GRATED CARROT SALAD WITH DATES AND PISTACHIOS

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon paprika, sweet, hot or smoked, or a combination

1 teaspoon honey

1 pound carrots

1/4 cup chopped pitted dates (about 4 whole)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup shelled natural pistachios, walnuts or almonds, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon shredded fresh mint

Directions

In a small skillet over medium-low, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until they turn a shade darker and become fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the paprika and the honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, coarsely grate the carrots, preferably using the coarse grating disk on a food processor. In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the cooled oil-cumin mixture, the dates, lemon juice, pistachios and salt, using your hands to incorporate the dates. Stir in the mint just before serving.

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COBB SALAD: ICEBERG, TOMATO, AVOCADO, BACON AND BLUE CHEESE

Ingredients:

2 1/2 ounces smoked bacon, rind removed, cut into matchsticks (3/4 cup)

1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped (4 cups)

2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cubed

4 ounces chilled blue cheese (preferably Roquefort), crumbled (1 cup)

4 small spring onions or scallions, white part only, trimmed, peeled, and cut into thin rounds

Yogurt and Lemon Dressing (recipe follows)

Coarse, freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. In a large, dry skillet, brown the bacon over moderate heat until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to several layers of paper towels to absorb the fat. Set aside.

2. In a large, shallow bowl, combine the bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and spring onions. Toss with just enough dressing to lightly and evenly coat the ingredients. Season generously with pepper and serve.

Yogurt and Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Method:

1. In a jar, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, and salt. Cover with a lid and shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. The dressing can be used immediately.

ROTINI WITH SPRING VEGGIES AND GOAT CHEESE

Ingredients:
8–10 oz. rotini or other curly pasta

1 lb. slender asparagus spears, trimmed into 1ʺ pieces

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

4 oz. Goat cheese, softened

salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • When the pasta is mostly cooked (about 2 or 3 minutes shy of al dente), add the chopped asparagus into the pot to blanche.
  • In a very large bowl, combine the tomatoes, chives, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and tarragon.
  • Drain the pasta and asparagus. Add to the bowl with veggies and combine with the Parmesan and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.

TOMATO-CUCUMBER SALAD

This Summer, forget the stove and the oven. Burst with fresh flavors!!!

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, feta and basil. in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad; toss to coat. Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes 6 to 8 servings as a side.

LIGHTENED-UP POTATO SALAD

Salad

2 lbs. small new potatoes

1 lb. asparagus, bottom ends trimmed

2 cups sugar snap peas or green beans

4 small radishes, thinly sliced

1/2 bunch green onions, sliced thin

 

Mustard Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Place cleaned potatoes in a medium saucepan with water reaching 1 inch above potatoes. Boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Drain; run cold water over potatoes until cooked.

Fill a medium saucepan with water; salt and bring to boil. Add asparagus. One minute later, add peas or green beans. Cook 2 more minutes; blanch in an ice bath. Drain vegetables; spread on clean towels to dry.

Meanwhile, whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together until blended and smooth.

cut potatoes, asparagus and peas or green beans into 1/2-inch-long segments. Combine and add radishes and green onions. Toss with vinaigrette up to an hour before serving. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate leftovers.

Makes 6-8 servings