Salads

KALE SALAD WITH CREAMY GARLIC DRESSING

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Well….the cruise is upon is. I am trying to use everything in the fridge that is perishable. This one was inspired by a party we were recently invited to. A local restaurant catered the event. I fell in love with their Kale Caesar. My daughter has had it before and raved about it. Now I know why!

I used the same salad ingredients but came up with my own dressing. Fresh kale, cherry tomatoes, charred corn, black beans, candied pecans, and grated parmesan cheese. My husband used an adjective that I can not repeat…..LOL; followed by the word “great”! After he had two helpings I was convinced blogging it would be a great idea.

Kale has gained popularity over the past few years in restaurants and particularly as salads. I have loved kale since I was a child. I still love the cooked version and we have it in our house quite a bit.

It looks like a lot of ingredients and instructions, but it is well worth it. Make the candied pecans ahead of time. Make the dressing ahead of time. The hardest part is not eating too much. Seriously, it is very simple to make.

I have included instructions for the candied pecans, creamy garlic dressing, and the salad ingredients. Kale is at it’s best this time of year and very easy to find. I hope you give it a try.

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Kale Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 8-10 C of kale, washed well, and chopped into ribbons
  • 1 C of grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 C of fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 C freshly grated Parmigiano / Reggiano cheese

Dressing

  • 1/4 C sour cream (I use light)
  • 2 Tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper

Candied Pecans

  • 1 C pecan halves
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 T packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

For the pecans:

  1. Combine the sugar, water, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl and set aside near by.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, add the pecans and toast until just fragrant and hot.
  3. Quickly pour the sugar mixture over the nuts and toss to coat, cook for about 15-20 seconds. Do not walk away, they will burn very quickly if not watched.
  4. Pour onto a parchment or waxed sheet lined pan and allow to cool. They will harden as they cool down.
  5. Once cooled break apart if needed. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for later use. * You may want to make a double batch. They will disappear quickly.)

For the dressing:

  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients and with an immersion blender mix and slowly add the olive oil. You can also use a blender for this step.
  2. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Set aside while putting the salad together.

For the salad:

  1. Put the kale into a large bowl and massage with your hands to help break it down. Immediately add half of the dressing to help soften it and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. While that is sitting cook the corn kernels with a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat until the sugars produce a nice charred look. Place on top of the salad.
  3. Add the tomatoes, beans, and cheese, and pecans. (I used a full cup of pecans)
  4. Add the rest of the dressing and toss all together until everything is coated.
  5. Garnish with additional shaved cheese if desired.

Nothing left to do but eat and enjoy.

See you after the cruise. Hopefully I will come home with some new taste sensations or at least some great stories.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Harriet Tubman Museum & Shrimp Cobb Salad

Recently a new museum was opened in honor of Harriet Tubman and her endeavors to aid slaves in pursuing their freedom. It’s a beautiful facility, located in Church Creek, Maryland. It is also close to another landmark known as Blackwater Refuge. Well worth the visit for young and old.

Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County, Maryland in 1822. She was named “Minty” by her mother and also known as “Moses” to those she helped escape through the underground railroad.  “Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another slave and hit her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. She was a devout Christian and experienced strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God.”

(Excerpt taken from: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Tubman)

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“I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Harriet Tubman

My brother Kirk, who now lives in Pennsylvania decided to bring his friend, Abby, and pay a visit to the museum. Since I live about 15 minutes away, I invited them to lunch when they were done. I myself am anxious to visit and will in the near future. Dorchester county is brimming with history and famous people. All stories for another time!

I love salads for lunch! My brother is watching his weight and Abby is basically a vegetarian. She does like seafood. How can you go wrong with shrimp and vegies?

I made a  shrimp cobb salad and a lemon basil salad dressing. Voiles’, lunch for four. There was plenty for all of us with some leftovers. It is quite a display when placed on a large platter. It would be just as pretty layered in a clear glass trifle bowl. Either way, it was delicious. Any seafood would work, pick your favorite and pile it up.

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SHRIMP COBB SALAD W/LEMON BASIL DRESSING

INGREDIENTS:

Lemon Basil Dressing (also known as Green Goddess)

  • 1/2 C light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C chopped scallions
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh basil, packed
  • juice of 1 lemons
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 inches of anchovy paste (do not skip this part, it gives it depth of flavor and does not taste fishy)
  • 1/2 C light sour cream

Oven Roasted Shrimp

  • 1 1/2 lbs small shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 t crushed red peppers

Cobb Salad (no eggs)

  • 6 C romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, grilled and removed from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 C tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of fresh chopped parsley

Directions for the dressing:

  1. Put the mayonnaise, green onions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and anchovy paste in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the sour cream and blend until just incorporated.
  3. Place in the fridge to chill. Can be stored up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Directions for roasted shrimp:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry.
  3. Place on a large sheet pan with the garlic, crushed peppers, salt, and pepper. (I like to line mine with non-stick foil)
  4. Drizzle the olive oil on top and using your hands, toss to combine all.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes. (small shrimp cook very quickly)
  6. Remove and allow to cool.

Directions for the salad:

Layer ingredients in the following order:

  • Lettuce
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Red onion
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Shrimp
  1. Drizzle the 1/2 of lemon over the top of the salad, making sure to hit the shrimp and avocado, (it will prevent it from becoming discolored).
  2. Sprinkle the fresh parsley over the top.
  3. Use the salad dressing on the side and let everybody use the amount they want.

As you can see I used a large platter to layer mine. (Thanks Terry F.). It was quite the stunner. It requires a bit of prep work but a nice light summer meal. If you like eggs, by all means add them. One of my guests was not an egg fan. I think I will try it with crab meat next time. How about you???

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

 

 

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