Mediterranean Chopped Salad by America’s Test Kitchen!

Mediterranean Chopped Salad | America’s Test Kitchen Recipe

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Radek’s Radicchio Salad – To. Die. For.

Radek's Radicchio Salad, Brown rice with spinach and tomatoes and Salmon!
Radek’s Radicchio Salad, Brown rice with spinach and tomatoes and Salmon!

I have to tell you about this salad that a friend made a few weeks ago. It was amazing. Well, to be honest EVERYTHING was amazing, but this was so unexpected and delicious that I think I’m addicted to this salad… yep… addicted to SALAD!

Let it soak - that's the secret!
Let it soak – that’s the secret!

Radicchio, by nature, is bitter – BUT there is a way to tame the beast and Radek did it! Soaking it in cold water takes away the bitterness… then when you toss it in a nice balsamic vinaigrette and toss in some parmesan… BAM! You have yourself one delicious salad! You’ve got to try it!

Radek's Radicchio Salad
Radek’s Radicchio Salad

Click HERE to print just the recipe… | barbara stroud

A special thank you to Radek (& Melissa!) Dudek for sharing this wonderful recipe!

Update: I’ve made this salad four times in the last week… Correction to the above “3 Tablespoons Vinegar to 9 Tablespoons Olive Oil” – since I made a smaller quantity I used less. Eyeball it and use 1 part vinegar to 3 parts olive oil and a drizzle of honey. You really don’t need much to coat the salad.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Fast & Healthy Summer Side Dish… Cucumbers in Greek Yogurt… my favorite!


This isn’t as much of a “recipe” as it is an idea… This is my all time favorite when the cucumbers are local and oh so good… summer is when we like a lot of cold salads, boiled shrimp… keeps the house (and us!) cooler! I used to make this with low fat sour cream… then it hit me… USE GREEK YOGURT! We always have it, might as well use it! That way you feel GOOD about eating it! There are no feelings of guilt with this recipe…

Start off by chopping up a green onion (if you like them), or chive, minced onion, whatever makes you say WOOHOO! Then peel and cut the seeds out of a cucumber (this is for two people, for more, just double, triple, etc.).


Next… Put a spoonful of Greek yogurt into a serving dish… I scoop one big tablespoon (not measuring spoon)… and slice the cucumbers…


Then… add some cider vinegar (I use unfiltered, it’s supposed to be healthier). If you like vinegar add a big gulp, if you aren’t big on it, put a little gulp, if you can’t stand it then use lemon juice!


Now… stir together the green onion, greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar… lovely!


Toss in the slices of cucumber, and stir it gently, coating the cucumber pieces…


Then sprinkle with dill, and pepper if you like. One thing to mention… don’t make this too far ahead of time, it can get watery… I will make it and put it right back in the fridge while I finish dinner so that it stays cold. Take it out of the fridge, stir again and voila…


Dinner’s ready!


Catch you back here tomorrow!

Quick & Easy Recipe: Caprese Salad… Nothing could taste fresher!

Caprese Salad

My basil plant is growing like a weed. It is absolutely gorgeous… I bought an heirloom tomato the other day and it smelled heavenly! My first thought… CAPRESE SALAD! I mean what could be any fresher tasting as well as quick and easy to throw together?


Good tomato (or tomatoes)

Fresh mozzarella cheese (it’s in a ball, slice it into nice slices)

Fresh Basil (MUST. BE. FRESH!)

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Find a good tomato (this one was rather large), and slice it (not too thin). You can lay a slice of tomato, then a slice of FRESH mozzarella cheese (if it’s not the softer fresh mozzarella the results will not be the same, I speak from experience!) and a basil leaf, or you can stack several basil leaves together, roll them up and snip them into small pieces (as I did, above). It tastes the same either way. Now drizzle the tomatoes and cheese with olive oil, and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Note: I made this recipe ahead one day… popped it in the fridge… took it out when dinner was ready and the olive oil had congealed (eek), so if you make it ahead, just take it out of the fridge a few minutes before serving so the olive oil has a chance to come alive!

The other night we had boiled shrimp, corn on the cob, and this caprese salad… too good!

This is also fabulous on a good bakery baguette… nothing fresher, we used to get this at Dean & Deluca – oh, what memories!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

What’s for dinner? Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken – quick and delicious!

Just seeing this salad makes my mouth water… It. Was. That. Good. Super healthy with a high tasty factor built in. Did I mention how quick it is to whip together? An added bonus for sure. Like all salads you can add whatever toppings you like. I kept mine simple. Tomato, Cucumber, Olives, Grilled Chicken and Feta. Period. OHMYGOSH. That hot grilled chicken makes the feta a little soft and to-die-for… There really isn’t a recipe per say, just tossing ingredients together… this is what I did:

Coat the skinless boneless chicken breasts (or whatever parts appeal to you) with olive oil. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Once the grill is hot, toss it on and cook like you normally would. Make sure it’s completely cooked.

Meanwhile, assemble the salads, if you finish before the chicken is done, place them in the fridge and keep them cold…

Place the salad in bowls, this time I used FRESH EXPRESS TRIPLE HEARTS which was really nice, it’s a combination of Romaine, Green Leaf and Butter lettuce.

Cut up a Tomato and a Cucumber and add to the salad. Toss on some Olives and sprinkle (I like copious amounts) of Feta, this is what makes it special!

Drizzle a little olive oil and a little rice wine vinegar (very mild, or another vinegar if you prefer)… add a light sprinkle of Salt and Pepper. You can add a small sprig of fresh Thyme if you like, I didn’t… it truly doesn’t need it!

Once the chicken is done, cut it into bite size pieces and place on top of the salad… you can serve with a baggette if you like. We didn’t and it was plenty of food for dinner!

This salad is so refreshing on a hot day! I hope you enjoy!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Roasted Shrimp and Tomato Orzo with Feta… Cool on a hot day!

I am about to make you a very happy camper… I’m going to share with you a recipe that is OUT OF THIS WORLD DIVINE! This salad is refreshing on a hot summer day (hot is an understatement, I do believe the tires on my car are melting as I type this)… You can throw this together in the morning and have it for lunch or dinner… it’s a great light dinner. You know what Dr. Oz says… Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Meaning to eat your biggest meal first and lighten up from there. I know. I don’t like to eat breakfast either… but… Dr. Oz said so…! We try to do that when we can, it’s not always possible, but once in a while we get it right…

Ok, onto the reason I’m going to make you so happy… I’m going to share a recipe with you that I have made so many times… I have it perfected… It’s a combination of a few different recipes with my own twists added in… so here goes.

Salad Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients

Pans Prepared with Tomatoes and Shrimp to put in oven to roast… (BEFORE pic), I love before and afters, don’t you?

Tada! What the tomatoes and shrimp look like after roasting. Note: I cut the tomatoes in half (as shown in foreground), be careful, contents are hot and they spit, BIG TIME! I also cut the shrimp in half, you do what you like…

After you whisk together the lemon juice (FRESH lemon please! Red wine vinegar (or whatever you’ve got), salt, pepper and dill. Fresh if you’ve got it, dried if you don’t. Mix it up then slowly drizzle in the olive oil this will make it emulsify (it helps make it cohesive, keeps the oil and vinegar from separating). Pour it onto the orzo and stir to coat.

Add the tomatoes to the orzo mixture. Make sure you add all that wonderful sweet juice as well! It only makes it better!

Then toss in those wonderful roasted shrimp. By now you’ve got to be going crazy to taste the final product, eh? Hee. This isn’t the clearest shot, but it’s COOL, look how I’ve captured the shrimp literally  jumping into that bowl… a true action shot!

Next… add the cheese, also, not pictured are the olives and cucumbers… I usually throw a splash or two of olive juice as well, but that’s a secret so keep it to yourself, ok? Also, the cucumber I usually add right before serving. I love cucumbers, but they can get weird, which rubs off on everything else, you don’t want weird orzo shrimp tomato feta salad do you? Then trust me on this… add it before serving…

Now with all my bossy comments about what to do just know, you can do what you like, add however much of an ingredient you like. Sometimes I don’t have cucumber, so I don’t add it (*GASP*), this time I had a leftover banana pepper, so I used it and it was AWESOME!  Hey, if you make this, let me know. It will most certainly become a staple, especially during the hot summer months!


Salad Ingredients:

1 cup orzo

3/4-1 lb. shrimp

4 green onions, chopping, including green

Big handful of pitted Kalamata olives

6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

1 pint grape tomatoes, washed and dried

1/2-1 cucumber, peeled and deseeded (or an English cucumber with skin)

Dressing Ingredients:

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Fresh or dried dill

1/3 cup olive oil

1.  In a large pot of boiling water (you do need a large pot, I tried with a smaller pot and it didn’t work), cook the orzo according to package directions (mine said 9-11 minutes, I cooked it for 9). Drain thoroughly. I used a sieve otherwise with my colander the orzo would have gone through the cracks… not good.)
2. In a bowl whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and dill. Slowly add the olive oil while constantly whisking to emulsify).
3. Heat the oven to 400. Pat the shrimp dry and toss with olive oil, spread on a baking sheet lined with heavy duty aluminum foil (to ease cleanup), sprinkle with S&P. Roast for about 6-7 minutes or until shrimp are done, DO NOT OVERCOOK. Remove from oven and set aside.
4. Toss the dried grape tomatoes in a bowl with a little olive oil (you don’t need much), spread on a baking sheet lined with heavy duty aluminum foil, sprinkle with S&P, roast for 5-10 minutes or until tomatoes just start to get wrinkly and maybe one or two does burst. Remove from oven and set aside.
NOTE: if you have a convection oven, here is where you can save some time, put it on convection bake, and you can put them both in at the same time. WOOHOO!
5. Add the orzo to a large bowl.
6. Stir in dressing to coat.
7. Add the shrimp, tomatoes, green onions, olives and feta – I usually wait to add the cucumbers until right before serving (they can get watery).
You can eat it right away (room temp) or chill it first.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A summer salad for dinner… quick, easy and waaaay too good!

You know when the temps heat up and cooking just doesn’t sound so great anymore? Well… the time has come… already! We’re looking for quick and easy meals that don’t involve turning on a gas stove or oven and heating up the house! We are very fortunate in Charleston to have a top notch Farmer’s Market… I encourage all of you who live within driving distance to go… it’s more than a place to get fruits and veggies, it’s an event all in itself. There are so many people, so much going on, and so much wonderful produce, YA-HOO! For this salad that I made for the two of us, I bought a bag of Butter Lettuce at Whole Foods… at the Farmer’s Market I got THE BEST radishes, cucumber, tomato and green onions… give those all a chop and toss them in the salad, however much (or little) that you prefer. I tossed it with dressing in a large stainless bowl (neither of us like much dressing, so this is the easiest way to do it). I boiled a few eggs and cooked 2 pieces of bacon to add to the top.. whoa, is that sweet! Also, added 1/2 avocado to each salad on top…

Served with Naan bread and olive oil… but you could serve with a baguette, or pita, or whatever makes you smile!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Meatless Monday: Martha’s Tomato, Basil and White Bean Salad


Let me start by saying. This. Is. Awesome. AND more importantly, I’m not really a bean eater. Some beans are OK, black beans, chili beans, but I don’t seek them out… this recipe changed my outlook on beans. This is one quick dish that is out of this world good. This tastes like it came straight from Italy. The only thing you heat is the oil and mainly to infuse the garlic into it. Trust me, this recipe will quickly become a family favorite!

Click HERE to go directly to Martha Stewart’s site to easily print the recipe, or see below… either way… ENJOY!


Prep/10 min.  Total Time/35 min.  Serves: 4


  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 pound small roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced


  1. Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over bean mixture, and gently toss. Let stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.

Quick and easy macaroni salad, perfect for a warm summer day!

Ahhh, who doesn’t love macaroni salad on a warm summer day? It’s so refreshing… and goes well with anything or all by itself. You can change this recipe to add more (or less) vegetables, add what you’ve got, I never make it exactly the same… Fresh dill (or whatever spice you like) always kicks it up a notch, makes it taste fresher… Made a note to pick up some fresh dill… I only had dried dill weed, but that worked just fine, you just have to use a lot of it!


Cook 2 cups macaroni (or similar shape) noodles as directed on package, then drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Radishes, Orange Pepper, Celery and Hard Boiled Eggs

While the water is on, chop your veggies, whatever sounds good to you at the time… I used 2 stalks of celery, about a quarter of an orange pepper, about 8-9 radishes and three hard boiled eggs. Chop and set aside.

Dressing for Macaroni Salad

Get the dressing mixed up. I used three big oversize spoonfuls of Hellman’s Canola Mayonnaise. If it’s not enough you can always plop in a little extra. To the mayo I add a quick pour of apple cider vinegar, add more if you like vinegar, less if you don’t, a tiny squirt of mustard, salt, pepper and dill. Stir until creamy and mixed.

Stir macaroni into dressing and season with dill...

Now stir the macaroni that was set aside hangin’ out into the bowl with the dressing, stir it around good making sure to coat everything with the dressing, you don’t want any dried pieces of noodle. Blaaaah. Season with copious amounts of dill . Cover and refrigerate (unless you can’t wait… I couldn’t)… Now for the best part…

Summertime Macaroni Salad

Pour yourself a nice cold drink, scoop out a little dish of macaroni salad and enjoy! It will put a smile on your face AND if you make it earlier in the day it keeps the kitchen nice a cool, no stove… yipeee!

Catch you back here tomorrow!
Photo blog HERE

Ina Garten’s New Potato Salad… easy and delicious!

Ahhh, Ina’s potato salad. Simply the best. I’m not a potato-salad-kind-of-gal… prefer my macaroni salad any day. But one day I was watching the Food Network show with the Barefoot Contessa herself (AKA Ina Garten) and she made potato salad. It intrigued me. I loved the way she cooked the potatoes for a short time and then covered them with a clean kitchen towel to steam. Brilliant! Nothing like mushy potato salad, and that does the trick, no more mush! Hey, maybe that’s why I never cared for it before? This is tasty, makes a good bit and is EASY. My husband needed to take something into the office, so I tried this recipe and he didn’t come home with any (not that THAT is a true indication, long story short, at an office I had worked at I burned a Pop Tart (yes, you know, those little healthy tarts filled with all things good… ha… I think I heard they last 13 years on the shelf… I buy them in case of a hurricane, hee), I didn’t just burn the edges the entire thing was solid dark black. I was about to toss it when someone said not to throw it away, to put it on a plate on the table in the breakroom and one of the programmers would eat it. I came back an hour later and that puppy was GONE and it wasn’t in the trash!!), but I’m sure they ate this potato salad because it was DELICIOUS! Try it for yourself!



  • 3 pounds small red potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, milk, or white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion


Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters or halves, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. (As the salad sits, you may need to add more dressing.) Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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Super Simple Salad… Tomatoes, basil and olive oil…

I saw some pretty little grape tomatoes in the fridge and a pot of basil that was begging to be used. I whipped my mom up a small super simple tomato salad… It took no time and it was delicious to boot!

Tomatoes are so good for you because they contain lycopene, an antioxidant. To get the most nutrition when you eat a tomato pair it with a little olive oil. The good lycopene found in tomatoes is fat soluble, so if you add a little good fat, like olive oil it helps your body absorb lycopene more easily. Here’s the recipe… no need to even write it down… cut up the tomato into bite sized pieces (whatever kind of tomato you like, the darker the tomato the more antioxidants), drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and pepper then top with fresh basil. If you happen to have a little fresh mozarella (MUST be FRESH, that’s my opinion) chop up a bit and toss it in, that’s delightful! Quick and easy!Added tip… cooked tomatoes are more concentrated, therefore have more lycopene…  Enjoy!