Tag Archives: Dressing

Grilled Radicchio & Pear Salad

We did a pretty good job cleanin’ out the CSA box from last week, but there was that dreaded lingering head of radicchio.

Though I actually really liked the chicken and radicchio pasta salad from last week, I hate to repeat recipes so soon, and this definitely raised concerns that I wouldn’t be able to top that salad.  Fritz is especially not a big fan of anything bitter, and radicchio is, um…quite bitter.  Downright disgusting raw, I must say.

Several people suggested that I try grilling it, and I just wasn’t convinced that this would alter the bitterness enough to enjoy it.  But when I came home from a long day of class and the house was 90 degrees inside, I knew that the grilling was on.

Hold on to your seats, friends, because it works.  It really, really worked.

Grilled Radicchio & Pear Salad Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 small head radicchio, cut into quarters
  • 1 ripe pear, large dice
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t mustard (I used hot and sweet)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut the radicchio into quarters, leaving the core largely intact, and brush with a bit of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill over indirect medium-high heat until wilted, with some crisp on the outer leaves.  This should only take a few minutes on each flat side of the quarter.

Meanwhile, mix the balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese together with a fork until well blended.

When the radicchio is done, slice and divide onto plates.  Sprinkle with the pear and drizzle with dressing.

This recipe made three nicely sized entrée salads for Fritz, Eber, and I, but it could make 4-6 little side salads, too.

I couldn’t believe how good the radicchio was once it was grilled!  Fritz still found some of the inner pieces to be a little too bitter for his taste, but for the most part he enjoyed it.

He also couldn’t tell that there was mustard in the dressing, which is good because he claims to hate mustard.  I, however, have yet to see the definitive evidence of this hatred–every time I make something with mustard in it and don’t tell him, he finds it to be quite delicious.  Veeeery suspect.

Fritz and I also had an intense play session with Henry today, involving his arch nemesis–a paper towel roll.  However, the tables turned on Fritz when Henry spotted a much more fun (and interactive) target:

No, that’s not my foot.  That hairy leg belongs to Fritz.  I continued to egg Henry on and reinforce his bad habits by not stepping in to rescue Fritz until things went from bad to worse:

Henry was without a doubt a serious warrior in his previous life.

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Filed under Salads

Soba Noodles with Orange-Ginger Miso Dressing

Despite that there were a few flakes of snow threatening my peace of mind yesterday,I was so glad that today was a (chilly) but beautifully sunny day–still light out at seven!  I went to the gym today for the first time since midterm week started, and even though it was hard getting back into the swing of things, it’s nice to experience that post-workout high again (it helped that the sun was just setting as I left the gym).

However, I have to admit something to you about the upcoming recipe.  It’s all about a cold soba noodle salad, with an orange-ginger miso dressing–perfect for a quick lunch during midterms week when Fritz wasn’t around.  Except…midterms week was last week.  I made this an entire week ago.

This isn’t normally much of a problem, except that I didn’t write the amounts of anything that I used, so I have to kind of guess at what actually went into this dressing.  Luckily I have pictures as a reminder.  It was really good though, so I’d like to suggest that you use this recipe as an inspiration for a soba salad of your own–and if you do use my recipe, taste it as you go an adjust accordingly to your taste.

For myself I’ve found that’s true of any recipe using miso–I am still getting used to the strong and salty taste of miso, so I like to go slow as it is.  Miso and I are still taking baby steps as we get to know each other. 

No rushing into this relationship.

Cold Soba Salad with an Orange-Ginger Miso Dressing

  • 6-8 oz uncooked soba noodles
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced (I’d definitely roast the pepper first next time)
  • 1-1 1/2 T miso
  • 2 T grated ginger
  • juice of one small orange (I used a tangelo)
  • 2 T tahini

Cook the soba noodles as instructed on the packaging (it only takes a few minutes in boiling water) and douse them with cold water once they are done to prevent them from overcooking.

Once they’ve cooled off and been drained, add the shredded carrots and bell pepper.

Next, mix the last four ingredients together to make a dressing.

Pour that right over the noodle mixture.

Give the noodles a good toss, and there you have it!

A light but filling (and healthy) salad.  Perfect for a meal on the go, or as a side dish for a heartier meal.

Tomorrow I plan on making a cake in the morning to celebrate our friends Steve and Gill’s first anniversary (congrats guys!) and then Fritz and I are having dinner at the Jensen’s house.  Should be a lovely day.

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Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Valentine’s Day Fruit Dip…or Dressing?

Today a beautiful thing happened. 

I had a free moment to reorganize some of my kitchen cupboards.  Like I said, it’s a beautiful thing.

But before I talk about that I’m going to share with you a recipe for a fruit dip that I made in the spirit of Valentine’s day.  Well, it was intended to be a dip, but it turned out runnier than I wanted–and today I discovered the perfect use for it: a dressing for a quick and beautiful fruit salad.  It definitely wasn’t what I expected, but I took what I had and looked for the best in it–and it turned out better than my original idea.  Kind of like a relationship, right?  And to think, I learned all that without marriage counseling.

My idea was to make a yogurt dip to be used in lieu of chocolate fondue for a healthier (and pinker) V-tine’s day treat.  This could still be accomplished beautifully with a little recipe-tweaking.  Don’t worry, I’ll let you know what to do.

Valentine’s Day Fruit Dressing

  • 1 C plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C milk (I may have used a bit less)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1-2 T brown sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
  • 3 strawberries, hulls removed

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.  I suggest adding the milk at the end, and slowly, so you can decide the consistency you like.  If you want to stick with the fruit dip idea, ditch the milk entirely.  You can also add some red food coloring if you want it to be pinker.

This truly tastes amazing.  The vanilla and brown sugar are the perfect complement to any fruit, without overpowering the natural flavors.  And the tanginess of the yogurt!  Don’t even get me started.  I made an impromptu fruit salad today of apple, banana, and strawberry, and drizzled this over in a sudden stroke of genius.  It was so delicious that it didn’t even occur to me to take a picture before I inhaled the entire bowl.  Perfect for the Valentine’s day sweet tooth without ruining my eating for the day.

So onto the cabinets!  They looked so nice and organized (and might I say crammed with ingredients) that I took pictures–and then I thought I’d share.  You know…just in case you’re interested.

This is our processed-food-and-non-perishable-cooking-ingredients cabinet.  Top shelf are mostly breakfast foods and snacks–two things in there that don’t belong there anymore are the Carnation Instant Breakfasts (I’m a big-breakfast girl now) and Bisquick (which should be in the fridge…oops).  However, I refuse to throw away food and I’ll use the breakfast shakes in smoothies or try to hide them in Fritz’s dinner somehow.  The middle shelf is all the canned stuff/pasta/rice noodles/pectin (in case I have a sudden urge to make jelly)/and spring roll wrappers that are just waiting for our Valentine’s day dinner-making date.  And of course, Grape Nuts courtesy of my dad.  I’m obsessed with eating 1/4 C in my plain Greek yogurt with a banana for breakfast.  The bottom shelf is my favorite–fun grains, rices, beans, and other exciting things to cook with. New on this shelf is some fun Chinese black rice Mom found in a specialty store that I’ll need to do some experimenting with.

Impressively packed, right?  This has been organized like this since we moved in, and it actually stays really nice for the most part.  Once in a while I need to shuffle some spices around so I don’t lose the little guys in the back.  On top of the cabinet are a few of the teas that I drink most often, for easy access.  The top shelf is beverage stuff on the left and dry baking ingredients on the right.  Middle is all my spices–which clearly I love.  I use all of them, but ranked among my most frequent are definitely cumin, thyme, and red pepper. Spices are free taste–no calories!  The bottom shelf is flours and sugars on the left, and all the wet ingredients I use–honey, PB, vinegar, jam, etc.  I’m most proud of the fact that I made a couple of the objects in the shelf–the mint jelly, vanilla extract, and a few of the spices were grown and/or prepared by yours truly.

Makes me feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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Filed under Appetizers, Desserts