Chopped Late-Summer Salad: eating has rarely been this good

Dear chopping and slicing summer-savers,

Hooray for Throwback Thursday! This is the day we take a field trip to visit the old blog, and steal one of the best-loved recipes from that sacred time capsule. This is one of my personal, heart-warming favorites, because I remember making it repeatedly when I was hot, tired, bored and hungry in Coronado, California! I started trying lots of variations from our CSA box at that time, and this one for some reason stuck as an outstanding, winning combination. As with all salads (like our prize-winning Overnight Cold Salad, you remember that!), you can vary, change and convert as suits your lifestyle, garden, region, favorite dietary sensitivity … So enjoy this recipe, loaded with sweet and precious memories, and let me know how much you love it, too!

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Dear reader with the Kleenex stuffed miserably up your nose,

I hear reports from my beloved, soggy Pacific Northwest that the traditional damp-weather sicknesses are plaguing and besetting them all.  Half my family contracted the dreaded strep throat in a wave of plague, and had to languish in quarantine separated from the other half which still had day jobs, school, and everyday interactions to be accomplished!

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I wished I could whack up a big bowl of this refreshing, germ-sizzling salad for them … Not only is it splendidly crunchy and delicious beyond all reason, but it packs a punch to whallop those wintery diseases in the red, chapped nose.  This recipe emerged triumphantly from a smattering of miscellaneous CSA-box produce and farmer’s market leftovers that I had lying indulgently about in my fridge – Mr H enjoyed it with a hot lunch of fry bread with hasty dipping sauce, and the whole meal was speedily assembled by myself only minutes after he requested a mid-afternoon repast.

As a practicality, if you are staggering from the black plague yourself, this salad is deathly simple to prepare.

Chopped Late-Summer Salad 

Download the recipe here

This is a splendid little salad I dreamed up when we had our first CSA membership out in Coronado, California.  I first named it Kick-the-Sickness Salad, because it seemed to be able – every time – to just wallop a burgeoning illness and send it packing!  Pair this with a glass of cold, sparkling kombucha and you have a lunch made in heaven, loaded with enough nutrition to stock you for hours.  As always, mix and match what you have available in your region, at whatever time of year you choose to make it! I like to vary the texture – some firm, some soft, some chewy – and the flavors – some neutral and fatty, some crisp and sharp.  Do you have a winning combination for a chopped salad?

3 medium-small tomatoes

1 thick slice of yellow onion

2 thick slices of cheese

1 ripe avocado

Olive Oil

White or Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Fresh-ground black pepper

Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

Fresh ground cumin or taco seasoning

Coarsely chop the first four ingredients and put them in your lunch bowl.  Drizzle with just a bit of olive oil, and then a dash of vinegar.  Grind some pepper over the top (pre-ground won’t have the same effect), and sprinkle with sea salt and ground cumin or taco seasoning.  Stir together.  Eat immediately or let marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

Variation: Add coarsely chopped or pickled garlic for extra power.  Add minced cilantro (my favorite!).

Download the recipe here

Life is short! Enjoy every … last … morsel!

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I really enjoyed this short sally out onto the memory highway, where recollections and amusing anecdotes come flying at me like speeding cars on the interstate. Let me know if this works for you, or if you have another genius ingredient to add!!

Cheers,

Mrs H
Also cheering you on Facebook, very facely
Snapping the best of the messes on Instagram, grammarly

Cold Overnight Salad: Remedy for a Hot Day

Dear toasted, roasted, baked and burned, 

It’s Throwback Thursday!  Time to share another hot post from the historic bloghouse. When I originally shared this family favorite on May 10, 2012 (I’m starting to drool just writing this, and literally changed my dinner plans for tomorrow so I can make this recipe), the post shocked and startled me by blasting to the top slot on the blog in just a few days, overriding popular posts that had been up for months of repins and shares!  The anecdote makes the recipe even more precious to me … 

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Dear gardeners and market-scouters,

As the CSA season for Virginia gears up, and the farmer’s markets are all beginning to carry bounties of fresh produce – it is time to start looking at some of my favorite salads!

Nothing beats a cold, crisp salad on a hot evening.  Served with some iced lemonade, and maybe a loaf of sourdough bread – what could be better?

My uncle, a renowned doctor in the allergy world, loves to create and serve fabulous meals for family gatherings.  It is always a joy to attend meals at his home.  As a scientist, he intimately understands the chemistry and interactions of food on a molecular level and his cooking is enhanced by this knowledge.  The following recipe is a very simple one that he gave to me, handwritten on a sheet of paper, after I begged for it one Christmas Eve.  When I asked him for it, he shrugged and said, “It’s just a salad, you know.”  But I had to recreate the experience for myself … and I have never been disappointed!

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Cold Overnight Salad

Download the Overnight Salad recipe here

When Dr Uncle serves this at family gatherings, I head straight for it and eat about four servings … This salad also makes a phenomenal meal if you serve it on top of a steaming, broken-open baked potato.   

1 medium head lettuce – washed and chilled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Optional: 1/2 bell pepper, seeded & sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 package frozen peas
3/4 lb bacon, cooked crisp & drained
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 tomatoes
Mix together: 
2 cups mayonnaise, preferably homemade (or, 1-1/2 c mayo and 2/3 c sour cream)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Chop lettuce into bottom of 4-quart dish.  Layer: green onions, then water chestnuts, then green peppers and celery, then still-frozen peas.  Spread the top of this strata with the mayonnaise mixture.  Top with the bacon and eggs.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or for several hours (or you can eat it right away if you are as impatient as I).  Top with tomatoes, coarsely chopped.

Serve as a stand-alone dish, or on top of a large baked potato, split open and fluffed with a fork.

Download the Overnight Salad recipe here

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Layers of goodness, 

Mrs H
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