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December 15, 2013

Recipe for steak salad with Green Goddess dressing

Steak salad with Green Goddess dressing, from The Perfect Pantry.

My husband Ted loves to shop for the holidays at the very last minute, plunging headlong into the crowds and the traffic, relishing the long lines in every store. I don't understand it, but I accept that he approaches with glee that which, to me, is pure agony. Last-minute shopping -- on top of holiday parties, concerts, The Nutcracker and other seasonal delights -- does make these final few days of the month a wee bit crazy, so one of my strategies is to keep it simple, and flexible, in the kitchen. All of the components of this old-fashioned steak salad with Green Goddess dressing (which I made for the world's very best BLT sandwich) can be prepped way ahead. So, no matter how long the lines or how slow the traffic, I can have this beautiful main dish salad on the table in just a few minutes.

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October 24, 2013

Recipe for vegan Asian red cabbage slaw with peanuts, scallions and mint {vegan}

Vegan Asian red cabbage slaw with peanuts, scallions and mint.

Whenever I buy a head of red cabbage, I end up using just about half of it, for whatever quantity of whatever recipe I'm making. I'm not sure how or why that happens, but it's uncanny. So I found myself with half a head left after making chicken and cabbage salad, and with a few scallions and plenty of mint in my herb garden, this Asian slaw with peanuts, scallions and mint was the happy result. Miso (soybean paste) adds a layer of salty depth, and thickens the dressing. When you shop for it (in the refrigerated aisle of many markets now), look for a mild miso that's a light golden color. Rice vinegar acts as a tenderizer, so if you like your cabbage crunchy, don't dress the salad much more than 30 minutes before you're ready to serve. I love this slaw with grilled salmon (think of the colors). I think it would be a great side dish for Asian barbecued pork, too.

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October 10, 2013

Dijon mustard (Recipe: French potato salad) {vegan, gluten-free}

First published in October 2006, this updated ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. Consider this classic (and dairy-free) potato salad for your holiday table; it tastes best when made a few hours in advance, to allow the warm potatoes to absorb all of the tangy mustard dressing. And don't skimp on the parsley. It's not just a garnish here, but an integral ingredient.

French potato salad (dairy-free).

Who can forget the commercial — it ran on television forever — two limosines pull up next to each other, the windows silently roll down, and from one, an outstretched arm and a mellifluous voice, asking,

"Pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?"

"But of course," comes the disembodied reply from the other car.

The jar of dijon mustard changes hands, and we're left to believe that no self-respecting chauffeur-driven limosine would be without this most famous of condiments.

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October 8, 2013

Strawberry, kale and toasted almond Caesar salad recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Strawberry, kale and toasted almond Caesar salad.

Whether the idea for this salad originated with a neighbor's gift of some kale stalks, a few gorgeous strawberries in the refrigerator, or a bag of sliced almonds I found in the freezer when I was searching for walnuts, I really can't remember. What I do know is that the combination is magical: sweet strawberry, bitter kale and crunchy almonds, bound together with a yogurt-based vegetarian Caesar salad dressing. For the longest time, I never added fruit into green salads. I can't imagine why not, as the sweet bite of fruit really makes a salad pop. Strawberries are available year-round in my local markets. While they're not the same as garden-fresh berries, they're fine here, and the color brightens up my cold weather salads.

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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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