Salads

Cucumber Salad with Smashed Garlic and Ginger

Cucumber Salad with Smashed Garlic and Ginger

Back in the day when I first discovered sushi (that epicurean wonder of the world), you would find me (feeling very internationally cultured), piling a mountain of pickled ginger (aka: gari) up all over my (fancy and adventurous) California roll; dipping it into a pool of soy sauce (carefully combined with a dab of that pale green wasabi paste…no lumps allowed!!), and then shoving the whole thing ever so delicately into my face. Mmmphhfffffffp.

Hopefully I have learned a few things about proper sushi etiquette since then and one of my most obvious faux pas of the past (you already know … I know you do) was the fact that I was seriously abusing the gari! Like…wait, this is meant to be a palate cleanser? As in, between bites of sushi…not ON TOP of? Seriously?

Dang. I sure don’t want to offend anyone (or embarrass myself for that matter) but I really do like that stuff. Now that I know better I can’t bring myself to treat it like it’s ketchup – at least not in public. Doesn’t mean I don’t still want to.

So…If your favorite thing about going out for sushi is nibbling on that crazy, pungency packing pickled ginger that comes in a pretty pink pile on the plate, then this clean and crunchy mix of taste-bud tingling happiness is for you.

Raw and Ready Chopped Salad

Raw and Ready CHopped Salad

Seems kind of redundant to include the word raw in the name of a salad. I mean, isn’t the definition of a salad, you know….lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, dressing, what-have-you…a culinary state of perpetual raw-ness?

As in: uncooked…..au naturel…..untouched by any source of heat………?

Ha! Sure, Bunny. You know as well as I do that any sort of salad is a good one (the notable exception being anything congealed together by Jello, yuk) but really, what defines a salad? Is it just any old conglomeration of random ingredients that aren’t called soup or dessert or a casserole; like this (Spicy Steak Salad with quinoa and black beans), or this (Roasted Broccoli and white bean salad)? Does it count as salad if it’s mostly cooked?

Orange and Avocado Salad with Spicy Honey Broiled Shrimp

Avocado and Orange Salad with Spicy Honey Broiled Shrimp

Have you ever pulled out an orange (at work, perhaps?) and asked anyone if they would like a piece? Chances are you won’t get much response. Hey, you were just trying to be polite, right? Fine, good, more for you, or so you might think; let me tell you the minute you dig your thumb into that rind and peel it back and that first whiff of sunshine scented diffusion sprays through the air – Oh yeah! Noses perk right up and heads pop over and next thing you know,

you could use another orange. Hmmm.

Marinated Mushroom Veggie Salad

Marinated Mushroom veggie Salad

I don’t know about you, but I can almost actually feel my vitamin D levels going up….just by looking at this bright and beautiful bowl of bodily benevolent bounty.

Earthy mushrooms, juicy grape tomatoes, sweet red bell pepper and crunchy cubed zucchini come together in raw and ready solidarity, held up (and held together) by a gutsy, garlicky, feta-cheese-a-fied marinade/dressing.

No sissy pants of a side dish; this bodacious babe brings the goods when it comes to a super delicious, sinfully simple salad.

Spicy Steak Salad with Quinoa and Black Beans

Spicy Steak Salad with Quinoa and Black Beans

I love a dinner salad. I mean, not the actual salad that you sometimes get when you go out to dinner (brown edged ice-burg lettuce, lifeless tomatoes, dried up cucumber slices…no no no – where are we getting this anyway? Let’s not come here again) … what I am talking about is salad for DINNER.

This is such a good one, to be sure.

Black beans and quinoa give it body, spinach provides the leafy greenie-ality, while a spicy, slightly sweet citrus vinaigrette gives it some kick. Yellow bell pepper contributes amazing crunch and color, avocado and feta cheese round it all out with silky-smooth, salty scrumptious-ness.

Lemony, Garlicky, Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Lemony, Garlicky, Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

This particular entry into my tiny little nano-sphere of the internet will probably pass under your right eyeball and then exit out behind your left ear of conscious attention in less than two seconds flat.

I know I really shouldn’t say that and jinx this recipe from the get go, but the title of this post might be way too green and “krunchie” (and I am not talking mastication) to get very excited about.

Eeew, ANOTHER bitter Brassica Oleracea oratory? Kale and brussels sprouts are so, like, 2015.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Baby Greens Salad (with goat cheese!)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Baby Greens Salad

Well, hellooooo, 2017. I’ve been waiting for your arrival, how the heck are you doing? I’m so happy to see you! I think it’s safe to say a lot of people are. It must feel really good to be so anticipated.

So listen…..One-Seven….(you don’t mind if I call you that?) do you think that maybe we could just forget the past few days…weeks…okay, yes months, of all of that over-zealous over-doing it? You KNOW what I’m talking about here; it all starts out innocently enough with the pumpkin spice season shiz-bah (squash IS a vegetable after all, AMIRITE?), and then it goes ALL downhill from there. Riding the holiday horse right into the ground! What happened to all of my good intentions???

Grilled Fresh Corn Salad

Grilled Fresh Corn Salad

This is the perfect salad right now for so many reasons. First off, the star of this show is fresh corn on the cob and that happens to be available right now and is just about the best thing ever. Second, you have to do a little grilling for this, and what is summer without a little grilling? Third, if you have any pot-luck, picnic type outdoorsy soirées to attend, show up with this and you will be very popular….even more popular then you already are, if THAT’S even possible. Fourth (this is my favorite), sometimes it’s just not practical to be eating corn on – the – COB. Drippy, buttery, all up in your teeth? Um, delicious, yes, but no, not too pretty. Definitely not in a summer party dress. Last but not least (okay this is really my favorite) this is just so seriously good.

Gremolata Salad

Gremolota Salad

Excuse me but……..this just looks like a bowl of chopped salad vegetables.

Pretty lame that I would for one sliver of a second think that anyone would need to look at and glean anything from a post about a couple of chopped tomatoes, cucumber and avocado……which is pretty much what this is. Hmmm, okay. Thanks for sharing, Nichole, I’ll get right on that, like I never chopped a freaking tomato before. This was oh, so informative, yeh, buh-bye now. click

But please stay with me! And look a little closer. That evergreen mound of confetti you see scattered over the pile of veggies just waiting to be tossed together is the magic ingredient, the namesake of this recipe, and my newest flavor obsession: Gremolota. And this stuff, with all of its’ fresh, springy piquancy, is going to wake up your taste buds and make them DANCE!

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