Swedish Cucumber Salad with Red Onion and Dill

Swedish Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Dill

Swedish Cucumber with Dill is fresh, light and full of sweet, tart flavor. We added quick pickled red onions to ours for color and flavor. Make it alongside Swedish meatballs, or anytime you need a quick, delicious salad.

Cucumbers are one of our favorite vegetables and we make some form of quick pickles at least once a week, if not more. I love them Asian-style, with rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil, especially along with Vietnamese-style Baked Chicken or any roasted meat.

When we decided to make Swedish Meatballs, I knew we had to also make the traditional side dish, a sweet and sour quick-pickled Swedish cucumber salad flavored with dill. We added red onions, because they add great flavor and color to the dish. If onions are not your thing, feel free to leave them out and just serve the cucumbers on their own.

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Red Cabbage Salad with Roasted Cipollini Onions

Red Cabbage Salad with Roasted Cipollini Onions

When the weather turns cold, you want a salad that brightens your table and can stand up to all those stews and roasts you’ll be serving. 

Note: This recipe is part of our series for Serious Eats. You can also find the recipe and many others on their site.

Once the weather turns cold it becomes harder and harder to keep salads interesting. Most of our favorite add-ins are a distant memory (I’m looking at you, glorious heirloom tomato).  A trip down the produce aisle, or even the farmer’s market, can feel more like a challenge than an inspiration. But this is when, with a little creative thinking, great combinations are born.

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Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad

Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad

Mushrooms are incredibly versatile. Here, we sauté them until deeply golden brown, then pair their savory flavor with hearty kale leaves and a nutty sherry vinegar dressing. It’s an easy vegetarian meal in a bowl.

Note: This article is from our series on Serious Eats. You can find this salad, and other great recipes there as well.

When you cook as a couple, you have to constantly deal with what each person does and doesn’t like to eat. One of us (Matt) loves mushrooms, though, admittedly, mostly fried up English-style for breakfast; the other (Emily) used to dislike them, finding them to be either chewy, slimy, rubbery, or otherwise unappetizing.

We eventually realized that the problem wasn’t with the mushrooms, it was how we’d been cooking them. We’d been treating mushrooms like most other vegetables, when we really should’ve been cooking them like meat. By searing mushrooms until deeply browned, you can bring out their earthy, meaty, umami-packed flavor, while their interiors remain tender and juicy. Now, we have no conflict—we both love mushrooms and work them into our meals all the time. Here, we toss them with baby kale and a flavorful sherry vinaigrette to make an easy, filling salad.

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s Chermoula Roasted Eggplant

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Chermoula Eggplant

We roasted eggplant until it became soft and silky and topped it with Chermoula (a North African spice mix with garlic and preserved lemon). Sprinkled with tart feta cheese and fresh herbs. 

This dish is adapted from a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s brilliant cookbook, Jerusalem. Ottolenghi is an Israeli-born British chef who, among other things, writes one of my favorite recipe columns in the Guardian. He’s a master of incredibly flavorful vegetable dishes, and has a particular knack for eggplant.

Eggplant can be controversial: some love it, some hate it. If you’re on the hate side, it might be because you haven’t had it cooked well. Too much oil and it can be greasy, not enough and it turns rubbery. But grilled with a miso glaze, or roasted with Middle Eastern spices, it’s absolutely delicious.

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Teriyaki Brown Rice Salad With Avocado

Teriyaki Brown Rice Salad

A deceptively simple and delicious teriyaki brown rice salad that can be paired with meat, fish, tofu, or enjoyed by itself.

This has been the type of week when I’m so overwhelmed that eating frozen peas straight out of the bag seems like a sensible dinner plan. See, it’s efficient because they thaw as you chew them! Unfortunately Matt thinks this is disgusting and that I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself (pops frozen pea into mouth like a badass).

I won’t bore you with the details but I’ll just say this: beginning to edit a new documentary film is a Herculean task and I forget each and every time how overwhelming it is. I’m sure whatever your job is, even if you’re a chef,  you have days (months? years?) when having to cook a healthy dinner seems like just too much damn work. I’m here to tell you I get it (I’d point and wink, but I’m just too tired. Please just assume I’ve done it, and I’ll owe you two next time I see you).

That’s when you want to have recipes like this Teriyaki brown rice bowl in your back pocket. It’s easy enough to do with half a brain, but delicious and healthy enough to feel proud of yourself.

Teriyaki Brown Rice Salad
Our favorite crunchy salad vegetables, plus pickled shallots, avocado and roasted peanuts.

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Blood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pistachios

Blood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pistachios

Blood orange salad is a colorful, tangy and healthy way to remind yourself that winter will not last forever. As a bonus, it also wards off scurvy!

This is the salad to make when you can barely remember what a real garden tomato tastes like. When you’re so deep in winter that the summer abundance of a few months ago seems like a fever dream.

This is the salad that reminds us that, even in the dead of winter, there are still wonderful things to be found if you know where to look.

Blood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pistachios Blood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pistachios

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