Waldorf Salad with Radicchio & Buttermilk Dressing

Waldorf Salad with Radicchio and Buttermilk Dressing by Tara Bench

Recipe excerpt from:
Delicious Gatherings: Recipes To Celebrate Together
by Tara “Teaspoon” Bench

Really, the resembelence to classic Waldorf salad is just the combo of apples, celery, and grapes — but I just love that one of my favorite salads heralded from New York City, where I live. I’m paying a little homage to its history! With shaved apple, flavorful radicchio, and a light, savory buttermilk dressing, this updated version of Waldorf salad is elegant and welcoming. I made a tangy buttermilk herb dressing and opted for delicious candied pecans instead of walnuts.

I absolutely loved Waldorf salad when I was little, and here’s why: instead of the classic mayo dressing, my mom covered the entire salad in sweetened whipped cream. I could eat the entire bowl, and who wouldn’t with that kind of dressing?

Candied Pecans

  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¾ cups (3 oz) pecans

Buttermilk Dressing

  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, plus for garnish

Salad

  • 1 small head or half a large head of radicchio (10 oz)
  • 1 apple, cored and cut in half
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced on the bias
  • 1 ½ cups red grapes, sliced in half
  1. For the pecans: Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a small skillet over medium heat, bring maple syrup and cayenne to a boil. Boil 1 minute, and then add pecans. Stir to coat and cook another 30 seconds. Turn onto lined baking sheet and separate nuts. Set aside and let cool completely. When cool, coarsely chop.
     
  2. For the dressing: Whisk together all ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator.
     
  3. For the salad: Break or chop radicchio into pieces. Use a mandoline or slicer to thinly slice apple. Arrange radicchio, apple, celery, and grapes in a bowl, then top with chopped pecans. You can toss with the dressing and extra parsley at this point, or you can serve the salad with the dressing and parsley on the side so guests can dress their own salad.

Tara’s Tip: Radicchio is a very strong, sometimes bitter leafy vegetable. I think it’s fantastic with tangy buttermilk and yogurt. But if you want a milder salad, opt for butter lettuce leaves.

Loaded Guacamole Dip

Loaded Guacamole Dip by Tara Bench

Recipe excerpt from:
Delicious Gatherings: Recipes To Celebrate Together
by Tara “Teaspoon” Bench

TURN THAT FAMOUS seven-layer dip on its head! You know the one; I’ve got a gorgeous
version on my blog
. Here, I’ve loaded a tasty layer of guacamole with so much good stuff (and some new additions). I wanted a dip that could serve as a centerpiece, so I’ve composed the platter to look impressive. It’s a showstopper that’s perfect for dipping your chips into, scooping onto enchiladas, or dolloping on a taco salad. Your taste buds will know what to expect—amazingness!

I suggest making your own simple guacamole with my quick-cheat tomatillo salsa recipe provided here. But in a pinch, you can buy the guac. I won’t tell.

Taco Crema

  • 1 ¼  cups sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning

Guacamole

  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup green tomatillo salsa
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Green Salsa

  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeño

Toppings

  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups finely diced tomatoes,
  • seeds removed and drained of juice
  • 1 to 1 ¼  cups crumbled cotija cheese
  • Half a can (15-ounce) black beans,
  • drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup roasted corn kernels
  • Chips for serving

Instructions

  1. For the taco crema: In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream and taco seasoning.
    Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the remaining elements.
  2. For the guacamole: In a large bowl, smash all guacamole ingredients until you
    achieve a slightly chunky consistency. Cover and set aside.
  3. For the green salsa: Mix together all green salsa ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Prepare remaining toppings.
  5. On a large platter (I used an oval platter 12-by-14- or 12-by-16-inches), spread
    guacamole in a .1/4- to .1/2 -inch-thick layer. Gently spread taco crema on guacamole
    in a single layer, leaving a border of guacamole. Carefully create a ring
    of chopped tomatoes near the edge of the sour cream, then do the same with a
    smaller ring of cotija cheese. Continue making rings with the green salsa and
    the black beans, finishing with the corn in the center. Make sure to create very
    skinny rings so there is room for each ingredient.
  6. Serve immediately with chips, or cover and refrigerate for up to an hour.

Tara’s Tip: In order to create this look, you need enough dip ingredients for a large crowd. For smaller groups, halve the recipe. “Load” your dip however you wish on your platter or layer it in a glass dish. It’s tricky to get perfect rings of toppings on your first try. You can start in the middle with the corn and work outward if that is easier for you!

Pear, Pomegranate & Turkey Gorgonzola Salad Board

Pear, Pomegranate and Turkey Gorgonzola Salad Board by Lauren Thomas

Recipe excerpt from:
The Modern Hippie Table: Recipes and Menus for Eating Simply and Living Beautifully
by Lauren Thomas

If you find yourself wondering what to do with all those turkey leftovers after Thanksgiving, this delicious salad board makes a beautiful presentation to impress your family (who’s still in town) when you don’t feel like cooking. Whether you serve this salad for lunch or dinner, I can assure you that you’ll inspire a new leftovers tradition! Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 heads butter lettuce, torn into small pieces
  • 1 head Greenleaf lettuce, torn into small pieces
  • Approximately one pound of leftover white turkey meat, sliced or chopped
  • 1 small head radicchio lettuce, chopped
  • 4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 large ripe pears, preferably Bartlett or Comice, cored and cut into ½- inch cubes
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils, or the seeds of one pomegranate
  • Black pepper
  • *Extra pears and pomegranates to help decorate your board

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt. Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, combine the butter lettuce and Greenleaf lettuce and toss to combine. On a large platter or wooden board with raised edges, arrange the lettuce to cover. On top of the lettuce, start by arranging the turkey in the center, followed by the radicchio, cheese, pears, and pomegranate arils on either side of the turkey in parallel lines. Drizzle the salad dressing evenly and toss gently just before serving. Season with black pepper to taste.

Insalata di Mare / Seafood Salad

Insalata di Mare by Amy Riolo

Recipe excerpt from:
Italian Recipes for Dummies
by Amy Riolo

Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: 10 Min
Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • bf 1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • Juice and zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1 pound dry scallops
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless cod, haddock, or other white fish, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound baby squid tubes, cleaned and sliced in small rings
  • 1/2 cup Amy Riolo Selections or other good-quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed well
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Additional lemon slices, for garnish

Directions

  1. Place the tomatoes, carrot, salt, pepper, and lemon zest in a large bowl, and mix well.
  2. Bring a medium-size pot 3/4 full of water to boil over high heat.
  3. Lower the heat to medium, and add the scallops and bay leaf. Cook, uncovered, until scallops are opaque, approximately 1 minute. Remove scallops with a slotted spoon to a dish lined with paper towels. Add the shrimp and fish to the water, and cook until opaque, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to another dish lined with paper towels. Add the squid and cook for approximately 40 seconds, until rings begin to tighten slightly. Remove with a slotted spoon into a colander. Immediately transfer squid to a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO and garlic cloves to a large, wide skillet with a fitted lid over a medium-high flame. When oil is hot, add mussels, toss to coat, and add 1/2 cup water over the top. Cover and cook for 2–4 minutes until mussels are open (cooked). Remove opened mussels, and set aside. If any mussels fail to open after another minute or two of cooking, discard them.
  5. In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking the EVOO and lemon juice together until emulsified.
  6. Add the seafood to a salad bowl, and stir to combine. Drizzle with dressing, and stir. Sprinkle with parsley, garnish with lemon slices, and serve immediately.

Tip

Reserve this recipe, a traditional Christmas Eve appetizer that can be enjoyed anytime, for a time when the freshest seafood and produce possible are available to you.

Pair this dish with a bottle of Passerina di Offida or similar. A white wine with a slender body, low alcohol, and a taste profile underlined by freshness, sapidity, and tropical notes.

Lemony Basil Pesto

Recipe excerpt from:
Everyday Celebrations from Scratch
by Maria Provenzano

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 heaping cups fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place the pine nuts in a shallow skillet over medium heat, tossing/stirring frequently. Toast until the nuts are fragrant and slightly brown. Be careful—this can happen quickly. Allow the pine nuts to cool. Place the Parmesan cheese, basil, cooled pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic cloves into a food processor. Process all of the ingredients together for about 15 seconds. With the mixer running slowly, pour in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Process again to mix. If the pesto is too thick, add more olive oil. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

Spa Citrus and Burrata Salad “Italiano”

Citrus Burrata Salad by Maria Provenzano

Recipe excerpt from:
Everyday Celebrations from Scratch
by Maria Provenzano

Serves 4

  • 2 grapefruit
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 (8 ounce) balls of burrata
  • 1/3 cup chopped mint
  • 1/3 cup chopped or torn basil
  • Edible flowers, optional
  • Olive Oil to taste
  • Honey to taste
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste, optional

Cut the grapefruit and oranges by cutting off the outer peel and the pith. Cut the fruit into about 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces, or segment the grapefruit and the oranges by using a knife to cut off the peel, then use a small sharp knife to cut between each segment to remove the pieces of the fruit. Whichever way you prefer. Place the burrata onto a platter and use your hands to break it up into smaller pieces around the platter. Place the cut grapefruit and oranges around the burrata.  Sprinkle the mint and basil over citrus and burrata. Place the edible flowers around the platter.  Lightly drizzle olive oil and honey over the top and then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust the flavors and add more of anything you like.

Peanut Beef Pad Thai

Lemon Brussel Sprout Salad by Jessica Formicola

Recipe excerpt from:
Beef It Up! – 50 Mouthwatering Recipes for Ground Beef, Steaks, Stews, Roasts, Ribs and More
by Jessica Formicola

When I tell you that you may never order Pad Thai at a restaurant again, I am not kidding. This recipe is that good and can be made with any protein, but obviously beef is my favorite. (Shrimp is a close second.) Many Pad Thai recipes call for tamarind paste, a slightly acidic and sweet ingredient that I don’t keep on hand because I don’t use it in any other recipes. My version skips the tamarind paste but provides just as much flavor.

Serves 4
Prep TIme: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 heaping tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 (14-ounce) package stir-fry rice noodles
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2pounds top sirloin, cut against the grain into thin 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 4 scallions, whites only, chopped
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  1. Whisk together the broth, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Cook the noodles according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Toss with 1 teaspoon of the oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  3. Season the beef with the salt. Heat another 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the beef on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate. Pour off any liquid and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
  4. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the sugar snap peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and carrots, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  5. Move the vegetables to one side of the skillet and crack the egg in the empty side. Using a spatula, scramble the egg right in the skillet until cooked, then mix it in with the vegetables. Return the beef to the skillet and pour the peanut sauce over the top. Toss in the rice noodles, coating all the ingredients well, and let everything heat through.
  6. Divide the Pad Thai among four serving bowls and top with the cilantro, peanuts, and scallions. Serve with lime wedges.

Cook’s Note: Fish sauce adds a deep umami flavor to many dishes. If you don’t have any in your pantry, you can use a little extra soy sauce instead.

Lemony Brussels Sprout Salad

Beef Pad Thai by Jessica Formicola

Recipe excerpt from:
Beef It Up! – 50 Mouthwatering Recipes for Ground Beef, Steaks, Stews, Roasts, Ribs and More
by Jessica Formicola

Not all salads start with lettuce or traditional leafy greens. Here the base is composed of crispy roasted Brussels sprouts, red potatoes, and onions. Topped with thinly sliced skirt steak and a tangy lemon-herb vinaigrette, it can be served as a small starter or an entire entrée.

Serves 4
Prep TIme: 15 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 large red potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3–4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Toss together the Brussels sprouts, potatoes, onion, and oil in a medium bowl. Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.
  3. Halfway through the vegetable cooking time, heat a large cast-iron pan or nonstick skillet
  4. over high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides, then drop the steak in the pan, searing for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until just browned. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes. Slice into small strips.
  5. To assemble the salad, divide the roasted vegetables and the steak evenly among serving dishes. Top each dish with some Parmesan and 1 tablespoon lemon vinaigrette.

Lemon Vinaigrette

Makes 3/4 cup

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Combine the garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small food processor until mixed well. (Alternatively, finely mince the rosemary, sage, and thyme, then combine with the garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl.)
  2. Add the salt, pepper, mustard, sugar, and vinegar, and mix to create a paste. Whisk in the oil until emulsified.
  3. Set the vinaigrette aside for 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week, and shake or stir well before serving.

Blooming Saffron or Saffron Tea

Saffron Tea and Simple Syrup

Recipe excerpt from:
Saffron
by Emily Brooke Sandor and Christina Xenos

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 ½ cup hot water
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads

Optional: honey for tea

  • Combine hot water and saffron threads and let steep for 10 minutes.
  • If serving as a tea, simply add honey to taste and serve. If using bloomed saffron for a recipe, pour saffron liquid into a glass jar, seal, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Store the jar of bloomed saffron in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Saffron Honey Simple Syrup

Saffron Tea and Simple Syrup

Recipe excerpt from:
Saffron
by Emily Brooke Sandor and Christina Xenos

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ cup honey
  1. Combine water, sugar, and saffron threads over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the honey.
  3. Allow the mixture to steep in the pan for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour Saffron Honey Simple Syrup into a glass jar, seal, and allow syrup to cool to room temperature before using or storing.
  5. Store the jar of syrup in the refrigerator for up to one month.