Beet, Goat Cheese, & Farro Salad

We have jam packed this salad full to the brim! Unlike our Semi-Homemade Pesto Caprese that we made earlier in the week, this recipe will have you in the kitchen for a bit more time if you are cooking the beets from scratch. We promise it is worth it! If you want to save some time, look for pre-cooked beets in the refrigerated produce section of the grocery store. We have also found quick cooking farro at Trader Joe’s, which helps cut the time down even more. This dish is hearty choice as a “salad for dinner” recipe and one of our favorite ways to pack in the veggies this summer. 

Beet, Goat Cheese, & Farro Salad 
Makes: 4 entree servings 
Prep Time: 45 minutes    Total Time: 1 hour 

Ingredients for the Salad: 

  • 4 large (or 6 medium) beets, stems removed and peeled 
  • 1 tbs olive oil 
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking farro 
  • 8 cups kale, large stems removed 
  • 2/3 cup goat cheese 
  • 1 avocado, sliced 
  • ⅓ cup olive oil 

Ingredients for the Balsamic Vinaigrette: 

  • ⅓ cup olive oil 
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tsp honey (use this only if you used balsamic vinegar, not glaze)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Chop the beets into large, bite-sized pieces. Place them on a sheet of foil and drizzle with 1 tbs of olive oil. Toss to coat the beats evenly and season with salt and pepper. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, cover with a second sheet of foil, and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until they are fork tender. 
  3. While the beets are cooking, prepare the farro. Heat a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook the farro according to package directions; quick-cooking farro takes about 10 minutes while traditional farro can take up to 40 minutes. The farro should still have some texture and chew; strain when it has finished cooking. 
  4. While the farro is cooking make the salad dressing. Whisk all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl until thoroughly blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. When the beets have finished cooking, toss them in a large bowl with the kale, farro, and about 3/4 of the salad dressing. It’s okay if the beets and/or farro are still a bit warm- this will help break down the kale so that it is more chewable. 
  6. Assemble the salad by layering the beet/farro/kale mixture on the bottom of a serving bowl. Top with the goat cheese and avocado. Drizzle with the remaining salad dressing and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.  

Semi-Homemade Pesto Caprese Salad

This salad qualifies as a “mostly homemade” recipe instead of semi-homemade recipe, it is that easy. Who says cooking needs to be hard?! Simple is the theme with this salad and boy is it delicious. With just a little chopping and mixing  you can have a healthy, nutritious, and tasty salad within 15 minutes. We love this recipe for a quick workday lunch with chicken but this it easily be altered to be an appetizer or side dish by removing the protein. Like all of our recipes, mix and match ingredients that you have on hand to make this recipe work for you. 

Semi-Homemade Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad  
Makes: 4 side dish servings; 2 main course servings 
Prep Time: 10 minutes    Total Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 English cucumber 
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes 
  • 1 package Ciliegine mozzarella (small mozzarella balls)
  • 4 tbs pesto 
  • 1 rotisserie chicken or package of  pre-cooked chicken, optional 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Chop the cucumber and half the grape tomatoes and place in a bowl. 
  2. Add the mozzarella (be sure to drain) and pesto in a bowl. Gently mix until the pesto is evenly distributed among the ingredients, without wrecking the tomatoes. 
  3. Top with the chicken (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste. That’s it. So simple, so easy, and so good! 

Fig, Bleu Cheese, & Walnut Salad

We were recently at Whole Foods and so excited because we found fresh figs for the first time in a while! We used dried figs in our Bruschetta Board that we posted last week and still had them on the brain when it came to making a menu this week! Sometimes simple is best, and this salad is just that. High quality ingredients with a simple vinaigrette and boom, we have a beautiful salad that pairs well with most menus this summer. 

Fig, Walnut, & Blue Cheese Salad 
Makes: 4 appetizer servings 
Prep Time: 10 minutes    Total Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 cups arugula 
  • 8 fresh figs, stems removed and cut in half 
  • 1 wedge good quality blue cheese- if you hate blue cheese like Tate’s mom, goat works well too 
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts 
  • 2 tsp butter 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Ingredients For Dressing: 

  • ⅓ cup olive oil 
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs balsamic glaze or 2 tbs balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tsp honey 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Make the dressing by whisking the dressing ingredients (olive oil through garlic) in a small mixing bowl. If you want a really creamy texture to your dressing, you can make this in a blender, otherwise, whisk until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. 
  2. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast them until they become fragrant- about 4 minutes. Remove them from the pan and season well with salt. 
  3. In the same pan, heat the butter until it becomes bubbly. Add the figs cut side down and let them caramelize for a few minutes. This helps bring out their sweetness and gives them a little crust. 
  4. Assemble the salad by layering the arugula, figs, walnuts, and blue cheese. Drizzle the dressing over top and season with a good amount of black pepper. 

Semi-Homemade Southwest Caesar Salad

After two weeks of living together in quarantine, we have come up with a pretty good system for meal planning. While it might seems a little OCD to plan out lunches and dinners every day for four adults, it actually helps cut back on food waste and helps us buy the minimum amount of groceries that we need every week. Cooking over 14 meals a week has its challenges, and by Thursday and Friday we are looking to be creative in the kitchen with minimal effort. In the last two weeks we have resorted to a number of semi-homemade meals, particularly for lunches. 

For this semi-homemade Monday, we have taken a regular old caesar salad bag and transformed it into a complete meal. We have given it a southwest twist by adding corn, tomatoes, black beans, and blackened chicken. To give the dressing its own makeover, we have blended a chipotle in adobo into the pre-made caesar dressing that came in the salad bag. Instead of a boring salad that would have us hungry in an hour, we created a complete meal that satisfies us until dinner. 

Semi-Homemade Southwest Caesar Salad 
Makes: 4 servings 
Prep Time: 30 minutes   Total Time: 40 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 4 chicken thighs 
  • 1 tbs olive oil 
  • 1 tbs garlic powder 
  • 1 tbs paprika 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 large caesar salad bag (we bought ours from Costco so it was quite large) 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half 
  • 1 cup corn (frozen works great just make sure it is thawed) 
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 4 scallions, chopped 
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced (if you don’t have any, substitute Cholula or any hot sauce)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Heat a large, oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Let the pan get nice and hot before adding the olive oil to the pan. 
  3. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with the garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and cook the chicken for 5 minutes per side. If you are using skin-on chicken, make sure the chicken is skin side down in the pan. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the chicken juices are clear and the chicken is cooked through.
  4. While the chicken is cooking prepare the remaining ingredients. Layer the romaine from the salad bag, the cherry tomatoes, black beans, and scallions in each of four salad bowls. Reserve the corn for later. 
  5. Use the chipotle in adobo or hot sauce to kick up the caesar. Add as much of either to get to your desired spice level. 
  6. When the chicken has finished cooking, remove the chicken from the pan and set onto a cutting board to rest. Put the frozen corn into the same pot and toss it in the juices to give it some flavor. 
  7. Add the corn and a piece of chicken to each of the salads. Top with the dressing, parmesan cheese, and croutons from the salad bag. Serve immediately. 

Semi-Homemade Potsticker Salad Bowls

If you know us personally, you know that we love dumplings something fierce. At any given time, you can venture to Tuck or Tate’s homes and find potstickers in the freezer. They are the ultimate answer to “oh crap, what is for dinner?!” We have created these Potsticker Salad Bowls by combining two of our favorite Japanese appetizers: potstickers and the house salad with ginger dressing. 

Makoto Ginger Dressing one of the only pre-made salad dressings that we will buy at the grocery store- the stuff is that good. You can find it at regular grocery stores (Publix, Wegmans, King Soopers/Kroger) in the refrigerated salad section. We’ve added romaine, shredded carrots, snap peas, and cucumbers to bulk this baby up with some vegetables and brown rice because Tuck and Tate have fathers that would never consider a lettuce-based salad a dinner. If you prep the salad ingredients while the potstickers are cooking in the pan, this dinner can be on the table in 20 minutes. 

Semi-Homemade Potsticker Salad Bowls 
Prep Time: 20 minutes    Total Time: 20 minutes 
Makes: 4 servings 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 package frozen potstickers (there should be about 20 in the pack) 
  • 2 tbs sesame oil 
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sriracha 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces 
  • 1 package frozen brown rice 
  • 1+ cups shredded carrots 
  • 1+ cups snap peas 
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 avocado, quartered and sliced 
  • 1 bottle Makoto Ginger Dressing 

Directions: 

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, and water to the pan- stir to combine the ingredients. Add the frozen potstickers to the pan, creating one even layer of potstickers. Cook the potstickers on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes- rotating every once in a while so that all sides of the potstickers are heated through. As the water evaporates and steams the filling, the oil and soy sauce will coat the outside dough and give the potstickers a crispy flavorful topping. 
  2. While the potstickers are cooking, cook the frozen brown rice in the microwave according to package directions. It doesn’t have to be scorching hot, just heated somewhere north of room temperature. 
  3. Assemble the salads by layering the romaine, brown rice, snap peas, carrots, and cucumbers. Top with the Makoto dressing. When the potstickers are finished cooking (starting to get crispy on the outside and the water has evaporated), remove from the pan and serve on top of the salads. Garnish with avocado and serve. 

* Please note our salad is not pictured with cucumber because we were so excited to cook, photograph, and then eat this recipe that we forgot to add them in the process. Sigh. 


Beet & Blood Orange Salad

To celebrate the upcoming baseball season, and Tuck’s departure to Florida for Spring Training, Tuck and Tate’s parents went to a going away dinner at Jovanina’s Broken Italian in downtown Denver. In true Tuck & Tate fashion, we consumed almost everything on the menu and cannot rave about our dinner enough. From bone marrow to parmesan souffle, wood fired pizzas to fresh burrata and charcuterie…. we ate it all. Of everything we consumed, one of the dishes that stuck out the most was the beet salad. Roasted beets, blood oranges, and a layer of creamy ricotta… it was perfect. So perfect that we had to recreate it as soon as possible.  

A quick note about the length of time designated for this recipe. The amount of time necessary to make it relies entirely on how you plan to cook the beets. We have roasted them in the oven, which is easy but can take quite a long time. If you have an Instant Pot or any sort of pressure cooker, you can reduce 15+ minutes from our suggested time. If you want to skip cooking the beets all together and just buy pre-cooked beets from the salad section of your grocery store, reduce the total time down to 20 minutes. If you do buy precooked beets, try to avoid anything packed with other flavors. This salad has a delicate flavor profile and you won’t want the beets to overrun or clash with the other ingredients. 

Beet & Blood Orange Salad 
Makes: 4 servings 
Prep Time: 30 min     Total Time: 1 hour 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large beets (we chose one yellow and one red for color variation) 
  • 1 blood orange 
  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese 
  • 2 tbs honey or agave 
  • 1/3 cup roasted and salted pistachios 
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs olive oil 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Prepare the beets by trimming off the stems and leaves and peeling them with a vegetable peeler. If you have kitchen gloves use them to avoid staining your hands. Once the beets are trimmed and peeled, cut them into large, bite sized pieces. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Lay the beets in a single layer on the foil, drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until they are tender with a fork. 
  3. While the beets are cooking, prepare the ricotta. In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, honey, and the zest from the blood orange. Whisk really well, until the ricotta is light and fluffy in texture. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside. 
  4. Remove the peel from the blood orange using a knife to remove the peel and pith from the orange. For an instructional video, click here. Cut the orange horizontally and set aside. 
  5. Make a quick dressing by combining the olive oil and the juice of a few of the blood orange slices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  6. Assemble the salad by layering the ricotta on the bottom of the plate, followed by the beets and blood oranges. Top with the pistachios and drizzle the dressing over top. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Serve immediately. 

Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad

We hope everyone is getting off to a successful start with their New Year’s resolutions! For those of you trying to keep things healthy this month, we bring you this Brussels Sprout Chop Salad. We have a few rules when we are trying to keep up with clean eating: 1) the food has to be filling and 2) the food has to be super tasty. If we accomplish those two rules with our recipes, eating healthy doesn’t feel like a chore. This salad is super filling even without a traditional protein. We love it for a lunch entrée during the work week or as a side salad at night for dinner. 

Brussels Sprouts Chopped Salad
Makes: 2 entree salads (4 side salads) 
Prep Time: 15 minutes    Total Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups shaved brussels sprouts (approx 1 lb)
  • 2 large honeycrisp apples 
  • juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts 
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 

For Dressing: 

  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1 tbs Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tbs honey (or 2 tbs if you prefer a sweeter dressing) 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Make the dressing. Use a whisk and a small bowl to combine all of the dressing ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and let the flavors blend together. 
  2. Use your hands to comb through the brussels sprouts, breaking up any large pieces and giving the sprouts a shredded confetti texture. Put them in a large bowl. 
  3. Dice the apples and sprinkle them with the lemon juice. Add the apples to the bowl. 
  4. Add the remaining salad ingredients- pine nuts, cranberries, and parmesan- to the Brussels sprouts bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve chilled or room temperature. 

Kale Salad: Winter Edition

This salad has been in the Tuck & Tate family for quite a few years now. Tate’s mom had a version of it at a restaurant in Connecticut and immediately shared it among the family for everyone to recreate. It’s just a few simple ingredients, but man is this salad good. We love it for a lot of reasons, but the first is that it holds very well. You can easily make it ahead of time and even eat leftovers the next day. We have chosen to put it in our Hanukkah menu because we all need some crunch and greens in our lives to balance out decadent dishes like lamb chops and latkes. 

Kale Salad: Winter Edition
Makes: 4 servings (as a side salad) 
Prep Time: 20 minutes      Total Time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 cups kale green, stems removed and roughly chopped 
  • 1 1/2 cups raw quinoa 
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries 
  • 2/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped 
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pot. Add the quinoa and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Cover and remove from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, covered. 
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, rehydrate the cranberries by placing them in a microwave safe dish. Cover the cranberries with water and microwave for two minutes. Drain the excess water. 
  3. Make the dressing. Whisk the olive oil and and balsamic vinegar together. 

Homemade Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad is one of those recipes that takes 5 minutes to buy bagged from the grocery store and maybe 20 minutes to make completely from scratch. If it’s a Wednesday night and traffic stinks and you’re already running late, go with option A. But if you have some time and want to expand your horizons in the kitchen, option B is so easy to achieve. As with all of our recipes, play with the dressing to get it to taste exactly the way you like it. Tuck’s mom likes extra mustard, Tate’s mom likes extra lemon. Taste and season on repeat until you get the version you like best. 

Homemade Caesar Salad
Makes: 4 servings (as a side salad) 
Prep Time: 15 minutes   Total Time: 20 minutes 

Ingredients for the Salad: 

  • 2 small heads romaine lettuce, cut into bite sized pieces 
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 baguette 
  • 3 tbs butter 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Ingredients for the Dressing: 

  • 1 raw egg yolk
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon 
  • 1 glove garlic 
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard 
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional) 
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the baguette into large, bite-sized pieces. Put the minced garlic and 3 tbs butter in the microwave and heat until just melted. Place the baguette pieces on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with the garlic and butter mixture, tossing it all with your hands to evenly coat. Season the croutons with salt and pepper; bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until brown and crispy. 
  2. While the croutons are baking, make the dressing. Use a food processor or immersion blender to blend all of the dressing ingredients, minus the vegetable oil, together. Mix until thoroughly blended. Continue to blend and slowly add the vegetable oil until it is completely absorbed in the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  3. Assemble the salad by layering the romaine and parmesan cheese. Add the croutons hot out of the oven and slather with dressing. If you are like Tuck’s mom, add lots of freshly cracked black pepper. 

Apple & Manchego Salad

As we head into fall, apple dishes start to take the main stage. While most apple recipes are dessert recipes, we love this salad because it’s a tart, nutty, and just a bit sweet. By combining just a handful of ingredients, this dish comes alive and is always one of the most asked about recipes when it’s on the table. It takes just a few minutes to do the chopping and is a great addition to any dinner you have this fall.

Apple & Manchego Salad

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 granny smith apples, cut into matchstick size pieces  
  • 4 oz manchego cheese, thinly sliced  
  • 4 large green onions, diced 
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil  

Directions:

  • Cut the apples into a juilienne cut, or into matchstick sized pieces.
  • Place the apples in a serving dish and toss with the lemon juice immediately to keep the apples from browning.  
  • Add the cheese and green onions to the bowl. Add the olive oil and toss so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Serve chilled to room temperature.