Category: Salad Dressing

My Mom Told Me To

November 15, 2012

My mom is relatively new to my blog.    She has always enjoyed my writing.  Back in the days when we used to write letters (remember those?), I sent a lot of mail home.  Whether I was in camp, on a bike in France while in high school, in college, or studying in Paris, she and my dad got a lot of letters from me.  She always said I was a good writer.

When I first starting writing this blog, I think my mom might have been perplexed.  Most people I knew were perplexed, including my own husband.  This was way back in 2008 and the idea that someone might want to write about the food they were cooking, take pictures of it, and put it out there to the general public seemed a bit strange in my circle.  One by one, friends and loved ones starting reading, commenting, requesting recipes.  But not my mom.  I know she loves me, loves my writing, loves my food – but I also know she does not love technology.  It took her getting an iPad to finally realize how easy it is to get online and read my blog and lots of other things.  Now she has joined the chorus of, “is this going to be on your blog?” when she eats something in my house that she likes.

My parents came to visit us in the beginning of October.  I was so excited to see them, to show them our new home, our neighborhood, the beauty of where we now live.  I was also anxious to show my mom a good time and feed her well because she had a big operation looming when they returned home.  My mom is young and vigorous and healthy but she has the bad luck to also have terrible joints.  She has been having pain in her hip and the time had come to have it replaced.  A hip replacement, as I’m sure you know, is a big deal with a long recovery.  She has been unable to bear weight – i.e.- stand – for the past month.  That means many things not the least of which is no cooking.  When she first told me about the operation, I immediately thought that I would cook for them.  That would be how I could help in a difficult situation.  Bring them food each week so that they could still enjoy dinners.  And then I remembered that I was moving and that would be impossible.

I’m the first born and the only daughter and I felt so guilty that I would not be able to help them in my way during a rough time.  So, before we moved, I made a huge amount of soup and a ton of freezer burritos, and stocked their freezer as best I could.  I also wanted to make them a special meal while they were here in Oakland.  I made a Thai green curry with the best of the end of summer and beginning of fall produce (recipe coming), and I made this delicious salad.  I didn’t take pictures because we were too busy eating and drinking wine and watching the sun go down.  At the end of the meal, my mom said, “You should really post that salad recipe because I think your readers would really like it”.  Oldest children do as they are told.

So, I made the same menu the next week.  The salad originally called for asparagus and I made it that way when my parents were here, but asparagus is so spring and it is so not spring, so I decided to swap out green for green and go with brussels sprouts.  I like brussels sprouts, Randy tolerates them, but I will admit they weren’t quite right in this salad.  They are terrific roasted and the marinade made them taste extra awesome but truthfully, they just didn’t go well in this salad.  So I’m giving you the recipe as originally written, with the asparagus.  If you don’t want to pay $7/pound for asparagus coming from Chile, I think zucchini or green beans would make a good alternative green vegetable.

One Year Ago:  Bulghur Salad Stuffed Peppers, Stilton Tart with Cranberry Chutney, Perfect Pumpkin Bread
Two Years Ago:  Roasted Mushrooms and Shallots with Fresh Herbs, Romaine Leaves with Caesar Dressing
Three Years Ago:  Creamy Artichoke Dip, Holly B’s Gingersnaps, Gianduja Mousse
Four Years Ago:  Spinach and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Bulghur and Green Lentil Salad with Chickpeas

Roasted Sesame-Giner Asparagus and Portobello Salad with Napa-Spinach Slaw
Adapted from The Fresh and Green Table
Serves 4

This recipe instructs you to grill both the mushrooms and asparagus which I think is a brilliant idea.  Our grill is propane-less at the moment, so I just used the oven to roast the vegetables.  In addition to that, I made a lot of little changes to the recipe.

¼ cup peanut or canola oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed
¾ pound thin asparagus, trimmed
Kosher or sea salt
2 cups sliced Napa cabbage
2 cups baby spinach
¼ cup sliced scallions, white and pale green parts only
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  In a glass liquid measure, combine the peanut or canola oil, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger.  Whisk until well combined and transfer 3 tablespoons of the mixture to a separate bowl.  Put the portobello caps, stem-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet and pour the remaining marinade into the four caps.  Let sit for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.

Have the mushroom caps at one end of the sheet, place the asparagus at the other end.  Season the asparagus with a pinch of salt and roll the asparagus around in any of the marinade that has dripped off the mushrooms.  (Tilt the mushroom caps and pour some of the residual marinade over the asparagus.)  Make sure to rub the bottom of the mushroom caps in the marinade as well.  Remove the asparagus to a plate.  (They will not take as long to roast as the mushrooms.)

Place the mushrooms in the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes.  Pull them out, flip them over, and place the asparagus on the other end of the sheet.  Roast for another 8 minutes.  The asparagus should be bright green, crips tender, and browning in places and the mushrooms should also be soft and browning in places.  Put them back in the oven for a few minutes if they do not seems done.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, spinach, half the scallions, half the cilantro, and half the sesame seeds.  Add the lime juice and sugar to the reserved marinade.  Whisk until well combined.  Pour in the marinade and toss well to coat.

Slice the mushrooms into ½-inch thick strips and slice the asparagus diagonally into 1-inch pieces.  Gently toss the mushrooms and asparagus into the rest of the salad.  Garnish with the remaining scallions, cilantro, and sesame seeds.


Pike Place Market Memories

June 6, 2012

Have you visited Seattle? Then you have probably visited the Pike Place Market. I know it is always first on my list as a stop for visitors. There is something very unique about that special place. It is a market filled with tourists, especially on a sunny August Saturday, but it is also a place that the locals flock to. Everyone has their favorite produce stand, favorite fish market, favorite place to buy flowers, favorite cup of coffee, favorite place to grab a quick bite.

My family moved to Seattle in the summer of 1975. I know this because I remember having my 5th birthday party on the back porch of our house with a bunch of kids from the neighborhood who I didn’t know. We had a tree growing in our backyard that the builders did not want to cut down, so there was a perfect hole cut in our deck for the tree to grow through. That oddity and a birthday cake was enough of a draw for the neighborhood kids to celebrate with someone they didn’t know.

My parents are both from New York and in some ways, Seattle was a tough move, especially in 1975. They fell deeply in love with the beauty, the access to nature, the (then) low housing prices, and the quality of the air. They missed the culture, food, and community that they left on the East coast. Seattle did not have the bakeries they were used to, decent Italian food, or any good bread; but it did have great coffee, seafood, Chinese food, and the Pike Place Market. I have so many memories of visiting the Market (as the locals call it) all the way from being a very young child to just last week.

The floor of the Market is lined with tiles, each bearing names of families. We have one of those somewhere in the maze of corridors. I remember trudging down to the original Starbucks to buy bags of coffee to bring back to the friends who stored my boxes of clothes and books in the college town 3,000 miles away from what was then, the only Starbucks in the country. I remember buying pounds and pounds of English peas and eating them, straight from the pod, as we jostled through the crowds. Every year through high school, I gave my mom the gift of flowers once a week for a month for Mother’s Day, and I delighted in the huge bouquets that my babysitting money could buy at the Market.

Now I love to take the boys with me on my Market forays. It is just busy enough there that they stay close to me, a tiny bit timid in the crowds. We have to stop for donuts at the little place where they can watch them come out of the fryer, and we have to avoid the fish-throwing guys because the boys are terrified that they might get hit with a fish. They stand (mostly) patiently waiting at my favorite produce stand, hoping they will get a taste of grapefruit or plum, or whatever is on offer that day. And they negotiate with me about how many honey sticks we can buy.

It is a special place to be sure. Recently, a new Pike Place Market cookbook came out, called Pike Place Market Recipes. My friend Jess Thomson wrote the book and she did a fantastic job of telling the Market’s story. She profiles purveyors, stands, and the building itself. It is the true kind of cookbook that you can take to bed with you and read as a novel. But the best part, truly, is the recipes. Jess is a terrific cook, a terrific recipe writer, and her food is amazingly delicious.  This book truly does her talents justice as it features sweet and savory, meat and vegetarian.  My experience with Jess’ recipes is that they are tested to perfection.  This is a cook you can trust.

One Year Ago:  Shaved Spring Vegetable Salad, Puff Pastry Squares with Pea and Tarragon Purée
Two Years Ago:  Rhubarb Bette, Asparagus with Grilled Shiitake and Soy Vinaigrette
Three Years Ago:  Oven-Fried Rice Balls with Gruyère, Mexican Pizza with Corn, Tomatillos, and Chipotle

Roasted Pickled Cauliflower Salad
Adapted from Pike Place Market Recipes
Serves 4

The only changes I made to this glorious recipe is reducing the amount of onion (raw onion is too abrasive for me – even it is a sweet one), and adding a bit of avocado.  I used a mandoline to slice the fennel and the onion – thin is key.  Roasting the cauliflower before pickling it is genius.  Softer texture, mellower flavor.  Finally, Jess suggests making the cauliflower a day ahead but I found it was perfect after just a few hours.

 For the roasted cauliflower:
1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pickling brine:
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white wine vinegar
½ cup fennel fronds

For the dressing:
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. orange juice
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
½ small sweet onion, very thinly sliced
½ ripe avocado, cut into bite size pieces
3 cups mixed salad greens
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat, and set aside.

Place the cauliflower in a large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Stir the cauliflower to each floret well, then transfer to the prepared sheet.  Roast the cauliflower until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.  Transfer cauliflower to a bowl and allow to cool completely.

While the cauliflower cools, make the pickling brine:  Stir the water, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic together in a large pickling jar (or a similar container that can hold all the florets) until the sugar and salt dissolve.  Add the white wine vinegar and the fennel fronds.

When the cauliflower has cooled to room temperature, add it to the pickling brine.  Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Make the dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, orange juice, and vinegar.  While whisking, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream whisking until emulsified.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve the salad, mix together about a cup of the pickled cauliflower (drained) with the hazelnuts, fennel, onion, avocado, and salad greens.  Add dressing to taste and serve immediately, garnished with pepper.

The Dole Summit

May 25, 2012

(There is, believe it or not, a recipe at the end of this post.  Thank you all for your patience with my lack of food posts lately.  Thank you for your support during this uncertain time.  And thank you to Dole as well for being patient while I took my time writing this post.)

I would imagine that each person who starts a blog has several hopes for it.  Some people might want to make money, others might want to make friends.  Others want to convey a message.  I think I have four hopes for my site.  I want to capture my cooking and my family life as we eat and live it.  I want to share the beauty of homemade treats.  I want to help people see that vegetarian cooking is not about a lack of something but instead a bounty of almost everything.  And I want people to find joy in salad.

Yes.  Salad.  If you have spent any time here, you probably know how I feel about salad.  It is not a way to shovel vegetables in you mouth and it is not a deprivation thing, as in “I will have salad instead of what I really want.”  Salad is a beautiful and delicious thing unto itself.  I truly believe this and perhaps that is why there are currently 53 salad recipes on this site.

So, it made sense to me that when the good people at Dole invited me to Monterey for the Dole Summit, that I should go.  Each time I get offered something because of my blog, whether it is a product to try out, a new tool to use, or a trip, I carefully consider whether it makes sense for me to accept.  In the case of Dole, I did pause.  In the past few years, I have come to really love buying big heads of lettuce from my local farmers’ market.  In my cooking classes, I encourage people to do the same.  Would it be contradictory of me to say one thing and do another?  And then I had to realize that, as much as I do love those big heads of local lettuce, at least half of the year they are not available.  Lettuce still has not made an appearance at my market this year.  So what do I do in the off-season?

Sometimes I buy whole heads of lettuce but truthfully, they are often waterlogged and tasteless.  I’ve realized that I am better off either buying lettuce in a bag or buying the newer clam-shells that hold small heads of lettuce.  Dole has a terrific one with one head of red leaf and one of green and, once you cut out the core, the leaves are perfectly bite size.  Basically, once I got over myself, I said yes to Monterey.

And I’m so glad I did.  I had been to Monterey once in my life, at a time when I was personally very unsettled.  How nice to be back in such a beautiful place in a much happier (albeit a bit uncertain) time of my life.  The Dole folks set us up in a beautiful hotel, The Clement Intercontinental, and planned a lovely and informative two days for me and some wonderful bloggers.  Truthfully, what I like best about these trips is getting to meet new people and reconnect with old friends.

Our time together was nicely split between fun and learning.  We got to visit the Dole headquarters where we learned that this company, which is the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world, actually contracts with as many as 9,000 individual farmers around the country.  We learned about the tremendous amount of research that goes into every product they take to market and about some of the science behind the bags.  We got to taste several different salad blends that all tasted wonderful to this savory breakfast fan.  Then they sent us to lunch in Carmel.


I can tell you, without question, that this was the best lunch I have had in a long time.  Perhaps ever.  The amazing people at La Bicyclette put together an incredible spread for us, using Dole’s produce, and every single thing I tasted was amazing.  I happened to be sitting at a table with a number of gluten-free or vegan or gluten-free/vegan folks and the restaurant did an amazing job taking care of everyone.  If you have read any account of the Dole Summit, you have probably heard about the carrot risotto.  Superlatives are not enough praise.  It was to die for.  I had the added bonus of being able to taste the vegan version which was just as good – just different.

From Carmel, we headed to where some of the lettuce was being harvested in the incredible fertile Salinas valley between the mountains.  It was mind boggling to realize that much of our country is being fed off what is harvested in that valley.

After donning our hair nets (Irvin looks particularly handsome in his, don’t you think?), we walked out to where a group of people were, one by one, picking heads of iceberg lettuce and preparing them for shipment.  They worked with assembly line precision although this assembly line was out in the fresh air and sunshine.  I’ve never been a big fan of iceberg lettuce, but seeing them perfectly ripe and tasting them just after picking, I think iceberg can have a place at my table.

We concluded our trip the next day with a beautiful tour of the legendary 17-mile drive, taking us along spectacular scenery of the Pebble Beach Resort.  We stopped for the views, took lots of pictures, chatted about seeing each other all again at BlogHer, and contemplated what we were going to make when we got home.

One of the salads that they served us on that first morning had an intoxicating sun-dried tomato dressing.  They were kind enough to share the recipe for the salad and I made it almost as soon as I got home, with some tweaks.  I am the kind of crazy person who has burrata in my refrigerator (just in case!) so I used that but a good fresh mozzarella would be delicious too.  This is hearty, almost main course salad, the kind that I so advocate here on my site, and I’m thankful to Dole for the inspiration and for a terrific trip.

Greens with Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing and Parmesan Cheese
Inspired by Dole
Serves 2-3

For the dressing:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup water
1 clove of garlic
3 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:
5 ounces bagged salad greens
½ pint cherry tomatoes
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese (a carrot peeler is good for this)
4 ounces burrata cheese, pulled into small pieces (or fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces)

Make the dressing:
Place the olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, water, garlic, and Parmesan cheese in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  You may need to add more water to get a thinner consistency.   Set aside.

Make the salad:
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Place the cherry tomatoes on a small baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven until softened and starting to brown in spots, about 15 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

Place the olives in a salad bowl.  Shave the Parmesan cheese into the bowl.  Place the greens on top.  Spoon in a bit of the dressing and toss well.  Add more dressing if you wish.  Place the burrata or mozzarella cheese over the surface of the salad and serve with additional dressing on the side.

A Spinach Salad

January 18, 2012

I’ve been cooking regularly since I was 23 years old.  And, at the risk of sounding old, I will tell you that was 18 years ago.  Because my mom always made salad and therefore dinner to me means “accompanied by salad”, I have made a lot of salad in my life.  I have a lot of salad recipes here on this blog.  Not to toot my own horn, but I make a pretty darn good salad.  Over the years, I have learned things that have added to my salad expertise – always make your own dressing (tastes better and no nasty chemicals), always salt your lettuce before you dress the salad (lettuce is a vegetable and it needs to be seasoned), sliced hearts of palm are an exceptional addition to any salad, etc.  For the three years I was a personal chef, I made probably upwards of 100 different salads – I wanted to keep things interesting.  Still, when left to my own devices, I make more or less the same salad night after night.

When I made the Vindaloo the other night, my regular salad just didn’t seem right.  So I bought some spinach and decided I would just figure it out.  That night’s dinner came, I pulled open the refrigerator and created something that I’m in love with.  This is saying something because, previous to this creation, spinach salad was something I tolerated rather than embraced.  When I make Mexican food, I  make a spinach salad with thinly sliced red onion, mushrooms, avocado, and Mandarin orange segments (from a can) because Randy loves spinach salad and canned Mandarin orange segments.  Me?  Not so much.

But this.  Oh my.  Baby spinach, bean sprouts (nice and crunchy and a bit nutty), thinly sliced mushrooms, black olives, slow-roasted tomatoes, hard boiled egg.  This salad could be a meal.  A meal I would be happy to find in any of the restaurants where I dine on sub-par salads for lunch.  Hearty, tasty, well-balanced.  I give this to you not because it’s so innovative or will change your life.  I give it to you because it’s good and good for you.

A few notes.  Baby spinach is key here.  The big stuff will be too tough.  I like to tear the larger stems off but you don’t have to.  The slow-roasted tomatoes are probably the most important part of the salad flavor-wise.  Especially in winter when fresh tomatoes are tasteless red orbs.  I’m suggesting you roast two pounds of them which is way more than you will need for the salad.  You will put them in everything, trust me.  I have an egg slicer, a seemingly silly tool, except that I use it all the time.  I like being able to get super thin slices but you can, of course, just cut the egg in quarters.  Hearts of palm are found on the canned vegetable aisle, usually right near the canned artichoke hearts.  They can be expensive so if you live near a Trader Joe’s, buy them there.  In addition to being less expensive, they often come in a jar instead of a can so you can easily store what you don’t use.  Costco sometimes has them too.  I often use these vegetable sprouts in my salads called Three Bean Munchies – they are nutty and crunchy.  They are not alfalfa sprouts.  Grocery stores around here carry them in little plastic packs and they feature  Chinese red bean, pea, and lentil sprouts.  You can always just use sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds if you want some crunch (and protein).  Finally, you might be surprised by my choice of canned black olives instead of the more flavorful kalamata.  Sometimes I find their subtle flavor and firm texture really welcome in salad and I like that they didn’t compete with the tomatoes.  But use what you like.  That is more than a few notes.  Have I mentioned I am a salad geek?

One Year Ago:  Deluxe Double Chocolate Cookies
Two Years Ago:  Chunky Vegetable Pot Pie
Three Years Ago:  Pea Salad with Radishes and Feta Cheese

Spinach Salad with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Champagne Vinaigrette
Dana Treat Original
Serves 4

When slow roasting tomatoes, I usually use Roma tomatoes but they are so disgusting right now, I can’t bring myself to buy them.  I found some smaller round ones on the vine and those turned out well.

2 pounds tomatoes, cored and seeded
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried oregano
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 hearts of palm, thinly sliced
¼ cup bean sprouts
2 hard boiled eggs, thinly sliced or quartered
Small handful black olives, halved
4 white mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
7 ounces baby spinach
Champagne vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 250ºF.  Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the sugar, oregano, a teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of pepper.  Use your hands to mix.  Put in the oven and roast for 1 hour.  Take out and, using tongs, turn the tomatoes over.  Put back in the oven to roast for another 30 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.  (These tomatoes will keep up to a week in the refrigerator.  Place a single layer of them in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, then lay down another layer, drizzle with more oil, and repeat.)

Place all the ingredients, including about 10 of the tomato halves (or more), in a large salad bowl.  Top with the spinach.  Sprinkle the spinach with a large pinch of salt.  Drizzle on a bit of dressing – use a light hand to begin with – and toss gently.  Add more dressing to taste.

Champagne Vinaigrette

This is my house dressing.  I make a batch almost every week.  Any leftover dressing will keep at least a week in the refrigerator.

1 small shallot, minced
2 tbsp. Champagne vinegar
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. honey
Large pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp. olive oil

Place shallot and vinegar into a wide mouth jar.  Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.  Then add the vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Put the lid on the jar and give it a vigorous shake.  Remove the lid and add the oil.  Give another vigorous shake and taste for balance, adjusting as necessary.

It Was Bound to Happen

October 11, 2011

Here was my Monday.  Up, showered, me dressed, boys dressed, me fed, boys fed, Graham’s lunch box packed.  8:45 drove Spencer to preschool, and 9:10 got Graham on the bus to his first grade class.  Sent a few emails and then 10:00 headed to Book Larder for a staff meeting.  Then worked for a few hours doing book related things.  3:30 went home to wait for Graham to get off the bus, gave him a snack, and then 4:15 drove him to an art class he recently started taking.  4:30 went to pick up Spencer at school and took him home for a snack and a few minutes of play for him and a few minutes of cooking prep for me.  5:45 got him in the car and we went to get Graham.  6:10 back to the house and started cooking.

I made bean and cheese tacos for the boys which means making guacamole for Graham to put on his.  I envisioned a miso soup with lots of vegetables for Randy and me, and also roasted some tofu because I was craving it.  And a salad – we have salad almost every night.  I had pulled a stick of butter out of the fridge early in the morning with a plan to make cookies and I resisted the urge to give up on that plan and got them going and in the oven.  So, simultaneously, I was making soup, cookies, tacos, guacamole, salad dressing, roasted onions, and roasted tofu.  After a busy day, one of these things was bound to not go right.

Fortunately, it was just the soup.  Everyone got dropped off and picked up at the right times and in the right places and we had other things to eat, so I tried to be philosophical about the soup.  It tasted fine but I did not cook the vegetables enough and crunchy is not the right adjective I like to use when describing soup.  Having something not turn out made me realize how infrequent it is in my house to have a cooking fail.  I’m not patting myself on the back here, I’m just observing.  I cook a lot.  All that practice comes in handy.

The highlight of our meal was the salad.  Last week, when I was working at Book Larder, Tara stopped in.  She mentioned that she was the lucky recipient of 20 pounds of Asian pears and did I have any ideas of how to use them.  Immediately I thought of a salad that I used to make years ago, back when Asian pears were harder to find.  I got the recipe from some magazine and, rather than trying to remember where, or even looking online, I decided to re-create it.  I’m kind of in love with this dressing.  The whole salad really.  The only downside is I only used one Asian pear so I don’t think I helped Tara with her problem.

One Year Ago:  Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie
Two Years Ago:  Holly B’s Praline Almond Scones
Three Years Ago:  Quick Olive and Cheese Bread

Arugula Salad with Asian Pear and Roasted Onions
Dana Treat Original
Serves 2 (generously)

You will have dressing left over which is a great thing.  Toss it with soba noodles, use it as a dip for vegetables or satay, or just drink it.  :)

For the Dressing and Marinade
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ cup tahini
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. chile paste
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. water
2 tsp. sugar

For the salad
1 medium red onion, halved, peeled and cut into thick slices
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
½ an avocado, cut into bite size chunks
1 Asian pear, cored, and cut into matchsticks
4 ounces arugula
Sea salt

Place all the ingredients for the dressing/marinade in a blender.  Blend until very smooth.

Place the onions in an oven proof baking dish, pour a couple tablespoons of the marinade over top and toss well to coat.  Set aside and allow to marinate for 30-60 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425ºF.  Place onions in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, tossing once, or onions are soft and browned in spots.

Place the grated carrot, avocado, and pear in a salad bowl then place the arugula on top.  Sprinkle the leaves with a pinch of sea salt.  Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of dressing over top (you won’t need much).  Toss and add more dressing to taste.  Serve the onions along side the salad.

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