Archive for Salad Recipes

Grape it up! This crispy green salad is chock full of antioxidants and a delightful blend of textures thanks to it’s smooth and creamy dressing and toasty crunchy walnuts.

From the very talented Chef Scott Boswell, owner and Executive Chef of Stella! and Stanley restaurants in New Orleans.

Spinach and Grape Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette from Chef Scott Boswell

1 1/4 cups small spinach leaves or other fresh greens (rinsed and dried)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
20 red California seedless grapes
20 green California seedless grapes
2 tablespoons toasted half walnuts, crumbled slightly (Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 4 minutes at 350 degrees F. Gently crumble walnuts after they have cooled.)

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette:
(makes 3 cups)
8 ounces blue cheese
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth and form a loose paste.

Gently toss the spinach leaves in extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

For a special presentation, Chef Boswell likes to spread the vinaigrette dressing (about 1/3 cup) on the bottom of the plate and arrange the grapes in a decorative pattern on top. The grapes can be left whole but, at his award-winning restaurant Stella!, Chef Boswell cuts the ends off of each grape so they are a uniform size and can be stood up on end in a checkerboard or mosaic pattern. The grapes are then garnished with the toasted walnuts and baby spinach leaves or other fresh greens.

Categories : Salad Recipes
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Martha Stewart and Chef Cristeta Comerford

Recently, Martha Stewart visited the White House and spent some time with White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford.   Here is the part we love: Cristeta has held the White House executive chef title since 2005, is the first female chef to be selected for the position, and is also the first chef of Filipino descent in the White House.

We were thrilled to open our email and find this!  The delicious staff from the Martha Stewart Show have shared two of chef Cristeta’s recipes with us, healthy comfort food favorites of the Obama’s.  The first is a turkey vegetable lasagna, and the second a winter green salad with crunchy goodness:  apple and spiced walnuts.   Give them a try and play president for a day!


Cristeta Comerford, white house chef

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh ground turkey
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, crushed
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
16 cooked lasagna noodles
15 ounces low-fat ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
2 pounds fresh spinach, washed, but not dried
1 pound low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion
and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add
ground turkey and cook for about 10 minutes. Add plum tomatoes, tomato
paste, and season with salt and pepper; let simmer until thickened, about 20
minutes. Stir in basil and parsley; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, ½ cup parmesan cheese, and
egg; season with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. Place damp spinach in a large skillet over medium heat; cook
until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Ladle one-quarter of the turkey mixture into a 9-by-13-inch
baking dish; spread to cover. Add a pasta sheet, one-third of the
mozzarella, one-third of the ricotta mixture, one-third of the spinach
mixture and another quarter of the turkey mixture. Repeat process two more
times; top with remaining sheet of past. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup Parmesan
over top; transfer to oven. Bake until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.

6. Let stand about 5 minutes before cutting; serve.


Cristeta Comerford, white house chef

1 pound mixed winter greens, such as chicory, frisee, tatsoi, spinach, or
½ fresh fennel bulb, thinly sliced crosswise
1 Granny Smith apple, julienned
1 cup Spiced Walnuts (recipe follows)
½ cup White House Honey-Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Place greens, fennel, apple, and walnuts in a large bowl; add vinaigrette
and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


Cristeta Comerford, white house chef

1 cup walnut halves
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon store-bought Cajun spice mix

Toast walnuts in a medium skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 5
minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and cook, tossing nuts, until sugar is
melted. Season with Cajun spice; remove from heat and let cool.


Recipe origin: Cristeta Comerford, white house chef

½ cup honey
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 shallot, minced
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar, lemon juice, and onion.
Slowly whisk in olive oil to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper.

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Papaya Salad From The Tonga Room

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If you have not been to the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco you must put it on your list! It’s a gorgeous historic hotel in the Nob Hill area, with stunning architecture and amazing service. Does your wallet say “no” to decadence? If it’s not financially possible to dine or book a room there, say yes to this: affordable alternatives include an afternoon tea service or cocktail in the elegant Laurel Court Bar. We spent several hours there sipping while people watching, highly recommended!

Today, the fabulous chefs from the Tonga Room Restaurant in the SF Fairmont have shared with us a healthy delicious recipe. It’s an exotic Asian green papaya salad with chili garlic dressing topped with honey roasted peanuts. Enjoy!

Papaya Salad
Papaya Salad
The Tonga Room Restaurant, Fairmont Hotel San Francisco
Serves 6

Sweet Garlic & Chili Dressing:

• 1 tbsp minced garlic
• ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
• 3 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tbsp minced ginger
• 1 tbsp dry mustard
• ¼ cup sweet chili sauce
• 2 cups canola oil
• salt and pepper to taste

Candied Peanuts:

• 2 lbs peanuts
• 1 cup honey
• ½ cup water
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 tbsp of salt
• 1 tbsp cayenne pepper


• 1 green papaya peeled & julienne (cut 1/8″ X 1/8″ X 1 ½”)
• 4 scallions chopped
• 1 carrot julienned
• 1 red bell pepper julienne
• ¼ lb rice noodles cooked al dente
• 1 heart of romaine lettuce chopped

Sweet Garlic & Chili Dressing:

• Mince ginger and garlic.
• Place in blender with the sweet chili sauce, vinegar, lime juice and dry mustard.
• Blend ingredients and slowly add oil and emulsify.

Candied Peanuts:

• First roast peanuts until golden brown.
• Then put peanuts in a thick bottom stock pot over medium heat.
• Add honey, salt, sugar, water, and cayenne and cook for 3 minutes constantly stir.
• When done pour onto a sheet pan with parchment paper and let them cool.
• Once they are cooled rough chop them in a food processor.


• Mix ingredients with ¼ cup of dressing and 3 tablespoons of candied peanuts in a bowl and serve.
• Garnish with the candied peanuts.