









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The Best of Spring: Just Asparagus & Rhubarb for Supper Mon, 12 May 2014 02:00:23 +0000 I’m introducing a novel idea that makes so much sense and it comes from, of course, my Mom. She loved to describe her favorite childhood meal: a platter of freshly harvested corn on the cob with butter and salt, strawberries for dessert. Just that. She and her eleven siblings ate well and savored that meal, two quintessential summer ingredients together in a simple and memorable feast.

roasted asparagus
I wondered what would be a spring time equivalent and came to asparagus and rhubarb. Asparagus with lemon-mustard vinaigrette and an egg, followed by some kind of rhubarb for dessert, maybe a piece of Rhubarb Upside-Down cake. (Sure, you could have some quinoa or farro with the asparagus.). Spend very little time on the main dish, a little more on dessert and you have both a simple and a lush spring supper. Looking forward to more seasonal pairings where dinner is just tomatoes and peaches, corn on the cob and strawberries, artichokes and raspberries . . . the seasons and their easy feasts.

Roasted Asparagus Recipe

roasted asparagus

Ingredients & Directions: Set oven to 400 degrees/ Rinse and trim asparagus, lots of it!/ Place on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper/When oven is ready, roast for 8 – 12 minutes, until asparagus are browning a bit and are slightly tender/ Place on individual plates or a platter, dress with vinaigrette/ Optional: add an egg, farro or brown rice on the side for a protein boost.

Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette Recipe

asparagus & rhubarb 1

Ingredients & Directions: Combine 2 T finely minced shallot, 1 – 2 t mustard, 4 – 5 T lemon juice, 1/4 – 1/3 C olive oil – personal taste determines how much or little of lemon and mustard are added/ Whisk or shake until emulsified/ Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.

A Recipe for Eggs Perfectly Hard Boiled

The vinaigrette is perfect with eggs.

roasted asparagus

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake Recipe

New York Times, Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

asparagus & rhubarb 2

rhubarb 1 Rhubarb Upsidedown Cake

Make a crisp, or the simplest rhubarb dessert of all, rhubarb sauce. Delicious on its own, with ice cream or yogurt.

rhubarb  sauce

Spicy Meatballs & Their Sidekicks Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:40:29 +0000 Not sure I make lamb meatballs because it’s an excuse to eat the tzatziki sauce that belongs with them, or make the tzatziki in order to indulge in the lamb meatballs. Either way, they’re perfect pals, they go everywhere together. The Greeks figured out a while back that you can’t make one without the other, or, that you could but you shouldn’t.

walla walla sweets  & yogurt raita salad

lamb meatballs

So, three recipes for a Greek-inspired spring supper: one for lamb meatballs, another for its sidekick, tzatziki, along with saffron yogurt rice that’s such a nice bed for the meatballs.

Bon Appetite, Kalí óreksi, Happy Spring.

Spicy Lamb Meatballs Recipe

lamb meatballs

Ingredients: 1# ground lamb/ 1/4 C half & half/ 1/2 (or 1 C) finely chopped onion, sautéed/ 1 clove garlic, finely chopped and added to onion sauté/ 1 egg, whisked/ And lots of spicy flavor: 1 t each coriander and cumin seed, toasted lightly in dry sauté pan and then ground with mortar and pestle (or in a coffee grinder) along with 1 t kosher salt/ 1 t ground cumin, 1/4 t each cinnamon and turmeric, 1 – 2 t chopped fresh mint, 1 t lemon zest, 1/4 C chopped fresh parsley, 1 t pepper or to taste.

Directions: Sauté onion until soft (about 10 minutes), adding garlic when onions are nearly done/ Set aside to cool/ Meanwhile, mix egg and half & half together and add to larger bowl with the ground lamb/ Mix lightly with clean hands/ Add all the spices and chopped herbs, mix together, but don’t overwork – in order to keep meatballs tender/ Add cooled onions and mix again.

Double this recipe and freeze the meatball mixture or the meatballs. Freeze uncooked meatballs on a cookie sheet for several hours until firm, and then transfer to an airtight container or zip lock bag.

lamb meatballs

Using fingers or a small spoon, make meatballs of a uniform, smallish size/ A pound will make 15 – 25 depending on size/ Place on cookie sheet and directly into 400 degree oven for 20 minutes (again, depending on size, could be a little less or a little longer)/ Or, sauté with olive oil in batches, turning every few minutes to brown/ Cook on each side, 15- 20 minutes total.

Serve with tzatziki sauce and saffron rice or make a sandwich, minus the rice, with pita bread, halved meatballs, tzatziki, a little red onion, lettuce and tomato.

Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Ingredients & Directions: Mix together 2 C plain Greek *yogurt, 1 t finely chopped garlic, 1 T ground cumin, 1 t lemon juice, 1 t chopped mint or dill (optional), 1/2 t salt, 3 C seeded and *diced English cucumber/ Mix together, refrigerate.

Serve cold with any lamb dish or by itself as a refreshing sauce or salad.

*The yogurt and cucumber are typically placed in sieves – cucumbers chopped and salted – and their natural liquids allowed to drain for 30 minutes or so. This prevents tzatziki from becoming too liquidy. Rinse salted, drained cukes before adding to the mix. Greek yogurt and seeded English cucumber tend not to have much liquid, making the preparation process a little simpler.


Another kind of ‘tzatziki’ made with carrots, Raita, of Indian origins, is almost identical to tzatziki. And there’s Walla Walla Sweet Onion & Yogurt ‘Salad’ ala Jerry Traunfeld.

walla walla sweet onions & yogurt salad

Saffron & Yogurt Rice Recipe

Serves 4 – 6.

Ingredients & Directions:  2 C rinsed and drained Basmati rice, 4 C water, 1/4 – 1/3 C plain Greek yogurt, pinch or a few strands of saffron, 1 t lemon zest, 1/2 t turmeric, 1 t salt/ Stir together in pot, bring to simmer and cook with lid on until water has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

lamb meatballs