Tag Archives: salad

18 Aug 2020: Easy Corn Salad

Some time in the middle of all “THIS” as we refer to our Coronavirus isolation, Adrien began to take-over responsibility of Sunday meals. The rest of the week, I usually plan for and we jointly prepare whatever we are eating. I actually like to cook so it was never a chore once I stopped feeling the pressure from my teaching career. However, apparently I am “too bossy” to work with in the kitchen, so we’ve worked out this arrangement where I stay out of Sunday meal planning and prep.

With a lot of corn in our recent CSA box – and a ton of tomatoes and cukes – Adrien found this salad from Holly Nilsson on the Spend with Pennies website. It is a welcome summer dish and very adaptable to whatever is growing that suits your fancy.

Easy Corn Salad

Ingredients – again, add or substitute what you have. If you like kohlrabi in place of cukes, go for it.

3 TBSP vinegar (cider or rice)

3 cups of corn kernals from about 4 cobs

1 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes

1 cup diced cucumbers

1/4 cup red onion (we had a vidalia, still tasty)

3 TBSP olive oil

3 TBSP cider vinegar/rice vinegar/ or another lighter vinegar (probably not great with darker Balsamic vinegars)

Salt, Pepper to taste

1 TBSP fresh parsley

Dill or basil (optional)


Prepare the corn by boiling or grilling and remove the kernals from the cob. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and toss.

21 August 2018: Sweet Corn Polenta with Bell Pepper & Tomato Salad

2018-Aug-16_Fournightsaweek_2602The July/August 2018 issue of Eating Well has, as you might expect, some terrific recipes taking advantage of summer harvests. This recipe from Julia Clancy, a recipe developer from EatingWell,  is a perfect example. Is there anything better than a hot-off-the-vine tomato? I don’t think so.  

I’ve been intimidated by making my own polenta for a while. This week, finally, I gave this recipe a try, and I have to admit the difference is amazing! I’ll be hard-pressed to buy the ready-made products from now on. 

The only “downside” to this recipe is that it takes quite a while to complete – the polenta cooking and cooling period is about 3 hours total.  I made the polenta ahead of time, marinated the salad together in the refrigerator and, since we were having one of those unpredictable dinner times, assembled everything in about 20 minutes. This is definitely a great meal to prep ahead of time and put together later.

Served with a crisp, dry rose, this was a terrific mid-summer vegetarian meal.

Sweet Corn Polenta with Bell Pepper & Tomato Salad by Julia Clancy


For the Polenta:

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup coarsely ground cornmeal or polenta
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (please, not the canned dust!)
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the Salad

  • 2 medium red and/or yellow bell peppers, halved & seeded
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 TBSP red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP chopped FRESH herbs (basil, mint and/or tarragon)


  1. To prepare polenta: Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to low and gradually add cornmeal, whisking constantly to prevent clumping. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is creamy and reduce to about 4 cups (50 or 60 minutes). If the mixture is too stiff, loosen with 2 TBSP water.
  2. Add corn, Parmesan, butter, pepper and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted and the corn is tender – about 5 minutes. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour in the polenta and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm – about 2 hours or up to 1 day.
  3. To prepare the salad: Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Place peppers cut-side down on a baking sheet (I lined with foil). Broil, rotating the pan once, until softened and charred – 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. Rub off blistered skin and coarsely chop the peppers. Combine with tomatoes, 2 TBSP oil, vinegar and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Position a rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Cut the polenta into 12 squares and place on baking sheet. Brush both sides of the polenta with the remaining 1 TBSP oil. Broil, turning once until golden brown – 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. To serve: Arrange the polenta and tomato salad on a large serving platter and top with herbs.

To make ahead: Prepare up to Step 4; refrigerate polenta and salad separately for up to 1 day. Serve salad at room temperature.

14 August 2016: Tuscan Kale Salad

Here in the Northeast, local farmers have had a lot of difficulty bringing greens to market 2016-Aug-14_kalesalad_1194throughout this prolonged drought. So when I scored some kale at this week’s market, I wasn’t too particular whether or not it was Tuscan, Lacinto, or any other tasty variety; I was just happy to be able to purchase some locally grown greens! 

This tasty salad comes from Melissa Clark, a contributor to the New York Times Cooking Column. The original recipe can be found here and downloaded from the Times on the web. The only change I would make is a personal one: both of us found the lemon juice a bit overpowering. Our adjustment would be to use the juice of half a lemon, but keep all the other proportions the same.


  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale (or any other variety you enjoy)
  • 1 slice country bread OR 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)
  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (more for garnish if desired)
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon (see above suggestion to halve this amount)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.
  2. If using bread, toast it until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle OR with the back of a knife, pound garlic into a paste. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 TBSP oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flacks and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves).
  4. Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.

16 January 2014 A Basic Caprese Salad

2014-01-12-foodie-015The middle of winter is not necessarily when you expect to find tomatoes, is it?  These, though not vine ripened, did actually grow on a farm in Massachusetts. They are Ugly, an apt name for this variety, and they were delicious!

Basic Caprese Salad

  • Ripe tomatoes, washed and sliced at about 1/4 inch
  • Fresh mozarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and pepper2014-01-12-foodie-066


  • Wash and slice the tomatoes and arrange on a serving dish
  • Slice the cheese into rounds, put one round (or 1/2 a round, if the fresh mozarella is quite large) on each tomato slice
  • Top with a freshly washed and dried basil leaf
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!


25 Aug 2011 Shrimp & Avocado Salad

Adapted from Moosewood Collective. Simple suppers: Fresh ideas for the weeknight table. (2005). New York: Clarkson Potter. p. 167.

shrimp and avocado salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

My Comment: I know, I know…. not strictly vegetarian. But once in a while I enjoy fish. Our CSA share this week included a bag of baby greens, garlic, and several beautifully ripe tomatoes. What could be better than fresh produce picked that morning?

There is something wonderful about the combination of lemon and tarragon; I think I’d enjoy this salad even without the shrimp.


1 pound peeled & deveined shrimp
2 TBSP vegetable or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced


juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP chopped FRESH tarragon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil (I use about half that amount)

2 avocados
2 tomatoes
6 cups baby greens or torn lettuce


 1. Warm oil in skillet, add the garlic and shrimp. Saute until the shrimp turns pink (2-4 minutes). Set aside.

2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss the cooked shrimp with about 1/4 cup of the dressing.

3. Peel and pit the avocado and cut into wedges. Cut the tomato into wedges. Arrange the shrimp, avocado, and tomatoes on the greens and drizzle on more of the dressing.

Serves 4. Nutrition: Calories 470. Fat 36.5, Carbohydrates 12, Fiber 7.7

22 Aug 2011 Summer Panzanella

Adapted from: Moosewood Collective. Simple suppers: fresh ideas for the weeknight table. (2005). New York: Clarkson Potter. p 108.

My Comment: This is one of my favorite parts of the summer – when all

Summer Panzanella

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

 the tomatoes ripen at the same time 🙂 Not only do I have some heirloom tomatoes growing in my own garden, but we received some delicious orange-colored cherry tomatoes from our CSA and our neighbor shared some yellow and red cherry tomatoes too. What’s a cook to do except locate a tomato-friendly recipe and use them all up!


1/2 loaf of crusty French or Italian bread (about 8 oz) (I used 1/2 of this amount)
4 tomatoes (see note above)
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella (about 5 oz)
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup pitted olives (used Kalamata)
1 TBSP red wine or cider vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper (fresh ground)
Optional: extra vinaigrette


1.  Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the bread in half lengthwise and place in the oven until crisp – 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and place them in a serving bowl: Cut to tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups of tomatoes and 1 cup of mozzarella), peel and thinly slice the red onion, cut the basil leaves into thin strips and chop the olives.

3. Add the vinegar and oil to the bowl and toss well.

4. Cut the toasted bread into 1-inch cubes (7 to 8 cups). Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss well. Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the juices. Add salt and pepper to taste (pass extra viniagrette on the side – but we found it didn’t need any extra dressing).

Serves 4.  Nutrition information: Calories 282, Fat 15.3 g, Carbs 23.9, Fiber 3.6

18 July 2011 Blue Cheese-Topped Mushroom Steaks over Arugala

Arugula Salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

Adapted from: Riccardi, V. “20 ways to grill fruits and veggies.” Vegetarian Times. (Vol. 37, No. 6) July/August 2011. p 66.

My Comment: It’s been actually hot here — not hot by New England standards, but H-O-T; and even though I like it that way, I don’t enjoy heating up the kitchen and then living with the aftermath (no AC). So when we heard the long-range forecast of a heat-wave, I picked out grill-based recipes.

The mix of spicy arugala with the garlicky blue-cheese based dressing is just one of those things that simply go together. And as far as I’m concerned, you can keep the steak – I love hearty Portobellos and grilling them is the perfect way to prepare them! Enjoy!


Vegetable oil for brushing on the grill
3 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 large Portobello mushroom caps
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk (I used nonfat)
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese (about 1/2 cup)
2 TBSP reduced – fat mayonnaise
2 TBSP fresh chives
8 cups baby arugula
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved


1. Brush grill grates with oil and pre-heat grill to medium.

2. Whisk together olive oil and vinegar in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired and brush all over mushroom caps. (I used my usual mustard vinegarette recipe — 2:1 balsamic to olive oil and add some dijon mustard before whisking). Place caps on grill and cook 15-18 minutes, turning once or until tender. Transfer to cutting board to cool slightly before slicing.

3. Process garlic in food processor (again — I’m a minimalist when it comes to cleaning up gadgets. Chop the daylights out of the garlic, put the other ingredients in a 2-cup measure and use a stick blender.  Easier to clean IMHO).

4. Add buttermilk, blue cheese and mayonnaise; process until creamy. Stir in chives (see not about blending in Step 3).

5. Divide arugula among plates. Top with Portobellos, tomatoes, and sauce.

Nutrition Info per serving (4 servings): 166 calories, 8 G protein, 9 G total fat, 13 G carbs, 3 G fiber.

26 Apr 2011 Crab Salad with Lemon Dressing

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Crab salad with lemon dressing. Downloaded from the web on April 21, 2011.

Crab Salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography

My Comment: Ok, I know fish is off the grid for vegetarians…. but sometimes I do like to eat it. Today our New England weather gave us about 4 hours of 75 degree temperatures — have we broken the back of winter? Too soon to tell, but I offer the weather gods encouragement with this summer-like salad. In this recipe, I freely substituted the less expensive imitation crab in place of the canned, previously frozen real “stuff”. 


For the crab salad:
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
2 dashes of hot sauce
2 TBSP mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1 TBSP finely chopped chives
Salt and pepper
8 oz. lump crabmeat

For the salad:
1 tsp Dijon mustand
1/2 shallot finely chopped
1 tsp champagne or white wine vinegar
1 TBSP chopped chives, more for garnish
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
1/3 lb. haricot verts or thin green beans, trimmed
1 bunch watercress, chopped coarsely
1 bunch endive, chopped in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 small celeriac, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks – or 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, and cut into thin wedges
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and finely chopped


For the crab, stir together shallot, hot sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon jice and chives in a medium bowl. Add crabmeat and lightly toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

For the rest of the salad, whisk together mustard, shallot, vinegar, chives and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in olive oil until dressing slightly thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Steam Yukon god potatoes until tend when pierced with a fork. While potatoes are still warm, pour a tablespoon or two of dressing over them.

Steam haricots verts until tender. Transfer to a boil of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly. Combine haricots verts with watercress, endive, and radish. Toss with a tablespoon of dressing.

Toss celeriac with remaining dressing in a small bowl.

To serve, arrange greens on a platter or individual plates. Top with crab, celeriac and eggs. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.

Serves 2. (generously — we made 4 servings out of this. Weight Watcher Points = 10 with 4 servings) Nutrition: 750 calories, 46 g fat, 40 g protein, 54 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber.

15 Feb 2011 Warm Winter Greens Salad

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Warm winter greens salad. Downloaded from the web on February 5, 2011.

My Comment: A piece of advice – don’t heat those greens too much and if you use radicchio, give that a head start in the pan. The first time around with the recipe, I tried to follow the ingredient suggestions; now I would be a little more flexible – nearly any salad type green will work or use a mixture – Olivia’s has a spinach mix that includes escarole and radicchio. Another word of advice – use a fresh lemon. The green bottle just doesn’t compare.


Warm Winter Green Salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

2 TBSP canola oil
1 bunch curly endive or escarole (3/4 lb), roughly chopped
1 head radicchio (3/4 lb.), core removed and roughly chopped
2 TBSP capers, drained
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 TBSP dried currents (I used raisins)
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 TBSP toasted pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
1 TBSP orange zest


1. Heat oil in a large pot or wok (recommended) over medium high heat. Add greens and radicchio and cook, stirring constantly until just wilted – about 5 minutes.

2. Add capers, olives, pepper flakes and currents. Cook tossing gently for another 15 seconds.

3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle pine nuts (or other toasted nuts/seeds) and orange zest on top.

Serves 4-6. Weight watcher points = 4.

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