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Three Scrumptious Salads and Dressings


JanDAtri-Italian-0413April seems to mark the beginning of the “leaner, lighter” season in Arizona as we lighten our plates with fresh salads so we can look and feel leaner during our brutal summer months.

So this month’s column kicks it off for you with three scrumptious salads and dressings. (The Southwestern Salad has two dressing options for you.) The idea here is to start with a base of fresh greens, add the ingredients of your choice as they fit the cuisine and then give them an April shower of perky dressing to finish them off. Lighter and leaner never tasted so good!


Italian Salad and Dressing

For the salad fixing, choose as you wish:

  • 3 to 4 cups of romaine or spring mix
  • Endive, sliced in thin rounds
  • Hearts of palm, sliced
  • Tomatoes (I used new variety: Super Cherry Tomatoes)
  • Shredded carrots
  • Red radicchio
  • Parmesan, shaved or shredded
  • Tortellini, cooked and chilled
  • Cannelini beans, drained
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Fresh mushroom grated on top
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For The Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup marsala
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place ingredients in blender except olive oil. While blender is on low, slowly pour olive oil into blender. Turn to medium, then high and blend for about 2 minutes. Dressing will thicken as it is blended and then chilled. Refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups of dressing. Can be used as marinade. Discard any dressing leftover if used for marinade. (The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a week).

Oriental Salad and Dressing

JanDAtri-Oriental-0413For the salad fixing, choose as you wish:

  • 3 to 4 cups of romaine or spring mix
  • 1 cup endive, sliced in rounds
  • Hearts of palm, sliced
  • Carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded or chopped cooked chicken
  • Snow peas
  • Peanuts, cashews or slivered almonds
  • Rice noodles, in the can
  • Asian pear
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup oil (olive or vegetable)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet mustard (I use spicy and sweet)

Whisk together until well blended.

Southwestern Salad and Dressings

JanDAtri-Southwestern-0413For the salad fixing, choose as you wish:

  • 3 to 4 cups of romaine or spring mix
  • 1 cup endive, sliced in rounds
  • Hearts of palm, sliced
  • Chopped cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken is great)
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Grilled corn (In a skillet, on barbecue or burner on cook top)
  • Jicama, sliced in matchstick
  • Avocado
  • Black olives
  • Tri-colored bell peppers, slivered or sliced thin or charred, skinned and sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing No. 1

  • 6 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk together ingredients until well incorporated.

Dressing No. 2 (Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Smokey Vinaigrette)

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 small shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro or parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, marmalade, water, honey, paprika and shallot. Slowly whisk in the oil. Stir in the cilantro or parsley and season with salt and pepper.


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