Mediterranean Mixed Green Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

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Ingredients for the Salad
• crumbled non-dairy Feta
(from my Nuts about Almonds Cookbook or Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook)
• mixed greens of your choice*
• pomegranate seeds
• orange segments
• chopped walnuts, raw or lightly toasted
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Dressing
• 1 and ½ cup pomegranate juice
• 1 cup olive oil
• ¼ cup champagne vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar or raw apple cider vinegar
• 2 T minced shallot or red onion
• ½ tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper

*Baby spinach, kale, Swiss chard and mizuna were used for the photo.

Preparation
For the dressing, simmer the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan until reduced to approximately ¼ cup. Cool and chill until ready to make the dressing.

Add the pomegranate reduction and the remaining dressing ingredients to a shaker jar and shake until emulsified. Chill thoroughly. Shake the jar thoroughly again before using.

Arrange the salad ingredients on individual plates and drizzle with the dressing; season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Greek Potato Salad

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DSC01454Potato salads tossed with red wine vinaigrette are popular in Greece. The potatoes soak up the dressing and the salad is served warm or at room temperature. The addition of capers and lemon zest impart a citrusy, salty flavor.

Ingredients
• 1 and ½ lbs small red potatoes
• sea salt or kosher salt
• 2 T red wine vinegar
• 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper, or more to taste
• ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 T finely minced shallot or red onion
• 1 T capers, drained and chopped (salt-packed capers should be rinsed and drained)
• 1 T chopped fresh dill
• caperberries for garnish (optional)

Preparation
Cut the smallest red potatoes in half and cut any larger potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Place the cut potatoes into a large cooking pot and add plenty of water to cover. Add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a soft boil and cook the potatoes just until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid overcooking. Drain thoroughly and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

In a non-reactive bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, coriander, lemon zest, black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt until emulsified. Pour over the potatoes in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the chopped parsley, shallot or onion, capers and dill. Toss thoroughly and set aside for 20 minutes for the potatoes to absorb the dressing; season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature and garnish with caperberries if desired.

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Greek Potato Salad
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Sweet and Smoky Tomato Jam

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DSC09681Although many people consider tomatoes to be a vegetable, they’re actually a fruit; so why not make them into jam? Actually, tomato jam is more like a relish than a true jam. My partner Chef Mike and I created this blend one Sunday afternoon and we were thrilled with the lovely balance of sweet, tangy and smoky flavors. This jam is wonderful when used as an alternative to ketchup on veggie burgers and hot dogs. It’s also excellent when served with cheese, such as non-dairy chèvre, on crostini or crusty bread. This recipe yields about 2 cups.

Ingredients
• 1 can (28 oz) whole peeled plum tomatoes or 1 and ½ lb fresh plum tomatoes
• 1 T olive oil
• ½ cup diced sweet yellow onion
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ cup organic sugar
• ¼ cup sherry vinegar
• 2 T tomato paste
• 2 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
• ½ tsp ground white pepper

Technique
Drain the excess liquid from the can of tomatoes and place the tomatoes into a food processor; do not process yet. If using fresh tomatoes, bring a large volume of water to a boil. Core the tomatoes and place them into the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately plunge them into an ice water bath. Once cooled, the skins should slip off easily. Place the tomatoes into the food processor; do not process yet.

In a medium saucepan, sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. The goal is to soften and draw out the flavor of the onion and garlic without browning. When the onion becomes translucent, transfer the mixture to the food processor with the tomatoes and pulse a few times into a “salsa-like” consistency.

Transfer the tomato mixture back to the saucepan and stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the jam cool and transfer to a sealable container. Refrigerate until well-chilled before serving. Keep in mind that this is a fresh jam, not a preserved jam, but the acidity and sugar will keep it fresh in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

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Sweet and Smoky Tomato Jam
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Indonesian Vegan Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

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DSC09190The sauce/dressing used for this salad is tangy, creamy and slightly spicy with bold Southeast Asian flavors. Peanut butter is rich in natural plant fat/oil, so I didn’t add any additional oil to the sauce – it just doesn’t need it. I chose crunchy peanut butter since many Indonesian and Southeast Asian dishes call for chopped or ground peanuts; however, smooth peanut butter can be used if this is your preference. Sambal oelek is a crushed chili paste commonly used in this regional cuisine, but Sriracha™ can be substituted if this is what you have on hand.

Sauce Ingredients
• ¼ cup warm water
• 2 tsp organic sugar
• 2 T rice vinegar
• 2 T fresh lime juice
• 2 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 T sambal oelek or Sriracha™
• 1 T fresh grated ginger root
• ½ cup natural unsalted crunchy peanut butter
• 1 large scallion, white and green parts, finely chopped

Sauce Preparation
In a bowl or large cup, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the scallion and whisk vigorously until creamy. Stir in the scallions and refrigerate in a covered container for several hours to blend the flavors before using.

Salad Ingredients
• 3 cups lightly grilled or sautéed vegan chicken; chilled and chopped, sliced or shredded
• ½ English cucumber, seeded and julienned
• 2 average-size carrots, peeled and julienned or shredded
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro or mint leaves
• fresh lime wedges
• Butterhead lettuce leaves (Butter, Boston or Bibb lettuces all fall within this category)

Salad Preparation
Toss the vegan chicken, cucumber and carrots with ¼ cup of the sauce and chill for about 30 minutes. Add the cilantro and toss to combine. Fill lettuce leaves with the salad and drizzle additional dressing over each lettuce cup. Serve with lime wedges.

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Indonesian Vegan Chicken Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce
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Apple, Walnut and Beet Salad with Citrus Miso Vinaigrette

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DSC08734-004This salad is a combination of earthy beets, fresh sweet apple, crunchy walnuts and peppery arugula. Mellow white miso adds plenty of umami (the Japanese word used to describe a savory flavor) to the simple citrus vinaigrette.

Ingredients for the dressing:
• juice of 1 fresh orange
• 2 T mellow white miso paste
• 2 T rice vinegar
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 small shallot, minced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• ½ cup mild salad oil, such as grapeseed, sunflower or safflower
• ½ tsp Asian red pepper sauce (such as Sriracha™)

Ingredients for the salad:
• 1 lb. trimmed medium beets
• coarse sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper, to taste
• 8 packed cups arugula (about 8 oz.) or mixed baby greens of your choice
• 2 crisp apples, such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Gala
• ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Technique:
In a shaker bottle or similar sealed container, add all dressing ingredients. Seal and shake vigorously to emulsify the dressing. The dressing will keep for about 1 week, refrigerated. Shake well to re-emulsify before using.

In a large cooking pot, place the beets in plenty of water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a vigorous simmer and cook until the beets can be pierced easily with a fork, about 25 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Peel the beets, cut them in half and then thinly slice. Arrange them on a platter or on salad plates and season with salt and pepper.

Cut the apples in half and thinly slice. Combine the slices with the arugula (or other greens) in a large mixing bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss with enough vinaigrette to lightly but sufficiently dress the greens and apples. Top the beets with the greens and apple, sprinkle with the walnuts and serve.

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Apple, Walnut and Beet Salad with Citrus Miso Vinaigrette
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Olive Salad Spread

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DSC08727This recipe is my version of the mixed olive tapenade served on the famous New Orleans Muffuletta sandwich. Its bold Mediterranean flavors also pair well with hummus and baba ghannouj on crackers and crusty bread. Or try it on grilled eggplant sandwiches. Ideally it should be made a day in advance to give the flavors time to blend. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this spread will last for months.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup small pimento-stuffed olives, drained
• ½ cup small pitted Kalamata olives, drained
• ½ cup coarsely chopped Giardiniera (see recipe on this blog), or commercial equivalent
• 2 pepperoncini, stems removed
• 1 T capers, drained
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 3 T olive oil
• 1 T red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper

Technique:
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Refrigerate to blend flavors before using.

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Olive Salad Spread
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