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Category Archives: Salad

A Salad Fit for the Cookie Monster

While browsing a recent issue of House Beautiful magazine, I came across a recipe for a Tuscan kale salad topped with pears and amaretti cookies.  Cookies? On a salad? I laughed a little and thought it sounded like something the new Cookie Monster might concoct.  I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but apparently in recent years they’ve given him a bit of a “healthy makeover” (as you can read more about in this article).

Intrigued by the salad, I set out to make it. After picking up the cookies at World Market, I headed to the grocery store. Unfortunately, only the more ordinary curly kale was available, but I decided to proceed anyway.  I adjusted the proportions slightly, but here’s my adapted version for two people as a generous side salad portion.

Kale Salad with Pears, Pecorino, & Amaretti

  • 4 oz. Kale
  • 1/2 of an anjou pear, shaved or very thinly sliced
  • 4 amaretti cookies, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Grated Pecorino Romano, Salt, & Pepper

Rinse and dry kale.  Remove stems and tear into pieces.  Then, place into salad bowl.  Top with pears and cookie crumbs.  Add oil and vinegar and toss very well so all leaves are coated.  Grate cheese onto salad (I used my microplane grater and covered the bowl with a thin layer) and season with salt and pepper.

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We thought it was really good and easy!  Plus, it’s something different, which is always a plus.  I will look forward to trying this again when I can find the recommended Tuscan kale.

Simple Salad Idea featuring Mysteriously Sweet Long Peppers


I’ve eyed these up on several occasions.  Ancient Sweet peppers from Sunset brand labeled with the phrase “mysteriously sweet long peppers”.  I picked up a bag with no particular purpose in mind.  They are sweet, but not too sweet and they basically taste like an extra delicious red bell pepper.  They could easily sub for a bell pepper in many recipes, but it seemed they would be best appreciated in their purest form.

I tossed together the following short list of ingredients and was very happy with the results.

  • Mixed Baby Greens
  • Thin Strips of Ancient Sweet Peppers
  • Thin Slices of Red Onion
  • Cooked Penne Pasta
  • Finely Grated Pecorino Romano
  • Dressing–I tossed this lightly with aged balsamic, basil olive oil, and some freshly ground pepper.

Simple, yes…but as a frequent salad eater I like to have some easy combinations to throw together and I am looking forward to having this again, so I thought it was worth sharing.