Archive for the ‘Salads’

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette

January 12, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Salads, Side Dishes

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette

Looking for a potluck dish? You’ve got it right here!

However, let me be honest, I think I had some pot-luck bad luck when it came to taking pictures of the completed dish. So, I apologize for the lackluster photos. I couldn’t *not* share this recipe because it really was just that good.

We had to say goodbye to two of our original vegetarian potluck crew as they move on to Boston. Our theme for the night was an Italian feast. Charged with bringing a side-dish, I wanted something flavorful and interesting. This fit that bill.

You can serve this salad warm or cold. Perfect for a potluck so you don’t have to worry about heating anything up.

Smoky paprika is something you should keep in your spice rack at all times. It adds a unique flavor to any dish.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette
Recipe from: Katherine Martinelli

  • 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Salt
  • 6 small or 3 large portabello mushrooms (about 6 ounces), sliced
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 (15- to 16-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 unpeeled cucumber, chopped
  • 6 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
  • 1½ cups crumbled feta or Bulgarian cheese (about 7 ounces), divided
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Pepper
  1. Put the quinoa in a large saucepan and 1¾ cup water, or enough water to cover quinoa by about 1 inch. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and drain of any remaining liquid, if there is any. Allow to cool slightly. (Megabeth note: I just made my quinoa in the rice cooker. Used the same quinoa to water ratio, turned on the cooker and let it cook while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.)
  2. Heat a drop of olive oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) until very hot. Add the portabello mushrooms and cook until tender and cooked through. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until fully absorbed, another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Put the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, 1 cup of cheese, and half of the mushrooms in a large bowl.
  4. Add the cooled quinoa and toss gently to blend.
  5. Whisk vinegar and smoked paprika in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.
  7. Sprinkle remaining feta and mushrooms over and serve immediately.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Paprika Vinaigrette

Celery Root Salad

January 22, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Salads, Side Dishes

Much like in the movie Ratatouille, there are many flavors that can take me back to childhood, and this is one of them. This celery root salad was a ubiquitous feature on my grandmother’s table whenever we came to visit. My mother now makes it for any special family meal.

Celery root, or celeriac, is really an ugly little thing. It’s a funny looking bulb, with dirt, and it’s hard to see it’s potential. But, once you peel off all the dirt and little poky bits, it’s a flavorful ingredient. It’s got a very unique taste which could be described as a very slight celery flavor with a little hint of parsley.

The recipe was transcribed by my grandmother from my great-great-grandmother. My mother still has that recipe card. It’s basic in its steps and has no measurements. I suppose the recipe card serves as a reminder of previous dinners and memories made while eating the salad. This salad works in its simplicity and is left to the chef’s individual preference to create that heirloom flavor.

Celery Root Salad
By Megabeth’s Great-Grandmother

celery root
red onion
fresh parsley
oil (good olive oil)
vinegar (red wine or white)
sugar, to taste

Clean dirt off celery root. Cut off green tops. Use vegetable peeler to remove outside of root until just white flesh is revealed. Chop into bite size pieces. Chop carrots.

Boil water in large pot. Add chopped celery root and carrots. Boil vegetables until fork tender.

Drain and add to bowl. (Megabeth Mother’s note: Or, use a flat container so the flavors can be evenly distributed when it’s marinating.)

In separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar and sugar. About 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar. About a teaspoon of sugar. Drizzle over vegetables, add parsley and let marinate in refrigerator until chilled.

Tour of California: Green Goddess Dressing

May 17, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Other, Salads, Vegetarian Tour of California

Vegetarian Tour of CaliforniaSo, the Tour of California certainly got off to an interesting start (or, rather, non-start? or, perhaps a stutter start?) For this next recipe featuring California cuisine, I take us to the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. In 1923, the English actor George Arliss was staying at the Palace Hotel. The chef was inspired to create a recipe in his honor and serve a meal to the actors in the play. He whipped up a salad dressing featuring anchovies, mayonnaise, vinegar, green onion, garlic, parsley, tarragon and chives. And, he named it after the play Arliss was starring in – The Green Goddess.


The Green Goddess, the play, involves a convoluted story of jealousy with Arliss playing a Raja infatuated by one of three survivors of a plane crash that landed in his, fictional, kingdom. Unfortunately, the woman, Lucilla, is married to another survivor. Hilarity ensues. (Hostages! Kidnapped children! Sacrifice!) Lucilla is eventually killed by a bomb leaving the Raja to end the story consoling himself with the line: ““She’d probably have been a damned nuisance.” (Why this was left off of the Top 100 Movie Quotes, I’ll never know.)

greengoddess_1930This dressing is still served at the Palace Hotel, and is known around the world, meanwhile, the play and the subsequent movie are pretty much all but forgotten.

Since we’ve got two cycling races going on now, we really don’t need to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen. This is an easy recipe that can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. I took the original recipe and adapted it a bit to fit the vegetarian or vegan taste. Capers are substituted for anchovies and the mayonnaise is cut with a little Greek yogurt. (Although, this recipe would work nicely with just the Greek yogurt if you find the taste of mayo overwhelming.)

Vegetarian Green Goddess Dressing
by Megabeth

1 cup fat-free mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
1 cup fat-free greek yogurt
2 teaspoons chopped capers
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons chopped chives
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
!/4 teaspoon dried OR 1 teaspoon cut, fresh tarragon

Throw it all in a blender.

Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before using.


Veggin’ Cookbook Chronicles: Beet and Beet Green Salad

June 26, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Cookbook Chronicle Challenge, Salads, Side Dishes

I had a lovely bunch of beets from my CSA delivery this week and I was fully prepared to make a recipe for Harvard Beets. Well, I must have been prepared only mentally because my pantry did not have the honey nor the white wine vinegar the recipe called for. I was unwilling to heat back out to the store to go get these missing ingredients.  So, back to the drawing board or in this case The Greens Book which saved the day. The cookbook was just featured in another post for chard baked with parmesean cheese. You can see my review of this cookbook in that post. (I obviously like it if I’m using it again, right?)

In this recipe, you use both the beets and the greens and end up with a very zesty and strong salad. The beauty of this recipe is that it is easy to adjust depending on how many beets you have and it really does not involve a lot of intense labor to make it. Just be prepared to have your oven going for a while to roast the beets. I roasted our kitchen on what was already a hot and humid evening.

I’m not normally a fan of beets, but made this way I didn’t mind eating them at all.

Beet and Beet Green Salad
The Greens Book

3 pounds beets, about 2 inches in diameter, with tender greens
salt and freshly ground pepper
about 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
about 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the greens from the beets, leaving about 1 inch of stems on the beets. Trim the tails of the beets to about an inch. Scrub the beets well.

Wrap each beet tightly with double alumninum foil. Place the beets in a baking dish and bake about 1 hour, or until tender.

Remove the beets from the dish and cool until beets can be handled. Remove the foil.

Trim and peel the beets while they are still warm.

Slice the beets thinly and season with salt and pepper. Toss with a tablespoon each of olive oil and vinegar.

Meanwhile, prepare the beet greens. Cut the leaves from the stems.

Cut the stems in two to three pieces. Rinse the leaves and stems well. Blanch the stems for about 4 minutes in boiling lightly salted water.

Add the leaves and cook until just tender, another 2 or 3 minutes. Drain the greens well and cool until warm to the touch. Toss with the slice beets and the remaining olive oil and vinegar. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

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