Summer Chopped Salad with Basil Vinaigrette



  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 12 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 13 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 14 cup packed, coarsely chopped basil leaves

For the salad:

  • 12 pound of fresh mixed salad greens, finely chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jar (14.5 ounces) hearts of palm, rinsed and sliced
  • 14 European cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh ear of white or sweet yellow corn, husked and kernels cut off (see note)
  • 14 cup shelled and chopped pistachio nuts, toasted (see note)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced, for garnish


  1. To prepare the dressing: In a food processor, combine the shallot, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard, and process to combine. Slowly add the oil, whisking to incorporate. Add the salt, pepper and basil, and pulse until well-blended. Taste for seasoning.
  2. To prepare the salad: Combine all the salad ingredients into a large salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss until all the vegetables are well-coated. Transfer to serving plates and garnish with avocado slices. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper on the salad if desired, and serve.
  3. Note: To remove the corn kernels from the cob, break the husked corncob in two. Hold each half vertically, resting it on the blunt end for stability, and slide a chef’s knife down the sides, releasing the corn kernels.
  4. To toast the pistachios, place them on a baking sheet in 350-degree oven and toast for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool.


  • Some other flavor additions or substitutions you might consider include sweet red or orange bell peppers, cucumbers, provolone, feta cheese or even olives. Another favorite of mine is to chop up chilled, grilled vegetables and top with some goat cheese. For a more substantial main-course salad, add cooked chicken or seafood.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Shredded Kale and Romaine Salad with Quinoa, Currants, and Almonds


  • 5 ounces shredded kale (½ 10 ounce bag)
  • 1 medium head of Romaine lettuce, dark green leaves removed, shredded
  • 1½ cups cooked cooled quinoa
  • ⅓ cup dried currants
  • ⅓ cup toasted almonds, preferably Marcona, coarsely chopped


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon style whole grain mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. In a salad bowl combine the kale, lettuce, quinoa, currants and almonds together and toss.
  2. In a food processor combine the salad dressing ingredients. Process until smooth. Taste for seasoning.
  3. Just before serving, toss the dressing with the salad ingredients and garnish with the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 people as a side dish, 3 to 4 people as a main dish.

Classic Waldorf Salad and Variation


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon creme fraiche
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced small
  • 1 Gala apple, peeled and diced small
  • 1/4 cup sliced grapes
  • 2 Gala apples, tops removed and insides hollowed out


  1. Add mustard, honey and creme fraiche to a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add apples and grapes. Toss well. Spoon into apples and serve.


Wright’s Waldorf Salad


  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 Gala apple, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced celery root
  • 6 candied walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup grapes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 3 celery leaves, diced
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil


  1. Add apples, celery root, candied walnuts and grapes to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, add yogurt, honey, sugar, creme fraiche, celery leaves and walnut oil. Mix dressing until well blended. Add to apple mixture and toss well. Serve immediately.


  • Remember to sample the apples in advance to make sure they are crisp and delicious and not mealy.
  • Don’t cut up the apples until just before you’re ready to serve because they oxidize quickly and will turn dark.

Serves 2 people.