A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘salad’

Pluot, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad

In Food, Recipes on August 6, 2013 at 11:20 pm

plum prosciutto salad


My friend Mia can always be counted upon to bring the most inspired dish to dinner and to have discovered the most awesome vintage lighting fixtures at last week’s flea market. And so it’s no accident that her food is every bit as inspired as her design aesthetic. This gorgeous salad is classic Mia. Use a handful of your favorite peppery and bitter greens, like arugula and radicchio, and slice up some stone fruit and prosciutto and toss with honey vinaigrette. The sweetness of the fruit and honey temper the bitter and spice of the lettuces, and prosciutto adds a richness that ties it all together.

Pluot, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

Serves 4

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 small stone fruit, such as pluots, plums or nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced

8 cups mixed greens such as arugula, dandelion greens, radicchio

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together first five ingredients. In a salad bowl, combine fruit, lettuces, prosciutto. Toss with dressing and serve.


Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta, Red Onion and Marjoram

In Food on July 26, 2012 at 9:54 am


I swear that I’m not on the Food52.com payroll. I’m just a woman obsessed. Food52’s Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta, Red Onion and Marjoram is the latest gospel I’m preaching. I love any dish that’s heavy on lemon zest since we have a prolific lemon tree in the back yard just begging to be zested into action.


I’ve been making this simple green bean salad once a week all summer, and it is fabulous with everything from grilled pork chops to burgers to roast chicken or on its own as the main event for lunch. It takes only a few minutes to prepare—four minutes to cook the green beans (though I like mine a little crunchier so I throw them in for two minutes), during which time you can slice some red onion and crumble a little feta. For the recipe, click HERE.

Chinese Chicken Salad

In Food, Recipes on July 19, 2012 at 9:03 am


My dad’s mother was an elegant woman who used to take in fashion shows at Bullocks Wilshire, followed by a ladies lunches in the adjoining Tea Room. In those days, Chinese Chicken Salad—a Southern California invention—was all the rage. Naturally, my grandmother had her own spin on the classic (thinly sliced mushrooms), and her recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad remains one of my all-time favorite meals. It makes for a perfect Saturday lunch and all the better if accompanied by a very cold glass of Chablis and a very good girlfriend or two.

Mama’s Chinese Chicken Salad

For the salad:

2 cups canola oil

12 wonton skins, sliced

2-3 sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded

1 head romaine lettuce, sliced

2 green onions, chopped

3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

½ cup toasted slivered almonds

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


For the dressing:

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons agave nectar

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

Heat about 2 cups canola until it reaches 375. Fry wonton slices for about 45 secs, or until crispy and golden, remove with slotted spoon and then drain on paper towels.
Add wontons and remaining salad ingredients to large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together dressing ingredients and then toss with salad. Serve.

Dinner Party in Less Than Two Hours

In Food on February 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm
Friday afternoon I had a last-minute work meeting that ended sometime in the 4 o’clock hour, putting me back at home closer to 5 pm. Guests would be arriving—with illegal Chinese ham—at 7:30 pm. Two of these guests would be food bloggers, which kind of freaked me out. Pressure was on. And one of these guests would be 33 weeks pregnant so I didn’t want to take my chances with shellfish. And so, I did what any pork lover in her right mind would do. I served more pork. This Herb-Roasted Pork Loin could not be easier and presentation is sooo pretty. Simply mix up a little dijon, chopped shallots and minced garlic and smooth over the roast. Set roast on a bed of herbs, and cover with some more and let it do its thing for a couple hours while you go into high gear on the sides.
This roast also means that you’ll be able to hang out with your guests rather than fussing last minute—it comes out of the oven picture perfect and so damn good.
So while the roast was roasting, I made up a batch of Suzanne Goin’s salsa verde with French feta that takes about two seconds in a mini Cuisinart (a bunch of Italian parsley, fresh marjoram, basil, anchovy, olive oil, lemon juice—blend it up and then add chopped capers and crumbled French feta). I took another page out of Goin’s book for her awesome salad of blood oranges, dates, parmesan, and almonds that she served at the SAG Awards last weekend. And because this evening was designed around the contraband ham I broke out a little contraband of my own: I drizzled some smuggled South African olive oil over the salad. (The recipe calls for almond oil, but the olive oil was plenty dreamy.)
Also, I pulled out one of my favorite quickie sides—an onion and Gruyère tart—using a secret WEAPON: frozen puff pastry from the supermarket. I’ll post that recipe tomorrow, but here’s a pic of the tart. I usually use bacon or lardons, but given our heavy handedness with the pork already, I went with cured black olives instead.
And because I had the time and the ingredients, I made a super-fast batch of tuna rillettes from Dorie Greenspan’s new Around My French Table cookbook to nibble along with the contraband ham. Recipe to come, but wouldn’t these make a great hostess gift?
Finally, I’m cheating just a little when I say I had dinner ready in less than two hours. Because I didn’t make dessert. Fittingly, since I’d borrowed from Suzanne Goin at every turn on Friday night, my friend Robyn brought “Snickers Bars” from the Larder at Tavern in Brentwood and some vanilla ice cream. There are no words. Well, maybe just two: THANK YOU!

All About Eve

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on August 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm

This weekend we hit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery again, this time to see All About Eve on the big screen. Obviously we had to knock back a few stiff Gibsons (see above clip!), made with Tipsy Onions, which are packaged in French Vermouth. You cannot believe how great this savory cocktail tastes with our friend Matt’s epic Crabbies:

Delicious! As were Mr. Foodinista’s Sweet Soy Grilled Short Ribs:

And Lizzie‘s and my salads, a Crunchy Noodle Salad and Super Slaw respectively, were perfect peanut-y, gingery complements to the ribs.

But the pièce de résistance? Check back tomorrow for Claire’s UNFORGETTABLE apple galette!!!!

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

In Food, Recipes on July 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm

The other night I got an email from my fabby friend Anne that said “we’re cookin’ with gas tonight. fresh rabbit with rosemary, garlic, little gems lettuces from farmers market with persian cucumbers and homemade buttermilk ranch.” Naturally I demanded photos. Anne indulged me and sent the above, along with a few snaps of the lapin marinating and oak chips soaking. I knew I had to SWF her. This morning my husband stopped at Puritan Poultry in the Farmer’s Market at Third/Fairfax, and had them cut up a rabbit into 8 pieces. More on that tomorrow. And me? I made a batch of Anne’s dressing. Mr. Foodinista took one taste and said “this is the kind of dressing you don’t want to share.” It’s that good.

Anne’s Buttermilk Ranch

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh chopped chives
1 teaspoon fresh chopped dill
Black pepper
Lemon juice to taste (about a teaspoon)

Mix buttermilk and mayo till smooth then add the rest of the ingredients. Let rest in fridge for an hour before serving.

Cheers to Cinco de Mayo

In Food on May 5, 2010 at 9:28 am

My in-laws are visiting from the East Coast and for their last night we are planning a Mexican-inspired feast to send them off in California style. For those of us who grew up in the Golden State, celebrating Cinco de Mayo is a matter of cultural pride. I took particular delight in celebrating Mexico’s victory over France when I was living in Paris a little over a decade ago. I grabbed a six pack of Stella Artois—Belgium’s answer to Corona, only Corona is much, much better—and a couple limes at the local Monoprix, and headed back to my little apartment on Rue Paul Bert. There, I shoved a ceremonial lime slice down the neck of a bottle of Stella, and sat with the windows open, smoking a cigarette and drinking a toast to my friends back home. It may have been the only time I truly savored a Stella.

So for tonight, Mr. Foodinista and I are putting together a menu of some of our favorites as follows. And, of course, margs. What will you be cooking up tonight? Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo Menu

Squash Blossom Quesadillas—I picked up a fistful of colorful squash blossoms on Monday at farmers market. I love them with a little creme fraîche, feta and cracked black pepper in a tortilla.

Salad with Spicy Lime and Avocado Vinaigrette—a recipe from my friend Jimmy Shaw at Loteria and a staple in our home. Love the spicy pumpkin seeds!

Red Beans and Rice with Salsa—Tiny G’s nanny is an excellent cook and learned all the Mexican classics from her mother-in-law. While Tiny G takes a power nap, she plans to make our kitchen smell awesome with tomatillos, chiles, garlic and onion simmering away. (Note: Tiny G’s nanny points out that the rice in this dish should be shorter grain than in the photo—and will be tonight!)

Grilled Carne Asada—Our neighbor Chris, an expert griller, turned Mr. Foodinista onto the carne asada from Liborio Market. Last year at our Guac Off, Mr. Foodinista grilled up something like 15 lbs of the stuff. And there were no leftovers.

And for dessert? In my fantasy world it’s Tres Leches Cake from Animal restaurant on Fairfax. OR the Banana Dulce de Leche Ice Cream from Milk on Beverly is muy delicioso.

Cooking Club with Lulu Powers

In Drink, Food on April 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Earlier this week, my friend Carrie invited me to her ultra-chic cooking club hosted by Sally Horchow (above, right). The group was honoring another member, Lulu Powers (above, left), and her fabby new book, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers. Lulu is a local celebrity, having catered for everyone from Madonna to Bill Clinton. Needless to say, the woman can cook. For Wednesday night’s cooking club, the theme was “breakfast for dinner” (a well-documented favorite around our house) and we all picked a recipe out of Lulu’s book. Check out the table Sally set with newspapers for a tablecloth (a decorating tip from Lulu), oranges for place card holders and mini boxed cereals as a centerpiece. Lulu says she likes to “buy newspapers from several cities, as well as a few tabloids for fun (otherwise known as my “periodicals”)! Whenever I throw a brunch like this, I find that everyone really starts talking about world events and reading from the papers and starting friendly debates, which makes it like a morning roundtable.”

Okay, now for the food. Let’s start with Sally, who made a killer vegetable herb frittata that was the hit of the evening. A word about the photo below. Sally is standing next to a photo of her grandmother, Fay Pfeifer, who was a finalist in the Flour Division of the 1970 Pillsbury Bake Off for her Toffee Treasure Cake, which Sally describes as “more coffee cake than dessert, though made with Heath Bars – and progressive for that year because of her use of the bundt pan! She was from Little Rock, Arkansas, and every cook in my family has a book of her recipes called ‘Our FAYvorites.’ ”

Here’s a close-up of the frittata, and reason alone to buy the book.

Carrie made Lulu’s Granola for party favors plus a bowl for nibbling, and Stacy made awesome Chocolate Banana Bread with ice cream for dessert (sadly I don’t have a photo) as well Lulu’s Body Scrub made with coffee and lavender, which she put in these little canisters from Cost Plus. I’m keeping mine by our kitchen sink as it’s great for softening hands and smells divine.

As for the rest of the lineup, Sally also did Spicy English Breakfast Sausage Rolls; Alix made Green Salad with Orange Cilantro Dressing; Jess made Mini Turkey Breakfast Patties; Megan did Sugar-Crusted Raspberry Muffins; Nicky brought Cheddar and Ham Biscuits; I brought a Fruit Salad with Rosemary Syrup; and Lulu arrived with a tray of Bloody Mary fixings. Here’s a taste:

A seriously fun evening where the company was every bit as delicious as the food!

Lemon-Roasted Chicken with Fava Beans, Radishes and Pecorino

In Food on April 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm

On Saturday night I tried a great roast chicken recipe, and was reminded that fava beans are a royal pain in the neck. I mean, seriously: shell, blanch, drain, ice, drain, shell again. Talk about high maintenance. But even so, fava beans are worth it. Almost. I used this excellent recipe for Fava Beans, Radishes and Pecorino from chef Ryan Hardy of the Little Nell in Aspen, Co., as inspiration, though my proportions were wildly different based on the fact that I ended up with a fraction of the favas I thought my haul would yield. That is soooo fava. To make salad, just tear up some mint, Italian parsely, celery leaves and toss herbs and shelled/blanched/drained/iced/drained/shelled fava beans with some arugula, sliced radishes, grated pecorino, and drizzle with a little lemon juice and olive oil.

Hardy’s method for the accompanying lemon-roasted chicken is fabulous, and while I wouldn’t roast a chicken this way every time, I’ll certainly be adding this citrusy bird into rotation—particularly during springtime. For this juicy and zesty version, stuff lemon slices between the skin and the breast. Then, after seasoning cavity with some salt + pepper, place a chopped lemon, some fresh rosemary and oregano in the cavity of the bird.

The bird then gets brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with a little more s&p, and then put into a 400-degree oven to roast for about 55 minutes, or until skin is crispy. We all loved this bird, and will be inviting it back to the table very soon. Favas? Perhaps next year, after I will have once more forgotten how much work they are.

Spice Up My Salad

In Food, Recipes on March 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

Believe me when I say this Spicy Lime and Avocado Vinaigrette will change your life. The recipe comes from Jimmy Shaw of Loteria, and he generously shared it with Bon Appétit last September. I made this salad to take to a neighbor’s barbecue (it is an undisputed fact that our neighbor Chris grills the best carne asada in town—any town) and promised to share the recipe. Don’t get scared by the number of ingredients. It all comes together pretty quickly (especially if you use cayenne for pepitas instead of toasting & grinding peppers), but warning: this salad disappears just as fast.


9 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced peeled seeded avocado
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup unsalted shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile

To make vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.


4 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup unsalted shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Finely grind chiles in small spice mill or in mortar with pestle. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and stir until evenly toasted (seeds will pop), about 5 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with sugar, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon chile de árbol powder. Toss to coat. Transfer pumpkin seeds to bowl and cool.


1 5-ounce package mixed baby greens
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, sliced
1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1 medium jicama, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices, then 1/3-inch sticks
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled cotija cheese or feta cheese (about 7 ounces)

To assemble salad, place greens in very large bowl. Add avocados, tomatoes, cucumber, jicama, and onion. Toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and spicy pepitas.