Greek Tortellini Salad

Ingredients:
2 (9-oz.) packages cheese tortellini
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 red wine vinegar
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
6 eggs
1 lb baby spinach leaves
1 c crumbled feta cheese
1/2 c slivered red onion

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add tortellini, and cook for 7 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano, and salt. Place the cooked tortellini in the bowl, and toss to coat. Cover, and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
3. Place eggs in a saucepan with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and allow eggs to sit in the hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, cool, peel, and quarter.
4. Gently mix the spinach, feta cheese, and onion into the bowl with the pasta. Arrange the quartered eggs around the salad to serve.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

ingredients:
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems

directions:
1. Combine the rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, garlic, chipotle and salt in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade. With the machine running, gradually add the canola oil. Add the cilantro and process until the vinaigrette is smooth.

The recipe for Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette makes about 1 1/2 cups. Place extra dressing in an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to three days to use on other salads. Shake well before using.

Apple, Walnut, and Mixed Greens Salad with Zinfandel-Cranberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
1 c sweetened dried cranberries
3/4 c apple juice
1/2 c zinfandel or other fruity dry red wine
1/2 c cranberry juice
3 TBS minced shallots
1 1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 TBS walnut oil
10 c gourmet salad greens
3 c cubed gala apple (about 2 apples)
1 c thinly sliced sweet onion (about 1 medium onion)
1/3 c coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:
1. Combine cranberries and apple juice in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; let stand for 10 minutes. Drain cranberries; discard apple juice. Set cranberries aside.
2. Bring wine and cranberry juice to a boil in pan, and cook until reduced to 1/3 c (about 8 minutes). Pour wine mixture into a medium bowl; add shallots, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk.
3. Combine cranberries, greens, apple, and onion in a large bowl, Drizzle dressing over salad; tons gently to coat. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Roasted Beet, Avocado, and Watercress Salad

Servings: 12

Ingredients:
6 large beets  (about 4 1/2 pounds)
1/4 c water
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange rind
1/3 c fresh orange juice
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 1/4 TBS sherry vineger
3/4  tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 large avocado, peeled
3 bunches watercress (about 9 cups trimmed)
3 c orange sections (about 3 large navel oranges)
3/4 c vertically sliced red onion
3 TBS chopped pecans, toasted

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Remove root and 1 inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Cut beets in half; place beets in a 13×9 inch baking dish. Add water. Cover with foil, and bake at 375 for 1 hour or until tender. Cool; rub off skins. Cut beets into 1/2 inch slices.
3. Combine rind and next 6 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl. toss half of ice mixture with beets.
4. Cut avocado in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 12 slices. Place watercress on a platter; top with beets, orange sections, onion, and avocado. Drizzle remaining juice mixture over salad, and top with pecans. Serve immediately.

Corn and Zucchini Salad with Chives

Serves 4

2 small zucchini, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ears sweet corn, kernels shaved off
1 cup minced chives
1/2 cup chopped mint, plus sprigs to garnish

Place the diced zucchini in a colander or small bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil and the butter. When the butter foams up, add the corn kernels and cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender — about 5 minutes.

Drain any excess water off the zucchini and add to the skillet, along with the chives and mint. Sauté just until the zucchini is barely tender — about 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately while hot, or at room temperature.

Saksuka

Ingredients (serves 4):
2 eggplants (long type)
2-3 peppers, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium size potatoes (optional)
1 courgette/zucchini (optional)
Tomato purée/paste
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely sliced
Olive oil

Directions:
Peel alternate strips off the aubergines (eggplants) lengthwise to create a stripey pattern. Chop into chunky cubes, sprinkle generously with salt, and leave to soak in a bowl of water for about half an hour. You can make şakşuka with or without potatoes and courgettes. Without offers a much purer appearance and set of flavours. With provides additional colours, textures, and tastes. Why not try it both ways. If you decide you would like to include them, then chop them into cubes like the aubergine and fry them up until golden. The potatoes need a bit longer than the other vegetables so give them a little extra time.

To soak or not to soak: A debate continues to rage as to whether salting and soaking aubergines really does help to remove any bitterness, but the main orthodoxy is that is better to do than not.

Rinse the aubergine chunks, pat dry, and then fry in a light olive oil until golden brown. Stir in the finely chopped peppers and the tomatoes and cook over a gentle heat. When these start to break down and disintegrate, add the tomato puree/paste and garlic, and continue to simmer for a few minutes. If the tomatoes aren’t especially juicy then feel free to supplement with a little water. You should be aiming for a really moist and juicy consistency.

Leave to cool. Serve chilled. It’s superb eaten with hunks of fresh bread or with some cool fresh yoghurt on the side.

Black Blean Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing

Serves 4

This colorful salad features a quick dressing made from creamy avocado, tangy lime juice and zesty cilantro.

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or thawed if frozen
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Method

In a large bowl, whisk together avocado, cilantro and lime juice until blended. Add beans, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, pepper, pumpkin seeds and toss until evenly coated.