Posts tagged salad
This Elevated Salad Flips the Script

Sometimes I get a cookbook that just sings right from the first page. I shouldn’t have been surprised that Carla Lalli Music’s book had that je ne sais quoi quality - she is, after all, the food director at Bon Appetit.

But her new book, Where Cooking Begins, is a true delight. It starts with methodology rather than recipe and seems to aim to get people to be more spontaneous with their cooking. It is a book that will help people need recipes less. If you want to be a more confident cook you’ll love having Carla along to guide you and if you already are confident then Carla will help you get new ideas and brush up on some classic techniques.

It was a delight to have Carla come to the Potluck kitchen and showcase a recipe that seems to embody the book - super simple and bright but with just enough twist to feel brilliant.

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Dorie Greenspan Has a Salad To Save You

When I met Dorie Greenspan many years ago I was so delighted to learn that the voice I relate to so much on the page of her cookbooks is the exact person you get if you are lucky enough to have her standing in front of you. For so many of us she is our helpful and enthusiastic guide, coaxing us along to make recipes that bring out our best selves without feeling a lot of stress.

For her newest book, Everyday Dorie, she really brings us into her home and I wanted to tackle a recipe from it with her that really spoke to her demeanor. This salad we made together doesn’t have an artfully done photograph in the book nor was it one of the ones she suggested. But I love it because it reminded me of the quintessential way all of Dorie’s books make me feel - like I can do anything with whatever I have on hand and it will still turn out fabulously.

So watch me gush over one of my favorite people (sorry, I just have to every time I see her) and then get inspiration for a salad that will have you reaching into your pantry in no time.

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The Perfect Lobster Salad

Over the summer I try to eat as much lobster as humanly possible. Nothing speaks to me quite like a lobster roll when it is hot outside. 

You can actually eat lobster all year long but in the summer (and into the fall) you actually get new shell lobsters which have their own wonderful texture. I spent a lot of time up in Maine last year learning about the differences in lobsters (you can find them up the coast from Canada as well, but I am a bit in love with how Maine handles their lobsters). 

At any rate as the season changes (or doesn't, based on the weather where you are!) I wanted to break out of my roll rut and try something new. Luckily Kwame Onwuachi was in town to show me a flavorful and bright take on a lobster salad that will keep you hanging on to warm weather. You might recognize Kwame if you have been to his DC restaurant Kith/Kin or if you are a fan of Top Chef!

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A Sweet Twist on a Corn and Black Bean Salad

I'm such a sucker for this time of year. I was walking around the farmers market on Saturday as though it was the perfect day. Local strawberries are finally out, the weather is beautiful, and my son didn't knock anything over.

So I think one of the best kinds of items is highlighting that freshness without overdoing it. This salad just tastes like the sweet early start of summer. I love a corn and black bean salad but I feel like it's one of those items stuck in a rut - why do they always have to have cilantro and red pepper? I wanted something to change it up.

I like using rice vinegar because it adds a bit of sweetness that marries well with the corn. The rest of it is like a deconstructed pesto - you have the basil and the pine nuts but all the textures are coming through. And it uses one of my favorite strategies for corn, which is grilling it on the stove. Nothing makes summer feel more present than a little bit of char on a piece of corn. 

It is simple but still special. It's hearty enough to eat as a meal and will hold up as a side if needed. Get ready for a whole lot of summer content coming your way. 

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This Cucumber Salad Wins the Trifecta of Being Beautiful, Easy and a Little Kooky

I was recently in LA doing some book promo for Bring It! and every kept telling me to go to Kismet. So we went early enough where we could take my son (and...to be honest... when they would let us in without making a reservation weeks in advance). The style and service was very LA - interpret that how you will - but I was really delighted by a lot of the fun and ease of a lot of the dishes. 

One dish in particular was a cucumber and orange salad sitting on a little bed of labneh with a lot of surrounding spices. It struck me as such a cool presentation for a salad - leaving the dressing as part of the image, rather than tossed together or drizzled on top.

I got home and decided to make a slightly more home-cook friendly version using a fruit that is coming back into season - grapes! And I also figured that I would char them because why not and I love my broiler. 

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Tomato and Roasted Zucchini Salad

It's hard to draw the line between a salad and a vegetable side dish sometimes, but I think that middle ground is actually a pretty great spot. There's no reason why raw vegetables can't marry with cooked. And this time of year I am partial to also combining the best of summer: raw tomatoes with anything charred from a grill or broiler. So this 'salad' accomplishes it all.

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