Apple Harvest Salad with Maple-Balsamic Dressing

Maple Salad DressingCook’s notes: I made this salad recently for a Grilled Cheese Housewarming Party. The hosts asked everyone to bring a kind of grilled cheese sandwich or a compatible dish. It’s a pretty salad … and it goes well with grilled cheese. The recipe is easily cut in half.

6 cups mixed green lettuce
6 cups butter lettuce
1 Braeburn apple, cored and diced
1 Granny smith apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds

Maple-Balsamic Dressing
1 cup olive oil
6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-sealing lid. Close the lid firmly and shake vigorously to combine.



Pear & Chickpea Salad with Lemon Dressing

pearchickpeasaladlemon dressing: whisk together

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried scallion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper



  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 ripe pear, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon dressing (above)

Tip from Love and Lemons: In a small bowl, toss the chickpeas with a bit of the dressing and some salt and pepper. Marinating the chickpeas for a few minutes helps them become more flavorful.

Toss all of the salad ingredients together with as much dressing as you like. Season to taste. Add a bit more feta cheese, if you like.

Adapted from Pear & Arugula Chickpea Salad Recipe – Love and Lemons

Spiralized Cucumber Salad

IMG_0865Cook’s notes: This refreshing salad is good for hot summer days. We brought the components to a dinner party so guests could choose if they wanted olives or cheese in their salads.

Top butter lettuce leaves with:

  • Spiralized English cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Black olive slices
  • Crumbled feta cheese

Dressing: Best Recipe: Small Batch Italian Dressing (make a double recipe)


3-2-1 Salad

IMG_0743Cook’s notes: This recipe is loosely inspired by the “Build your own salad” at Bruegger’s Bagels. Their menu says “choose 3 veggies, 1 meat [protein], 1 cheese & 1 topping, tossed with field greens & the dressing of your choice.” I have simplified this to the following formula:

  • 3 vegetables
  • 2 cups (60 g) mixed greens and lettuce
  • 1 protein: 3 oz. lean chicken or 3 oz. drained tuna or 1/2 cup canned beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 topping/extra: a sprinkle of cheese (up to 1 oz.); 3 to 6 olives; 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds, nuts, or dried cranberries; or croutons if you like them
  • Dressing of your choice, up to 2 Tablespoons

Shown here:

  • 3 vegetables: Shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups mixed baby greens
  • 1 protein: 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 1 topping: 1 Tablespoon unsalted sunflower seeds
  • Buttermilk ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt (recipe from Ellie Krieger)

Best Recipe: Turkey Taco Salad


An amazing flavor combination, but not too spicy

Cook’s notes: This recipe is adapted from Alaska from Scratch, and it’s just terrific. The turkey mixture is enough for 6 servings. Leftovers are great for lunch. Note that the raw garlic in the dressing gets more pungent overnight. This salad has an excellent combination of flavors and textures, and the recipe is quite flexible.

Make the turkey mixture and the dressing, then assemble salads. You can also top them with a spoonful of guacamole.


Turkey mixture:
1 lb. (16 oz.) package ground turkey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Arizona Dreaming chili spice blend (from Penzeys)
1 can (14.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15.25 oz.) organic corn kernels, drained

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the turkey with salt and taco seasoning and brown the meat, breaking it up with a spatula as you go. When cooked through, add the black beans and corn, heating through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or taco seasoning, as needed, to taste.

Cilantro Ranch Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice [half a lime]
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Assemble the salads (per person):

  • 3 oz. mixed greens
  • 1 oz. slightly crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup turkey, bean, and corn mixture
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 scallion, chopped
  • Cilantro Ranch dressing to taste
  • Salsa, if desired

Best Recipe: Pumpkin-Garlic Salad Dressing

Cook’s notes: I used a strong garlic clove, about the equivalent of 3 small cloves, from the farmer’s market and was very happy with the results. This is an excellent salad dressing, and a good way to use up leftover canned pumpkin. I found it was creamy enough without adding mayo, and I reduced the amount of sugar.

As the original recipe noted, this dressing is just terrific on a salad with chopped romaine lettuce and diced Granny Smith apple. It’s also great on roasted broccoli.

The garlic preparation method from Jo Robinson, who says to “chop, mince, slice, or mash the garlic and then keep it away from the heat for 10 minutes” for maximum health benefits. I highly recommend Robinson’s book Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health (link). As Valerie Phillips (link) says, “‘Chop, then stop’ or ‘Crush, don’t rush’ is the new health mantra for garlic lovers.”

1 large garlic clove, about 3 teaspoons when minced
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
3 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Prepare garlic with the “press and rest” method: run the garlic clove through a garlic press and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Put all ingredients in a 2-cup jar with tight lid. Shake vigorously to blend. Makes 1 cup of dressing. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator.
Adapted slightly (reduced sugar; eliminated mayo) from a recipe on the Worth the Whisk blog, with additional research into garlic methodology


Basic Italian-style mixed green salad

Cook’s notes: This is a basic mixed green salad with some interesting elements. I was looking for a “mixed green salad” for dinner parties that wasn’t just lettuce, carrots, tomato, and cucumber. You may find that the salad doesn’t even need dressing, due to the marinated peppers and avocado.

10-oz. (minimum) package mixed salad greens
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
Cherry tomatoes (or 1 ripe on-the-vine tomato, chopped)
6 Greek pepperoncini peppers (or other diced marinated peppers)
6-oz. can sliced black olives
Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Combine the salad greens with avocado, tomato, peppers, and olives in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Recommended dressing: Garlic vinaigrette