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Green Bean, Bell Pepper, and Red Onion Salad

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/1/12

This colorful salad is perfect for mid to late summer, when green beans, bell peppers, red onions, and herbs are all in season. Preparing it takes several different steps, but the result is worth it. Or, if you like raw green beans, skip a cooking step and add them to the salad raw.

  • 1/2 medium red onion*
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or marjoram (or use 2 teaspoons dried oregano or marjoram)*
  • large pinch salt
  • 1 lb green beans*
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 2 sweet bell peppers – red, yellow, or orange*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • additional salt and black pepper to taste

Thinly slice the red onion. Place in a small bowl with the vinegar, chopped herbs, and pinch of salt. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes while you make the rest of the salad.

Pinch the stem ends off the green beans. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook for 4-6 minutes, until just tender. Drain beans and allow to cool.

Heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove and chop bacon, leaving bacon fat in pan.

While bacon is cooking, thinly slice the peppers. In a large bowl, combine peppers, cooked beans, and onions (leave the vinegar behind in the bowl). When done, add chopped bacon.

To the bacon fat in the pan, add half the vinegar from the onions and an additional tablespoon olive oil. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Add black pepper and additional salt to taste.

Serve room temperature or chilled.

Serves 6-8.

*Onions, pepper, green beans, and herbs can all be grown in your garden.

Salad with Roasted Beets

In this recipe, the beets are into bite-sized pieces before roasting. This helps them cook faster, and it also creates more delicious caramelized edges. This salad is another version of the basic “salad with roasted vegetables.”

Roasted beets:

  • 2 medium or 4 small beets*
  • 1 teaspoon olive, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 large pinch salt

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup olive, canola, or vegetable oil

Salad:

  • 6 ounces lettuce or mixed baby greens*, washed and dried
  • 2 ounces goat, feta, or blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 2 ounces walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
  • roasted beets
  • vinaigrette

Roasted beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the beets. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place in a small bowl. Add oil and salt, then toss to coat. Place beets on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, until a fork or knife inserted in the beets meets no resistance. Allow to cool.

Vinaigrette: In a small bowl (you can use the same one as above), whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the oil in a slow stream while whisking.

Salad: To a large bowl, add the washed and dried lettuce, cheese, nut, and cooled beets. Add about ¾ of the vinaigrette (whisk it up again if it has separated) and toss to coat. If you want heavier dressing, add the rest. If not, save it for another salad.

Serves 4-6.

*Beets and lettuce can both be grown in your own garden.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Basil

Committee meeting working lunch 7/19/12 – served with honey mustard chicken sandwiches

This refreshing salad shows off fresh garden or farmers market ingredients at their very best.

  • 2 medium cucumbers*
  • 3 medium tomatoes*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil* leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Large pinch salt, more to taste

Chop cucumbers and tomatoes into bite sized pieces and combine in a large bowl. Use your hands to tear the basil into the bowl – each leaf should end up in 2-3 pieces.

Add oil, vinegar, and salt. Toss to coat. Taste and add more salt if desired.

Serves 4-6.

*Cucumbers, tomatoes, and basil are all easy to grow in your summer garden.

Kohlrabi Greens Salad

Community training dinner, 6/19/12

Along with the bulbs, kohlrabi greens are also edible. They are a little tough, so they are usually cooked. But they’re also very good raw as long as you treat them right. By slicing the leaves thinly and letting them sit in the dressing to wilt, the greens become tender enough to enjoy without cooking.

  • Greens from 2 kohlrabi bulbs
  • 2 tablespoons vinaigrette-type salad dressing of your choice (see lots of recipes and a guide to making vinaigrettes here)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, or other cheese of your choice
  • salt, to taste

Wash and dry the kohlrabi greens. Strip the leaves off the stems and either discard the stems or save them to cook separately.

Stack the several leaves on top of each other. Roll into a cigar shape, then slice across the roll in 1/3” strips to make thin ribbons. Repeat this with all leaves, and place the ribbons into a large bowl.

Pour the salad dressing over the greens and toss to coat. Allow to sit for at least 1 hour, or in the fridge up to 2 days. Add cheese, toss, taste and add salt if needed, and serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Kohlrabi Slaw

Community training dinner, 6/19/12

Kohlrabi is a very strange vegetable. It looks like an alien, its name means “cabbage-turnip,” and it tastes like broccoli stems. The bulb can be eaten raw or cooked (try roasting it with a little oil and salt in a 400 degree oven). In this recipe, it’s made into a simple, refreshing slaw. It’s important to peel kohlrabi before you use it – the skin and the layer underneath have a lot of stringy fibers. You can also eat the greens – see here for a recipe.

  • 2 kohlrabi bulbs
  • 1/4 cup herbs (basil, mint, parsley, dill, or another favorite – you can also use a combination)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Peel the kohlrabi using a paring knife. Then, use a grater or matchstick slicer to shred kohlrabi for slaw. Roughly chop the herbs and add it to the kohlrabi in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper to make a vinaigrette. Pour over the kohlrabi and mint and toss to coat.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

Vinaigrette Guide

A vinaigrette is a type of dressing or sauce that combines an acid, usually vinegar or citrus juice, with oil. Vinaigrettes are easy to make, and once you get the basic idea, you can change them around to make all sorts of different dressings.

BASICS:

  • 1 part vinegar – Any variety except white vinegar, or you can use citrus juice, or combine different vinegars and juices
  • 3 parts oil – Canola, vegetable, olive, or other. Depending on the type of vinegar you use and the other ingredients you add, you may need less oil than 3 parts. In fact, most of the recipes on Sioux Chef use just 2 parts oil.
  • Salt – Add a pinch, then taste to see if you like the flavor. If the flavor seems flat, add another pinch. The salt should make the other flavors pop without tasting salty. If it starts to taste salty, you’ve gone too far

PROCEDURE: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and salt (if you don’t have a whisk, use a fork to mix). Then, hold the whisk in one hand and the oil in the other. Drizzle in the oil while whisking. This helps the oil and vinegar, which naturally separate into two layers, stay together better. Whisk or shake again immediately before using the dressing.

ADD-INS:

  • Mustard – Mustard helps bind together oil and vinegar, so dressing with a small amount of mustard in it will stay together much better. Add a small amount of mustard with the vinegar before whisking in the oil.
  • Sugar, honey, or other sweetener – For a sweeter salad dressing, add a small amount of sugar, honey, or another sweetener to the vinegar before adding the oil. Whisk well to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Onion, garlic, or shallots – These vegetables are added raw to flavor the dressing. Finely chop a small amount of onion, garlic, or shallot and add to the vinegar before whisking in oil.
  • Black Pepper – If you’re a fan of black pepper, add it to the vinegar along with the salt.
  • Herbs – Add fresh chopped herbs or dried herbs to the vinegar before adding oil.
  • Spices – Add your favorite spices to the vinegar before adding oil.
HOW MUCH DO I ADD? When you’re making a vinaigrette, keep tasting! Taste what you’re making as you go along and think about whether it might need a little more mustard in there, a little extra black pepper. Make it something you like.

Your homemade vinaigrettes can be kept in the fridge for up to a month, so you can make a big batch and use it for a long time. You may never need to buy salad dressing again!
Vinaigrette recipes from elsewhere on Sioux Chef:

Apple Cider Vinegar and Mustard Vinaigrette: whisk together 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons dijon or regular mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar, a large pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Add ¼ cup oil (vegetable, canola, or olive) and whisk to make a vinaigrette.

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette: whisk together 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, large pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Add ¼ cup oil (vegetable, canola, or olive) and whisk to make a vinaigrette.

  • Variation – Citrus Balsamic: Instead of 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, use 1 tablespoon balsamic, 1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice.
  • Variation – Dijon Balsamic: Add 2 teaspoons dijon mustard with the vinegar and whisk to combine before adding oil.
  • Variation – Honey Balsamic: Add 1 teaspoon honey  with the vinegar and whisk to combine before adding oil.

Citrus Vinaigrette: Whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit juice, 1 teaspoon sugar (optional for lemon, lime, or grapefruit, omit for orange), large pinch salt, and black pepper to taste. Add ¼ cup oil (vegetable, canola, or olive) and whisk to make a vinaigrette.

Garlicky Lemon-White Wine Vinaigrette: Finely chop 1 clove garlic. Whisk together 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, chopped garlic, large pinch salt, and black pepper to taste. Whisk in 1/4 cup oil (olive if you have it, or vegetable or canola) to make a vinaigrette.

Onion-Mustard Vinaigrette: Thinly slice or finely chop a quarter of a red onion. Add 1/4  white wine or red wine vinegar and a large pinch salt (the onion should be covered).. Allow to sit at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours (refrigerated). Remove onions from vinegar and add them to your salad (or put them on a sandwich). Add 1/2  tablespoon Dijon or regular mustard and black pepper (to taste)  to the vinegar and whisk to combine. Whisk in 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, or olive). Note: this makes a larger batch of salad dressing than the others listed here.

Mustard Dill Vinaigrette: Whisk together 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon chopped dill, a large pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Whisk in 3 tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable) to make a vinaigrette.

Potato and Turnip Salad with Dijon-Dill Dressing

Community garden training dinner, 6/4/12

Backlit salad in the sunset at the picnic after garden training

The turnips in this salad add a new texture and flavor to the dish – each one you find is like a little fun surprise. If you prefer an all-potato salad, feel free to omit the turnips and use more potatoes. Even with no mayonnaise here, the hard boiled egg yolks and vinaigrette dressing combine to make a creamy salad. For a mayo-ed version of this salad, click here.

  • 1 ½ lbs potatoes (red or yukon gold [waxy, firmer] work best, but regular baking potatoes [starchy, more crumbly] work too)*
  • ½ lb turnips*
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs (see instructions here)
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • salt, divided between cooking water and dressing
  • black pepper, to taste

Wash potatoes. You do not need to peel them. Look at your turnips – if they are covered in wax from the grocery store, peel them. If they have no wax, wash them and do not peel.

Cut potatoes and turnips into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large pot and add enough water to cover by two inches. Add ½ teaspoon salt to the water. Bring the potatoes and turnips to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 5-8 minutes, or until both potatoes and turnips are tender (timing will depend on the size of your pieces). When done, drain potatoes and turnips and allow to cool.

Roughly chop hard boiled eggs and combine with cooled potatoes and turnips in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk or stir together mustard, chopped dill, lemon juice or vinegar, oil, a large pinch of salt, and black pepper to taste. Pour over potatoes, turnips, and eggs. Toss to combine. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 8-10 as a side dish.

*Potatoes and turnips can be grown in your own garden.