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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

6 Sensational Summer Salads

The best in light summer fare for your Capital Region kitchen.

Ric Orlando’s Vietnamese salad – New World Bistro & Bar

Here is my signature Vietnamese salad. I have always loved the mix of raw veggies, sprouts, and herbs in a good Vietnamese salad. I have made it with so many ingredients; green mango and papaya, bitter lettuces, shaved wax and green beans, snow peas,  long beans, shaved melon … and they are all great, but they have limited seasons. I wanted this to be a year-round dish on my menu, so I worked it to the existing set up of cabbage, carrots, daikon, cukes, scallions, sprouts, herbs, peanuts and just a bit of lettuce. But feel free at add whatever turns you on. When designing the dressing, I originally went with a basic Nuoc Cham; fish sauce, shallot, lime, sugar water. But I needed more tang, and that is where the tamarind comes in. This dressing is so addictive.

Veggies for the salad; Included but not limited to:
cabbage, shaved
crisp lettuce, shaved
green or wax beans, shaved thinly
carrots, julienne
daikon radish, julienne
cucumbers, peeled and sliced into half moons
scallions, chopped
mung bean sprouts
chopped peanuts
basil, Thai or cinnamon basil, mint, cilantro, torn into pieces
I like to cut everything not too small; as if it were going to be a stir fry

1/2 cup palm or brown sugar
3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate * Asian or Indian market
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup white sesame seeds

• Heat the vinegar and water and pour over the sugar and tamarind. Dissolve the sugar and tamarind in the warm water and vinegar. Then add the oil, fish sauce, and sesame seeds. Whisk together well.

• At New World, we layer the mix of cabbage, crispy lettuce, carrots, scallions, mung bean sprouts, cucumbers, daikon radish, mint, cilantro, basil and chopped peanut for our Vietnamese salad and we serve it in a bowl with chopsticks.

• Drizzle the dressing over generously.

• For a vegan version, omit the fish sauce and use tamari or soy sauce

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad – Old Daley Custom Caterers

For the Ahi Tuna
6-8 ounces Ahi Tuna Loin
Salt, pepper for seasoning
Black and white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon high temp vegetable oil

• Heat oil in an iron pan on high heat. Season tuna with salt and seeds and sear on each side for about 8 seconds. Place on a plate and refrigerate to cool.

For the Slaw
1 cucumber, seeded and sliced into a fine julienne
½ red bell pepper, fine julienne
½ yellow bell pepper, fine julienne
1 cup shredded red cabbage
½ cup shredded carrot
1 stalk celery, bias julienne
1 stalk scallion, bias julienne
¼ bunch of cilantro, chiffonade
1 cup of arugula or mixed greens
1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds

• Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside

Sesame-Lime Vinaigrette
Juice and zest from 3 limes
¼ tablespoon sesame oil
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of black pepper

• Combine in a bowl or glass jar with a lid

For the Wasabi Aoili
¼ cup wasabi powder
½ cup of water
½ lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper

• Combine in a bowl

Assemble on a platter or two plates:

• Cut chilled tuna into thin slices. Mix slaw ingredients with sesame lime vinaigrette and place on a platter. Layer sliced tuna along the top of the slaw and zig-zag drizzle with wasabi aloili.

• Garnish with scallions and black and white sesame seeds.


Summer chopped salad with lemon vinaigrette – Oliva! Gourmet Olive Oils & Vinegars

Salad ingredients
5 cups mixed greens or 1 head romaine, chopped
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup cooked bacon, chopped
1 cup granny smith apples, sliced thin
1 cup red onion, sliced thin
1 cup green or red grapes, halved
1 cup mandarin oranges, juice drained
1 cup strawberries, halved
½ cup blueberries
1 cup walnuts
¾ cup blue cheese or gorgonzola, crumbled
2 avocados, cubed

Dressing ingredients
cup Olíva! Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
cup Olíva! Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic
2 ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
salt & pepper

• In a large bowl, toss together the greens, chicken, bacon, apples, red onion, grapes, oranges, strawberries, walnuts, cheese, and avocado.

• For the dressing, whisk together the Olíva! Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Olíva! Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic, dijon mustard, salt & pepper.

• Toss the salad with your preferred amount of dressing. Serve & enjoy!

Chop Salad – 677 Prime

Serves 4
3 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 cup romaine, chopped
½ cup radicchio, chopped
½ cup red onion, diced
¾ cup tomato, diced
½ cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1 avocado, diced
¾ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
¾ cup 677 Prime’s White Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (see recipe)
1 ½ cup buttermilk fried onions (see recipe)

Toss together all ingredients except dressing and buttermilk fried onions. Drizzle in dressing to liking and toss until combined. Fill salad into a round mold to form (optional), remove mold and top with fried onions.

For the Buttermilk Fried Onions
Makes: 3 cups
1 small white onion, sliced into 1/8 inch rings
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups vegetable oil

• Place oil in pot and heat to 375 degrees. Pour buttermilk into a medium-sized bowl.

• Soak onions in buttermilk for about 15 minutes. Combine flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.

• Remove onions from the bowl and toss in flour until evenly covered. Remove onions from flour mixture and carefully drop in oil and fry until golden brown.

• Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

For the 677 Prime White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes: 2 cups
¾ cup white balsamic vinegar
1 ½ garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil


• Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender. Thoroughly blend. With the blender still running, slowly drizzle in oil until completely combined. Chill and serve.

Świeża Sałata (Fresh salad with creamy dill dressing) – Muza

Salad ingredients
1 package of spring mix
2 medium red beets
2 hard boiled egg, quartered
1 red onion, sliced
Fresh dill sprigs
6 radishes, sliced
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup bacon crumbles
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 pint of cherry tomatoes

Dressing ingredients
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper


The day before: Preheat oven to 375°F. Wrap beets in foil and roast for 1 hour or until tender.  Once roasted, remove the skin and chill.

Preparing the salad: Lay spring mix in a large bowl. Top with chilled beets and remaining ingredients.

Dressing: In a food processor combine all dressing ingredients. Puree for 20 seconds. Best if refrigerated for 30 minutes before serving.

Spiced pecan grilled peach salad with goat cheese

Summer means it’s time to stock up on fresh produce and light the grill for a season of outdoor gatherings with friends and family. Make entertaining easier with flavorful options that can make menu-planning a breeze all summer long.

A nutritious and versatile ingredient, American Pecans can be your secret weapon for a variety of entertaining occasions. Add one bag of pecans to your shopping list and transform standby recipes into wholesome and delicious meals and snacks for the whole crowd.

Enjoy the long summer nights on the back porch with a Spiced Pecan Grilled Peach Salad, packed with the essential flavors and textures of summertime.

Discover more summertime entertaining recipes and cooking tips at AmericanPecan.com.

Spiced Pecans ingredients
1 egg white
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups pecan halves

Salad ingredients
1/4  cup, plus 2 teaspoons, extra-virgin olive oil or pecan oil, divided
1/4  cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large peaches, halved and pitted
6 cups mixed baby greens
4 ounces soft goat cheese

• To make spiced pecans: Heat oven to 275˚ F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

• In a bowl, whisk egg white, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt until well combined. Fold in pecans and mix until evenly coated. Spread in single layer on baking sheet.

• Bake 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally until pecans are fragrant and golden brown. Allow to cool completely.

• To make dressing: In bowl, whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.

• Brush cut sides of peach halves with remaining olive oil; grill on a preheated, medium temp grill until grill lines appear and peaches become tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove peaches and slice.

• Divide greens among four plates. Top with grilled peach slices and goat cheese. Divide 1 cup spiced pecans evenly among salads and reserve remaining for snack. Top each salad with drizzle of vinaigrette. (Family Features)

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