Category Archives: salad

Not your grandma’s Cabbage Slaw

I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking the same thing. Cabbage coleslaw? Bleeeccch! Well this version couldn’t really be further from Bleeeccch! This is another fantastic recipe from the fabled Marissa. I know many of you have never seen her. Maybe she doesn’t exist… but if you believe she just might. Anyway, this is the stuff if you need a nice fresh summery/fallish/ really anytime salad and are tired of the boring old greens and with Newman’s Own dressing you usually make. Yeah, I’m watching you. Let’s spice it up. I can hear your hunger from here.

1 Head of red cabbage
1/2 Red pepper
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion
4 carrots grated.
3/4 juice of lemon
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp oregano
4-5 Tbsps olive oil

batterjunkie-1 The details of this slaw are inconsequential, it’s not hard to make. It is however hard to make correctly. Thinly chop the red cabbage, red peppers and onions. Grate those carrots and toss them all in bowl. The thin-ness of the chop seems to regulate taste, the thinner the better. Now mix in the other ingredients and in just a few minutes, you’re done!batterjunkie-2Let this mother sit for a while so that the flavors can really marry. This is really the key to making it good!

Thanks Marissa!


Katarina’s Summer Pasta Salad

A few years ago I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of a lovely, sharp, boisterous, amazing German girl by name of Katarina. She often made this salad for barbeques and I can’t make it without thinking of her living with us that summer in Seattle. This is always a hit at parties because not only does it taste amazing, it will feed the Bundeswehr (an army).

This recipe serves: about 10 people (unless Tyler is there.)

2 bags Tortellini—cheese or pesto filling is fine.
1 pint or more cherry tomatoes or use grape tomatoes
1 cup Kalamata olives
1 red bell pepper
2 bunches green onions
1 small container feta cheese

1 cup low fat sour cream
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
lemon juice from about 1/4 lemon
1 tbsp. pesto and/or fresh basil
salt & pepper

This recipe is EASY and wonderful. If you use the precooked tortellini you’re really not even trying. Come on! And you call yourself a cook?

Anyway I usually grab two -three bags of Trader Joe’s dry Tortellini and boil that up for about 10-12 minutes. Once that is done, set it aside and let it cool off. It’s too sexy for the salad right now. It needs a cold shower and Quaalude. While it is cooling prepare everything else.

Halve the tomatoes and olives, chop the red pepper and green onions all into a bowl.

In another bowl mix the sour cream, garlic, olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, pesto/basil and salt & pepper to taste. I know this looks like you might be doing some animal husbandry but stick with it.

Now toss it all together in a large bowl. Add in the feta cheese crumbling all the way.

It will be a colorful amazing mess of yum! Anddddddd….you’re done. I told you it was easy.

Make this one for your favorite people. I know when I make it, I think of Katarina!

This one’s for you Katinka :)


Goat Cheese and Pear Salad with Fig vinaigrette

In the spirit of getting healthy, here is a tasty salad recipe. I found this on cooking light, a fantastic little site that helps us all have slightly less weighty meals. Kim and I were yet again pressed for time because of our strict schedule of eating chocolate and watching movies so this was the perfect dish. It is hearty but doesn’t take too long to make.


6 cups mixed salad greens (Romain, arugula whatever strikes your fancy)
1-1/2 cups thinly, sliced, pear (leave the skin on for flavor)
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
5 dried figs chopped up
6 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
2 garlic cloves minced

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Make sure to chop the figs to pieces and cut off their dignity (stems). Then further humiliate them by tossing them in a small saucepan over high heat with balsamic vinegar.  Once the mixture boils, lower heat and simmer until the total amount of liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.

 If you have one, pour your shamed fig mixture into a blender with the water and fresh lemon juice and process until smooth. If you don’t have a blender, man, I don’t know what to tell. Just whisk that puppy up with a fork.

In a bowl pour the blended fig mixture in with shallots, thyme, crushed garlic, olive oil and salt.  Stir it up like your dinner depended on it. Well it does.

Thinly slice your pear, leaving the skin on. We wouldn’t want the pear to feel nude, or would we? 

Place 1 cup of greens on each plate. Now put a little pear and goat cheese hat on each serving and drizzle the vinaigrette like it’s a hot oil message. “Yes you little greens are going to love this. I’m just gonna drizzle this on and then mix it in. Uh! Ju look sooo yummy.” Sorry, sometimes I get carried away and channel my inner Puerto Rican drag queen. He would say something like that. 

Serve and you have a happy table.
I can’t actually tell what expression that is, Kim.


Labels: Salad, main, goat cheese,

Goat cheese spinach "impress-your-friends" salad.

This one of those “where did you get that recipe?” kind of salads. You know when you take it somewhere and everyone thinks you’re Juila Child or Betty Crocker or Huge Hefner, which of course I get a lot (the younger Huge). I think you will love the way this tastes and the way your reputation skyrockets because of it. But you don’t have to take my word for it, I got this recipe with a few changes from

2 cups washed Spinach
4-5 Large Strawberries, sliced
Handful Seasoned walnuts or pecans ( or plain if you want)
Goat Cheese (I put about two Tbsps on each serving)

Walnut seasoning:
1/4 cup water
1/8 or 1/4 cup sugar (I use 1/8 because I don’t like them so sweet)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/8 tsp ground pepper

1 clove garlic (chopped up)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp. virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp basil, or oregano or both (dried is fine but fresh is way better)

At first glance this may seem like a difficult recipe but do not be dissuaded. It is quite simple and will simply impress anyone for whom you make it.

untitled-7949  First, wash your Spinach (you can use other greens if you like) dry it and put it in a salad bowl. Add sliced strawberries and begin work on the walnuts.untitled-7950In a small sauce pan, place the walnuts and then ingredients of the seasoning. Simmer over medium heat until most of the water has evaporated. If you don’t have all of those spices it’s OK. I just used cinnamon, salt and pepper the first time I made and it turned out fine. Hence the optional on the nutmeg and cloves.

Set the walnuts aside to cool. While the nuts are cooling it’s time to make the dressing. (Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)

The dressing is simple. In a glass of some sort, mix all the ingredients. Chop your herbs if you are using the fresh variety and mix it all together. Once you’re done, those nuts ought to be good and cooled off by now. If they’re still too hot for you, just give those nuts a little blow.

Mix the nuts and the dressing with the spinach and strawberries and viola! Perfect salad. For the finishing touch, sever them in bowls and place some goat cheese on the top.untitled-7951If you’re looking for something to seal the deal of a relationship, this just might be your dish. I have heard that it works on both sexes equally well.


Labels: Salad, goat cheese, strawberries

Fresh Thai Salad Rolls and Peanut dippin’ sauce

I don’t care what mis/pre/immaculate/conceptions you may have about Thailand but I will tell you this: the food lives up to the hype. Back in 2001we had the good fortune to travel in this amazing country. We ate fresh, flavorful and most of all, spicy as hell, food for one glorious week. Upon our departure my parents left me in the Bangkok airport to fend for myself before continuing on to Spain. Even the airport had great food. Yeah, it’s that awesome there.  This is a recipe that I deconstructed from a little place called East West cafe in Tacoma of all places. I know that is embarrassing but you can see it from the freeway so, no harm no foul.

The sauce is a soon-to-be-no-longer secret recipe developed by the Carroll family, and our Thai ancestors.
This is the longest intro ever, so lets get started.

The final product

Rice or tapioca paper wrappers
3-4 carrots
1 bag thin rice or bean thread noodles
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 bag of bean sprouts
2-3 heads of Romain lettuce (in Spain I discovered you can get baby Romain heads, they are perfect)
2-3 Tbls soy sauce
1 cup peanut butter (I use Adams)
1 cup chicken broth
4 Tbls chopped ginger (or as much as you can stand)

This is a labor of love. These little wraps of wonderment are so yummy, but you may be disappointed with how fast they disappear. I find that they are best to make when many people are around and that’s just what we did here.

First, let’s make the sauce so we can allow it to cool a little.

In a sauce pan over medium heat combine the soy sauce, peanut butter, broth and ginger. Stir for about 5 minutes until thick and remove from heat. Easy sauce, huh? Well, you’re about to make up for it with the wraps.

To make the salad rolls I usually clear a large work surface and set it up like an assembly line, each ingredient separated from the other. Then you can have your friends help.

To prepare, wash all of your vegetables well, grate the carrots, and separate the leaves from the mint and cilantro. In a large pot boil enough water to cover the thin rice noodles. Remove the pot from heat and put your rice noodles into the pot. Let them sit for about 2 minutes. If they are soft, drain them into a colander (strainer) and set them in a bowl. (At least that is what I think it says to do on the bag. I’m not sure because it is all in Chinese but it seems to work.)

Now you’re ready. Boil some water. Pour about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of a large sauce pan.

From here the lovely Rana will demonstrate the assembly process:

1) Place one of the rice wrappers into the water. Be careful! That was just boiling. Leave it in for only about 10 seconds or less. This will soften the wrapper. Remove and lay it out on the counter.

2) Place a large segment of lettuce on top of the wrapper and place small amount of all of the ingredients into it.

3) Pull the lettuce to the edge closest to you and begin rolling up the wrap.

4) When you get about half way, fold in the sides so they seal the ends. Then continue rolling it up.

5) Repeat steps 1-4 until you run out of motivation or rice wrappers.

Once you have a tray full of these, dip them in the peanut sauce and enjoy. They are great appetizers but we often eat them as a dinner.

Check out what happened when we made them last time:

Labels: Thai, salad, appetizer, dinner, dip,

Caprese Salad

To kick off our summer “health run” I give you one of the finest gifts Italia ever gave the world, the caprese salad.

Long ago there was an Italian family in the Campania region pondering the omnivore’s dilemma, what to have for dinner. All they had in their garden were, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella (ok so they probably made the mozzarella but that’s not the point). Rather than eat these seemingly benign ingredients by themselves, dona (insert-italian-surname-here) said “why not put them together?” A culinary star was born.


2 large tomatoes
20 basil leaves
10 slices of mozzarella cheese (buffalo mozzarella if you are of the posh persuasion)

olive oil
balsamic vinegar (optional)
This recipe is extremely difficult and requires precies cutting skills so pay close attention. Cut the tomatoes into rounds and wash the basil leaves. Now arrange them on a plate starting with a tomato and then alternating between basil, cheese, and then back to the tomato.

Pour olive oil and vinegar (if you’ve opted for it) over the top. Dust with salt and pepper and serve. Whew, we made it. That is literally it. Serve with red wine and some appropriate main dish.

Lables: salad, appetizer, Italian

You won’t ever need another Caesar Salad

I started making this about a year ago. It tastes like Jesus and Buddha got together and made their favorite dish. Give this to anyone you love, want to love, or at least you want to talk into staying the night. I guarantee that there will be smiles, unless or course your guests have lost their sense of taste.

The first thing to do is get your ingredients together:


6 tablespoons safflower oil (or any cooking oil)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (substitute balsamic vinegar if you don’t have Worcestershire)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg, coddled


1 french bread baguette cut into 1/2 cubes
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (again balsamic works)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 large head of lettuce, rinsed dried and ripped into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

The dressing should be made first because, well, it’s easier.  In a glass jar or bowl mix all of the dressing ingredients.

To coddle the egg bring a few inches of water to a boil. Carefully lower the egg into the boiling water. Immediately, remove the pan from heat. Leave the egg in the water for 1-2 minutes. Remove the egg and let it cool for a few minutes. Break the egg open and pour it into a bowl. Whip it! up with a whisk like you mean it. Pour the egg into the dressing mixture. Viola! you have made your own Caesar salad dressing.

To make the croutons, mix the bread, melted butter, Italian herbs, Worcestershire sauce, and grated cheese in a fry pan over medium heat. Toss them around until they look crispy and yummified. If you really like them crispy, put them in a 135 degree C (275 F) oven for about 20 mins. (That’s what I did)

Combine everything, dressing, croutons, and lettuce in a large, and I do mean large, bowl. Serve and watch the smiles explode on the faces of your guests.


Labels: main, salad, vegetarian

Black Bean Cilantro Orange Salad

This salad is an incredible side dish that makes you think of an evening on the Caribbean coast. If you need to eat fiber, hey, this the way to do it in style. The best thing, is that it takes a mere 15 minutes to prepare.
1 teaspoon of olive oil.
1/2 medium red onion cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 cup canned or soaked black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped up
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 medium oranges cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Heat the olive oil in a fry pan. Throw red onions into the pan and fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic and then beans. Sprinkle the cumin over the mixture. Simmer that beautiful combo of loveliness until it is heated through.

There, doesn’t that look amazingly scrumptious? Once your kitchen is filled with the smell of awesome, put the orange wedges in a bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, salt and pepper over the oranges.
Make sure you have chopped the cilantro a bit.
Now as the crescendo of flavor reaches its climax you must walk away for a few moments. What a pity. Let the onion mixture cool for a few minutes. It does not have to be cold or anything but it should not be right out of the pan. Now it’s time to unite these flavors that have been yearning to be together. Mix them all in a bowl and serve them to the happiest people you’ll ever see.

Kisses from Devo

Labels: salad, side