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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Archive for the Category 'Salads'

Choosing a Wine for a Salad

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

There is nothing new about matching wine with dinner or lunch; however mixing wine and a salad may be a relatively new concept for some. Many people do not understand which wines go well with which salads and dressings. Salads have long been a favorite side dish for many years and it does not look to be changing any time soon. Wines can pair with salads very easily if a few considerations are taken. You will want to watch the acid content of both the dressing and wine of choice. The higher the acid within the dressing, the higher the acid within the wine should be as well.

A few different types of acidic wines include white wines and dry rose wines. Some examples of wines that will go with vinaigrette include Pinto Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Spanish Albarino, and Dry Riesling. Mixing your wines and salad can be a fun adventure. The following are a few favorite pairings of classic salads and favorite wines.

A Caesar salad has a real kick in its flavor thanks to the anchovies and garlic contained within it. If you mix this salad with a tart wine, you will positively love the flavor; consider wines such as Vinho Verde or Pinot Grigio. A lighter red wine is a positive choice for a Cobb Salad. Because it has a hearty mixture of cheeses and meats, you would enjoy this salad with wines such as Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, and dry Riesling.

If your favorite salad is the Greek Salad, you will want an assertive and stronger wine. The Greek salad combines sharp flavors with a ton of salt and only a high acid and pungent wine can withstand the pairing. Consider wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand to go with the Greek salad. For a fish and olive salad such as Nicoise salad you will want a Mediterranean type of wine. Consider wins such as Albarino, Rose, or Pinot Noir to match this fishy salad.

For salads such as Asian Chicken Salads, because they combine acids such as sesame oil, lime juice, and rice vinegar you will do well to match this salad with off-dry wines such as Riesling. For any type of pasta salad, such as those you take with you on the family picnic, you could lighten the load and choose a Chardonnay with these types of salads.

Garden Romaine Salad

Thursday, June 08th, 2006


  • 1 garlic clove, pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind or zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper


  • 4 to 6 cups mixed baby romaine lettuce leaves, hand washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated small carrots
  • 1 tablespoon julienne strips of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/8 cup pitted and sliced nicoise or kalamata olives

Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Combine pressed garlic and salt together into a paste. In a medium sized bowl, add the garlic paste, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cold water, lemon rind and brown sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to whisk and add olive oil slowly until well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl with the romaine lettuce, radishes, carrots, mint and olives. Whisk the dressing to combine. Add half the dressing, toss and taste. Add remaining dressing according to your taste.

Summer Italian Basil Potato Salad

Sunday, June 04th, 2006

Salad Dressing:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese grated (about 3 oz)
  • 4 to 6 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Potato Salad:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds white or yukon potatoes (5 large or 8 to 9 medium)
  • 1 small bulb fennel, cored, thinly sliced and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • Pine nuts or chopped walnuts for garnish (optional)

For the dressing: Using a food processor, combine the first 6 ingredients (basil through black pepper); pulse to finely chop. With the processor on, drizzle in the olive oil to make a creamy sauce. Alternatively, combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Set dressing aside.

Cook potatoes first: Over high heat, bring a large pot of water (salted with 1 tablespoon coarse salt, if desired) to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes (do not peel potatoes). Drop potatoes into the boiling water and cook, loosely covered, for 6 minutes, until a knife can pierce the potato easily but cubes are still firm. Drain potatoes and place them back in the pot.

Using a wooden spoon, gently stir in the basil dressing. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and chopped fennel.

Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with pine nuts or chopped walnuts, if desired. For a nice presentation, serve the salad in ‘cups’ made from radicchio leaves.

Makes sixteen 1/2-cup servings (about 8 cups of salad).
Recipe Source: from Idaho Potato Commission.

Italian food, gourmet food, Italian recipes

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Aged Balsamic Pasta Salad

Saturday, June 03rd, 2006


  • 1/3 Cup aged balsamic Vinegar 
  • 3 T. spring water
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
  • ½ Cup chopped sweet onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia)
  • 1 sm. pkg cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Cup small broccoli tops, no stems
  • 1 Cup sm. Cauliflower tops, no stems
  • 1 Cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 5 Cup cooked whole wheat farfalle pasta
  • ¼ Cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • ¼ Cup shredded Asiago cheese


1. Combine aged balsamic vinegar, water, olive oil, garlic, and fresh ground pepper in small bowl and mix with wire whisk. Set aside.

2. Drop broccoli, cauliflower and carrots into large pan of boiling water, cook 30 seconds. Drain vegetables and let them cool.

3. In large salad bowl, mix together onion, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber and red pepper. Add pasta and mix well.

4. Mix the vinegar mixture, basil and cheese into the pasta and vegetable mixture. Cover and chill.

Yields: 5 servings–serving size is slightly over 2 cups.

Serving suggestion: Consider adding small portion of flaked smoked salmon pieces as a garnish. salad recipes, pasta recipes, balsamic vinegar recipes


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Easy Green Salad With Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Friday, May 05th, 2006

4 servings

  • 4 cups washed mixed salad greens of choice, rinsed, dried and chopped
  • 4 fresh green onions, chopped or 1 small red onion, peeled, sliced in thin pieces
  • 1 medium seedless orange, peeled. Cut orange sections in bite-size pieces, you could also use a can of mandarin orange sections, drained
  • Small sprigs cilantro diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste, use fresh ground pepper
  • Aged Balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil as desired (aceto balsamico)
  • Crisp croutons for garnish if desired

Wash and prepare mixed salad greens. In a large bowl, add chopped onions, orange pieces, and cilantro to mixed greens in large bowl; salt and pepper lightly and toss. Divide salad greens evenly in four salad bowls. Sprinkle each individual salad lightly with salt. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over salads. Garnish with croutons, if desired.


  • Subsitute orange(s); with 1 red ripe medium tomato, cut into small wedges, or 8 ripe cherry tomatoes, each sliced in half
  • Add crumbled blue or parmesan cheese as desired

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