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August 6, 2013

Recipe for lemon caper broccoli slaw salad {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Lemon caper broccoli slaw salad.

If I have to admit to a fast food crush, I'll cop to broccoli slaw. It's not fast food like drive-through burgers and fries, but it makes for super fast, vegetable rich cooking in my kitchen. A big bowl of lemons on the counter inspired this summery lemon caper broccoli slaw salad. The most time-consuming part of the recipe, which really takes no time at all, is opening the package of store-bought broccoli slaw, rinsing it under cool water, and spinning it dry in a salad spinner. (Don't have a salad spinner? Put your rinsed broccoli slaw inside a clean pillow case, take it outside, and swing it around over your head. The slaw will be dry, and you'll get a nice little shower.) Combine the rest of the zesty ingredients for the dressing, toss in the broccoli slaw, and you're done. Give the dressing a few minutes to tenderize the broccoli without making it mushy. If you happen to have leftover cooked chicken or shrimp, add that to the salad, which turns a perky side dish into a satisfying main course.

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August 1, 2013

Recipe for lentil and chicken salad with raisins and feta cheese {gluten-free}

Lentils, chicken, raisins and feta: a meal in a bowl.

Lately, it's been too hot to turn on the oven or tend anything cooking on the stove. In our house, salads rule. However, not every salad begins with lettuce. This lentil and chicken salad, bumped up with chunks of crisp cucumber, sweet raisins and salty feta cheese, defines the kind of meal-in-a-bowl dishes we love, and because there's no mayonnaise, it's perfect for picnics or potluck. If your market sells pre-cooked lentils (in airtight packages, in the produce section of the store), and rotisserie chicken, this salad becomes a very easy assembly job. If you're cooking lentils and grilling a chicken breast, it's still a quick and easy summer lunch or supper. You can make the salad several hours ahead, and store in the refrigerator until it's time to serve.

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July 28, 2013

Kosher salt (Recipe: Moroccan eggplant salad) {vegan, gluten-free}

First published in May 2007, this updated ingredient post features new photos, link, and tweaks to the recipe. The eggplant salad, taught to me by a neighbor who grew up in Morocco and owned our local dry cleaning shop, is perfect for summer, when both eggplant and tomatoes come straight from the garden.

Moroccan eggplant salad with tomatoes and fresh herbs.

Is kosher salt, the darling of chefs and cookbook authors, just another flaky food fashion?

Is it saltier than table salt, better for health or baking or taste?

Is all kosher salt the same?

Is it even kosher?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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July 23, 2013

Recipe for salmon and greens salad with buttermilk lemon-thyme dressing {gluten-free}

Salmon and greens salad with buttermilk lemon thyme dressing.

One of the mainstays of summer dining, main course salads showcase what's in season, and if you're clever and have a well-stocked pantry, you can serve the same fresh ingredients over and over, while changing the flavor completely with fresh herbs and dressings. Case in point: this salmon and greens salad with buttermilk lemon-thyme dressing. It takes inspiration from my very favorite green salad, the one with nectarines and olives and our house vinaigrette dressing, crossed with another favorite, maple glazed salmon salad. Same primary ingredients -- salmon, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and greens -- remixed with a dose of tang from buttermilk and lemon. No one will catch on.

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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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