Acılı Ezme Salatası

© Katherine Stetson

A great Turkish condiment – goes with everything.

Makes approximately 2 cups.

  • 1 medium tomato, diced small
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 yellow Bell pepper, very finely chopped
  • 1 red Bell pepper, very finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (or smoked paprika)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Combine vegetables, herbs and spices in a bowl. Season with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. Refrigerate for several hours prior to serving.

Herb and Olive Macaroni Salad

© Katherine Stetson

For four-six servings:

  • 1.5 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup chopped green and black olives
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (Hellman’s or homemade)
  • ¼ chopped roasted red peppers
  • ¼ cup House Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, optional

Cook macaroni according to package instructions.  Drain thoroughly and pour into a large mixing bowl.  Toss immediately with vinaigrette, salt and pepper.  Allow mixture to cool slightly.

Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.  Refrigerate for several hours or serve at room temperature.

Austrian Ham Salad

© Katherine Stetson

This is not an authentic recipe – in fact I’ve never seen a recipe for it.  The Austrians use peas and canned carrots in their filling. But we prefer something a little more piquant as shown below.

Serves six as an appetizer or two for an entrée:

  • 6 cups mesclun salad
  • 6 slices of ham (Virginia or Black Forest)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • ¼ diced roasted red pepper
  • ¼ chopped green olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon course ground Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • several grindings of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup Sherry Vinaigrette, or to taste
  • hard-boiled eggs, quartered, as garnish

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, paprika and horseradish and mix well.  Stir in the celery, pepper, olives, pickle, capers and ground pepper.

Lay a ham slice on a piece of wax paper and spoon some of the mixture onto the lower third of the slice.  Roll tightly and proceed with the rest of the ham.  Any leftover filling can be used to garnish the top of the finished salad.

Place mesclun in a bowl and toss gently with the vinaigrette and provolone shreds.  Divide the salad amongst the plates and lay the ham rolls on top.  Garnish with hard-boiled egg quarters and several grindings of pepper.

Roast Chicken, Pecan and Cranberry Salad

© Katherine Stetson

Makes 3+ cups.

  • 2 cups roast chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup fresh peas, lightly blanched
  • Fresh Cranberry Relish
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (homemade or Hellmann’s)
  • 1/3 cup raw pecans
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Spread pecans out on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool and then chop into desired pieces.

In a medium bowl, combine chicken and mayonnaise and gently toss to evenly coat the chicken.  Add remaining ingredients (except cranberries) and stir gently until well combined.  When ready to serve, stud the top of the salad with the cranberries.

Curried Chicken and Sweet Pea Salad

© Katherine Stetson

For extra flavor, blanch the peas in chicken stock.

Makes 3+ cups.

  • 2 cups roast (or poached) chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup fresh peas, lightly blanched
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (homemade or Hellmann’s)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, combine chicken and mayonnaise and gently toss to evenly coat the chicken.  Add remaining ingredients and stir gently until well combined.

Insalata Caprese Superbo

© Katherine Stetson

This very basic salad can take all kinds of added adornments!

For four servings:

  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 12 slices mozzarella (2”x2”)
  • 12 small basil leaves
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Toast pine nuts with rosemary over medium heat until lightly browned.  Core tomatoes and cut each one into four slices.  Stack or shingle the tomatoes, cheese and basil leaves.  Drizzle olive oil over all and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Top with chives and pine nuts.

Smoked Salmon Summer Salad

© Katherine Stetson

For each serving:

  • 2 ounces smoked salmon
  • Butter leaf lettuce
  • 1-2 lemon wedges
  • 2-3 tomato slices
  • Sliced sweet onion or scallions
  • Capers, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-3 large Spanish olives
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh chives
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Toasted baguette or rye slices (preferably homemade) spread with Fresh Herb Shmear

Place lettuce leaves as a base on a dinner-sized plate.  Top with the salmon, olives, vegetables, etc.  Drizzle all with olive oil and finish by sprinkling the herbs on top.  Season, to taste, with the pepper and salt.  Place shmear toasts to the side and serve.

House Salad

© Katherine Stetson

It’s a shame that the produce aisle features 20 running feet of bagged ‘ready-salads’ and only a few feet of organic heads of lettuce, but at least they are available, and I’m grateful for that in winter.

Invest in a salad spinner if you don’t already have one, it’s an essential tool.  Plunge lettuce leaves into a large bowl of very cold water for several minutes.  Spin dry and layer leaves between tea towels and/or paper towels, roll up snugly, put in a plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Gently tear leaves into a large salad bowl and add chopped fresh herbs when available and grated Parmesan cheese, as desired.  Drizzle salad with House Vinaigrette and toss gently.  Serve immediately on chilled plates.

Olive Salad

© Katherine Stetson

Mix and match the ingredients according to your preference.  Olive Salad is a great topper to sandwiches, hotdogs and sausages or simply served alongside hummus and pita chips.

  • ½ c black olives
  • ½ cup green olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped pepperoncini
  • 1/3 cup diced red pepper
  • ½ cup chopped pickled vegetables
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup nonpareil capers
  • ¼ cup house vinaigrette
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.  Allow to chill for several hours in the refrigerator to marry the flavors.

Big Greek Salad

© Katherine Stetson

Greek Salad is a meal in itself and chock full of crunchy bites of good health.  Serve with Grilled Pita Bread and any assortment of Mediterranean foods.

Serves 4 – 6.

  • 3 cups torn red leaf lettuce
  • 2 cups torn iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ½ green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch matchsticks
  • ½ red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup brine-cured black olives, pitted and halved
  • 6 – 8 pepperoncini
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Greek Vinaigrette

In a large salad bowl, gently combine first nine ingredients.  Top with crumbled feta cheese and freshly ground pepper.  Pour 1/3 cup Greek Vinaigrette, or to taste, over salad and toss gently.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.