Tag Archives: salad


It’s no joke that it’s been hot as hell this summer.  So hot that most days I’ve dreaded turning on the oven or stove, or even wanted to (watch the Husby) stand out by the grill.  So when the week of the Too Hot to Cook Swap came around, the weather cooled off, of course.  Regardless, I was looking forward to adding another no-cook recipe to my repertoire.

I was intrigued when I was assigned a recipe for Panzanella, a meal I’d never had before.  I knew it was a bread salad but didn’t know much more about it nor did I know what to expect of the final product.  While I didn’t particularly care for the damp bread, I enjoyed the flavors and the mix of the different vegetables made me feel like I was eating Summer in a bowl.  The only changes I made were substituting cherry and sunburst tomatoes for vine-ripened since I had them to use, and I loved the additional pop of color they provided to the salad.  I also added some diced prosciutto I had in the fridge.  It’s something I would make again, only toasting the bread cubes rather than soaking them in order to more mimic croutons and give the salad a crunch that I felt it was missing.



  • 1/2 Lb. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 Lb. Yellow Sunburst Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Red Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Loaf White Country Style Bread, cubed and left out of it's bag for 1-2 days before using
  • 3 Stalks Celery, sliced
  • 1 Cucumber, halved and seeds removed
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 10 Leaves Fresh Basil, roughly torn into small pieces
  • 8-10 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 5 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • 1/4 Cup Diced Prosciutto


Add the halved cherry and sunburst tomatoes to a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to drain their juices.

Place the sliced onions into a small bowl and fill with cold water until just covered. Sprinkle with salt and add a splash of the red wine vinegar.

Place the bread cubes into a bowl and add just enough water to cover. Allow to soften for 10 minutes, then squeeze the water out thoroughly from the bread and finely crumble into a serving bowl. Be sure to remove as much moisture as possible.

Drain the onions then combine with the tomatoes, celery, cucumber, parsley and basil in a small bowl and dress with the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well then add to the bowl with the bread.

Mix well then top with diced prosciutto before serving.

Source -

Slightly adapted from Twelve, A Tuscan Cookbook by Tessa Kiros

Recipe submitted by Ali, who just started a new blog over at Sparks From the Kitchen


Chipotle Chicken and Corn Pasta Salad.

On Monday, we had dinner over at our friends’ house.  And while we enjoyed grilled steak, corn and pasta salad, the Fruitaholic would have nothing to do with any of it, instead requesting the stick of butter that was on the table for the corn (who does this kid think he is, Paula Deen?  For the record, we ended up making him PB&J).  I posted something similar as my status on Facebook, when a friend asked me if I meant corn and pasta salad or corn pasta salad.  And ever since that moment, I could not get the idea of pasta salad with corn out of my head.

This one hit the spot.  While making the chipotle sauce, I was afraid it was going to be too spicy (my mouth was on fire after just a taste!) but it had just the right amount of heat.  And the sweetness of the summer corn went incredibly well against the smoky chipotles.  It came together really easily and required minimal cooking on a super hot day.

On hot days, we usually either order takeout or I’ll send the Husby out to do the dirty work and man the grill.   I quickly dry-roasted the corn and pan fried the chicken.  You could just as easily grill them so you don’t have to turn on the stove.

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Pasta Salad.


  • 1 Lb. Curly Shaped Pasta (I used Mafalda), cooked and drizzled with olive oil to prevent sticking
  • 3 Ears Fresh Corn, husks and silk removed, kernels cut off
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Sweet Onion
  • 3 Chicken Thighs, fat trimmed
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Cups Fresh Cilantro, roughly stemmed
  • 1 7 oz. Can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, pureed (You will use 2 Tbsp. of the Chipotle puree. Freeze the remainder for later use)
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved


Set a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the corn kernels and onion. Stir after 2 minutes then cook another two minutes. Stir again and cook an additional minute. Do not overcook. Corn will be browned in spots. Remove the corn-onion mixture from the skillet and set aside.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the chicken. Cook 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through. Allow to cool a bit before shredding (I use my stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment).

Combine cilantro, mayo and chipotle puree in a food processor. Start with 1 Tbsp of the puree and work your way up to your desired heat level. Pulse until well combined.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, shredded chicken, corn-onion mixture and the dressing until well mixed. Top with the cherry tomato halves before serving.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Source -

Adapted from The Farm Chicks


Sesame Noodle Salad and a Giveaway!

This week’s recipe swap was Noodles!  I was super pumped for this swap because while I love pasta, we don’t eat a lot of it at home (I know, crazy right?).  I was matched again with Simple Gourmet Cooking and her recipe for Sesame Noodle Salad did not disappoint!  I’m a huge fan of Asian flavors and this was a great addition of something different to our Memorial Day spread.  I loved being able to serve something cold on a hot summer day.

I cheated a bit and used Trader Joe’s Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix since TJ’s was out of red cabbage and I didn’t feel like making an extra stop.  I always love adding in extra veggies where I can and this was the perfect way to do so.  It was also the perfect opportunity to test out my new toy: A Salad Dressing Shaker from OXO!!

The Salad Dressing Shaker has a great design, is BPA free and dishwasher safe.  It’s airtight, waterproof and has a leak proof, one handed open/close seal.  The wide opening allowed me to add all of my ingredients directly to the “bowl” and when open, the seal allowed enough room for the chunky ingredients to pass through.  Oh, and you didn’t hear it from me but it also works great as a drink shaker… The Husby used it to make an incredible martini!

OXO generously provided me with two Salad Dressing Shakers – one to demo and one to give away to a lucky TJOC reader!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me what you would use your Shaker for.  A winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday, June 5 at 3pm CST and will be contacted by email.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will choose another winner.  Must live in the United States.

Sesame Noodle Salad – slightly adapted from Simple Gourmet Cooking

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ginger, minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped

For the salad:

  • 1 Lb. Soba, Spaghetti or Lo Mein Noodles (I used TJ’s Brown Rice Spaghetti noodles)
  • 1 Package TJ’s Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix OR
  • 1 Cup Red Cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cups Edamame, shelled and cooked
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds, for serving (I forgot to add these)

In the bowl of a salad dressing shaker, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, canola oil, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, green onions and cilantro.  Replace the top of the shaker and shake to combine.

Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water.  Transfer the noodles to a large mixing bowl and toss with the veggies.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well coated.  Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds before serving.  Serve cold.

Tastes even better the next day!

Walnut Romaine Salad.

I can’t believe I’m only just now sharing this with you.  It’s one of my all time favorite salads, and while it may be short on ingredients, it’s big on flavor.  I love the simplicity of it, how the flavors just work together.

My mother in law introduced me to this salad.  She always makes it when we go over for dinner.  It is a lovely starter to pasta dishes, and is also good paired with sandwiches, or even as a main course with a big piece of fresh, warm buttered bread.

Walnut Romaine Salad – my Mother in Law’s recipe

  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Tomato (or V-8) Juice
  • 3 tsp. Dried Minced Onion
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Dried Basil

Mix together dressing ingredients (listed from Oil to Basil) and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to serve, toss with the lettuce, parmesan and walnuts.