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Salads & Dressings

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If you haven't noticed already, I love sesame.  Love might actually be an understatement, "am obsessed with" might be closer to the truth.  I would rather have something with sesame in it for dessert than chocolate.  In fact, when Emma and I found a sesame bar recipe in Nawal Nasrallah's book Delights from the Garden of Eden, I felt like I was in heaven.  I could make sesame bars instead of brownies for the rest of my life!  Anyway, though it is not a new discovery, it truly is a constant in my life and I wanted to share- Tahini Salad Dressing.  In the Winter, I exchange my lettuces and salad greens for kale.  I found a great salad mix at Whole Foods that is kale already chopped up and ready to eat, which is perfect for meals when you are in a time crunch.  I make a tahini dressing by mixing tahini with a touch of olive oil, lemon juice, water, and salt.  I don't have a direct recipe for this, because I just sort of mix it all together in a small bowl.  It is usually equal parts tahini and water, then a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, and coarse sea salt. I also might add a teaspoon or so of Braggs Liquid Amino Acids, which is a great substitute for soy sauce.  I toss together the kale, sliced avocado, fresh pomegranate seeds, chickpeas (canned or sprouted), and thinly sliced red onion, and dress with the tahini. It is also really rich, and full of healthy fats.  I love the combination of flavors and textures that all of the ingredients provide, and the health benefits.  Sesame is full of calcium and protein; the kale is of course a great source of vitamins A, K, and C, and is full of fiber; the pomegranates are full of powerful antioxidants; and the avocado is another great source of fiber and vitamin C, and also has lots of potassium.  This is a powerful health salad that not only combats inflammation and oxidative stress, but also boosts your nutrients.  You know I will be eating this all Winter long.  


Olive oil

1 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and cleaned

1 egg yolk

1 garlic clove, minced

4-5 anchovies

2 teaspoons mustard

3 tablespoons olive oil

juice of ½ lemon

freshly ground black pepper

¼ of a nice baguette, thinly sliced and toasted

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Separate ¾ of the brussel sprouts, and slice in half or
quarters if large.  Toss with olive
oil and season with salt and pepper. 
Transfer to a baking tray and roast at 400 F for 30 minutes. 

Halve the remaining brussel sprouts and thinly slice.  Toss the two brussel batches
together.  Meanwhile, blend the egg
yolk with garlic clove in a mini blender. 
Add the anchovies and mustard. 
Slowly pour in the olive oil and blend until emulsified.  Add the lemon juice and black
pepper.  Keep cold until you are
ready to use. 

Toss the brussel sprouts with the dressing.  Add the baguette slices and the
Parmesan cheese and lightly stir to combine. 

Serves 4 as an appetizer and two as a heavier meal.

We love homemade Caesar salads, and many variations on that theme. Lucky for us, brussel sprouts are in season; roasted and tossed with Caesar dressing, they make a perfect salad for this time of year.
March 1, 2010   |   15 comments
Tags: Appetizers, Salads & Dressings

This salad is called the Gypsy salad because it is a melange of flavors, textures and ideas from around the world.  Blood orange, arugula, and fennel from Europe mix with jalapeno and avocado from Mexico.  Cumin, mint, and dates from the Middle East come into play as well.  Many of these ingredients, like dates, have traveled from their origin, and are now part of new cultures.  It is like us, a gypsy that never stops traveling.  The measurements are not exact, we trust that you add how much you want of each ingredient, and enjoy the journey that it takes you on.



1 fennel bulb, trimmed and outer layer removed (if bruised)

1 handful of baby arugula

1 handful of dates, pitted and sliced in quarters

a few kalamata or Moroccan black olives, pitted and sliced

1/4 of a jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

1 avocado, halved and pitted

1 sprig of mint

Small handful of parsley

a handful of fresh walnuts, roughly chopped

2 blood oranges (you can substitute regular oranges or cara caras here also)

1 lime (kaffir limes welcome!)

1-2 Tablespoons sherry or rice wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Pinch of cumin and salt


Slice the fennel in half lengthwise, and then thinly slice each half horizontally.  Transfer to a bowl and combine with the arugula.

Add the sliced dates and olives. 

Thinly slice the jalapeno.  If you are sensitive to heat, finely mince it, but if you like more of a bite, slice it in small horizontal strips.  You only need a 1/4 of the pepper or so.

Roughly chop or tear the herbs and add to the bowl. 

Keep the avocado meat in the skin and score with a knife in long vertical slices.  Use a spoon to get under the meat and scoop out the slices over the salad bowl. 

For the dressing, zest the oranges and the limes with a zester or microplane over the salad bowl.  You will only need a little bit of the lime zest and about 1/2 of one of the orange's zest.  Slice off the top and bottom of the oranges, removing the skin and pith.  Next place the oranges, one at a time, on the cutting board and slice off the skin and pith (without going to deep!) to reveal each segment.  Working over another small bowl, slice out each orange segment carefully, allowing the juices to fall into the small bowl, and then add the segments to the larger salad bowl.  When you have finished slicing the oranges, squeeze out any excess juice into the small bowl.  Juice the lime into the bowl as well.  Stir in the cumin, vinegar, and olive oil and whisk to combine (you can just do this with a fork). 

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. 

Add the crumbled walnuts. 

Serves 2. 

This salad works as an appetizer, but it also goes beautifully on top of grilled fish like tuna or mahi mahi, or atop a grilled chicken breast. 





This salad combines the rich artichoke flavor of boiled sunchokes, with the crunch of the raw sunchokes.  The dressing is a simple French-style vinaigrette that we toss with the 'chokes when they are still warm.  Brussel sprout confetti adds texture and color, and the sunflower seeds add crunch. 

For the Salad:

2 cups sunchokes, peeled and boiled until tender (about 4-5 large pieces)

1 cup sunchokes, peeled and rinsed

3-4 brussel sprouts
½ shallot, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, lightly toasted

For the Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider or white wine vinegar

Juice of ½ lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper (four pepper blend or white pepper are recommended)

Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. Season with salt, and then slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking all the time.
Season to taste.

Meanwhile, boil the two cups of peeled sunchokes until just tender, about 10 minutes.
Drain and slice in thin rounds. Slice the remaining 1 cup of raw sunchokes in the same way. Immediately mix with the dressing. Add the shallots and seeds.
Peel the outer leaves off the brussel sprouts, then grate or thinly slice, to create the “confetti” shreds. Add to the salad and toss.
Makes a side for 4 people.


The point of a recipe like panzanella is to put to use stale bread that has gotten hard. The juice from the tomatoes softens the bread and gives it a delicious flavor. If you want to use fresh bread, simply toast it until it is hard. There are no exact quantities for this recipe, we leave it up to you and how much stale bread you have in your kitchen.

Stale bread, cut into cubes
Tomatoes, quartered
Red onion, a few thin slices
A few leaves of basil
Raw cacao nuts (otherwise known as cocoa nibs)
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
About 4 white anchovies, chopped
Sprinkle chile ancho powder
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Toss together the tomatoes and bread.
Set the red onion in a bowl of water for about 10 minutes.
Add the onion to the bowl, along with a few torn leaves of basil, the raw chocolate, avocado, anchovies, and chile ancho powder.
Drizzle over a couple tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar and toss again.

Panzanella salad is a great recipe to use when you have stale bread in the house. The idea is to not waste food, and when you add stale bread to a tomato salad, it sops up the juice and becomes soft. Our version incorporates avocado and raw cacao nibs, which along with tomatoes, are New World ingredients. Cacao nibs have a bitter flavor that goes well with the acidity of tomatoes.
September 12, 2009   |   10 comments
Tags: Avocado, Healthy, Salads & Dressings, Vegetarian

This dressing is rich and tasty, yet can go with simple mixed greens. Try it with green beans and grilled lamb for a more substantial salad.

5-8 roasted garlic cloves*
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 preserved lemon, roughly chopped
3 teaspoons preserved lemon brine
1 ½ fresh lemons, juiced
4-5 tablespoons olive oil

Blend together the garlic cloves, paprika, preserved lemon, brine, and fresh lemon juice in a blender or mini chopper until smooth. Pour in olive oil and blend until smooth.

*To roast garlic: coat the garlic head with a tablespoon of olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast at 400°F for 1 hour. The cloves should be completely soft.


This salad is super healthy and nutritious. Not only is it vegetarian/vegan, but it is also gluten-free and high fiber. You will love the combination of sweet husk cherries (also known as Cape Gooseberries) with the slightly sour tomatillos. Cilantro and jalapeno round this out, and the black beans keep it grounded and substantial. The colors are amazing, and you will feel so good about eating it! Eat it with Ezekiel sprouted tortillas.

4 tomatillos, husked
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup cape gooseberries, husked and halved
1 ear of corn, husked
¼ jalapeño pepper, sliced thinly
¼ red onion, medium dice
¼ cup packed cilantro, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Boil the tomatillos for about 10 minutes and drain.
Slice 2 of the tomatillos into thin wedges, about 6 pieces each.
Set the onion in a small bowl covered with water for about 10 minutes and drain.
Slice the corn kernels off the cob and then reverse the blade of the knife to get out the milk.
In a medium bowl toss together the black beans, cape gooseberries, corn kernels and juice, jalapeño, and red onion.
Quarter the remaining 2 tomatillos and blend with the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Add the cilantro and keep blending.
Pour the tomatillo sauce over the rest of the ingredients and toss.
Serve with sprouted corn tortillas.
Serves 4.


This recipe is written in the style as Julia Child wrote her recipes, with the ingredients listed as they appear in the recipe.

2 slices of French bread (not baguette)
- Cube the bread and toast in a toaster oven (Julia would have sautéed these in butter, but it is better when they sop up the dressing from the salad).

2 Romaine heads
Freshly grated sea salt and black pepper
- Discard the outer leaves of the romaine, and separate the remaining leaves from the core. Rinse them well and slice into 2 inch pieces. Transfer to a serving bowl.

2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
- Drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice and toss the leaves well.

1 egg, boiled for 1 minute
- Crack in the 1-minute boiled egg and toss quickly to coat the salad.

Good knob of Parmesan cheese
- Grate the cheese over the lettuce and toss one last time.

Serves 4 as an appetizer portion.

August 5, 2009   |   0 comments
Tags: Salads & Dressings, Vegetarian

This is a light tuna salad that omits mayonnaise, but brings in a ton of flavors from the brine of capers and preserved lemon. The trio of coriander, cumin, and paprika make it magical. Use it to stuff avocado halves, in sandwiches, or as a topping for salads.

2 cans of water-packed albacore tuna, drained
1 tablespoon capers + 1 teaspoon brine
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 small preserved lemon, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon preserved lemon brine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup cucumber, small dice
small handful loose parsley, finely chopped
Large pinch ground cumin
Large pinch ground smoked paprika
Large pinch ground coriander

Stir together the capers (bruising them lightly), mustard, preserved lemon, brine juices, and olive oil in a medium sized bowl. Stir in the tuna, cucumbers and parsley, and then mix in the spices.
Makes about 2 cups.

This is a light tuna salad that omits mayonnaise, but brings in a ton of flavors from the brine of capers and preserved lemon. The trio of coriander, cumin, and paprika make it magical. Use it to stuff avocado halves, in sandwiches, or as a topping for salads.
Blog entry

Happy Earth Day!
When we first started Kitchen Caravan, we filmed an entire season of episodes that never aired. We were aiming for a Spring launch, yet we were not able to get the site up until mid-June. We ended up with what we like to call "the lost season" of really great recipes that we never got to show. Some of those recipes have been recycled into new themes; our Chocolate Avocado Tambor, Opulent Mung Bean Balls, Basra Date Tarts, and Halloumi Bundles of Love all made it into the program eventually.

Our 2007 Earth Day episode was going to be about raw chocolate. We were all about munching on cocoa nibs in those days; everything had raw chocolate on it. We wanted people to see beyond sugar-laden milk chocolate candies, and start eating raw cacao nibs. Raw chocolate gets a lot of publicity for being a powerful antioxidant, as well as a great mood enhancer. But more importantly, I think, is the fact that chocolate only grows in a fully functioning rain forest. That means that buying organic, fair-trade chocolate helps support farmers preserve rain forest land that would otherwise be converted to grazing land for cattle. Never forget that you as consumers have a lot of power.

This recipe goes back to our roots, and is a great appetizer for the more adventurous eater. By all means, substitute the Taleggio for any strong meltable local cheese that you can find.

Mesclun Greens with Taleggio and Raw Chocolate

4 cups mesclun greens
2 tablespoons cacao nuts (otherwise known as cocoa nibs)
Handful of sun-dried tomatoes
A few Gaeta olives, or another dark and briny variety
2 thick slices of Taleggio cheese (however much you want really)
½ lemon and a splash of vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt

Soak the olives in water for about 5 minutes. Change the water and soak again.
Rinse the lettuce and dry well.
Chop up the sun dried tomatoes into slivers.
Drain, pit, and slice the olives.
Roughly chop the cacao nuts.
Toss all of the above ingredients with the olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.
Slice the cheese and place on a baking tray.
Melt in oven or toaster-oven until melted.
Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Toss together the first four ingredients with the dressing and divide among two plates.
Using a spatula, transfer one slice of cheese to each salad. Watch as the melting cheese solidifies over the lettuce. The cheese drippings will add a deep undertone to the dressing.
Serve with bread.

April 22, 2009   |   3 comments
Tags: Salads & Dressings