This is a delicate sweet dressing, wonderful on shrimp, cucumbers and greens.  If I’m using cucumbers, I like to sweat them in salt for an hour before rinsing them.  The cucumbers get soft, and are easier to digest.  For the garlic oil, I make an infusion, which is a lovely word meaning that you peel and cut garlic cloves, and put them a jar or a SaladSuccess bottle so that the garlic can flavor the oil.  Needs to sit for a day before using.

Ingredients

Coconut milk – I prefer light

Yogurt  – I use low fat

2 limes

2 large spoonfuls of Garlic Oil

1 spoonful of fish sauce*

1 spoonful brown sugar

Dash of cayenne pepper

Directions

Coconut milk to the 2/3 orange line

Yogurt to the top orange line

Add juice of 2 limes, garlic oil, fish sauce, brown sugar, and cayenne

Shake vigorously

*Optional:  Fish sauce can be found in Asian markets and is LOADED with salt.  Avoid if one is on a salt-restricted diet.

Surprise, a salad that doesn’t need a dressing.  Or really a recipe.  And if you use a low-fat cottage cheese, you can even lose weight eating this wonderful combination.  Filling, cool and delightful especially if the ingredients come from your garden.

Slice about 6 radishes

Chop 1/2 orange, red or yellow pepper (I don’t like the green ones)

Chop 1/2 cucumber

Chop 2 scallions

1 cup of cottage cheese – I like the no-fat Trader Joe’s and the Nordic brands

Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients and serve immediately.

Sorry, not every salad needs vinaigrette or the SaladSuccess Vinaigrette Shaker.

The night before perparing this wonderful salad, I make an infusion of garlic in my olive oil.  Using a SaladSuccess bottle, I fill it near to the top and drop in a peeled bud of rough chopped garlic.

Ingredients

Infused garlic olive oil

White wine or white balsamic vinegar

Juice of two lemons

2 hard-boiled or 3 minute coddled eggs*

Dried Mustard or Dijon Mustard

Salt

Pepper

Tabasco Sauce

1 half tube of anchovy paste

½ cup of grated Parmesan Cheese

Toasted croutons

Romaine lettuce in bite size pieces

Directions

Olive oil to the oil line

White vinegar to the vinegar line

Juice of two lemons

1 Tsp of dry mustard or Dijon mustard

Egg yokes – Optional (See paragraph below)

½ tube of anchovy paste

2 pinches of salt

1 pinch of pepper

A dash or two of Tabasco sauce

Shake aggressively

Caesar salad is traditionally made with a 3 minute coddled eggs.  If you are comfortable with your egg source or can buy pasteurized eggs, add the yolks to the dressing mixture.  If you are uncertain, hard boil the eggs, and serve them sliced on top of the lettuce along with the parmesan cheese and croutons, then pour over the dressing.  I like to use Reggiano, but sometimes have been known to use less expensive parmesan.

garlicI absolutely adore cooking with garlic.  What I don’t love about garlic is eating it raw.  For me, it is much too strong of a taste and what it does to one’s breathe should be illegal.  So for my salads, I use a garlic infusion which takes minutes to prep, and has a wonderful soft garlic flavor.  Just peel all the cloves in a bud of garlic (skip those teensy cloves), give the cloves a rough chop, fill a container or a SaladSuccess bottle with a lovely olive oil, and put in the chopped garlic.  If you are in the least worried about any bacteria issues with garlic or any herb, blanch the garlic for a minute before chopping.  Usually after having the infustion for four days, I take out the herbs and garlic.

Sometimes, for camping, I’ll get ready a SaladSuccess shaker just to hold an herbal infusion of olive oil, rosemary, tarragon and garlic.  It adds a wonderful gourmet touch to the campfire when frying trout and potatoes.  I also love having it around for tomato salads, and to rub into steaks before they go on the grill.

Although garlic is available all year round, the bulb gets dug up in the summer.  Some garlic bulbs are exceedingly mild in taste, such as Chet’s Italian Red and Red Toch (both Artichokes garlic bulbs that are often grown commercially). Some are medium flavored like Inchelium Red (another Artichoke) or Burgundy (a Creole ) while others are very hot and strong, such as Metechi (a marbled Purple Stripe) or Chinese Purple (Asiatic).  You can get the more exotic garlic bulbs in fine food stores or at your neighborhood farmers market.  Try them all, and see which ones you love.

close-up-layout-722Remember, a  lunch salad with vinaigrette made fresh out of  SaladSuccess shaker will help you eat better and feel great.  SaladSuccess is just $9.95 and gives you perfect vinaigrette and salad dressings every day with no fuss.

Cool and creamy  for the summer months.  You can replace the sour cream with buttermilk if you wish. Use this vinaigrette for green and fruit salads, possibly add edible flowers.

Ingredients

  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • Raspberry vinegar
  • Sour Cream – regular or light
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp. of thyme

Instructions

  • Oil to the 1/3  orange line
  • Raspberry Vinegar to the 2/3  orange line
  • Sour Cream to the top orange line
  • Spoonful of Honey
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • Shake vigorously

Put chopped thyme over the salad, then pour dressing.

This is for those days that you have a sweet and sour tooth.  Tastes great  on any type of salad, with or without fruit, such as apple, pears and berries.

Olive Oil

Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar

Honey

Dijon Mustard

Salt

Pepper

____________________________________

Olive oil to the ¾ blue line

Vinegar to the top blue line

2 tablespoons of honey

2 big pinches of salt

1 pinch of pepper

Shake vigorously

Oh my!  When I first tested this recipe with a salad made up of chicken, ripen mango, feta cheese, mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, and avocado, I knew that I was in food heaven.

Ingredients

Olive Oil

Mint – 10 leaves

Orange Zest

Juice from 2 fresh oranges

Honey

Dijon Mustard

Cayenne

Coriander

Cumin

Paprika

Salt

Directions

Olive oil to the 2/3 orange line

Orange juice to the top orange line

1 tsp salt

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 heaping tsp of mustard

½ tsp of cayenne pepper

Large spoonful of honey

Shake vigorously in the SaladSuccess shaker bottle

Suggestions for Salad: Mixed greens, arugula, mangoes, figs, feta cheese, goat cheese, avocado, tomatoes, dried fruit, mix nuts, brown rice, chicken, steak, lamb

Put orange zest on salad along with slivers of mint (I use scissors)

Adapted from the Tassajara Dinners & Desserts cookbook  by Dale & Melissa Kent

This is a wonderful all seasons recipe especially for our fall fruits.  I suggest that you try this on a bed of spinach with sliced thin pears or apples, pecans or walnuts and a sprinkling of goat cheese.  I usually use an ale or beer mustard, but a spicy brown or honey mustard is equally as great.  If you really want this to be a gourmet salad, consider toasting the nuts at 350ºF for 10 minutes.  For maple syrup pecans, just mix a 1lb. of shelled nuts in a bowl with 2/3 cup of maple syrup, 3 tbsp. sugar, and a 1½  tsp. cinnamon or a dash of cayenne and then bake on a greased sheet at 350ºF for 10 minutes. If you are having a “I hate to cook day“, to heck with roasting nuts and just add to your salad about a cup of fruit and nuts mix.

Olive oil to the ½ line

Real maple syrup to the ¾ line

Red wine or balsamic vinegar to the top of the blue line

Spoonful of spicy brown, ale or honey mustard

Juice of 1 line

Salt, 2 pinches

Pepper, 1 pinch

Shake vigorously

tomato-salad-721I’m a Jersey girl, and to me, summer eating is about freestone peaches, Silver Queen corn, and tomatoes.  The worth of any New Jersey homeowner is in the size and bounty of her tomato plants.  No one worth their salt would ever buy a tomato.  And if you went to someone’s house to socialize, you would always bring a lovely assortment of your finest tomatoes.  I remember my mom and dad constantly watering, tying the stems, and blowing some incredibly white powdery toxic poison on those plants.  Our family’s honor was tied into those plants, and no drought, plague of beetles, or pestilence, would dare attack our plants.

So when I moved out to California, I picked up where Dad and Mom left off.  Every year I would buy a minimum of twelve tomato plants at the farmers market and try to produce a crop worthy of my past.  The first year the snails got to them, which astonished me since there are no snails in New Jersey.  Next several years were acceptable but the little strip of land I used to grow them was turned into a shady walk way.  The following four years followed a pattern.  I’d plant early in the spring, nature my little plants thru July;  get excited about their growth and buds, only to be ruined by a fungus attack.

I tried planting early in February, using plastic tubular teepees.  I’d fill the tubes of the tepee with water and let the sun heat the plants by day, and insulate them during the cool nights..  My sister-in-law, a master gardener in Denver, Colorado, swore by these tepees and even sent me pictures of her bountiful harvest.  February came and went, along with March, April and my enthusiasm and hope plummeted.  The tepees, that looked so straight and erect in the ads, wouldn’t hold up and were constantly collapsing on the plants.  The plants were still alive, but ugly and spindly, and the plastic was acting as a snail magnet, with massive collections of snail poop inside the costly tepees’ water tubes.  I retired my teepes in the form of a present to  my sister-in-law.  Needless to say, I didn’t include a picture of my harvest.

The last disaster, to the tune of five hundred dollars, was my watering system.  Every May, in anticipation of summer vacation, I would go buy watering timers.  I’d spend days adjusting my timers so that not one of my precious plants would suffer during my absence.  I bought the best batteries, I tested each timer, and I would wake up at five am to give them the final adjustment.  By June the timers were perfect, and a magnificent synchronization of water works was creating green harmony in my gardens.

Three weeks later upon our return, disaster.  Either the majority of timers died the minute our car pulled out of the driveway for the Great Adventure, or else they went ballistic spewing water all day and night.By the time we returned, the garden looked like the Mojave Dessert, the running water was turned off, and a little yellow card from the Water Department was firmly affixed on our door handle expressing their displeasure with our wanton water usage.  To add insult to injury, not only did I have to replace plants and trees, I’d also have to dig up five hundred dollars to pay my water bill and fines.

But last year I declared war, for this was to be the year of the Great Tomato Harvest. I dry farmed the plants, thus forcing their roots to grow strong and avoid mold. No snails would dare get on my plants since I generously sprinkled around the plants with sawdust.  And I found a new sunny place by planting them in my front yard.

The outcome was rewarding.  My plants looked beautiful and healthy and were laden with fruit.  And every night for  5 months, we all sat down to enjoy the family summer favorite –Insalata Caprese or as we call it, Tomato Lovers Salad.

Tomato Lovers Salad

Vinaigrette – Use the SaladSuccess vinaigrette formula.

Platter

Sliced tomatoes

Shredded fresh mozzarella

Chopped basil – I use the kitchen scissor to cut it in fine strips

Vinaigrette

Optional to Platter – Add eggs, avocado, lettuce, tuna fish, sardines, and olives

close-up-layout-721Remember, a  lunch salad with vinaigrette made fresh out of  SaladSuccess shaker will help you eat better and feel great.  SaladSuccess is just $9.95 and gives you perfect vinaigrette and salad dressings every day with no fuss.

Great over Chinese Chicken Salad – chicken breast, lettuce, bean sprouts, cilantro, green on- ion, mandarin oranges, roasted sesame seeds and peanuts(optional). For a change, try it with sherry vinegar.

Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Peanut Oil
  • Sesame Seed Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Peanut Oil to the 1/3 line
  • Add Rice Wine Vinegar to the 2/3 line
  • Add soy sauce to the top orange line
  • Add 2 tablespoons of Sesame Seed Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Shake Vigorously