Archive for the Salads Category

Arabian Fattoush Salad

Posted in Salads with tags , , , , on October 3, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

This traditional Levantine salad is made with sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, salty kalamata olives, fresh parsley, green onions and topped with toasted pita bread.  The dressing is made with lime juice, olive oil and crushed garlic. Simple and delicious!


  • About 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumbers
  • 1/2 bunch scallions
  • Handfull of italian parsley
  • About 2 tbsp mint
  • 1/2 c. kalamata olives
  • Dressing: 1/3 c. olive oil, 1/3 c. lime juice, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 tsp sumac, salt, pepper
  • 1/2 bunch of romaine lettuce
  • 1 c. Pita bread, broken into little pieces, lightly covered in olive oil and baked until crunchy.


  • Cut vegetables and herbs and place in salad bowl (except lettuce).
  • Combine dressing and pour over vegetables.
  • When ready to serve, place lettuce in plate, top with remaining vegetables marinating in the dressing, and finish off with crispy toasted pita bread.

Fall Salad

Posted in Salads with tags , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

I know a lot of you have an abundance of apples and pears. So make something healthier than apple pie with this fall spinach salad tossed with grapefruit, red pears, green apples, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and an easy raspberry vinaigrette. Best of all, you can eat this salad before your meal or save it for dessert.


  • Spinach
  • Grapefruit
  • Green apple (with a bit of lime to prevent browning)
  • Red pear
  • Gorgonzola cheese
  • Walnuts
  • Raspberry vinaigrette (raspberry jam, red wine vinegar, olive oil)

Spicy Avocado Caesar Salad

Posted in Salads with tags , , , , on July 28, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Take your ordinary caesar salad, and jazz it up with spicy Serrano peppers, creamy avocado, fragrant cilantro and fresh citrusy lime–and you will get the BEST caesar salad EVER!

In order to make this awesome version of the caesar salad, you must know how to make the slightly boring and ordinary caesar salad. And please don’t use store-bought dressing. It will ruin the taste, and there is no reason to spend $4 on a bottle of dressing when you can make your own in just a couple of minutes.

Up until about a year ago I had no idea caesar salad dressings contained egg yolks and anchovies. I have since learned to love anchovies, but I still have a hard time with the eggs.  The thought of raw eggs makes me a little queazy, to say the least. Even so, I have made the traditional recipe multiple times and I must admit, the dressing is great–but I can’t seem can’t enjoy it. So, I like to omit the yolks and it tastes just as good. If you don’t mind raw eggs, however, feel free to add one to the recipe. It does make it a bit creamy, and you can omit the sour cream. Although the avocado in the dressing already makes it very creamy. You could get away with omitting both the egg and the sour cream to make it lighter and healthier.

Unfortunately, most people reading this probably will have a problem with the anchovies, though. But let me just tell you they are not at all fishy. Their role in the dressing gives it a unique and salty depth of flavor that you just can’t replace with anything else. So don’t be a chicken and give it a chance. And remember, if you’ve ever ordered this salad in a restaurant chances are that you enjoyed the anchovies on there.

Caesar Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste or 1-2 anchovy filets
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive oil

Spicy Zesty Component:

  • 1/2 handful cilantro
  • Chopped serrano or jalapeno pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 avocado
  • And maybe a bit more lime.

NOTE: You may want to double the recipe. This makes 2-4 servings.

Dressing Directions:

  1. Put everything into blender except olive oil. Blend for 30 seconds. Slowly add olive oil until you have the desired consistency.

Salad Ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Croutons
  • Either shredded parmesan/romano/asiago cheese
  • Avocado

Spinach & Iceberg Wedge Summer Salad with Buttermilk Gorgonzola Dressing

Posted in American, Salads with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2010 by Cooking For Mark

Yesterday Mark had planned for us a picnic on the puget sound to watch the sunset. He asked me if we could take wine, cheese, bread and fruit. So I said “of course” and got to work. This is what we took:

  1. For the wine: Barefoot Pinot Noire
  2. Bread & Cheese: delicious homemade turkish pogacas, which is a little heavenly ball with a cheese-filled center. Click here to see.
  3. Fruit: Spinach & iceberge wedge salad with strawberries, green apple, sweet grapefruit, caramel walnuts, topped with sesame seeds and creamy buttermilk gorgonzola dressing.

Salad Ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Green Apples (with lime to prevent browning)
  • Sweet grapefruit
  • Caramel Walnuts (1/2 c. caramelized sugar, 1 tbsp cream)
  • Black poppy seeds
  • Gorgonzola or blue cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. gorgonzola or blue cheese
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • salt + pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ricotta cheese (optional)…or sour cream, or mayo


  1. Salad: Assemble as you like
  2. Walnuts: caramelize sugar without letting it get too dark. Take off heat and add 1 tbsp heavy cream and stir. Add walnuts. Place walnuts individually on parchment paper. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top.
  3. Dressing: place in blender for 15 seconds.

Note: Since it’s not as hot here I made a creamy milk-based dressing. If you will be eating this salad outdoors and it is super hot, then I suggest making this with a raspberry vinaigrette  (or pomegranate).

The Salad….And the Sound…

The incredible Pogacas…

Mark Finishing off his salad

Isabel risking her life for a picture

Mark & Isabel

Where is Chupa Chups? Poor little baby had to stay home since her kind is discriminated against. There were no doggies allowed 😦