Tag Archives: Salad

New Style Caprese Summer Kale Salad with Nectarines and Fresh Mozzarella

Summer Kale Salad with nectarines and fresh mozzarella

Summer Kale Salad with nectarines and fresh mozzarella

This salad is the latest addition to my growing list of kale salads.  Perfect this time of year with sweet summer nectarines and fresh mozzarella with a light and refreshing lemony white balsamic vinaigrette. 

Summer Kale Salad

Summer Kale Salad

You may be saying to yourself when will this trend of kale salads and kale everything ever end, but if you ask me the answer would be NEVER because I really do LOVE kale, I don’t just eat it ’cause it’s good for me, I truly enjoy it.  Kale salads show up weekly at my dinner table and then again for lunch when I have leftovers (and I always hope for leftovers!).  I hope you’ll find as much joy in this simple and delicious salad as we do. small bowl summer kale salad

This version was inspired by a pizza I recently enjoyed on a day trip to Princeton, NJ, where we were touring the university with Skyler (she’s a brilliant and very hard working student with high aspirations, fingers crossed!), honestly I hope she gets accepted just so we can go back for more pizza 🙂

Skyler & I with one of the many Princeton tigers on campus

Skyler & I with one of the many Princeton tigers on campus


Colin at his namesake Jones Hall

Colin at his namesake Jones Hall

an example of the beautiful Princeton architecture

an example of the beautiful Princeton architecture

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Curry Spiced Lentil Salad


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                       Curry Spiced Lentil Salad
Altered ever so slightly from the original My New Roots, Best Lentil Salad, Ever….Even though I enjoy Indian foods and the many spices associated with that region of the world, this is not my comfort zone of cooking.  I tend toward Mediterranean style cooking with a smattering of Asian influence and sometimes a bit of “California Mex”, but for me cooking Indian food is rare.  My husband, once (many, many years ago) bought me a Vegetarian Indian cookbook (which was one of the most thoughtful and one of the rarest gifts he’s purchased completely on his own), which I have yet to make a single recipe from.  It is not that I don’t love this gift and find many of the recipes in it interesting, but I’m scared off a bit by the looooong list of ingredients each recipe entails and not to mention the sheer weight of the book itself (which causes it to most often be used as a weight for pressing tofu, perhaps that’s why I don’t get many gifts from dear hubby, hmm).  I do get turned off by very long recipes, even though I myself when improvising a recipe tend to add more and more ingredients as I go, but I also feel unfamiliar with the combination of spices and other ingredients that go into Indian cooking and can never really imagine in my mind and taste buds what exactly the final dish is going to end up as.   So, on New Year’s Eve, searching for recipes that included foods that are said to bring good luck in the new year, I stumbled upon this recipe and decided without much thought to give it a go.  I didn’t change it much, except for the quantity of some of the ingredients and left out or changed a few that my daughter doesn’t like.  Skipped the currants and replaced them with cranberries and pomegranate seeds, the two add a nice balance of sweetness against the curry spice.  Don’t let the long list scare you off, it’s mostly items from the spice drawer and the recipe comes together fairly quickly.  What I ended up with was a lovely lightly spiced and a little bit sweet lentil salad for the new year.


1 ¼ cups dry French Black Lentils (about ½ pound) – don’t substitute other varieties as they will turn to mush when cooked, while the tiny French variety will hold up

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

½ Tbsp Honey

½ Tbsp Dijon Mustard

½ teaspoon Cumin

¼ teaspoon Turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground Coriander

¼ teaspoon Cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground Cayenne

1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves

1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon

Salt and Pepper to taste, plus a little salt for cooking the lentils

2 Shallots – diced

¼ – ½ cup dried Cranberries – chopped

¼ – ½ cup Pomegranate seeds

About 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Mint

To make the salad, begin by preparing the lentils.  Rinse, pick over and add to a pot with enough water to cover by a few inches.  Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.  The cooked lentils will retain a nice al dente bite.  Once cooked, drain off and set aside to cool just a bit before adding to the dressing.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Add all ingredients above after lentils and up to the cranberries.  Whisk together and set aside until the lentils are done.  Add the lentils to the dressing and stir.  Add in the chopped cranberries and pomegranate seeds, then the chopped mint.

Optional add ins; other fresh herbs, maybe a bit of parsley or tarragon, some crumbled goat cheese… I enjoyed mine atop a Romaine salad.

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