Displaying items by tag: salads


I convinced my friend, filmmaker and writer Gail Singer, to give me her go-to recipe for summer dinner parties. It’s a standout dish that allows you to change the vegetables. (Just be sure there is about 1 to 2 cups of each, cut in julienne or matchstick-size pieces.)

You can buy perilla leaves in Japanese or other Asian markets, or substitute a combination of basil and mint.

To serve: Some people like to pour the dressing into the bottom of their bowl and dip in the noodles and vegetables. Others toss the dressing with the noodles and vegetables before serving.


Prep time: 25 minutes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Serves: 4



300 g (10 ounces) fresh or dried buckwheat soba noodles; 3 litres (12 cups) water


2 peeled mini cucumbers or 1/2 a large cucumber, cut in julienne

2 cups medium carrots, cut in julienne

1 red or yellow pepper, cut in julienne

1 cup daikon or regular radish, cut in julienne

6 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

Salt and freshly ground pepper


¼ cup Japanese soy sauce

¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

3 tablespoons sesame oil

4 teaspoons wasabi powder, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 teaspoons sugar


2 large perilla leaves, sliced about 2 tablespoons (or 4 basil leaves and 4 mint leaves)

1 cup radish sprouts or other sprouts

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


Bring water to boil. Submerge noodles, stir gently. Allow to simmer – 7 minutes for dried and 5 minutes for fresh. Check a noodle by taking a bite. There should be no resistance.

Strain through a sieve then rinse noodles thoroughly in cold water, tossing with your hands. Let sit on a dish towel to dry, then refrigerate.

Place vegetables on a pretty dish in separate piles.

Heat vegetable oil in a small non-stick pan. Divide egg mixture in half and make 2 small pancakes. Cook eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, as thinly as possible. Flip and allow to brown slightly. Cool and cut into strips.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Toss noodles in ¾ cup dressing. Scoop a portion of noodles onto the plate. Top with each of the individual vegetables and egg. Garnish with perilla and radish sprouts. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle with remaining dressing if desired.

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Sriracha is a Thai hot sauce that includes sugar, chilies, garlic and vinegar for a balanced heat. It is the ketchup of Thailand. Pickerel is a sensational fish on the grill. You can either grill whole fillets or cut them into two or three pieces.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Ready time: 30 minutes
Servings: Four


Jicama slaw:

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced

6 green onions, slivered on the diagonal

2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage

2 cups julienned jicama


2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Sriracha mayo:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup yogurt

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1/4 cup chopped mint

Salt and freshly ground pepper


4 pickerel fillets, skin on, cut in 1/2

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Toss peppers, onions, Napa leaves and jicama together in a large bowl.

Mix orange and lemon juices and whisk in olive oil in a bowl. Add chives and season with salt and pepper. Toss with jicama and vegetables.

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, hoisin, Sriracha and mint for the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Brush the fish with vegetable oil on both skin and flesh, and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to high. Place fish flesh-side down on grill. Close cover and grill for 2 minutes. Open cover, flip fish, close and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes or until fish is just cooked and still moist. Remove from grill.

Divide salad among 4 plates and place pickerel on top. Serve mayonnaise on the side.

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This salad is a great companion for the eggs. Use grapefruit instead of oranges if desired.

Servings: Six

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Ready In: 25 minutes



2 avocadoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces

2 Belgian endive, core removed, cut into 1-inch slices

2 oranges, peeled and segmented

8 cups mixed spicy lettuce


2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped mint


Gently combine avocados, endive and oranges in a bowl.

Combine lime juice, orange juice, mustard, honey and shallots .Whisk in vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in mint.

Lay lettuce on a platter. Drizzle with a little dressing. Top with avocado mixture and drizzle with more dressing.

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If asparagus stalks are thick (and in my opinion better eating), then peel before using. Break the stalk at its natural break then peel up to the head with a vegetable peeler. I used green asparagus as it stands up best to the strongly flavoured salsa.

Servings: Serves 2 to 4, depending on your love of asparagus

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ready In: 5 minutes



2 pounds (1 kilogram) thick or thin asparagus stalks, trimmed

Gremolata Salsa:

¼ cup chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chopped capers

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Peel asparagus if stalks are thick.

Combine parsley, capers, garlic, lemon rind and juice with the olive oil and pulse in a food processor, mini-chop, or mix by hand. Stir in Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a skillet of salted boiling water to boil. Add asparagus and cook for 1 to 3 minutes depending on thickness or until tender crisp.

Drain well and run under cold water until chilled. Lay on a tea towel to dry.

Place on platter and drizzle with gremolata salsa.


Crisp, grassy sauvignon blanc is a fine choice and would be particularly apt for this asparagus salad. - Beppi Crosariol

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Citrus is frequently served as dessert after a Japanese dinner. This way of preparing oranges is perfect after a spicy meal. We used the orange juice collected after segmenting the oranges. If you can’t get to a ¼ cup, use store bought. Use Cointreau, Grand Marnier or triple sec for the liqueur. Serve with vanilla or green tea ice cream.

Servings: Four

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ready In: 35 minutes



4 blood or navel oranges

½ cup water

2 tablespoons honey

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup orange liqueur

1 tablespoon shiso (Japanese mint/basil flavour) or basil leaves, slivered



Use a peeler to peel one blood orange reserving the peel. Then remove the peel and pith of the other oranges. Segment all oranges over a bowl reserving any juices. Measure out ¼ cup of juice. Set both aside.

Add peel to a pot of water, bring to boil, and simmer peel for 15 minutes. Strain and discard water. Remove any pith. Thinly slice orange peel.

Combine water, honey and sugar in a pot over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add peel and simmer for 5 minutes over medium-low heat or until syrup is mostly absorbed. Remove from heat.

Add orange juice, Grand Marnier and shiso or basil leaves to syrup. Spoon syrup over oranges and chill well.



Mediterranean comfort food tends to shine more brightly than the rib-sticking dishes from colder-climate regions. And so it is with this zesty chicken dinner. You’ll want to greet the tanginess of the tomatoes and olives with a double-cheeked kiss of acidity. So, if it’s a red wine you desire, stick with Europe, a continent in full embrace of reds with crisp backbone. Medium-bodied Salice Salentino from the southern Italian region of Puglia, full-bodied nero d’Avola from Sicily, young Chianti from Tuscany and French Côtes du Rhône are all good options. Dry rose works nicely, too, as does just about any unoaked white from a coastal Mediterranean region, such as verdicchio from Italy or Rueda from Spain. Beer? Try a hearty but bracingly bitter pale ale. - Beppi Crosariol

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These toasts make a good hors d’oeuvre for passing. Toast the nuts for 10 minutes in a 350 F oven to heighten their taste.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ready In: 25 minutes




¾ cup Roquefort cheese

3 tablespoons softened butter

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

8 slices toasted baguette (cut on the bias)

4 cups arugula

½ cup toasted pecans

12 slices dried pears


2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper



Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat together Roquefort, butter and chilies. Spread onto the toasts. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 6 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and melted.

Place arugula on 4 plates. Sprinkle with pecans. Top with pear slices and warm Roquefort toasts.

Whisk together, lemon juice, maple syrup and parsley. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over salads.


Place 12 (or more) very thin slices of cored pear in a bowl with 4 cups of water and 1½ teaspoons of lemon juice. Let stand for 30 minutes, drain and pat pear slices dry with paper towels. Place in a single layer on a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet and bake at 175 F for 2 to 4 hours (depending on how thin you cut them) or until dried and crisp.



Just as maple syrup serves as a counterpoint to the salty cheese, a moderately sweet wine goes best here. Think off-dry riesling, even a semi-sweet spätlese riesling from Germany. The wine’s substantial acidity will go toe-to-toe with the lemon, too. - Beppi Crosariol

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This dish is a composed salad with all the elements served separately. Until you’ve tried pickled fennel you don’t know what you are missing. Leave the fennel in the pickling liquid for up to a week if you’re not using it right away.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 1 hour, including marinating time
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 30 minutes, including chilling


1 fennel bulb½ teaspoon fennel seeds1 cup water½ cup white wine vinegar¼ cup sugar1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

½ head escarole lettuce, washed and torn

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 ball buffalo mozzarella, sliced

1 cup pickled fennel

Maldon salt


Remove core from fennel. Slice in quarters, then thinly slice or shave on a mandolin. Place in a bowl.In a medium-sized saucepan, combine fennel seeds, water, white wine vinegar, sugar and salt.

Bring to boil and simmer 2 minutes over medium high heat.Pour over fennel and leave to marinate for 30 minutes or until softened and flavourful. Drain and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay skin-side down, on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until browned and dried just at the edges. Set aside to cool.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add rosemary and sauté for 30 seconds or until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.Toss escarole with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide escarole among 4 plates. Lay a few slices of buffalo mozzarella on the side of the plate, along with a small portion of roasted tomatoes and a small heap pickled fennel.

Sprinkle fried rosemary leaves around plates, a little extra virgin olive oil and Maldon salt.


Just about any Italian white would mesh with this salad, but I’d specifically suggest something from the central region of Campania, home of the finest buffalo mozzarella, such as greco di tufo or fiano di Avellino. But if you prefer to go local, a zesty Canadian riesling would harmonize well, too. - Beppi Crosariol

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Toasted cheese sandwiches are a comforting favourite and this take, as a heart-shaped accompaniment to salad, makes a impressive first-course option. Plus, you can make it all ahead of time.

Servings: Two

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ready In: 25 minutes


4 slices white bread

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ cup grated cheddar or other cheese

2 tablespoons grated apple

½ cup sliced radicchio

½ cup sliced Belgian endive

½ cup watercress leaves

½ cup Brussels sprout leaves

Pomegranate seeds


1 tablespoon mayonnaise

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Cut 3 two-inch hearts from each slice of bread (you’ll want 12 hearts total). Butter one side of each heart. Spread Dijon mustard on the non-buttered side. Divide cheese and apples and pile on top of the bread spread with mustard. Cover with second slice, buttered side up.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat and fry sandwiches about 2 to 3 minutes per side using a spatula to compress slightly, or until bread is golden and cheese is melted.

Toss radicchio, Belgian endive, watercress leaves and Brussels sprout leaves in a bowl.

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and olive oil with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss salad with dressing. Place on two plates and decorate with cheese hearts and pomegranate seeds.


For this “hearty” salad, try Sancerre, the French sauvignon blanc, with enough citrusy zest to tango with the dressing while putting a crisp bite on the cheesy sandwiches. - Beppi Crosariol

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Duck confit should be on the list of best ingredients for a quick meal. It is precooked and all you have to do is warm and crisp the skin. It is traditionally served with frisée lettuce or red cabbage.Without the duck, the salad makes an excellent first course. Buy a selection of bitter lettuce from your farmers market or the grocery store. Frisée, arugula, mustard greens, kale sprouts, tatsoi, radicchio and dandelion leaves are all excellent.


Servings: 4

Ready In: 32 minutes


Duck Confit:

4 legs duck confit


Bitter Lettuce Salad:

12 cups bitter lettuce, torn


Shallot Vinagrette:

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ cup shallots, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon maple syrup

⅓ cup olive oil

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped



Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place legs in cold non-stick skillet. Turn heat to medium low and cook leg for about 8 to 10 minutes, until skin crisps slightly and some fat is released. Turn over and cook the other side for 1 minute. Place legs on baking sheet and reserve until needed.

Bake for 15 minutes or until legs are heated through and skin is crisp. To serve, place the leg on top of dressed salad (see bitter lettuce salad recipe) and scatter potatoes on the side.


Combine lettuces. Whisk together mustard, shallots, vinegar and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper and finish with parsley.

Toss salad with vinaigrette just before serving.

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You can use any colour of radish for this tangy salad, but white looks especially fresh.

Servings: 4

Ready In: 10 minutes


12 radishes, preferably white

½ English cucumber

4 green onions

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Shave radishes and cucumber horizontally with a vegetable peeler or mandolin. Cut green onions on the bias. Sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper.

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