M. Andrew Gordon

Posts Tagged ‘Salad’

Building a better beet salad…with bacon

In Appetizers, Side Dishes on March 4, 2011 at 9:24 am

This salad combines so many things I love: beets, bacon, smoked cheese, maple syrup, peppery greens.  Salads don’t have to be complicated at all and often I like things simple, say, watercress with some thinly sliced red onion and a simple vinaigrette.  But this salad is, comparatively, a bear to make, if only because it requires roasting of the beets and the baby artichokes.  But the results are worth it.

Baby artichokes have one real advantage over their larger brethren – they can be eaten whole.  Of course, you can’t eat them whole as you buy them.  To prepare baby artichokes to cook, peel off the outer leaves until you have revealed the light green and soft leaves inside.  Trim the stem end and slice the tips off the leaves. At this point, the artichokes either need to be cooked or rubbed with lemon juice as they will brown very quickly.  If you thought apples browned quickly, you haven’t seen anything yet.

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Grilled Cole Slaw

In Side Dishes on November 3, 2010 at 7:56 am

Autumn in New England is a wonderful time for culinary explorations as there is a great wealth of food that is at, or at least still near, its peak. Squashes, pumpkins, apples, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and kale are all quite good right now.  If you’re lucky enough to hunt or know someone who hunts, the prospect of obtaining quality, fresh venison, duck, goose, or other game increases.  But there is a bitterness underlying the good fortune as there looms a long winter without a preponderance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Thankfully, many squashes and root vegetables will keep through the winter and there are always dried beans and canned or preserved goods to turn to.  But I like to take advantage of the last remnants of truly fresh produce in the region and the cole crops such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and broccoli are prime suspects.  They are usually hardy through light frosts though a hard frost will ruin them.

This salad was born from simply needing to provide a side dish for a late season barbecue.  Thankfully, it’s remarkably simple if you omit the poached cranberries, though you will then need to make the dressing from scratch.  Grilling the cabbage softens the texture and the pears become lightly caramelized, making them just a little bit sweeter.  If you do not poach the cranberries, I would recommend adding a handful of sweetened dried cranberries in their place.

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Three Salads

In Side Dishes on September 8, 2010 at 7:36 pm

There is probably little to be said here – below are three salads that serve well as side dishes.  One is a variation on the perennial favorite potato salad.  I like to roast my potatoes, giving the salad a greater depth than most boiled potato versions.  The dressing is simple, playing off the herbs and trying not to drown the potato in a mess of mayonnaise or bludgeon it with vinegar.

Another is a paean to late summer produce, combining the sweetness of corn and peaches in a dressing that manages to just capture the two predominant flavors.  I combine raw corn, because I like the texture and sugary flavor with cooked corn, which has a more mellow sweet note.  In another variation on that salad, I added chopped tomato and smoked mozzarella to great effect.   In other words, it is a versatile canvas for other flavors.

The final salad was a last minute side dish on an early September weeknight.  I wanted something that pulled together quickly.  By shredding the Brussel’s sprouts and the carrots, they cook very quickly and the cranberry-chipotle syrup was leftover from fried chicken and waffles the night before.  The syrup is more of a sauce, though, and actually would form the basis of a killer salad dressing.

Roasted Potato Salad

Serves 8

  • 2 lbs potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 stalk celery, strings removed and chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (basil, chives, thyme, sage)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Toss potatoes with oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning pan once and stirring potatoes every 10 minutes.
  2. Place potatoes in a bowl and add celery and pepper.
  3. In separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, herbs, and lemon juice.  Pour over potatoes and toss to coat.

Variation:   Cook 6 ounces of bacon until crisp.  Let cool and crumble over potatoes.

Corn-and-Peach Salad

Serves 8

  • 8 ears corn, husked
  • 4 medium peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cut kernels from corn and divide in half.  Over one bowl, scrape all eight ears to release juice.  Heat a cast iron or stainless skillet over high heat.  Add the half of the kernels that did not have the corn juice.  Cook until well-charred, stirring often, and remove.
  2. Add butter and half the lime juice to skillet, stirring to break up any brown bits.  Pour over the cooked corn and let cool, about 5 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, combine raw corn, cooked corn, peaches, and red pepper.  In smaller bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, cumin, chile powder, basil, and remaining lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper and pour over corn mixture.  Stir to coat serve.

Brussel’s Sprout-Carrot Salad

  • 2 cups shredded Brussel’s sprouts
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons cranberry-chipotle syrup
  1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add Brussel’s sprouts and carrots and stir to coat.  Let cook for 8 minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Add cranberry-chipotle syrup and continue cooking for 2-4 minutes.  Serve.

Cranberry-Chipotle Syrup

Makes 2 ½ cups

  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chipotle puree
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Combine cranberries, water, honey, vinegar, and chipotle in a sauce pan and place over medium heat.  Cook for 20 minutes, until cranberries are very soft and liquid has reduced by half.
  2. Add the butter and continue cooking until melted.  Let cool slightly, transfer to blender or food processor, and puree.