Spiced Peaches

I am sure you all have a family favorite that your mom, dad. grandmother or other family member made every Thanksgiving Day.  Spiced Peaches is the one side dish what I remember on Thanksgiving.  Surprising, Spiced Peaches my husband also remembers his mom making every Thanksgiving when he was growing up.  Interesting since they lived on opposite coasts and entirely different regions of the country. However, they were the same generation and that might be the clue as to why Spiced Peaches were so popular when we were growing up.  Anyway, I have always made Spiced Peaches on Thanksgiving carrying on my mom’s tradition and now my family requests them each year.  This is the recipe that my mom always used for her Spiced Peaches. So easy to prepare in advance and great to serve along side your Thanksgiving favorites.  I can guarantee you they will be on our dinner table this Thanksgiving!

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Spiced Peaches

Ingredients

  • 2 -29 oz. cans peach halves in syrup
  • 3-6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Heat to boiling, simmer for five minutes..  Remove of heat.  Let cool in the spiced syrup.  Refrigerate until serving.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-whah”) is a seed that has more protein than any other grain or seed.  It has a nutty flavor that is perfect to add to many types of salads.  This salad is easy to prepare and delicious tossed with a quick lemon vinaigrette.  It would also be a great salad to stir in chicken, steak, salmon, or shrimp. For those of you looking for a lunch-to-go or picnic salad, Quinoa Salad is perfect.   

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Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, minced

Instructions

  1. Combine quinoa, salt and 1 1/4 up water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, let stand for five minutes.  Fluff with a fork, let cool.

    Combine lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil , whisk to combine, season with salt and pepper.  When quinoa has cooled, combine with 1/4 cup of dressing, mix well, refrigerate.  At this point you can refrigerate overnight.  When ready to serve, combine with remaining ingredients, drizzle remaining dressing over.

Corn, Goat Cheese and Tomato Salad

What do you do when you have fresh corn, tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese?  Here is quick answer – Corn, Goat Cheese and Tomato Salad.  Super easy to make and one of those delicious side dishes that you are amazed is so easy to make.  I cut the corn of the cobs, diced the tomatoes and shortly after I had a fantastic salad.

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Corn, Goat Cheese and Tomato Salad

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook for 4 - 5 minutes or until transparent. Add corn and stir until tender, approximately six minutes.  Spoon mixture into a serving bowl.  Toss with vinegar, salt and pepper.  Top with goat cheese.  Serve warm

Heirloom Tomato, Peach and Burrata Salad

We recently had lunch at a wonderful new French restaurant in Georgetown in Washington, DC.  On the menu they had an heirloom tomato salad with burrata.  If you not not familiar with burrata cheese, it is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside has a velvety creamy texture .  Therefore, when you cut into the cheese, the inside oozes out and is absolutely delicious.  We enjoyed the salad so much I said this is something I will definitely make. Fast forward a few weeks and we are visiting Georgia during peak peach season.   My daughter came up the great idea of adding peaches to this recipe – Heirloom Tomato, Peach and Burrata Salad.  This combination is unique and absolutely delicious, not to mention the beautiful presentation.  I served this with grilled lamb chops and roasted potatoes, a wonderful summer menu.

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Heirloom Tomato, Peach and Burrata Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 Heirloom tomatoes, varied colors
  • 1 large ripe peach
  • 1 ball Burrata cheese
  • fresh basil, minced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the tomatoes and peach.  Spread on serving dish.  Place cheese in the center.  Drizzle with olive oil, top with basil, salt and pepper.  Serve at room temperature.

Marion’s Orange Salad Dressing

I am so happy I found this recipe for Marion’s Orange Salad Dressing.  This is a recipe that my mom made for many year’s; she received this recipe from Marion, our next door neighbor.  Marion always recommended serving this over fresh sliced fruit.  I remember my mom always serving this drizzled on a bed of greens with sliced avocado and grapefruit.  My favorite way to serve this dressing is over blood orange slices, blueberries and avocado slices.  Any way you serve this dressing, it is fantastic.  Top your salad with a sprinkle of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 

 

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Marion's Orange Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 orange, juiced and zested (1 teaspoon), approx. 2/3 cup juice
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested (1 teaspoon), approx. 1/2 cup juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Beat the egg until well beaten, add remaining ingredients including one teaspoon zest from lemon and orange.  Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat; stirring constantly until the mixture is boiling around the edges and thickened.  This will take 8 - 10 minutes.  Immediately remove from the heat.  Cool.  Refrigerate.

 

 

 

 

Fingerling Potato Picnic Salad

With Memorial Day around the corner, it is time to start thinking about picnics.  I have a fondness for picnics ever since I meet my husband and when we were dating we picnicked almost every weekend.  I wish I could tell you that that has continued, we still love to picnic, however, not as frequent as we would like.  But I still call eating on our porch, picnicking!  Anyway, this Fingerling Potato Picnic Salad is perfect to take along.  I know many do not like mayonnaise based dressings, this salad is topped with an herb sour cream dressing.   Fingerling Potato Picnic Salad is especially good served at room temperature.  Do not hesitate to add any other raw vegetables you might have on hand.  With the farmers’ markets opening, be on the lookout for farm fresh potatoes and vegetables. 

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Fingerling Potato Picnic Salad

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces fingerling potato medley, various colors
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro

Instructions

  1. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch segments.  Add to a medium saucepan, cover with water, add one tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar.  Bring to a boil over high heat reduce heat, cover and cook until fork tender  15 - 18 minutes.  Drain potatoes and place in a shallow bowl, mix with 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar.  Cool to room temperature.  In a small bowl mix together mustard remaining 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, olive oil and chives.  Add cucumber and cilantro to the potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss with dressing.  Mix well.  Serve at room temperature or refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature prior to serving.

 

Cantaloupe Tomato Salad with Herb Dressing

I am always striving to create unusual salads and this is one combination you might not think about putting together.  The sweet cantaloupe combined with vine-ripened tomatoes and a hit of red onion, topped with a citrus honey herb dressing is the perfect salad to serve along side grilled chicken, fish or shellfish.   A crumble topping of feta sets this salad apart from all others.  A feast for the eyes and your taste buds!

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Cantaloupe Tomato Salad with Herb Citrus Dressing

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Cut cantaloupe, remove seeds, cut away rind and slice into thin slices.  Dice onion, and thinly slice tomatoes.  Layer in a salad bowl.  Combine dressing ingredients; lemon juice, cider vinegar, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, mustard, and mint in a container that you can seal and shake.  Add the olive oil and vigorously shake until well combined.  Pour over cantaloupe mixture, refrigerate for one hour.  Top with crumbled Feta, serve.

 

 

Lobster, Potato and Fresh Corn Salad

If you are feeling the heat, these last days of summer, it’s time to serve a cold salad.  Lobster, Potato and Fresh Corn Salad is the perfect main dish salad.  This combination of lobster, corn and potatoes is a match made in heaven!   I tossed it all together with a vinaigrette, fresh tarragon and a hint of cream.  Fresh tarragon is essential in this recipe and easy to find in the herb section of your grocery or any farmers market.  A spectacular combination that I think you will agree is the perfect salad.  I served this with warm Focaccia Bread, olive oil for dipping the bread and a great chilled bottled of white wine – YUM!

Lobster, Potato salad

Lobster, Potato and Fresh Corn Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 16oz. small potatoes ( I used small purple potatoes for color)
  2. 3 ears of corn, cut from the cob
  3. 1/2 cup olive oil
  4. 3 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  5. 2 shallots, minced
  6. 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  7. 1 pound lobster meat, cut into one inch pieces
  8. 1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  9. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Early in the day - Cut potatoes in half and place in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and cook approx. 10 - 14 minutes until tender. Drain. Toss potatoes with 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1/2 of the minced shallots and salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  2. Cut corn from the cob, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain.
  3. After the potatoes and corn have cooled, refrigerate. Steam lobster, cool and refrigerate.
  4. Assemble the salad approx. 30 minutes prior to serving. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes, corn and lobster. Combine remaining olive oil and rice vinegar, cream, remaining shallot, cream, tarragon and salt and pepper, to taste. Pour over salad ingredients and gently toss, spoon into a lettuce lined plate. Serves 4
Notes
  1. How to steam lobster tails - In a medium saucepan add one inch of water, place a steamer basket in the pan, cover and heat to boiling. Add the lobster tails, cover and steam for 8 minutes, remove and cool.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Brussel Sprout Apple Salad

If you like Waldorf Salad and brussel sprouts, I think you will really like this salad.  I took the two and melded them together to create this delicious salad.  I prepared the brussel sprouts and while they were cooking, mixed the remaining ingredients in my salad bowl.  Blended the warm brussel sprouts, remaining salad ingredients and dressing in my salad bowl.  Tossed completely and served.  A wonderful combination of hot and cold all topped with a creamy dressing.

Brussel Sprout Apple Salad

Brussel Sprout Apple Salad
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
  2. 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter
  3. 1 apple, diced
  4. 1 stalk of celery, diced
  5. 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  6. 1/3 cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries
  7. Dressing
  8. 5 tablespoons half and half
  9. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  11. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add brussel sprouts and stir frequently until they begin to lightly brown. While the brussel sprouts are cooking, combine the remaining salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together. Continue to cook the brussel spouts just until parts begin to brown and they are crisp tender. Toss the brussel sprouts with the remaining salad ingredients. Top with dressing and toss. Serve.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/

Whole Wheat Orzo Salad

Pasta salads are one of our favorites during the warm spring and summer days.  Easy to prepare early in the day and great to serve with your favorite grilled meat, fish, or chicken.  I use the marinade from the marinated artichokes as the dressing, I also love to use feta cheese that is infused with pepper.  It just adds the perfect piquancy to this salad.

orzo salad 2

 

Whole Wheat Orzo Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole wheat orzo, cooked
  2. 1 jar marinated artichokes, drained, marinade reserved
  3. 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  4. 1 zucchini, shredded
  5. 1 carrot, shredded
  6. 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  7. 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (I use feta with pepper)
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste ( I omit the pepper when using feta with pepper)
Instructions
  1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and place in a mixing bowl. While hot, toss with 3 tablespoons of reserved marinade from artichokes. Let cool, if preferred, add additional marinade to desired amount of dressing. Add remaining ingredients, toss. Refrigerate until serving. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving. Add additional feta when serving, if desired.
A Passion for Entertaining http://apassionforentertaining.com/