Hello and welcome! In an email newsletter earlier this week, I rounded up several of the salad recipes we have featured on Djalali Cooks over the last year. It got me thinking that while certain salads feel more appropriate at certain times of the year, we can actually enjoy most salads any time of year with simple swaps, substituting frozen for fresh, or roasting the veg. Let’s revisit salad recipes that are just as great now as they are in spring and summer. It’s a Salad Round Up, today on Djalali Cooks.
Antipasto salad is great any time of the year. I first saw this recipe on Bon Appétit as a summer salad that called for fresh basil. I went to two different grocery stores on two different islands and there was no basil to be found! So I have swapped the basil for fresh flat leaf parsley, and I think it works out just fine. I also mixed things up a bit by using two different kinds of salami; one spicy and one mild.
Carrot and Feta Salad
I featured this salad as part of a surf and turf Valentine’s Day dinner. It’s so simple, dressed in a tangy/sweet orange juice dressing; with great texture and color from purple and orange carrot ribbons, creamy feta and crunchy roasted pistachios.
Asparagus Salad with Eggs
This Italian salad features spring asparagus, but since we steam the fresh asparagus and then plunge the lightly steamed asparagus into an ice bath, I think it can work perfectly well with off season asparagus. In the US, we can typically find asparagus year-round, though its peak season is April. While the salad is served cold, the tender steamed asparagus with the hard boiled eggs is a wonderful vegetable side.
Easy Chicken Salad For Two
I often make up a quick chicken salad with chicken leftovers, even if it’s only enough for one or two sandwiches. It’s just such an easy way to give the leftover chicken a new lease on life. And by this point of chicken leftovers, I am ready for something different. I don’t know about you, but I usually have a little bit of many things leftover in the fridge; like just a few pepperoncini peppers left in a jar, or a single scallion; how about two sad little celery ribs, unused fennel fronds, anyone? A little chicken salad is the perfect way to use up these small bits of leftovers.
Apple Fennel Salad
The apple fennel salad is also very simple. It’s a light and crunchy salad; the sweetness from the apples and the anise-flavored freshness of the fennel blend perfectly with the bright tang of lemon and apple cider vinegar. It really is a nice compliment to any meat dish you might be serving. I originally featured this recipe with stuffed pork tenderloin, and it would be great with a beef roast like brisket, or a roast chicken.
Esquites – Mexican Street Corn Salad
It’s hard to beat the impressive presentation of Elotes, the Mexican Street Corn dipped in a creamy sauce of mayonnaise, Cotija cheese and lime, flecked with red chili powder. But Esquites takes all the street corn flavors and tosses them in a bowl, with charred corn-off-the-cob. For this recipe, we char the cut corn kernels in a pan on the stovetop, so go ahead and thaw a bag of frozen corn for Esquites! There is no reason not to enjoy this salad along side tacos or enchiladas all winter long!
Panzanella Salad with Ricotta
This quintessential summer salad makes the Salad Round Up because, hear me out: we think of this as summer’s last indulgence – the ripest, juiciest tomatoes and fresh basil. And we’re not wrong, but if you’re square in the midst of winter doldrums, this salad can be a great pick me up. When tomatoes at the supermarket are less than appealing, consider going for cherry or grape tomatoes, which are usually better in winter than their full size cousins. Also, maybe give those cherry tomatoes a little roasting in the oven to bring our their sweetness. It’s a little different without fresh juicy tomatoes, but juicy roasted tomatoes bring a whole other flavor profile to this salad.
German Potato Salad
This appeared as a perfect cookout side dish, which it totally is. But it’s also great now. It’s served warm or at room temperature and since potatoes are on the main stage in this salad, it’s a perfect side for any roast you might be making for your main. It’s as appropriate along side roast chicken, beef or pork as it is along side grilled sausages, burgers and barbecue.
A salad of epic proportion; the Cobb Salad has bacon, rotisserie chicken, avocado, eggs, tomatoes and gorgonzola. Dressed in a simple red wine vinaigrette. We love a big salad at the Djalali House, sometimes it’s just for convenience. But other times, like this time, we are pulling out all the stops. A gorgeous main dish salad, this one might be at the top of my Salad Round up list!
Don’t underestimate the satisfaction of a salad in winter. Our hearts might be set on warm, rich comfort food in the colder months, and salads might seem like an afterthought since they’re often served cold. But don’t let out of season veggies deter you from making a salad. Not only are the root vegetables there to roast, toast and shave, but frozen veggies are there for you too! Eat more salad! Take care and be well, everyone! xo Kelly