Category Archives: Salad

Watermelon & Tomato Salad

Like any good Southerner, I love watermelon… Mmkay, you know what? In the spirit of exhaustion and honesty this post-Music Fest week, Imma be real with you: I’m not really a fan.

I’ve choked it down at every Fourth of July catfish fry, I’ve tried it with salt (and if salt can’t help me, honey, I don’t know what can), and I’ve even had the vodka-soaked variety and frankly, I’ll leave it.

But as with so many things I’ve traditionally disliked, The Chef has found a way to make it not only palatable but actually good. Bacon, tomatoes and cheese have a hand in that, but the watermelon itself actually gets a dose of personality here, so go on and get out and proud and pretty with this one. You won’t be sorry.

2 cups watermelon, diced and seeded
2 cups assorted tomatoes, diced
basil vinaigrette
2 tbsp toasted pecans
crumbled goat cheese (or mozzarella or blue cheese)
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
spring mix

  1. Get mixy and then serve atop spring greens. That’s all folks.
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Filed under Fruit, Salad, Side dishes, Veggies

Avocado, Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

You know how sometimes people think hot girls are automatically stupid? Like there’s no way that something can look that good on the outside and not be either dumb or awful on the inside? Well, I think this salad is that hot girl. And this one actually reads Dostoyevsky for fun and got a perfect score on her ACT.
(Incidentally, I would hate that chick.)

What I’m sayin’ is there’s substance here as well as pretty. The avocado and cheese are rich, the tomatoes are juicy and tangy, and the croutons give you the perfect amount of crunch. Dress all that up in Balsamic and drive it around town in your new convertible? It will be like Weird Science in here. And everybody wants that. (Minus Chet.)

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
3/4 cup olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste

  1. Mix all ingredients except oil.
  2. Slowly add oil while constantly whisking until it emulsifies.

Salad:
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 orange tomatoes, chopped
2 yellow tomatoes, chopped
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1.5 cups of diced mozzarella
1 cup of fresh croutons
salt to taste
1 tbsp mint or basil (optional)

  1. Mix together and toss in dressing.
  2. Eat and bask in the afterglow.

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Filed under Appetizers, Fruit, Salad, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies

Cucumber Salad

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I want nothing to do with cucumbers… unless they’re part of some great-smelling lotion line by Dove, The texture, the seeds, the squishy texture – they are just not for me. Unless you pickle them.

I am a self-professed pickling junkie, and with this recipe The Chef proved that vinegar is so magical it can even make a cucumber palatable. He likes to serve these on top of Bulgogi (a truly delicious Korean taco alternative) or under grilled shrimp as an appetizer. Go. Make. Believe.

4 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced thin
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

  1. Start by making the dressing: Mix vinegar, sugar, salt, and oil.  Taste. If it’s too tart add sugar; if it’s too sweet add vinegar.
  2. Mix dressing and the rest of the ingredients together. Let sit in fridge for at least 2 hours.

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Filed under Salad, Toppings, Veggies

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Continuing in the delusional vein that spring has just about sprung, The Chef brings you an easy salad dressing that will make you feel downright seasonal. This is another one that can double as a seafood sauce, so feel free to get creative up in herr-ah if you like.

1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
salt to taste
3/4 cup of peanut oil
3/4 cup  of veg oil

  1. Mix all ingredients except the oils.  Allow the flavors to marry for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in oils until all has been added and the vinaigrette is smooth and thickened.
  3. Serve on any spring salad or use it as a dressing for fish. Makes 2 cups.

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Filed under Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Sauces

Fried Green Tomato Salad with Sweet Chili Dressing

Though spring is taking way too long to get here, we thought we’d tee up this spicy/sweet Southern treat for you so that you’ll be ready when the unparalleled Ripley tomatoes finally appear at your local farmers market. This is a great spin on classic FGT, and any self-respecting Southern lady simply must know how to fry one.
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On a related note, I would be remiss if I did not include a quote from the movie of the same name that Dunny so expertly worked into an e-mail the other day: “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” Ouiser Boudreaux (and for that matter Sara Dunigan), you are a woman after my own heart.
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Fried Green Tomatoes
3 green tomatoes
1/2 cup AP flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 milk
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 vegetable oil
1 tsp pf salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
large pinch of chili powder
mixed greens for salad
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  1. Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Season both side with salt, pepper and chili powder and let sit while you prepare dressing.
  2. Make dressing and prep the the breading bowls. You will need 3 bowls with the following:
    1. seasoned flour
    2. milk and eggs mixed and
    3. panko
  3. Heat a large skillet with oil over medium high heat.
  4. Dip tomato slices in flour, then egg/milk mixture, then panko.
  5. Fry slices in skillet 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Dress and serve on top of salad greens.
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Sweet Chili Dressing
2 tbl bottled sweet chili sauce (The Chef likes Mae Ploy)
2 tbl ketchup
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbl sugar
2 tbl water
2 tbl lime juice
2 tsp chopped cilantro leaves
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  1. Mix all ingredients together and dress those ‘maters.

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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Fried food, Salad, Southern food, Veggies

Roasted Veggie Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This is by far my favorite salad The Chef has made to date. And not just because I got to eat it while watching The. Most. Shocking. Bachelor. Finale. EVER. (Which it wasn’t even – I mean, Brad picked Emily. That girl was so good-looking even I was in love with her, and I usually only go for Latinas. Sup Eva Mendes.)
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But I digress. Whenever you give me roasted mushrooms and tomatoes of any kind, I am happy, and the combination of both with the crunchy walnuts was fantastic. The Chef says the tangy vinaigrette is also great as a sauce on chicken or fish. I just thought it would be highly drinkable… if you’re into that sort of thing.
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Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 shallot, minced
zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a mixing bowl, add everything except oil and combine.
  2. Slowly add oil to emulsify.

Roasted Veggie Salad:
1 pound portabella mushrooms, sliced
arugula, half of a container
6 *yellow tomatoes, quartered
crumbled goat cheese, a few “sprinkles” (We’re very technical here.)
walnuts, chopped, a few “handfuls”
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss mushrooms and tomatoes in oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. (The Chef likes to serve these veggies at room temp, and I agree.)
  3. Toss arugula with dressing and top with veggies, goat cheese, and walnuts.

*You can obviously use red tomatoes if necessary, but these are prettier and have a great flavor, so try to snag some if you can.
**Also fairly obvious is the fact that this picture is not of the same version of the salad written above. Mainly because I was too involved in finding out whether or not Chantal was gonna wig out and deck Brad when he basically denied ever liking her on “After the Final Rose” (She didn’t – LAME.), and I forgot to take a photo. The Chef says he makes this a lot, though, so we”ll replace this one shortly.

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Filed under Marinades, Salad, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies

Blue Cheese Bacon Slaw

Apparently it’s Bacon Day here at Nummy Num Num, and as days go, that’s not too shabby. The Chef likes to serve this with steak, and I’d like to suggest the Coffee Rubbed variety for your noshing pleasure.

8 bacon slices, chopped
3/4 cup of mayo
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
16 oz coleslaw mix (cabbage)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt and pepper

  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
  2. Whisk honey, vinegar, and mayo in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in slaw mix, cheese, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover and chill for up to 2 hours until ready to serve.

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Filed under Comfort food, Pickled, Salad, Side dishes, Southern food, Veggies