Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

5 ounces fresh spinach half a 10 ounce bag1 and 1/2 cups dry small pasta
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 can (15 ounces) can mandarin oranges
1 large Granny Smith Apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped*
Optional: Feta cheese

Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika & onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender (I used my small Twister jar on the Blendtec) combine the apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust — more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Slowly add in the oil and pulse until just combined. Stir in the poppyseeds. IF you don’t have a blender or food processor you can combine the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and whisk (or shake jar) vigorously.

  3. Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
  4. Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarine oranges.
  6. If desired peel the apple (We like to leave on the peel!) and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
  7. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
  8. If you want to toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry saucepan (don’t add anything) over medium heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are barely fragrant — just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as the nuts are VERY easily scorched/burned.
  9. Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired. Check the link in the last paragraph of the blog text for how to candy pecans. *UPDATE: we’ve found we like this salad even more with the pecans coarsely chopped- you’ll get more in each bite! 🙂

  10. Top the salad with the pecans and (if desired) feta cheese.

  11. Enjoy immediately.

 

Beet and Avocado Salad with Feta Cheese and Basil from motherrimmy.com

  • 4 small roasted beets, sliced
  • ½ medium avocado, sliced
  • 5 leaves basil, thinly sliced (Chiffonade)
  • ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons low fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sqeeze lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place whole and unpeeled beets in a foil packet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 1 – 1 /12 hours until just tender. You don’t want mushy beets. When beets are cooled, peel off skin with your hands and slice.
  2. Layer beets, onion, basil and avocado on a plate. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Fish With Toasted Almonds from Nigella Lawson

  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 6-ounce cod fillets (or any other meaty white fish), with skin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  1. Place a large dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add almonds. Stir constantly until they are tinged with color. Take from heat, and transfer to a bowl to cool.
  2. Season both sides of the fish well with salt and pepper. Place the same pan over medium heat, and add butter and olive oil. When both begin to bubble, add cod fillets skin side up. Brown fish until opaque all the way through, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Transfer fish to a warm serving plate, skin side down.
  3. Reduce heat under pan to low, and add lemon juice. Stir to blend with butter and oil, then pour this sauce over fillets. Scatter parsley over cod, and scatter with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Mashed Potato Salad With Scallions and Herbs from Melissa Clark

  • 2 pound red potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus more lemon juice for serving
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt, more pen
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • Dash or two of hot sauce
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise, sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp Dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil or dill
  1. Cook the potatoes in a pot of well-salted water until they are very tender but not mushy, 15 to 22 minutes. Drain well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, rosemary, salt, pepper and hot sauce. When the salt is dissolved, whisk in the olive oil, mayonnaise and mustard.
  3. Add potatoes to the bowl and mix them very well, until well coated with dressing. Then use the spoon to mash about a quarter of them. You want 1-inch (or so) chunks of potatoes coated in some mashed potatoes. Add scallions and parsley and toss well. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, hot sauce and olive oil, if needed. Scatter chopped basil or dill over dressed potatoes. Serve warm or at room temperature, but not cold.

Creamy Corn Pasta With Basil from NY Times

  • Fine sea salt
  • 12 ounces dry orecchiette or farfalle
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 bunch scallions (about 8), trimmed and thinly sliced (keep the whites and greens separate)
  • 2 large ears corn, shucked and kernels removed (2 cups kernels)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more to taste
  • cup torn basil or mint, more for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice, as needed
  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until 1 minute shy of al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large sauté pan over medium heat; add scallion whites and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and all but 1/4 cup corn; simmer until corn is heated through and almost tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, transfer to a blender, and purée mixture until smooth, adding a little extra water if needed to get a thick but pourable texture.
  3. Heat the same skillet over high heat. Add butter and let melt. Add reserved 1/4 cup corn and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. (It’s O.K. if the butter browns; that deepens the flavor.) Add the corn purée and cook for 30 seconds to heat and combine the flavors.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water, tossing to coat. Cook for 1 minute, then add a little more of the pasta cooking water if the mixture seems too thick. Stir in 1/4 cup of the scallion greens, the Parmesan, the herbs, the red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice to taste. Transfer to warm pasta bowls and garnish with more scallions, herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.

Cucumber-Rye Tea Sandwiches

  • 1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 36 slices of party rye or 18 slices of rye bread
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Step 1    Using a box grater, coarsely grate the cucumber lengthwise, stopping when you get to the seedy center. Transfer the cucumber to a bowl and stir in the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Step 2    If using rye bread slices, use a 2-inch-round cookie cutter to cut out 36 rounds from the bread. Cover with a slightly damp towel.

Step 3    Transfer the grated cucumber to a colander to drain; squeeze out the excess liquid. Return it to the bowl and stir in the cream cheese and scallion. Spread the cucumber cream cheese on the bread rounds, top each with a Persian cucumber slice and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Maryland Crab Imperial With Buttery Golden Bread Crumbs Recipe from seriouseats.com

1 pound (450g) special or lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1/2 cup (120ml) mayonnaise
2 tablespoons (30ml) Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons (10ml) fresh juice from 1 lemon, plus grated zest of half a lemon
2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 small shallot, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (1 ounce; 30g)
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  • Baguette toasts, saltines, or other crackers, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a medium bowl, stir together crabmeat, mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon juice and zest, parsley, Old Bay, and shallot until evenly incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir bread crumbs with melted butter until evenly coated. Season with salt.
  3. Pack crab mixture in a 1-quart baking or gratin dish, then layer buttered bread crumbs evenly on top. Set on top of a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crab mixture is heated through and bread crumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Serve with toasts or crackers, if desired.

Greek Grain Salad from lideystable.com

 

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  • 1½ cups farro
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch wide strips
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons minced fresh garlic (1 large clove)
  • 1 large English cucumber, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¾ cup minced red onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, ½-inch diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preaheat the oven to 425 degrees.Combine the farro with 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the farro is just cooked. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the hot farro and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the red pepper slices on a half sheet pan and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Set the peppers aside to cool slightly.

Add the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, roasted peppers, parsley and olives to the bowl with the farro. Stir until combined, then gently fold in the feta. Serve at room temperature.

 

Tuna, Anchovy, Semi-Dried Tomato & Cannellini Bean Salad by Molly Brown

  • 1  (9 oz) tin tuna in olive oil, drained and roughly broken up
  • 2 (14 oz) tins cannellini (lima) beans, drained and rinsed
  •  (2 3/4 oz) semi-dried (sun-blushed) tomatoes
  • 16 anchovies packed in salt or olive oil, drained and chopped
  • about 50 black olives in olive oil, pitted and halved
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • (6 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon

Put the tuna, beans, tomatoes, anchovies, onion, olives and parsley together in a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. In a teacup, mix the olive oil, mustard and lemon juice together. Season and check to see whether your balance of lemon to oil is good – remember you are going to add this to something very starchy so it needs a bit of tang. Pour the dressing over the bean and tuna mixture, being careful not to squash the beans. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

 

Shaved Cauliflower Salad from foodrepublic.com

  • Americano at The Joule in Dallas. Photography by Mei-Chun Jau.

    3 ounces shaved white cauliflower

  • 1 1/2 ounces shaved purple cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 ounces shaved orange cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons plumped golden raisins
  • 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash red chili flakes
  • Dash chives
  • salt to taste
  1. Thinly shave the cauliflower on a mandolin, toss with lemon juice and lightly season with salt,
  2. let the cauliflower macerated for a few minutes. Toss in the toasted pistachios, plumped golden raisins, and chili flakes.
  3. Drizzle in the EVOO, taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.