summer salad

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Grilled Chicken Fattoush with Za’atar Ranch

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Reunited (with my camera) and it feels SO good! I haven’t picked up my equipment to photograph food since I shot my cookbook months ago and I thought I might be a little rusty but by George I think I’ve still got it!

Shooting food today reminded me just how much I love what I do and I’ve missed it! Recipe development, food photography and food styling give me SO much joy, and I am legit the luckiest girl in the world to get to do it for a living. As a food blogger, it’s easy to get caught up in the world of social media – keeping up with the ever changing algorithms, apps and platforms – you almost forget why you got into it in the first place and coming back after a long break is just so good for the blogger soul.

It’s funny because when my book went to print in March, I took a sigh of relief that my schedule would finally ease up and I’d be able to take a breather, but the exact opposite happened. I had a book launch to plan, interviews, book signings and demos that followed in quick succession. It’s all been a roller coaster ride and I’ve been wanting so badly to come up for some air – until I finally did this week, and you know what I realized? I don’t even know how to relax. So I went back to what I know and that’s food. And my camera. And even though you could look at it as work – it was exactly what I needed. I had no deadline. It wasn’t for a book, or a magazine, or even the blog. It was for me.

The food: cuz lets face it, it’s always about the food! Lemon Sumac Grilled Pargiot to be precise. I’m a total pargiot convert. I can’t go back to dry grilled chicken breasts, they’re just so, blah! But pargiot? – so. darn. tasty. And they never dry out! This lemon sumac version is so light and fresh for summer, with a hint of sweetness from the silan. The perfect marriage.

The chicken is a great topping for the summery fattoush – a fresh salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and fried bread (in this case pita chips). I paired it with a lip-smacking za’atar ranch because that’s just how I roll. This is your new summer salad, and you can thank me later.

Related Recipes:

farro grain bowl
grilled chicken shawarma salad
grilled marinated chicken

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Grilled Chicken Salad with
Jalapeno Honey Mustard Dressing

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

It was one of those nights, after many days of eating the wrong foods (read: fried, takeout, you-name-it), when I decided I needed to eat a salad for dinner. Luckily, we always have a stash of oven grilled chicken in the fridge (see my super easy recipe below!), so I just threw together whatever I had in the fridge and pantry and this salad was born. I’ve been making this dressing forever, so that wasn’t exactly an afterthought, but it turned out to be the perfect compliment to the composed salad dish.

If you’re an avid follower of mine, you already know that I post almost everything I eat on Instagram (whenever people stop me in the street to ask me what I’m up to foodwise, I just tell them to follow me there, ‘cuz I post just about everything that goes into my mouth!!), so when I whip together a healthy salad for dinner, I try to plate it up nice and pretty, you know, #eatingfortheinsta. So I fanned out my avocado all  fancy and stuff, and the recipe requests poured in. Next thing I know, my inbox is filled with pics of this salad – all composed and perfect, and this recipe-afterthought became an instant sensation.

The dressing is a hit in it’s own right, and lots of readers have told me it’s become a family favorite. So…I finally decided it was time to blog about it! As a recent text message from a reader reminded me, not everyone uses Facebook or Instagram, so I gotta think about the readers that just come here for the good stuff. Rikal, this is for you ;) !

If you’re not a fan of composed salads (salads that have been neatly arranged on a platter, like this), then just go ahead and and mix everything up in a big ‘ole bowl. I promise it’s just as delicious!

Happy Grilling you guys! Check out the links below for lots of other grilled chicken salad recipes that are perfect for summer or when you get that healthy-eating-binge!

#eatingfortheinsta!

Related Recipes:

grilled chicken shawarma salad
grilled marinated chicken
Asian chicken salad
sesame linguini with marinated chicken breasts

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Corn, Heirloom Tomato & Goat Cheese Salad
with Basil Lime Vinagrette

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

I don’t think we New Yorkers can complain about the summer this year, it’s been relatively mild (poo poo poo!). I mean, I don’t want to jinx anything (watch it be mind-numbingly hot next week), but I haven’t had to shower three times a day and jump into whatever sprinklers I can find…like last year.


You know how they say, “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen!”, well what if you can’t handle the heat in your state? Do you just move to a colder climate, like Antarctica?

I am seriously not one for hot weather, which is why I would never move to Florida. My husband, on the other hand, wants to move to the Sunny State, and I always remind him that while he may get the sun, he’s not gonna have much sunshine in his life with his overheated wife! That kind of weather just turns me into some sort of heatwave-monster and you DON’T want to be around me when that happens. Which is why I’m going to stay right here, in perfectly mild Brooklyn, thank you very much. And when perfectly mild Brooklyn turns into overly humid Brooklyn, I’ll just stay inside with my air conditioning and a cup of iced coffee, all calm, cool and collected.

Now when perfectly mild Brooklyn turns into muggy and raining Brooklyn (like it did this week), I turn to my perfectly colorful summer salad so I can at least imagine green pastures and bright summer days. It just doesn’t get brighter than this salad! With fresh arugula, heirloom tomatoes, perfectly crisp-tender corn and creamy goat cheese, you just can’t go wrong. Even if it is muggy outside. Smother it all in a light and refreshing basil lime vinaigrette and you’ll be OK wherever you are…even the Sunny State.

What summer salad gives you an instant pick-me-up regardless of the weather? Share it with me in the comments below!


This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

summer tomato feta salad
watermelon corn salsa
pesto and goat cheese crostini

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Blueberry Sweet Potato Granola Salad

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

I gave you a sneak peek at this light summer salad a few weeks ago, and I’m so excited to finally share it here for keeps! Credit for this awesome combination actually goes to a restaurant named “BLUEBERRY” on Avenue M in Brooklyn. It’s a family-friendly place with fluorescent green walls (not their finest choice) and some great outdoor seating. I love to take my kids there because they’ve got great kid food and a frozen yogurt bar to boot! They’ve also got some really great salads on the menu, like a version of this blueberry salad (you’ve got to make a mean salad if it’s literally got your NAME written all over it, right?), and a delicious haloumi salad with grilled veggies and a sesame teriyaki dressing. I must reinvent that one next! They’ve also got an assortment of malawach and shakshuka, and you all know how I love me some Israeli food.

Thanks to Blueberry for giving me the awesome idea of putting granola on a salad, it’s such a fun way to add crunch, especially during the summer months. Enjoy!

Melon Carpaccio

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

The term carpaccio is usually used to refer to thinly sliced cuts of meat or fish that are served as an appetizer. In recent years, however, chef’s have reinvented the idea of carpaccio, preparing  dishes of thinly sliced veggies or fruit, like zucchini and melon, carpaccio-style. The trick to making a carpaccio is to keep the ingredients thin and uniform by shaving them down with a mandolin or vegetable peeler. Ever since slicing my palm on a mandolin last year, I have a hard time using it without cringing, so peelers are a welcome substitute in this case!

When working with melon, you don’t want your fruit to be too ripe, otherwise the thin shavings won’t hold up after plating. They’ll let out too much juice and turn to mush. Use just-ripened fruit that’s cold (warm melon will be harder to peel) and shave it over a bowl to catch the juices. If using a mandolin or peeler doesn’t work for you, you can also slice it thinly with a knife.

What I love most about this melon appetizer, is the combination of sweet melon with spicy jalapeno and tart lime.  It celebrates the best of summer produce –  melon, tomatoes & basil – at their prime. This unconventional melon salad is not only a party on your palate, it looks beautiful on your plate too.

 

1 year ago: cherries in red wine syrup
2 years ago: fried fish sandwich

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Watermelon Corn Salsa

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

When summer comes around, I love to take inspiration from the amazing fresh seasonal produce to create light and healthy dishes. The juicy melons and brightly flavored veggies work wonderfully to create sweet and crunchy salsas, tangy chutneys and colorful salads.

Using bright and sweet farm fresh produce requires little preparation. I usually dress my salads minimally with olive oil and citrus, allowing the fresh flavors to speak for themselves. This watermelon corn salsa is a great example. I’ve made it with both raw and cooked corn – each is equally delicious.

For the recipe, head on over to The Nosher Blog!

If you’re looking to experience the joy of picking your own farm fresh produce at a U-Pick farm, check out my review of Kelder’s Farm.

Other great farm-fresh salad recipes:

Roasted beet salsa
Snap pea, corn & red currant salad

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Summer Tomato Feta Salad

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Believe it or not, I’m not the biggest tomato person. I’ll happily leave them out of my burger, and I never put them in my tuna sandwiches. My husband, on the other hand, is tomato-obsessed. Ask him what he would take to a desert island, and I know without a doubt, that it would be a boat-load of tomatoes. So when it comes to salad-making, you can imagine that we are not always in agreement.

Summer, though, is the exception. There’s just something about summer tomatoes that is so deliciously sweet. Instead of arguing about adding tomatoes to the salad, we end up making tomato-only salads. Using an assortment of tomatoes like red and yellow tomatoes on the vine, or colorful heirloom tomatoes, makes for a beautiful presentation. With summer tomatoes being so juicy and delicious, you really don’t need much to make them sing. A simple drizzle of good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar is enough to dress them up. Feta adds protein, color, and saltiness, to balance out the tomatoes sweet flavor.

Needless to say, my husband is in LOVE with this salad. I hope you will be too.

1 year ago: picture perfect teacher’s gift
2 years ago: Asian bigger bowl soup

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