Hearty Vegetarian Salad with Mushrooms and Yogurt Dressing

This salad was built from the bottom up with a solid foundation of big hearty flavors that could appease any carnivore (as long as there’s still ice cream for dessert).  We have incorporated some of our favorite ingredients we often add to salads, the only thing special about this one is how many of them come out to make their cameo.

The more I eat mushrooms, the more I want to eat mushrooms.  I am always floored by the shear number of varieties out there and the dramatic differences between them.  We used some Baby Bellas (AKA Crimini, AKA Brown, AKA Baby Portobello, AKA Roman, AKA Italian) but you could use any ‘shroom you like.  Mushrooms add a ton of meaty, umami flavors that are a key component here.

Goat cheese adds creaminess, sunflower seeds add crunch, carrots add sweetness and color, chickpeas add heft.  All of those listed above have a mild earthiness that, along with the mushrooms, give the salad weight that a meat would otherwise provide.  The yogurt dressing ties everything together with a tangy-ness that makes it sing.

Hearty Vegetarian Salad with Mushrooms and Yogurt Dressing (printable recipe)
  • 1/2 pound of mixed greens, we used a 50/50 spinach/greens blend
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 pound of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 can of chickpeas, rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup of dry roasted sunflower seeds

The Dressing:
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons yogurt, we used Greek-style

Add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to a medium-hot pan then add the mushrooms.  Let them sit, undisturbed, for 2 minutes to allow them to brown a little.  Then add a pinch of salt, a twist of pepper and turn occasionally until they are soft, about another 5 minutes.

For the dressing, combine in a jar or other container with a lid and shake well to combine.  Set aside.  When the salad is ready to serve, dress the greens and the carrots and plate.

Crumble the goat cheese, dish out the sauteed mushrooms, top with the chickpeas, and sprinkle on the roasted sunflower seeds.  Sit back and enjoy a salad fit for a meal.  It pairs well with a big white wine like a Chardonnay or a Viognier.

Serves 2
Authordavid koch
Green Goddess Dressing
Tip - make your Green Goddess Dressing ahead - it should sit in the fridge for at least 3 hours.  I have a tendency NOT to read recipes before jumping in... this one only sat in the fridge for an hour and was a little mild, the flavor develops with time.
I got this from Bon Appetit Magazine in my favorite feature, "Molly Wizenberg's Cooking Life."  Everything she writes about sounds delicious. This was from their May 2009 issue.  My husband Steve and I love the bottled goddess dressings but she says they are no comparison to the real deal.

  1. 1/2 ripe medium avocado (about 7 ounces)
  2. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  3. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  4. 1 oil-packed anchovy, very finely chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  7. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  8. 3/4 cup olive oil
  9. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  10. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  12. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  13. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  14. 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

Blend first 7 ingredients in processor until coarse puree forms.  With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube; blend well.  Transfer mixture to bowl; whisk in cream.  Add parsley, tarragon, cilantro, basil, and shallot; whisk to combine.  

Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and chill at least 3 hours (dressing will separate if not chilled).  Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes and re-whisk before serving.

Can be made 1 day ahead.  Keep chilled.
AuthorHeather Ward

Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad

This is ultimate summer salad; fresh, seasonal vegetables combined with the BBQ.  I came up with this salad while at my local farmer’s market where I bought all the produce for this great dish.

We served the salad along with some grilled BBQ chicken breasts but it would also go great with any grilled fish or steak. Stop by your local farmer’s market, invite some friends over, fire up the grill and give this salad a try this weekend!


Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad (printable recipe)

  • 3 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil plus one tablespoon
  • Juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 3 ounces of feta cheese
  • Salt & pepper


Preheat grill.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil and half the lemon juice. Using a pastry brush, apply lemon oil all over zucchini and corn then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Once grill is ready, add the zucchini and corn, turning as necessary until vegetables have grill marks and are cooked through. Remove and let cool. Once they are easy to handle, cut kernals off the cob and cut zucchini into 1 inch chunks.

Place in bowl, then add scallions, cherry tomatoes, basil, feta cheese, juice from the other 1/2 a lemon, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Taste salad and add salt and pepper as necessary.

We also grilled some chicken breast with the same marinade, sliced thin, and topped with Country Bob's Spicy BBQ Sauce.  It is sweet, tangy, and just the right amount of heat.  Enjoy!


Serves 4

Country Bob's Spicy All Purpose was sent to us as a promotional gift.

AuthorAmy Koch

Greek Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

It’s summer and the markets are inundated with fresh delicious tomatoes.  I was lucky enough to receive a large bag of ripe beefsteak tomatoes from my Dad’s backyard garden so I enjoyed creating different tomato recipes all week.  

This is a slightly different take on the Classic Greek Salad. I used a tzatziki sauce to dress the tomatoes to make them a little richer. This hearty salad could be used as a side dish and served family style, or as a light main course.


Greek Salad with Tzatziki Dressing (printable recipe)



  • 5-6 ounces of your choice of greens (I used part romaine and part arugula)
  • 1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes or heirloom
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Tzatziki Dressing


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cucumber, seeded and finely diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon mint, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


For the dressing, combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

On a large platter, pile on greens and red onion then dress with lemon and olive oil. Lay tomato slices across the top of the greens and then season with a little salt and pepper. Spoon tzatziki dressing down the center of the tomatoes and then sprinkle the entire salad with the feta and olives. Enjoy!

Serves 2 as a main and 4 as a side dish



AuthorAmy Koch
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It was my Mom’s birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate I did an upscale backyard BBQ for the family.  With all the peaches just coming into season I wanted to incorporate them into the menu.  This salad was a big hit that paired well with the rest of the meal of grilled leg of lamb and Joanne Weir’s Grilled Potato Salad.

The sweetness of the peaches matches so well with the bitterness of the greens, the creaminess of the goat cheese, and the saltiness of the prosciutto.  Its a flavor explosion in your mouth.  Give this salad a try this summer!

Salad (printable recipe)
  • 5 oz (or 1 bag) arugula leaves
  • 1 ripe peach, sliced
  • 2oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2-3 slices of prosciutto

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay proscitutto slices on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake in oven until crisp, about 8-12 minutes. Let cool then crumble into small pieces.

For the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, sugar, and salt and pepper then slowly stream in extra virgin olive oil until it is well combined.

In a large bowl, lightly toss the arugula leaves with dressing, then top with peaches, goat cheese, and crispy prosciutto.

Serves 4



AuthorAmy Koch
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Lentils:  daal, llentia, čočka, linse, linzen, lentille, adasha, lencse, linsubaun, lenticchia, adas, soczewica, lenteja, mercimek.  No matter what you call them, whether they are green, black, or red - lentils are high in iron and a great source of protein. This is a healthy, easy, and delicious meal perfect to feed the family on any weeknight.

Lentil Salad (printable recipe)

  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Grilled Salmon (printable recipe)

  • 1 1/2 lbs wild salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

Rinse lentils with water while you bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Add lentils and let boil for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are cooked through. Strain lentils and set in a large bowl.

In a medium skillet add 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat and add carrots, celery, shallots and sauté until they soften, approximately 4-6 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Add vegetable mixture to bowl with the cooked and strained lentils.

Add in the remaining ingredients: lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper and fold everything together to combine. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve alongside grilled salmon.

For the salmon: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat grill pan on medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil over salmon and season with salt and pepper.  Place salmon on hot grill pan flesh side down for 2-3 minutes, or until grill marks have been made.

Flip par-cooked salmon onto a sheet pan skin side down and place in oven to finish cooking. Bake until salmon is just cooked through, about 8-10 minutes depending on thickness. Once salmon comes out of the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and serve with lentils.

Serves 4

AuthorAmy Koch

Spinach Salad with Beets, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

Green, brown, white, and deep crimson.  The colors scream to be consumed.  We threw this together to accompany a pasta dish on a sunny Sunday but this salad is so hearty it could also be a weeknight meal.  We cheated by using Trader Joe's vacuum packed pre-cooked beets, but you could roast your own easily in about 45 minutes (technique below).

Use a basic balsamic vinaigrette to accent the flavors and not overpower them.  Balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper do the trick nicely.  Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry skillet.  Open the bag of spinach and dress the leaves.  Slice the beets thin and place on the greens.  Drop gobs of goat cheese, and I like to finish with more fresh ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

If you want to roast your own beets.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut the greens off about an inch over the bulb, wash very carefully as they are often quite sandy.  Rub some olive oil all over them and either fold up into an aluminum foil pouch and/or place on foil-lined baking sheet.  Roast for 45 minutes.  Remove the skin, it skin should come off easily under running water.

If you want to make your own cheese, read a book.

If you ever get red pee after eating beets, like I do, don't be alarmed.  Not only is it relatively common, but they have a name for it, Beeturia.  There is some evidence to suggest it may be more prevalent in individuals with iron deficiency but they also think that the specific gut flora plays an uncertain role.  Well, now you know.

Authordavid koch
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Nicoise Salad, photo by WordRidden

About a year ago, I attempted to order a Salad Niçoise at the upscale Brompton Quarter Café & Restaurant in London’s affluent Knightsbridge neighborhood.  What was expected to be a calm, relaxing lunchtime experience soon transformed into a battle of food knowledge rivaled only by the Cheese Steak Shop American/Provolone Argument of 2003.  Here’s how it all went down…


I arrived at the scene of the culinary crime accompanied by three dining companions.  We were promptly seated.  After ordering our beverages, I perused the menu and decided upon a Salad Niçoise for lunch.  For those not familiar, the Niçoise is a pleasant salad originating from the South of France, traditionally containing lettuce, tomatoes, boiled potatoes, green beans, boiled eggs, fish (usually poached or seared tuna), anchovies, and…wait for it… Niçoise olives.  


The waitress came over to take our order.  When it came to my turn, I politely stated, “I’ll have the salad Niçoise, please.”  The waitress, soon to become my arch nemesis, took the order, took the menus, and returned to the kitchen or the dark hole from whence she came.


And then, as Kurt Vonnegut writes, the excrement hit the air conditioning...

AuthorLoren Tama
3 CommentsPost a comment


It may be obvious to my regular readers (my mom, my girlfriend) that I’m a bit of a salad guy.  I love salad.  And one of my favorite ways to start my day is with a breakfast salad.  Here’s how it goes:


·         Wash a few handfuls of fresh mixed greens.  I like having some bitter greens in there, such as radicchio or frisee.

·         Make a sharp, acidic vinaigrette:  Mix two parts olive oil to one part vinegar.  Equal parts of champagne and red wine vinegar add pleasant aromatics to the vinegar component of the dressing.  Drop in a few dashes of Old Bay or Tabasco if you like – not too much, just enough to taste the spice.  Whisk or shake...

AuthorLoren Tama
5 CommentsPost a comment

photo by Loren Tama

I’ve eaten Cobb salads for dinner, breakfast, and lunch, sometimes successively and usually in that order.  I love the crunch, the tanginess, and the complements achieved by the right balance of acidic tomatoes, sweet and smoky bacon, and fragrant blue cheese.  A properly-seasoned chicken breast can make the difference between a lame Cobb and a gourmet delight.  


I’ve been known to praise restaurants that use a traditional Cobb dressing, complete with blue cheese, garlic, Worcestershire, and vinegar.  At the same time, I’ve often lambasted a Cobb served with something as pedestrian as thousand island dressing: pounding my fist on the table, I lecture my fellow diners, reciting my familiar phrase “it’s not a Cobb without Cobb dressing!”  As much as I’d like to say that the dressing makes the Cobb, however, the reality is that...

AuthorLoren Tama
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This is a take on a traditional Caprese salad but with 4 different types of tomatoes and the addition of Lemon Cucumbers.  Everything was given to us from our friend's garden (thank you Heather and Steve!), except the Mozzarella, thus the name Summer Garden Salad.  If Lemon Cucumbers are not available...

Authordavid koch
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Like Mike Tyson, Mint and Curry join together in this summer blockbuster to knock your taste buds out. This chicken salad takes only 15 minutes to prepare if you use one of those pre-roasted chickens from the grocery store... and who wouldn't.  We put it on a toasted croissant with some field greens and the results were scrumptious.

This would also rock on brioche, on wheat toast, or in a wrap.  I will eat it in a box.  And I will eat it with a fox.  And I will eat it in a house.  And I will eat it with a mouse.  And I will eat it here and there.  Say! I will eat it ANYWHERE!


  • 1 roasted chicken, sans drumsticks (eat those while you're making everything else)
  • 1 cup chopped mint
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup mayo, we used light
  • 1 cup sour cream, we used low fat
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • Salt & pepper



Put everything in a bowl and mix it together...


Authordavid koch

photo by Dave Koch

In our latest CSA box from Eatwell Farms we received a bundle of Lemon Verbena.  I'm completely unfamiliar with the herb.  What do I do with it?  Fish?  Steak?  Tofu? 

It smells like the essence of lemon, almost more lemony than lemons.  There is also a woodsy note, not as up-front as the lemon but definitely there.  Earthy, herbal, almost cedar-ish.  I'm intrigued.

Lemon Verbena

 So, I read a little... 

The plant is native to South America and grows to a height of about a foot or so.  It is often used in herbal teas, commonly with mint and lavender.  It is also found in perfumes, potpourri, and sachets. 

The leaves dry up quickly; within hours of being picked.  The leaves are tough though, and are often removed from the drink or dish once they have added their flavor, much like bay leaves.


With each box from Eatwell comes some recipes and enclosed this week was one called Fruit in Lemon Verbena Syrup.  So I figure since I'm a neophyte of the herb, let's start there... this is a variation of theirs, ad libitum



 I began by making the syrup which was "simply" water, sugar, and Lemon Verbena. I eye-balled all three but close to 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup dried Lemon Verbena.

I brought it to a boil, then killed the heat, and allowed it to cool.




Then I sliced up some fruit.  I used Cantaloupe, Oranges, and Strawberries.











By the way, Eatwell's Strawberries are some of the most delicious I've ever had, and I grew up in California, which produces more than 85% of the US' strawberries. 

What I noticed at a glance was how much smaller and darker they are than what you normally find.

Also, when I bit into them, their seeds were more pronounced than what I'm used to.  Not unpleasant, but you notice them more.











I put the Lemon Verbena Syrup in a squirt bottle and hosed down the fruit salad with what may have been 2 tablesoons of it.  I finished it by topping it with Goji Berries.

The extra syrup I think will make some fun cocktails, specifically, I think it would go well with gin.  Both have that herbal/woodsy flavor; gin deriving its dominant character from juniper.  I'll let you know.




Authordavid koch

photo by Amy Koch

This salad is easy to assemble and is both refreshing and satisfying.  It is fulfilling enough for a complete weeknight meal - but would also make for an impressive first course.  The citrus vinaigrette adds bright flavors which meld well with with the earthy arugula and fennel.  

Both the vinaigrette and the bean and fennel mixture can be made up to two days ahead of time, then mixed with arugula and topped with Parmesan right before serving.


Bean and fennel mixture

  • 2 - 14 ounce cans of cannelini beans
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
  • 1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin)
  • 1 orange, supremed (reserve juices for vinaigrette)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Juice of the orange after it was supremed
  • 2 tablespoons of white balsamic or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup of Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

- 5 ounces of arugula (one standard bag)
- Parmesan, shaved (I used a vegetable peeler)


Combine everything for the bean and fennel mixture.  Toss with half the vinaigrette.  When ready to serve, lightly coat the arugula with the remaining vinaigrette.  Top with bean and fennel mixture.  Shave the Parmesan on top.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as a main course, serves 6 as a first course.  Enjoy!


photo by Amy Koch

AuthorAmy Koch
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photo by Matt Haas This might be the biggest no brainer ever.  



  • Bread
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese  



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut bread into cubes and toss with oil, salt & pepper and a generous dusting of parm.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Add to your soup or salad while still warm.


photo by Matt Haas

Notes: I always have some frozen bread in the freezer - maybe half a baguette, the end of a rustic loaf, whatever.  Fresh bread is fine, but this is a really great use of leftovers.  I love cooking up a small batch of homemade croutons and tossing in a salad while they are still a little warm.  Trust me.


photo by Matt Haas

AuthorMatt Haas
CategoriesHumor, Recipes

This got whipped up the other night after a long, stressful week.  Neither of us wanted to cook anything so we picked up some rolls and a pre-roasted whole chicken from the supermarket.  I went straight for the Dutch Crunch - she got the Ciabatta.

It got put together in a jiffy; it's healthy, scrumptious, and satisfying.  This is all we had for dinner and we were both satiated.  The grapes add a coolness, a novel texture, and some acidity.  The tiniest touch of curry powder is barley noticeable but brings a depth that would be lacking without it. 

Chicken Salad with Grapes - Recipe by Amy Koch



  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (or pull them off a pre-roasted bird)
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped fine
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of red grapes, quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped flat-leafed parsley




  • 1/2 cup sour cream, we used low-fat
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, we used low-fat
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Bring the filling together in one bowl.  Combine the ingredients for the dressing in another.  Fold the dressing into the dry filling.  Lightly toast some rolls, like Ciabatta or Dutch Crunch, add some mixed greens.  Enjoy.  


Authordavid koch