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June 10, 2014

Greek shrimp, feta, lemon and basil couscous salad

Greek shrimp, feta, lemon and basil salad recipe: all the wonderful flavors of Greece. #salad #couscous #shrimp

The combination of flavors in this salad -- feta, lemon, basil, olives -- transports the armchair traveler in me to a taverna in Greece, where I imagine myself sitting at a round iron-legged café table overlooking the Mediterranean, sipping ouzo in the low afternoon sun. Luckily, this simple summer recipe tastes every bit as good if you're enjoying it on your own front porch. Israeli couscous -- not Greek, but from the other side of the Mediterranean -- is a small pasta that's toasted, which gives it a firm texture; if you can't find it in your market, use regular couscous, fregula sarda, or orzo or another small pasta. The lemon dressing gets its balance from Greek seasoning, a blend of oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper I discovered a few years ago on a visit to The Spice House in Chicago. The basil in this salad came from my own herb garden, the first aromatic leaves of the season. Greece is lovely, but home can be quite tasty, too.

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May 20, 2014

Seven super salad recipes for holiday BBQ and potluck

Corn and black bean salad with sweet lime dressing. #salad #vegan #glutenfree

When I'm hosting a party, it's never a potluck. I guess this marks me as a control freak, but when I'm organizing a meal, I like to know what will be on the table. However, invite me to bring a dish to a barbecue or potluck, and I'll happily oblige. A few basic questions (main dish or side salad? food allergies or aversions?) help me select a recipe to make. This summer, if you invite me, you'll likely get one of these seven super salads (a few are sides, and a few are main dish salads) for your holiday meal.

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May 4, 2014

Quinoa rainbow salad with asparagus, feta and orange-tarragon vinaigrette {vegetarian, gluten-free}, and my brand new cookbook

Quinoa-rainbow-salad-recipe

I'm sorry, but I cannot wait one more minute. Asparagus, I must have you, even though it won't really be harvest season for another couple of weeks here in Rhode Island. This recipe for gluten-free quinoa rainbow salad, with pieces of lightly-blanched asparagus, bell pepper and feta cheese, wrapped in an orange-tarragon dressing, comes from my new book, Dress Up Your Salad. After making the salad a few times to test and photograph the recipe, I can't stop thinking about it.

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April 29, 2014

Recipe for shrimp and black bean salad with chipotle-lime dressing {gluten-free}

Shrimp and black bean salad, kicked up with chipotle lime dressing! #salad #shrimp #glutenfree

Never underestimate the power of color to inspire what we cook. I'd been working nonstop on my new e-book (Dress Up Your Salad, available now!), and testing lots of salad dressings and salad combinations. One day a few weeks ago, while my kitchen overflowed with jars, and herbs, and prepped ingredients, I took a break and treated myself to a little spree at my favorite local discount store, where I found this bowl. You know the rest: bowl meets black beans meets gorgeous red bell pepper meets kicked-up chipotle lime salad dressing. The shrimp were a bonus, and absolutely perfect, but you could swap in some shredded rotisserie chicken if that's what you have on hand. Go ahead and add some chopped avocado, cold cooked rice, or sliced onion, too. This is a light main-course salad to celebrate the arrival of Spring, and it will carry you straight through summer picnic season.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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