avocado and lemon pasta salad

3 c medium pasta shells
2 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Few strips of thinly pared lemon rind
1 ripe avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 c light cream

Cook the pasta shells in boiling salted water until 'al dente', rinse and drain well. Mix with the oil and leave to cool.

Halve the avocado, remove the stone and scoop the flesh into a blender. Add the lemon juice, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and cream and blend together until smooth. Mix the avocado and lemon sauce with the pasta and stir in the spring onions and parsley. Sprinkle with lemon rind.

mini potato salad

20 baby new potatoes or 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes cut in 1" pieces
1/4 lb feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c black cured olives, pitted & chopped
1 tbsp chopped green onion
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp lemon juice
Place potatoes in cold salted water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer potatoes until tender, about 16-18 minutes. Drain potatoes and place in large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 6

caesar dressing

4-6 strips bacon
4 slices day-old white bread
2 anchovy fillets
1 large garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp hot mustard
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
½ c Parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks
¾ c vegetable oil
1 large head Romaine lettuce

Cook bacon in frying pan until crisp. Crumble and set aside.

Remove crusts from bread and discard. Cut into ½" cubes and add to bacon fat in pan. Stir-fry over medium heat until golden. Drain on paper towel.

Place anchovies in blender along with garlic, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese and egg yolks. Whirl until blended. Gradually add oil, drop by drop at first, then by a thin stream until all is added.

Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and reserved crumbled bacons. Toss, then add croutons.

spinach salad with bacon

2 lb fresh spinach
1 c sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp hot mustard
1/2 lb crisply fried crumbled bacon
1/4 c chopped parsley

Salt & pepper Wash, drain and dry spinach and chop medium fine. Toss with a mixture of the sour cream, lemon juice and mustard. Sprinkle with the bacon and season to taste. 6-8 servings

spinach and feta salad

8 oz (6 c) fresh spinach, bite-size pieces
1/2 tomato, cut in wedges
1 hard boiled egg, cut in wedges
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp oregano

Place spinach and tomato in salad bowl. Arrange eggs, onion rings and feta on top. In jar combine oil, vinegar, oregano and pepper to taste. Shake well and pour over salad. Toss.

baked goat cheese with garden salad

3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 - 2 1/2” diameter rounds fresh goat cheese, 1/2” thick
1 tsp dried thyme
1 c fine dry breadcrumbs
2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
4 c mixed garden lettuce such as arugula, lamb’s lettuce, oak leaf & red leaf lettuce
16 garlic flavoured croutons
  1. In a bowl combine 1/4 c olive oil and the fresh thyme. Add goat cheese rounds and marinate, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Mix the dried thyme with breadcrumbs and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 c of olive oil with 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Taste and add up to 1 tbsp more vinegar to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Wash and dry the lettuce then set aside. 
  3. Remove the goat cheese rounds from the oil mixture and shake off excess. Dredge in bread crumb mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes or until cheese is lightly bubbling and golden brown. 
  4. Meanwhile, drizzle vinaigrette over lettuce and toss gently to combine. Arrange or four salad plates. Nestle a round of cheese in centre of each bed of lettuce. Garnish with croutons and serve immediately. Serves 4

warm lentil salad with spicy vinaigrette

1/2 c brown lentils
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 oz feta cheese
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Cover lentils with water and bring to boil. Simmer, covered, with garlic and oregano 25-30 min. Drain. Combine with vinaigrette (see below), mint, parsley, tomato and onions; stir in feta and drizzle over oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with Pork Tenderloin with Spiced Apple Puree and Cumin Scented Spinach  Serves 2

spicy vinaigrette

1 lemon, juice & grated rind
1/4 tsp paprika
Cayenne
1/4 tsp cumin
 1/4 c olive oil

Combine ingredients.

sesame poppy seed dressing

1/4 - 1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp chopped onion
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c cider vinegar

Blend together and use on 1 lb spinach tossed with 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved, and 1/2 c toasted slivered almonds.

apple cider honey dressing

2 tsp liquid honey
6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
9 tbsp sunflower oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Blend and use on spinach salad, etc.

boiled dressing for potato salad

1/2 -3/4 c sugar
I tsp salt
I tsp dry mustard
2 eggs
1/2 c vinegar in I c thick cream OR I c salad dressing

Mix in order given and boil until thick.

curried fruit and rice salad

2 tbsp butter
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
2 c fresh or frozen peas
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c sour cream
1 c mayonnaise
6 1/2 c cooked rice (about 2 c uncooked)
2 peaches, nectarines or apples
1 c peanuts

Heat butter in large frying pan. Add onions and sprinkle with curry and cumin. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often for 5 minutes. Add peas and 2 tbsp water. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, blend sour cream and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Stir in cooked rice until all grains are coated. Stir in onion-pea mixture, including any liquid left in pan. Peel fruit and coarsely chop. Stir fruit, peanuts and raisins into rice. Add salt and pepper as needed. Cover and refrigerate or serve immediately. If making more than a day ahead, add fruit just before serving.

carrot salad in lemon mustard dressing

1/4 c lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp sugar
1/2 c minced green onion
6 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp snipped fresh dill OR 2 tsp dried dillweed
6 carrots, scraped & cut in julienne strips
3 c water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar

Combine lemon juice, mustard, the 2 tsp sugar, green onion, oil, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper & dill in screw top jar.  Shake until well blended.  Combine carrots with water to cover in a large saucepan; add remaining salt & sugar.  Bring to boil; lower heat & cover.  Simmer 5 min or until tender.  Don't overcook.  Drain, then cool under cold running water; drain again & transfer to a salad bowl.  Pour dressing over; toss lightly to coat taste; add additional seasoning if needed.  Chill at least 2 hr, but remove from fridge about 30 min before serving.

honeydew havarti salad with raspberry mayonnaise

1 c fresh strawberries, hulled
1 small cantaloupe, cut into cubes or balls
1 red delicious apple, sliced
1/4 lb fontina cheese, cubed
1/4 lb mild cheddar, cubed
1/4 lb havarti, cubed
2 honeydews, halved
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c pureed frozen raspberries
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c pumpkin seeds, opt.

Combine fruits and cheese and spoon into honeydew halves.  Mix mayo with raspberries and juice.  Drizzle over fruit and sprinkle with seeds.  Makes 4 servings.

old fashioned lime jello salad

1 small pkg lime Jello
1 c boiling water
1/4 c cold water and 2 ice cubes
1/2 c mayonnaise
Chopped celery
Chopped apple
Chopped onion

Dissolve Jello in boiling water, then add cold water and ice cubes. When partially set, beat in mayonnaise. Fold in vegetables and apple. Let set.

orange, zucchini and rice salad

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard           
1 c long grain rice
2 small unpeeled zucchini
2 1/2 c chicken bouillon
3 whole green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 c vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 medium oranges

Heat the 1 tbsp oil in large saucepan and stir in rice. Continue stirring over medium heat until all grains are coated. Stir in bouillon. Don't add salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 1/3 c vegetable oil in large bowl with fresh squeezed juice from 2 of the oranges (about 1/2 c) and Dijon mustard. Stir in hot cooked rice. Peel remaining orange. Cut into thin rounds, then wedges. Add rice. Cut unpeeled zucchini into julienne strips approximately 1 1.2" x 1/4"  thick. Stir into rice along with onions. Add salt and pepper as needed. Press on clear wrap into surface and refrigerate until cold.

grilled greek vegetable and orzo salad

1/3 c olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/4 c orzo
1/3 c chopped parsley
3 medium zucchini
2 red and/or yellow pepper
1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia
Leaf lettuce
4 oz feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
12 Kalamata olives

In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegars, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook orzo until just tender. Drain; rinse under cold water to chill. Drain well. Transfer to bowl; add parsley. Toss 1/3 c of the dressing with orzo mixture; set aside at room temperature.

Cut zucchini into lengthwise quarters. Cut peppers and onion into thick slices; brush with remaining dressing. Place on greased grill over medium-high heat or int batches in stovetop grill pan; cook for 12-16 minutes, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining dressing, until tender-crisp. Cut vegetables into 1" pieces. Line shallow serving bowl with lettuce; spoon in orzo salad. Mound vegetables on top. Sprinkle with feta cheese and garnish with olives.

mixed bean salad

75 ml granulated sugar
5 ml dry mustard
2 ml salt
50 ml white or cider vinegar
20 ml canola or olive oil
1 carrot
2 stalks celery
500 ml frozen green beans
1 medium red onion, thickly sliced
500 ml (or 540 ml can) chickpeas
500 ml (or 540 ml can)frozen kidney beans
250 ml frozen lima beans
250 ml frozen black beans

Stir together sugar, mustard and salt in large bowl. Stir in vinegar and oil. Coarse chop carrot and celery. Microwave the green beans until hot and bright green. Drain and stir into dressing. Add onion. Rinse frozen or canned beans with cold water. Drain well and stir into salad. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours. Will keep up to 4 days.

marion's dressing

1/3 c olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix together!

provençale pasta salad

2 c pasta rings
½ c French dressing
6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 c green beans, cooked, sliced
12 black olives, pitted   
7.5 oz can tuna, drained and flaked
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small head lettuce, shredded
2 oz. can anchovies, drained

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and mix with a little of the French dressing. When cool, turn into a bowl and mix with the tomatoes, beans, olives, tuna and salt and pepper.

Toss the salad lightly with the remaining dressing and serve on a bed of shredded lettuce garnished with the anchovies.

couscous salad

1 lb couscous
2 1/2 c boiling water
5 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp orange juice
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ea cloves, nutmeg and turmeric
3/4 c olive oil
3 celery stalks, sliced (1 1/4 c)
2 carrots, pared & cut into strips
2 medium zucchini, cut into strips
1 medium onion, halved & thinly sliced (1 1/3 c)
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded & cut into large dice (2 c)
1 c chopped fresh coriander OR parsley

Place couscous in large bowl. Add water. Stir gently with fork to separate grains, being careful not to mash grains. Continue to stir, breaking up any lumps, until water is absorbed and couscous had cooled. Set aside. Combine vinegar, rinds, juices, garlic and spices in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil until well blended. Set aside. Toss together vegetables in medium bowl. Gently mix vegetables into couscous until thoroughly combined. Add dressing and mix again. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.                         Makes 8-10 servings

salade niçoise

2 tsp mustard, preferably Dijon or Dusseldorf
2 tbsp wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp vegetable oil
6 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 lb green beans
2 green peppers
4 celery stalks
1 pint cherry tomatoes
5 red skinned potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced
3 (7 oz) cans tuna
1 (2 oz) can of flat anchovies
10 stuffed olives
10 black olives, Greek or Italian
1 large red onion (or 2 small)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1/3 c finely chopped parsley
1/4 c finely chopped scallions
6 hard cooked eggs, quartered
  1. Combine mustard, vinegar, salt, garlic, oils, pepper and thyme. Beat with fork until well blended and set aside.
  2. Break beans into 1 1/2" lengths. Cook in salted water to cover until crisp-tender. Drain and run under cold water, then drain and set aside.
  3. Cut green pepper into thin rounds. Trim celery and cut crosswise into thin slices (should be about 2 c). Set both aside.
  4. Bring a quart of water to a boil. Drop in tomatoes and let stand for exactly 15 seconds. Drain and pull off skins. Set aside.
  5. In a large salad bowl, make a more or less symmetrical pattern of the beans, peppers, celery, tomatoes and potatoes. Flake the tuna and add to the bowl. Arrange the anchovies on tope and scatter the olives over all.
  6. Peel the onions and cut into thin, almost transparent slices. Scatter over salad. Sprinkle with basil, parsley and scallions. Garnish with hard cooked eggs.
  7. Toss the salad with the dressing after the garnished bowl has been presented. Serve with French or Italian bread.
  8. Serves 6-10

tabbouleh

1 c bulgur (cracked wheat)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 c chopped parsley
1/4 c fresh mint, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
4-6 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash bulgur and cover with hot water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes, then drain thoroughly. Squeeze dry with hands. Chop the vegetables together and beat in oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Mix with bulgur until well blended and chill.

potato antipasto salad

6 c vegetable broth or water
1/2 tsp salt
2 lb mixed potatoes (any combination of low starch varieties such as Yukon Gold, Round Red or Peruvian Purple), scrubbed and cut into 3/4" cubes
1/2 c fresh or frozen green peas
1/3 c chopped, drained dried tomato halves in oil
1/4 c pitted ripe olives
1/4 c thinly sliced red onion
3 tbsp grated Parmesan (opt)
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

In a 4 quart saucepan heat the broth and salt to boiling over high heat. Add potatoes and reduce heat to low simmer; cover and cook about 15 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Add peas and cook 2 minutes or until potatoes and peas are tender; drain in colander and set aside to cool 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine potatoes, peas, dried tomatoes, olives, red onion, and 2 tbsp Parmesan, if desired. In small bowl whish together the oil, vinegar, garlic and oregano; pour over potato mixture and stir gently until well mixed. If possible, set aside 20 or 30 minutes to allow flavours to combine. If desired, sprinkle remaining Parmesan over salad.

tzatziki

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and finely diced (2 c)
1 c plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp chopped fresh dill OR 1/4 tsp dried dill
1 tsp chopped fresh mint OR 1/4 tsp dried mint
1/8 tsp salt
Parsley for garnish

In a mixing bowl combine cucumber, yogurt, garlic, vinegar, dill, mint and salt. Chill thoroughly. Garnish with parsley if desired.

melizano salata

1 medium eggplant (1 lb)
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1 tbsp chopped onion
1/2 c snipped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

Pierce the eggplant with fork to allow steam to escape while cooking and place in baking dish. Bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes or until very tender. Remove and let stand until just cool enough to handle. Peel off the skin and discard. Cut up pulp; place in blender container. Cover; blend until finely chopped. Drain off any excess liquid. Add tomato, onion, parsley, salt and pepper to blender container. Cover; blend until smooth. Add lemon juice and olive oil. Turn into bowl. Cover; chill thoroughly. Garnish with additional tomato wedges.

orange poppy seed salad dressing

1 c plain yogurt - 250 mL
1 tsp cider vinegar or to taste - 5 mL
2 tbsp poppy seeds - 25 mL
1/2 tsp grated orange rind - 2 mL
1 tbsp liquid honey - 15 mL
1 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed and undiluted) - 15 mL

Combine all ingredients together and chill well before serving.

blt salad

4 oz black olives, pitted, finely chopped - 120 g
4 oz sundried tomatoes (packed in oil) drained and finely chopped - 120 g
1/4 c flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped - 50 mL
2 tbsp capers, coarsely chopped - 30 mL
1/3 c olive oil - 75 mL
1/3 c red wine vinegar - 75 mL
Salt and black pepper to taste
1-2 heads Belgian endive (small leaves are best) depending on size
8-10 leaves Boston lettuce or other lettuce such as bib or oak leaf (if large, use 6)
3-4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 oz toasted walnut pieces - 85 g
1/2 c Asiago cheese, finely grated - 125 mL

In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients. Chill.

Just before serving, pull leaves off heads of Belgian endive, leaving each leaf whole, and place in large serving bowl. Tear Boston lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add to bowl. Using hands, gently fluff greens to mix. Scatter chopped tomatoes, walnuts and grated cheese (if using) over greens. Drizzle with dressing. Toss before serving. Serves 6