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Cobb Salad with a Spin: Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad with a Spin: Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad

It’s no secret that Cobb Salad is a personal fave. But how to turn up the flavors, yet keep the bacon, egg, and cheese goodness? Enter Sriracha Grilled Shrimp and Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing. Say hello to your new best friend –  the Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad. Perfection!

Southwestern Shrimp Cobb

If you only need to know one thing about me, know this. I am mad for late summer farmers’ markets. I will probably go to five this week. Okay, I agree…..a little obsessive. But, I have a favorite farmer (plus The Cheese Lady) for every ingredient in this salad. I’m not saying you have to do the same – or that you can’t just go to the supermarket for all this – but I AM SAYING you have to make this NOW. Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad is all about the season at hand! Fresh sweet corn. Heirloom tomatoes. Sprouts. Flowers. Herbs. Oh my!

Sweet Corn

The Classic Cobb Salad

Instead of debating where this salad came from and why it is so called (almost certainly a 20s- or 30s-era salad from Hollywood’s Brown Derby, owned by Robert Cobb), what do you say we just dive in? The classic has greens – often iceberg or romaine, chicken, tomatoes, avocado, hard boiled egg, Roquefort and bacon. In other words, what could be bad? You may find it already tossed, as well as deconstructed with tidy little rows of ingredients. While it barely needs a dressing, the rich cheese and bacon beg for a quiet whisper of shallot vinaigrette. 

Heirloom Varieties

The Shrimp Cobb Salad

I’m not gonna lie. I am a bit conflicted here. I have a passion for spins and tweaks and making the old new again. But the Classic Cobb is pretty much as good as it gets. I was having a party and wanted a make-ahead all-in-one salad-entree and I thought this would fit the bill….a real crowd-pleaser. But I decided as long as I keep all the favorite components, I could give it a global palate spin. Enter shrimp, corn, and chipotle.  Some of the ingredients were direct swaps – chicken for shrimp, roasted for marinated and grilled, Roquefort for Hatch Gouda, and shallot vinaigrette for Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing. Others were too good to mess with – bacon, eggs, tomatoes, and avocado. Then there were a few things I decided to slide in because I could. 

Plum Varieties

Look at these stunningly gorgeous plums. What a perfect sweet and juicy foil to all that buttermilk tang and chipotle smoke! Michigan produces a wide range of both Japanese and European varieties. Those yellow/green beauties are Shiros; the golden/orange-ish rounds are Bubblegum; the small red orbs are Methley; and the violet-blue ovals are Vibrants. I also added some corn which brought some more lovely sweetness, but bonus……….a nice crunch and texture contrast, as well. 

Deconstructed Shrimp Cobb Salad

I think deconstructed salads are among the few places where more is more. Most often in food, less is more. But if you are going to let people decide what to add to their plate, why not give them a variety to chose from? 

Marinating the Shrimp

Shrimp is an-oh-so simple thing to throw on the grill, and of course is good grilled and chilled, making this the perfect make-ahead entree. The marinade is dead easy – lime juice, olive oil, Sriracha, Tabasco and some spices. If you haven’t tried the Chipotle Tabasco, give it a whirl. It adds a nice smokiness to the marinade. I never like to marinate any seafood or fish for too long, because the acid will start to “cook” it. If you prep the marinade first, and add the shrimp while prepping the rest of the salad and getting the grill ready, you will time it just right. Then only a few minutes on the fire for each side, and you and your shrimp will be ready to chill.

Grilled Shrimp

Composing the Salad

The directions for the marinade and creamy dressing are sufficiently detailed, but I am leaving the quantities for the fixin’s – or even whether or not to add them at all – up to  you. How big is your platter? How many are you serving? How much do you love/hate sprouts? 

Just keep in mind colors and textures as you go to arrange your platter. It’s a bounty of beautiful ingredients so this should be the fun part once your chopping is done. If you need to prep things further ahead than when you want to compose it, just bag each ingredient separately and arrange closer to serving time. Your guests will be dazzled! Enjoy!!

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Southwestern Cobb: overhead view on a large white platter; deconstructed piles of avocado, corn, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled egg slices, limes, bacon, micro greens, grated jalapeno cheddar, grilled shrimp, salad greens and plums

Cobb Salad with a Spin: Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Description

This Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad is a kicked up spin on an old classic. A few simple ingredient swaps, along with a zesty marinade for the shrimp and a creamy Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing, and this one-platter-is-a-meal comes together quickly. What a great way to celebrate with the bounty of late summer!


Ingredients

Scale

Marinade (makes enough for two pounds of shrimp):

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing (makes 2 1/2 cups):

  • 1 cup Greek non-fat plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • chipotles in adobo – one big and one small, more or less to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves

Salad fixin’s (mains):

  • shrimp, raw, deveined, peeled and tail on
  • Little Gems, baby Romaine lettuce, trimmed and halved
  • heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes, halved
  • eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and halved
  • bacon, crispy and crumbled
  • avocado, peeled and chopped
  • Southwestern cheese, grated (I found Hatch Chili Gouda)
  • corn, shucked, boiled, and cut from the cob
  • plums (or other stone fruit), pitted and sliced

Salad fixin’s (garnishes):

  • cilantro leaves
  • limes, cut in wedges or halved, if small
  • edible flowers, like Nasturtium
  • fresh sprouts, like radish, watercress and sunflower
  • crunchy topper (see note)

Instructions

Prepare the marinade: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate, up to one hour, while you prepare the other ingredients.

Prepare the Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing:  Place all ingredients except the cilantro in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop, then process until creamy. Add the cilantro and pulse several times to chop roughly. Transfer to a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate until  you are ready to serve. 

Grill the shrimp: Drain any excess marinade from the shrimp and grill over high heat for 2 – 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and reserve until cooled.

Assemble the salad: Once the shrimp is cool enough to not wilt your salad, compose the salad using all the main ingredients, with an eye toward color and textures.  Arrange the garnishes on top. If you are serving later, reserve the bacon and crispy topping until serving time. Cover and refrigerate. 

To serve: Add the bacon and crispy topping and serve with the Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing. 

Notes

Crunchy toppers: there are a lot of different crunchy toppers available in the crouton section these days. I used the fried jalapeno slices, but you will also find the basic fried onion rings, as well as red peppers, tortillas and more. Chef’s choice.

Marinade is enough for two pounds of shrimp and Buttermilk Chipotle Dressing makes 2 1/2 cups.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cobb Salad, Shrimp, Chipotle Dressing

An Update:

I want to take a moment to send a heartfelt note of gratitude for all those that supported me spiritually, morally and physically in my Ration Challenge journey earlier this summer. Your generous financial support of this campaign put us at the very top of the fundraising leaderboard among the 40,000 challengers from around the world. Together we raised enough to feed 35 refugees for an entire year. Globally, that number is 16,829! Way to go!! With deep gratitude. xoxo, kk

Southwestern Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad

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Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Soup

Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Soup

This hearty, healthy vegetable soup will get you through until the farmers’ markets are cranking out peak of the season produce again. A dollop of pesto will brighten the flavors and get you jonesin’ for sweet summer corn and tomatoes. 

Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Soup

It probably seems like it’s way past soup season but bear with me. It’s about time that we take a second to think again about food waste and making a difference in the way we take advantage of the bounty of the season. If you have been following me for a while, you know that I am a big fan of taking any produce that you overbought and saving it in the freezer until you can use it. Ziplock it fresh, oven-dry it or sauté it and cover in broth before freezing…all to add to sauces, salads, pastas and soups through out the year. Now that we are looking down the barrel of summer, it’s time to clean the freezer and put all last season’s produce to good use. Healthy vegetable soup to the rescue!

Unfortunately we are still wasting 40% of the products that our hardworking farmers produce every year. Some are deemed too ugly to make it onto our supermarket shelves. Some are past their use by date. I love this campaign by the Ad Council. Best if used. Period. Look closely. $1500. That’s how much a family of four spends on food that goes into the trash every year. How great would that extra cash be? 

And landfills filled with rotting food result in higher greenhouse gas emissions than US beef production. All that wasted food AND it is bad for the environment? No bueno!! So think about ways to re-purpose this produce and extend its life.

How to Save Vegetables

  • Fresh corn: cut it off the cob and ziplock it to freeze
  • Tomatoes: oven-dry and once cooled, ziplock and freeze
  • Zucchini, peppers: sauté and cover with broth, then freeze to add to soups and stews
  • Leafy greens: steam and squeeze out the excess liquid, then ziplock and freeze
  • Peas: shell and ziplock raw and freeze
  • Winter squashes: peel, seed and cube, then ziplock and freeze

Here are some of the things coming your way soon, so start thinking about it now. Of course, try to buy the right amount, but don’t throw out your excess. Respect the food and preserve it. Or if you are like me and know the corn will never be better, do buy extra and save it for the long, cold winter. 

Sweet corn

Sweet corn and sweet peas. 

Sweet peas

Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

Heirloom cherry tomatoes definitely worthy of oven-drying to preserve for winter. 

Crazy Greens

If you think this Kale is Krazy, wait until you see the farmer.

Krazy Kale and the Farmer

Told ya!

Best Ever Healthy Vegetable Soup

This soup takes advantage of many things I had in my freezer. I just made a big batch this weekend. I will put a few quarts away in the freezer for upcoming long days, but much I will eat this week. Saturday I start eating like a Syrian refugee as part of the Ration Challenge. More on that in the next post, but suffice it to say I am in a full-on panic about no fresh veggies for a week. Whole lotta rice and beans, with a sardine here and there. 

You can customize this yummy, healthy vegetable soup to your own palate, but I found corn, butternut squash, edamame, and spinach all in the freezer. The canned cannellini and diced tomatoes I had in the pantry. And the remaining ingredients consisted of only a few fresh vegetables – leeks, zucchini, summer squash, and potatoes. In fact, this soup started as a leek and potato soup and then became a runaway vegetable extravaganza! You could even go so far as to add some chicken – either leftover roasted, poached or a rotiserrie chicken – to add a little lean protein. 

How to Clean a Leek

Photo credit: Heather Gill for Unsplash

How to Clean a Leek

Sidebar note on cooking with leeks: LOVE THEM!!! They always seem to be available because they scare people and they get left behind. They add all the depth of flavor of an onion, with none of the bite. And they are really easy to use. However, they retain a lot of dirt, so they need a thorough wash first. Trim off the woody dark green leaves at the top (and save them for a stock pot), but leave the hairy root end intact for now. Once the top is trimmed, slice lengthwise down toward the root (without cutting through), first in half, then in quarters, using two long cuts. Now holding onto the root end, run it under cold water, fanning it out to remove all the grit. It’s a bit like a brush with long bristles. Shake, shake, shake. Once thoroughly cleaned, towel off excess water and cut crosswise in desired slices. Discard the root end when you get there. Some prefer to slice and then clean and here is a quick video on that. 

I finish it off with a dollop of pesto – homemade or store-bought. That is how I finished it off on our spring vegetable soup with pistou on the very first menu at New World Grill. The vegetables were very precisely and finely minced. That’s a far cry from the hearty chunky way I cook today. Gone are the tedious and tiny tidbits. Welcome, chunky and hearty veg. 

What Vegetables are best?

While I am tempted to say you can’t go wrong, I can actually think of a couple that I might pass on. I love all vegetables that keep their shape and color. With this being a relatively quick cooking time, that would include most. Eggplant probably deserves a pass. It can get bitter and breaks down to a seedy, gummy mess. And I would avoid certain mushrooms that will absorb too much liquid and get squeaky. Know what I mean? Like a portabello. Tiny enoki might be nice in here though. In general, I prefer mushrooms in a more dry sauté dish or when pureed. Lastly, beets are going to bleed and will overly flavor the broth. But you do you, I’ll do me. Give it a whirl and see how you like it. 

Veggie Soup

A Note on Prep Time Listed

In spite of 3 decades of foodstyling for television, where every ingredient is in its ramekin for a dump and stir demo, and despite 15 years as a chef/restaurateur, where all mise en place (prepped ingredients) are ready in the reach-in for cooking during service, I do not cook that way at home, nor should you. It takes a lot more time to get everything ready for dump and stir. I’m not saying you shouldn’t pull all your ingredients together in advance. However, if an onion is going to cook until golden for 12 minutes, I don’t chop the next ingredients until I get that on the burner cooking. I prep as I go. Multi-task anyone? The prep time I give in a recipe is just the minimal prep time required in order to start cooking. Once cooking commences, I start the count-up clock to track how long it takes to finish the recipe. There will be some prep during the cooking time. You may note that the ingredient list calls for the items to be already prepped (e.g., 1 cup diced zucchini). I have detailed it this way simply to space-save on a recipe printout. Don’t think you need to get it all done before you start. The more you know 🙂

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Healthy Vegetable Soup: white bowl with edamame, chicken, carrots, peppers, corn, zucchini and pesto

Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Soup


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1/2 quarts 1x

Description

This hearty, healthy vegetable soup will get you through until the farmers’ markets are cranking out peak of the season produce again. A dollop of pesto will brighten the flavors and get you jonesin’ for sweet summer corn and tomatoes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided per below
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 3/4 pounds mini potatoes, such as Boomer Gold, cut in half or quarters depending on size
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 pounded winter squash, such as butternut or acorn, peeled and diced
  • 2 32-ounce chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed and diced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, trimmed and diced
  • 1 15.5-ounce can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound shelled edamame, lima beans, or peas
  • 1 pound frozen, chopped spinach
  • 1 pound sweet corn
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Optional Garnish: Dollop with pesto

Instructions

In an 8-quart stock pot, heat two Tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add the leeks and cook until wilted and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Push to the side and add the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Stir potatoes and leeks to combine.

Add the carrots and winter squash. Stir to combine.

Add about one cup of the stock, to deglaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits.  Add the zucchini and yellow squash and remaining stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes. Check the doneness, especially for potatoes and squash.

Add the cannellini beans, tomatoes, edamame (or lima or peas), spinach and corn. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Top with a dollop of pesto (recipes linked below).

Notes

  • Optional:  add 1 pound cooked chopped chicken, about 2 cups. Yield will be higher, if chicken is added.
  • Recipes for pesto available here, here and here.
  • If any of the vegetables you are using are commercially frozen, check to see if they are par-cooked. If so, you may want to add them toward the end with the quick cooking ingredients like corn and spinach.
  • If freezing, I like to wait to add seasoning until later when I serve it. I also find I may need to add a bit more stock if it’s been frozen.
  • Prep time in the recipe includes only the time needed to get cooking. You can continue prepping while the first step is cooking. While total time accurately reflects the total time required, the prep time is the shortest time til you fire up the stove, not the time required to prep all ingredients to their ready-to-use state.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Cooktop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: healthy vegetable soup

More Favorite Soups:

Roasted Blueberry Mulligatawny

CaribBean One Pot Wonder

Mexican Pork Posole

Three Onion Soup with Prosciutto Parmesan Crust

Kicked Up Chili

Veggie Soup

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2019. All rights reserved.

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Three Onion Soup with Parmesan Prosciutto Crust

Three Onion Soup with Parmesan Prosciutto Crust

3 Onion Soup

I can’t let #NationalSoupMonth roll by again without setting you up for another win. With only three types of onions and a couple of cans of tomatoes, this Cipolline Onion Soup will surprise you with its stick-to-the-ribs quality. Have you thought about having a Soup Pot Lucky yet? Trust me, it’s a great way to fill your freezer with soups in oh so many flavors. Traditionally, onion soups are topped with a crusty bread slice and some melty cheese. What’s wrong with that? Well, uh, nothing. But can it be better? Yes, it can! How about creating a “crouton” out of prosciutto topped with Gruyere and Parmesan that has taken its turn under the broiler. Oh yeah! I’m talking crispy pork and melty cheese. Game over!

Three Onions

Best Onions for Onion Soup

Onion soup is most commonly made with Vidalia or Spanish onions, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They both bring a certain level of sweetness which provides a nice layered flavor when offset by the wine used to deglaze the pan. But I recently spied some boxes of cipolline onions from our friends at Melissa’s at my local grocery. Yaaas! I bought a mixture of cipolline, some large Spanish onions and a few shallots for this soup. When picking cipolline, like other root vegetables, choose onions that are firm and show no signs of moisture, green shoots, or dark spots. Humidity is no BFF to onions or garlic, so it’s best to store them outside the fridge in a cool place to extend their life.  If you are worried about peeling all those small flat cipollines – or if you ever have shied away from pearl onions just because of the peeling process – check out my notes in the first step of the recipe below. 

Melissa's Cipolline Onions

With all the sweetness from the three types of onions, I chose port wine to deglaze the pan. Adding a liquid to the pan after caramelizing the onions makes it easy to scrape up all those flavorful brown bits stuck in the pan. Don’t leave that behind! We work hard for that fond. You could also use a red wine in this recipe, but port is fortified and adds a robust depth of flavor, elevating simple ingredients to something more sublime.

Prosicutto Gruyere Topping Once you brown the onions, the rest is pretty much a dump and simmer recipe. It takes some time – an hour of simmering – to reduce the liquid and develop the rich flavors, but you just need to throw a little side-eye in the pot’s direction from time to time. It doesn’t need your full attention. 

Swap Your Top

I love the idea of replacing a soggy – although admittedly tasty – blob of bread with a crispy prosciutto crust on top of the onion soup. Just fold a piece of prosciutto to double it up, then top with grated Gruyere and Parmesan and run it under the broiler. You will NOT be sorry. 

Cipolline Onion Soup with Prosciutto Parmesan Crust 

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3 Onion Soup

Three Onion Soup with Parmesan Prosciutto Crust


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3+ quarts, serving 6 - 8 1x

Description

Capping off #NationalSoupMonth this year with a hearty three-onion soup, topped with a “crouton” of prosciutto and melted Gruyere and Parmesan. This will warm your soul. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds cipolline onions
  • 2 pounds sweet onions
  • 4 shallots
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup port
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 3 quarts beef stock
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 Tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Garnish:

  • 68 slices prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Chopped parsley

Instructions

Prepare the cipollines, onions, and shallots:

Trim, peel and slice thinly. To peel the cipolline onions easily, trim the root end and drop in boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Spread the cipollines out on a towel to dry. The skin should slip off quite easily at this point.  To make slicing more stable, cut the cipollines in half from root to stem and lay cut side down on a cutting board. Slice cross-wise into half rings.

Divide butter between two heavy-bottom stockpots (or one stockpot and one large skillet).  Likewise, divide both kinds of onions and the shallots between the pans, and sauté until deeply golden brown, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Deglaze the pans:

Divide the port between pans, and reduce until almost evaporated, scraping up brown bits.  Transfer all onions to one stockpot.

Simmer:

Add tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes.

Puree 2 cups of the onion-tomato mixture with 2 cups beef stock and add puree back to stockpot. Alternatively, add 2 cups beef stock to the pot and pulse with an immersion blender a couple times to thicken the mixture, while leaving lots of texture in tact. Add remaining beef stock, thyme and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Prepare garnish:

Fold each prosciutto slice in half and arrange on a foil-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with Gruyere and about half the Parmesan. Melt the cheese until bubbly and the prosciutto starts to crisp under the broiler. 

Serve:

Divide the soup between bowls and float a prosciutto on each bowl.  Sprinkle lightly with remaining Parmesan and top with chopped parsley.

Notes

I divided the onions into two pans while browning to increase the cooking surface area. This will prevent sweating (instead of the intended browning) the onions which happens when you do too many at once. If you want to keep this to one pot, you could also do this in batches.

If you are not a fan of prosciutto, you can old-school it with toasted baguette slices topped with the cheeses and popped under the broiler. And if you are vegan, skip the butter in favor of olive oil, use vegetable stock, and ditch the toppings altogether. The soup has layered flavors and is yummy with or without the toppings.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop

Here are some other great soups to fill your freezer. I make a big pot almost every Sunday and freeze most of it in 2-4 portion containers so that I always have a half-dozen flavors on demand. Just take it out in the morning and put it in the fridge to thaw, and you will be set for a hearty dinner when you get home. 

Kicked Up Kick Off Chili

Ready for Kick Off

Southwestern Pork & Posole

Heaping Helping

CaribBEAN One Pot Wonder

CaribBean One Pot Wonder

Mulligatawny Soup with Roasted Blueberries + Black Rice

© Copyright: KatyKeck.com 2018. All rights reserved.

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Harvest Grains Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Harvest Grains Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes

When I find something that will change  your life – FOREVER – I must share. I’m not such a fan of pre-seasoned packages, like those dried bean soup mixes loaded with some heavy doses of sodium, but I recently stumbled across this beauty at Trader Joe’s. It’s simply called Harvest Grains Blend and can quickly become the rock star of a wonderful fall Harvest Grains Salad. I wanted to take issue with the fact that orzo is a pasta  and not technically a grain, but I guess pasta started as a grain, right? There’s really no reason to get cranky, because this is a great Mama’s helper. It has Israeli couscous (the jumbo pearl size), three colors of orzo (plain, red pepper and spinach), split baby garbanzo beans (so cute), and red quinoa. The beauty of the pre-package is that it takes the guesswork out of cooking. You can easily make your own blend, or even just use one single grain/pasta. But if you are mixing, you need to pay attention to cooking times so you don’t, for example, throw couscous and wild rice into the same pot at the same time. Cooking time here is a mere ten minutes.

Harvest Grains

Israeli couscous and OrzoIsraeli couscous is larger than standard coucous and is slightly chewy and comes in a variety of flavors. Shown here is  a tri-color blend, including unflavored, spinach and tomato. The pasta in the center is orzo.

I hope you are taking advantage of the last of the season’s juicy tomatoes. I have detailed before how you can simply split them, put them cut side up on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt, and slow roast them to concentrate the flavors and dehydrate the liquid. From there, once cooled, they are easy to Ziploc and freeze. I  use them all winter in frittatas, cornbreads, pastas, soups and stews, on pizzas, focaccia, and in salads.  They are a sweet treat come February, and now is the time to make it happen!

Oven Dried Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a natural BFF to blue cheeses.  While blue can be made with cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk, all varieties share a common production technique which involves ripening them using cultures of the mold Penicillium. The green or blue veins are created during the aging process by spiking with stainless steel rods to aerate the cheese and encourage the mold’s growth.  It’s not hard to see where the spikes went in on this hunk of Glacier Wildfire Blue. To learn more, check in with our friends at The Cheese Lady for great info on many cheeses, blue and beyond.   

Glacier Wildfire Blue

For this salad I chose Delft. It’s a buttery cow’s milk cheese with a clean finish – a bit sweet and not too salty. This cheese comes from the Netherlands and is so named for its resemblance to Delftware pottery. The blue veins and milky whiteness resemble the lovely pottery, as if broken and put back together.

Delft Cheese

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Harvest Grains Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Harvest Grains Salad with Oven-Dried Tomatoes


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 1x

Description

A new twist on pasta or grain salad, this dish uses a Trader Joe’s pre-packaged combo and includes Israeli couscous, tri-color orzo, split baby garbanzos and red quinoa. While you can, oven dry some end-of-summer tomatoes and stash them in your freezer. They will add a nice flavor boost to salads like this, as well as pastas, soups, stews and anything else you might make this winter when the tomatoes in the store then will taste like cardboard.


Ingredients

Scale

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salad: 


Instructions

Make the Vinaigrette:

Whisk together the ingredients and refrigerate until needed. 

Make the Salad:

Cook grains or pasta according to package directions.  Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add tomatoes, cheese, parsley, and scallions.  Stir to combine.

Toss with the dressing and refrigerate until serving time. Before serving, taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more lemon juice if needed and adding the almonds.

Notes

I used Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains blend, but you can make this with pasta, or your own combination of couscous, both regular and/or Israeli, orzo, quinoa or other favorites. 

This salad is perfect for extra add-ins. I’m keeping it pretty simple here, but feel tree to add other vegs, bacon, different cheeses or whatever your little heart desires. 

Makes 1 quart.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stovetop

Keywords: cous cous salad

Don’t you want to just dive headfirst into this Harvest Grains Salad? 

Harvest Grains Salad with Deflt Cheese and Oven-Dried Tomatoes

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Farm Stand Roasted Potato Salad

Farm Stand Roasted Potato Salad

No Mayo Potato Salad

Having a German grandmother exposed me to vinegar-style potato salad from an early age. Don’t get me wrong, we had our share of mayo-based summer spuds too, but I developed a taste for the briny acidity and mustard of German-style potato salads at a very early age.  What I didn’t see at that time however, growing up in Southern Indiana, was roasted potato salad…only boiled taters in our tater salads. It was only after I developed some culinary chops that I realized the beauty of roasted potatoes…well, TBH, roasted everything.  Not only does roasting develop a bit of sweetness from caramelizing the natural carbohydrates, but it saves you from ditching all those wonderful nutrients that are lost when draining the water.  

Farm Fresh New Potatoes

I am able to find tiny marble-sized potatoes both at the farmers market and in the grocery store. There are several brands at the supermarket, including The Little Potato Company. They offer an assortment of cherry-sized fresh creamer potatoes…Baby Boomer, Blushing Belle, Little Charmers, Chilean Splash, among them. If you can’t find a small potato in your market, I recommend roasting new potatoes whole and cutting to size once they have cooled.  Not only does it better hold the nutrients, but it also helps keep them a bit creamier which is a good thing in salads. If you were making an oven-roasted side dish,  you might want the added golden surfaces from a pre-cut potato. It’s a matter of personal taste, so go with what you know. A whole larger potato will definitely increase cooking time, so keep that in mind.

Supermarket Potato Varieties

Now is the perfect time to think about preserving the late summer bounty of tomatoes, so I am counting on you to look back to the post You’ll Thank Me in the Winter Oven-Dried Tomatoes.  If you don’t have any on hand and aren’t ready to work on your winter supply, either substitute with sun-dried tomatoes (so inferior!!) or just use fresh tomatoes for the whole recipe, either the heirloom cherries called for in the recipe or chopped Romas or Beefs, enough to make up the one cup tomato total (1/2 cup dried + 1/2 cup fresh). Don’t forget to adjust seasonings, especially salt, if you are only using fresh. The oven-dried tomatoes will bring salt from the prep, so I have cut back on the salt in the recipe in anticipation.

Potato Salad

If you are so lucky as to have leftover roasted potato salad, try adding it to a breakfast quesadilla along with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, and a little avocado, all sandwiched between flour tortillas. And be sure to keep my number handy because I’m gonna wanna show up for that!

Roasted Potato Salad

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Roasted New Potato Salad

Farm Stand Roasted Potato Salad


  • Author: Katy Keck
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 1x

Description

This roasted potato salad highlights the potato-y-ness of fresh-dug new potatoes, often lost with boiling. Being a just-say-nay-to-mayo gal, I love the bright flavors of lemon juice with lemon oil. It’s a partay in your mouth! You’re invited.


Ingredients

Scale

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon olive oil or EVOO
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (you will need more if using fresh tomatoes in lieu of oven-dried or sun-dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salad: 

  • 1 1/2 pounds new potato (the smaller the better)
  • olive oil to drizzle on potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • 1/2 cup You’ll Thank Me in the Winter Oven-Dried Tomatoes, or sun-dried
  • 1/2 cup halved heirloom cherry tomatoes (or use 1 cup of either oven-dried or fresh)
  • 4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chives

Instructions

Make the Vinaigrette:

Whisk together the ingredients and refrigerate until needed. 

Make the Salad:

Preheat oven to 425oF.  Drizzle just enough olive oil over potatoes to coat very lightly and toss to combine. Transfer to a sheet pan and roast until tender, about 13 – 15 minutes.  Remove and cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes with the edamame, both kinds of tomatoes, bacon, scallions, parsley and chives.

Toss with the dressing and refrigerate until serving time.  Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sides

Keywords: roasted potato salad

Red, White & Blue

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