Salad Bar!

Who doesn’t want to sit down to a fresh, colorful and crispy salad topped with your favorite dressing?  The simplicity, the beauty, the different textures all combine to make this lunch time treat such a pleasing and healthy option.

Recently we served this for a retreat, and it received such rave reviews that we thought we’d share our salad bar ideas with you.  We haven’t included amounts, because you can make as little or as much as you want.  As a guide, people would probably want to plan on 1 Tbsp. of toppings per person.   It’s also the perfect “to go” meal – just prep all the toppings, throw them in zip-lock bags or containers and then dish up before serving.

We hope you enjoy some of these ideas as much as we do.

Salad Bar Suggestions:

Lettuce – a blend of iceberg, romaine, bibb and red leaf is nice

diced ham
diced turkey or chicken
hard boiled eggs
cheese – Havarti, swiss, cheddar – all recommended
crumbled gorgonzola
tomatoes, wedged or grape or cherry tomatoes
roasted beets, julienned
avocado
cucumber
celery
olives
grated carrot
broccoli and/or cauliflower flowerets
peas
chopped scallions
sliced red onion
colored peppers
garbanzo beans
cooked lentils
diced cooked bacon
cooked quinoa
sunflower seeds, roasted and salted
chia seeds
toasted nuts – such as walnuts or pecans
croutons

An Assortment of Homemade Dressings – click on the link for the recipes

Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing
Green Goddess Salad Dressing
English Garden Salad Dressing
Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Salad Bar!
SERVINGS
However much you want
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
However much you want
COOK TIME
0
PREP TIME
1 hour (or less)
READY IN
1hour

Ingredients

Instructions

Homemade Bleu Cheese Dressing
  1. Makes 1 cup (250ml), about four servings If you can’t get buttermilk, mix one part milk (whole or lowfat) with one part plain yogurt (regular or lowfat) to approximate the taste. Any kind of blue cheese, domestic or imported, should work well.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the blue cheese with the salt and pepper with the back of a fork until the pieces of cheese are finely broken up.
  3. Stir in the chives, sour cream, buttermilk, and lemon juice or wine vinegar until well mixed.
  4. Add a few drops of red wine vinegar. Taste, and adjust any of the seasonings to your liking and if the dressing too thick, add a bit more buttermilk. *Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz
Green Goddess Salad Dressing
  1. Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the sour cream and process just until blended. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.
English Garden Salad Dressing
  1. Combine all but the oils in a bowl and whisk. Slowly whisk in the oils to combine.
Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, salt, and black pepper together in a glass jar with a lid.
  2. Replace lid on the jar and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Zesty Beet Orange Salad

Salad bars are a real favorite at the Convent. They always bring a happy response from the sisters. With a variety of so many healthy wholesome food to choose from, everyone is sure to find something they like. Recently we roasted fresh beets intending to use them in a familiar salad. While they were being cut up my eyes fell on some beautiful oranges nearby- loving the colors of both I could not resist the urge to combine them. The result was a very different dish from what it started out to be! Not only did the rich colors complement each other, so did their flavors. Baking beets brings out their flavor as no other way of cooking them can. Combining them with fresh orange zest and fruit, red onions and red wine vinegar gives them a surprising zip and mouthwatering brightness.

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Zesty Beet Orange Salad
SERVINGS
6people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
1hour
PREP TIME
30minutes
READY IN
1.5hours

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place beets in a foil lined pan and roast for an hour or until tender. Cool. Peel and cut into wedges.
  2. Place oil and vinegar into a mixing bowl.
  3. Grate 1 tablespoon full of the red onion into the bowl.
  4. Zest 1 tablespoon of orange rind into the bowl.
  5. Add finely chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon onion salt, freshly ground black pepper and marmalade.
  6. Whisk together and pour over beets. Cut rind off from oranges and cut fruit into slices or wedges. Combine with beets.

 

Simple Summer Salad

Sometimes simpler can be better. This is true with many things including food.  Complex cooking with multi- layers of flavor and texture has its place,however combining just a few select foods can sometimes take ones breath away. Such was the case with a lunch we served last week to some visiting bell ringers.

Our change ringing bells bring many bell ringers here from many places to hone their ringing skills. They come for different lengths of time and are often here for meals. Most of them prefer healthy foods. All of them love our fresh garden vegetables especially our salad bars. Right now when eggplant and tomatoes are at their best we put them together in a simple salad that almost made itself. Together with a few special seasonings this dish kept many of them coming back for just one more helping all through the meal. This dish along with some crusty  French or Italian bread and a favorite cheese, if desired makes a most satisfying lunch or light supper. Two important tips to insure the best flavor – use very ripe tomatoes and serve the combined ingredients at room temperature NOT chilled.

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Eggplant Parmesan
SERVINGS
4-6
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20mins
PREP TIME
20mins
READY IN
40mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut the eggplant and tomatoes into cubes and salt both generously with onion salt.
  2. Toss eggplant with 1/2 cup of oil and spread out on parchment lined pan. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden. Let Cool.
  3. Grate onion and add to tomatoes stir and leave at room temp.
  4. When eggplant is cooled to room temperature combine with tomatoes.
  5. Add oregano and place in serving dish. Sprinkle with olives and finely chopped basil.
  6. If desired top with grated cheese. This combination of ingredients is perfectly flavorful as is but if a little more tartness is preferred sprinkle with a splash of vinegar.